Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Canine Influenza

In the recent weeks many of our clients have contacted us with questions regarding the canine influenza virus. We have all heard the commercials on the radio and with the recent outbreaks of swine flu this year still fresh in many people’s minds it is understandable that people would be concerned about how this disease may potentially affect their pet. We at the Animal Clinic at Thorndale feel that in order to best care for our patients we must also educate our clients. To that end here are a few facts about the canine influenza to keep you better informed about what canine influenza is and what to do if you think your pet has it.
The facts:
• Canine influenza is nothing new. In fact it has been around since 2004.
• The most common sites of exposure are shelters, pet stores, kennels and day care.
• Canine influenza is relatively uncommon in most areas and is not cause for alarm in most cases.
• You do not need to avoid dog parks and other areas frequented by dogs as long as your pets are up to date on their rabies, distemper, and bordetella vaccines.
• In most instances dogs develop mild symptoms and recover quite well.
• Symptoms can include a mild fever, a soft moist cough, and nasal discharge. But please be aware that these symptoms are not unique to the canine influenza virus and can be caused by any number of respiratory illnesses. If these symptoms do occur the best course of action is to have your regular veterinarian give your dog a full exam and place him on medication if necessary.
• Occasionally these symptoms can progress to a high fever and pneumonia if left unchecked.
• Greyhounds are the only breed that has developed hemorrhagic pneumonia and died.
• A new vaccine for canine influenza is now available. However, due to the relatively short period the vaccine has been available we currently do not stock the vaccine or recommend it.

If you have any further questions regarding canine influenza feel free to send us an email at and we will gladly answer them.

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