Canine Flu Expands in Louisville
Update: Nov 16, 2017
A highly contagious strain of Canine Influenza Virus caused a major outbreak of respiratory disease over the summer, and has flared up again this Fall. It now seems clear that this new disease is, unfortunately, here to stay. Here’s what you need to know:
- While most dogs exposed to the virus will show flu-like symptoms and recover in a week or so, a smaller percent will develop more serious signs like pneumonia. Death is unlikely but has been reported.
- Like the human flu, Canine Influenza is highly contagious in social situations. Risk factors are:
- boarding kennels
- day care
- dog parks
- grooming salons
- exposure to other dogs who engage in these activities.*
- A vaccine exists which has been shown to reduce severity of symptoms and spread of the virus.
Currently we are recommending vaccination for all dogs who engage in the risks factors listed above.
Just like with human flu, pets who become infected are at much greater risk of serious complications (i.e., pneumonia or even death) if they are elderly, have other chronic illnesses, or are very young. As such, we are emphatically recommending vaccination for dogs who engage in risk factors who are under 1 or over 10 years of age, or who have chronic illnesses.
Vaccination is very safe and requires a series of two boosters two weeks apart. We are currently waiving the normal Health Screen fee for each vaccination visit to encourage awareness and vaccination. Please be aware that maximum protection does not occur until two weeks after the second booster, meaning you should ideally vaccinate four weeks prior to placing your dog in social situations listed above.
To schedule an appointment for vaccination, or if you have questions, call us at (812) 590-3081.
* Bear in mind that if your pet interacts with other dogs who board/travel/go to daycare (such as friends or family members pets), they could expose your dog even if yours does not engage in those risk factors.