Canine Influenza is coming back to the area. It has been some time since we have seen a case of Canine Influenza in the area, but Kentucky is having an outbreak of this virus. Louisville is having a terrible outbreak currently and other areas in the state are seeing the virus also. It is only a matter of time before we see such cases here in South Central Kentucky.
Canine influenza is a highly contagious viral infection affecting dogs and also cats. There are currently two strains of canine influenza in the United States: H3N8 & H3N2. Canine influenza can be transmitted via direct contact, aerosolized up to 20 feet (sneezing / coughing) or on objects such as food bowls, clothing or items that dogs / cats have had contact with. The virus can live in the environment for up to 48 hours.
Illness results in coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, fever, anorexia, pneumonia and up to 25% of the cases can have gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting / diarrhea). Up to 20% of animals can be what we call subclinical carriers showing no symptoms of illness, but spreading it to other dogs. Dogs may become sick 2-4 days after exposure and remain ill for as much as 2 weeks. The virus can be shed for up to 24 days. Approximately 4-8% may die from this illness.
DOGS can be vaccinated but there is currently no cat vaccine. We highly recommend that everyone bring their dog in to their vet for a vaccine as soon as possible. A booster 14 days after the initial vaccine is required. Adequate protection will not be in place until 2 weeks after the second vaccine and then boosters will be needed every 6-12 months. An exam will not be required for the visits to get this vaccine alone. If you have more questions about this virus or how to prevent it in your pet please feel free to call us.
You may also read more about the virus and answers to frequently asked questions at https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/CanineInfluenza.aspx
We will be having a short informational seminar about the virus for other dog related professionals in the area next week. This will be held at the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce on July 14th 2017 @ 7pm CST. If you run a boarding kennel or grooming shop in Adair, Cumberland or Russell Counties we would love for you to attend this meeting.
Information provided by:
Shantila F. Rexroat, DVM
Adair County Animal Hospital