Potentially Deadly Canine Flu Outbreak
Girard Veterinary Clinic has been contacted by Drug manufacturers and our National reference laboratory in relation to the breaking story involving at least 39 dogs confirmed cases of Canine Influenza (CIV) in Brooklyn, NY since May 25th, 2018.
The outbreak seems to have started at doggy daycare(s) in Brooklyn, NY. Keep in mind there is no centralized database of the number of dogs with the flu, and it is likely that the number of cases is under reported in part because the test cost can be as much as $300, and it takes several days for the results to come back. Many owners prefer to start treatment immediately, even if the flu virus has not been confirmed. Some dog owners are also reluctant to disclose if their dog has the flu, out of fear they could be blacklisted from their preferred boarding facilities and dog walkers.
Canine Influenza is highly contagious and easily spread from infected dogs to other dogs by direct contact, nasal secretions (through barking, coughing or sneezing), contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes). So far, there is no evidence that canine influenza infects people, but it can spread by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs. Dogs of any breed, age, sex or health status are at risk of infection when exposed to the virus.
The symptoms of a CIV infection resemble those of canine infectious tracheobronchitis ("kennel cough"). Dogs infected with CIV develop a persistent cough and may develop a thick nasal discharge and fever (often 104-105oF). Other signs can include lethargy, eye
discharge and reduced appetite. Canine influenza infections can cause mild to severe illness in dogs.
Some infected dogs may not show any signs of illness,
but can still be contagious and able to infect other dogs.
Dogs infected with CIV are most contagious during the 2-4 day virus incubation period, when they shed the virus in their nasal secretions but do not show signs of illness. The virus is highly contagious and almost all dogs exposed to CIV will become infected. Currently the mortality rate for confirmed cases is around 10%, but could very possibly be higher.
The CIV vaccination is a "lifestyle" vaccination, recommended for dogs at risk of exposure due to their increased exposure to other dogs – such as boarding, attending social events with dogs present, and visiting dog parks. If your dog is in areas where they come into close contact with other dogs, we highly recommend getting them started on the CIV vaccine.
In light of this new outbreak Girard Veterinary Clinic
is offering $5 off to all dogs starting the
CIV combo (dog flu) vaccination series.
Offer is good until the end of June, 2018.
Vaccination may not all together prevent an infection, but it may reduce the severity and duration of clinical illness. A vaccine booster should be given 3-4 weeks from the initial vaccine and repeated annually.
If you have any questions about CIV/dog flu,
associated symptoms, isolation protocol or the vaccine
please call our veterinary staff at 215-232-0831.