Due to recent reports of an outbreak of Canine Influenza originating at a dog show in Georgia and anecdotal reports of several cases of influenza in Georgetown. Green Tree Animal Hospital is recommending that all dogs, especially high risk dogs be vaccinated against Canine Influenza. High risk dogs include older debilitated animals, very young animals and dogs at risk of exposure at kennels, day care, and grooming facilities.
Canine Influenza, a respiratory viral disease, is spread through the respiratory secretions of acutely infected animals. In fact, recently infected asymptomatic dogs can shed large amounts of the virus making control much more difficult. Infected dogs may be lethargic, have a high fever, and have a dry cough. The cough can persist for weeks. The virus attacks the respiratory epithelium which can cause severe illness including pneumonia in susceptible dogs.
Vaccination can provide protection against the virus 7 to 10 days after the second in a series of two inoculations. Most dogs will have excellent immunity however some animal may become infected but the disease will be much less severe. Green Tree Animal Hospital uses bivalent vaccine that protects against the two known strains of Canine Influenza.
If you suspect that your pet may be infected with Canine Influenza please contact the clinic so we can schedule an examination in our isolation facility. Although a definitive diagnosis of Canine Influenza can not be made by physical exam alone, symptomatic treatment can be instituted based on a high index of suspicion that your pet is infected. In addition, severely affected dogs can undergo further diagnostics to rule out complications such as secondary bacterial pneumonia.
To protect all our patients we have instituted rigorous bio security measures including strict isolation of suspected cases and appropriate disinfection of our facilities. All respiratory cases will be go directly to isolation from a separate entrance.
Dr. Joseph Yocum and Staff