Dear Buffalo Ridge Clients,
Certain parts of our country are experiencing a serious outbreak of canine influenza. While we do not have any confirmed cases in our area, we are very aware that there are always new people and dogs traveling into and out of our area. What we know currently is that the viral strain that is affecting these dogs is not the same as the strain that is currently protected by the canine influenza vaccine. There is also no data that supports that vaccination with the current vaccine will provide any type of immunity against the new strain.
Dogs affected by influenza may have mild symptoms such as fever, a moist cough, and discharge from the eyes and nose. These symptoms mimic similar signs caused by kennel cough and are easily confused. Other dogs may have severe symptoms – developing high fevers and pneumonia. As with most respiratory viruses, puppies and senior dogs may be more susceptible based on having fragile immune systems.
Dogs that are housed in a kennel environment or attend a daycare facility are considered at a higher risk to exposure since they come into contact with more dogs than the average dog that spends the majority of its time at home.
We are making the following recommendations for our patients:
- 1.If your pet has a compromised immune system or chronic health conditions, limit your pet’s interactions with other dogs, especially when traveling out of state.
- 2.If your dog develops a cough or other symptoms such as nasal discharge or lethargy, please call to have your pet seen. If your pet has been traveling with you, or has been in a boarding situation or other type of environment with multiple dogs, please let the staff know so we can plan accordingly to isolate your pet when you arrive. Do not take your dog out to public parks or places where it may have contact with other pets until your pet has been evaluated.
As more information becomes available, we will be sure to share it. Please feel free to go to https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/FAQs/Pages/Control-of-Canine-Influenza-in-Dogs.aspx for more information. The press release from Cornell University is also attached below for further information.