We’re worried about our pets, too. This is from our vet and we’d like to share it with you.
As many of you have heard, there is a respiratory infection going through the Chicagoland area that is affecting our dogs. This disease is highly contagious.
It is limited to dogs and does not transmit to cats or humans.
There is a vaccine available for Canine Influenza which can help reduce transmitting the disease as well as the severity of infection. Many of our dogs are already protected against several of the bacterial and viral infections that can contribute to Canine Influenza. For example, the distemper combination vaccine and the kennel cough vaccine protects our dogs against Parainfluenza, Adenovirus and Bordetella. The researchers and testing have determined that the better vaccinated your dog is, the lower the risk.
The Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (CIRD) is passed primarily by dog to dog contact. But it can also be spread by:
- Coughing, sneezing and runny noses,
- By coming in contact with contaminated items such as food and water bowls, and toys,
- Coming in contact with infected dogs. Dogs that do not shows signs of the disease can still spread the virus before showing signs for the disease or appearing sick.
- People can also act as carriers and pass the infectious organisms between dogs.
To limit exposure for your dog, you may want to avoid high risk areas such as Dog parks, Kennels, Pet stores, Groomers, and Doggy Day Care. Also make sure to wash your hands and change clothes after petting dogs other than your own to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus.
The clinical signs can range from mild to severe:
Upper respiratory signs such as nasal discharge, eye discharge, coughing, sneezing
A lingering cough that may last 1-2 weeks
Upper respiratory signs as noted above plus:
- Trouble breathing
- Decreased appetite
These symptoms may last a few weeks.
Please feel free to call the hospital with any questions or concerns you may have about the Canine Influenza Virus or to schedule an appointment for the Influenza Vaccine. The Canine Influenza vaccine is given by injection twice (the first injection, followed by a booster in 4 weeks).
If you are concerned that your dog is sick, please call Dundee Animal Hospital to talk to your veterinarian or schedule an appointment. When you arrive at the hospital, please either leave your dog in the car or call from the parking lot. We will escort you to a room immediately. We want to limit exposure to other dogs as a precaution.