With the flu season currently underway, Central Veterinary Associates is offering vaccines for canines which may be susceptible to influenza.
According to the American Medical Veterinary Association, canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection that is caused by a virus — the same virus found in horses with equine influenza. Dogs with a mild case of canine influenza may develop a soft, moist cough that lasts for 10 to 30 days and may have a thick nasal discharge, which is usually caused by a secondary bacterial infection. In severe canine flu cases, dogs may develop high fevers of 104 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit and have clinical signs of pneumonia, such as increased respiratory rates and difficulty breathing.
On October 5, the Bergen County Animal Shelter in New Jersey posted a letter on its website that it was temporarily suspending dog adoptions after the shelter linked canine influenza to be one of the possible causes of an upper respiratory infection that spread to a number of dogs. Pet owners were asked not to interact with other dogs if they have been at the shelter anytime after September 15 and, if their animal shows signs of the disease, to call their veterinarian before bringing their pet to the hospital and informing them that they may have been exposed to canine influenza.
In 2010, an animal hospital in New York, NY was shut down for a week after an influenza outbreak occurred. The first case was assumed to be “canine cough,” but within 48 hours, it progressed quickly to full-blown pneumonia and an extremely high fever. Over the next 60 days, canine flu swept across Manhattan. As a result, the hospital had to be shut down.
It is important for dog owners to vaccinate not only themselves during the flu season, but their pets as well. Pets can be as susceptible to the influenza virus as humans can, so all owners must take the necessary precautions to keep their pet healthy.