We recently purchased a new x-ray system! We are now digital, which means a lot for you and your pet! Please click on the link to learn more about our new system. Digital Radiography
Canine Influenza (01/15/16)
We've seen the headlines and reports from Chicago and now there has been a case reported in Dane County. We are asking pet owners to remain calm and minimize risk of exposure to this virus by avoiding dog parks, classes and other places that results in exposure to lots of dogs or objects/places that have come into contact with many dogs. We will start carrying the Canine Influenza Vaccine next week, so it will be available at Marshall Pet Care Clinic. Not all pets will need to be vaccinated, but it is definitely an option for our clients, especially those that frequent dog parks, doggie classes, doggie daycare or boarding facilities. The following is some common Q and A about this virus to help pet owners keep their furry family safe.
What is canine influenza virus (CIV)?
Canine influenza virus (CIV) causes a respiratory infection in dogs that is also known as dog flu. The infection is very contagious to other dogs. Common signs are fever, lethargy, decreased appetite, cough, and runny nose. Most dogs have a mild form of the infection, but some dogs may develop pneumonia and have a more serious course that requires hospitalization.
How does CIV spread?
Canine influenza is very contagious, meaning that it is easily spread from dogs that are currently infected to other dogs. CIV can pass from dog to dog through virus particles in the air (eg, through coughing or sneezing) or by coming into physical contact with other dogs (eg, touching noses). It can also be picked up if a dog touches or plays with objects that were touched by infected dogs (for example, food bowls, toys). Humans can even move the virus between dogs. For example, they may spread the virus if they pet an infected dog, or even touch a toy or doorknob that a dog has contacted, and then touch another dog before washing their hands.
You can take important steps to minimize the spread of canine influenza:
-Keep your dog at home if he or she has signs of a respiratory infection, and contact your veterinarian regarding appropriate care and evaluation.
-Routinely wash your dog’s food and water bowls and toys with soap and water.
-Sanitize your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and wash your clothes after coming in contact with a dog that has signs of a respiratory infection.
What about the CIV Vaccine?
There is a vaccine available to help prevent Canine Influenza. Like all vaccines, it is not 100% effective, but it can certainly help minimize risk. The canine gets an initial vaccine injection and then NEEDS to have it boostered in 2-4 weeks for it to be effective. Full immunity is not reached until 2 weeks after the final immunization. After the initial series, it does need to be boostered yearly to maintain effectiveness. While the vaccine is available, we certainly don't want to over-vaccinate our patients. Animals that are not exposed to other dogs, people with dogs or places that dogs frequent are less likely to need the vaccine.
What are the signs of CIV infection?
Dogs with CIV infection often have a cough that may be dry or productive (coughing up yellow sputum). Sometimes it presents as a severe hacking cough that can sound almost like a "goose honk". They may act tired and lose their appetite. They may also have a nasal discharge that turns yellow or green. A small percentage of dogs do not show any signs of CIV, but can still pass the infection to other dogs. Most dogs have a mild course, but 10 to 20% have a more serious course and may develop pneumonia. These dogs may need to be hospitalized for a few days. Fortunately, very few dogs die of canine influenza; mortality rates of 5 to 8% have been reported. Seeking appropriate care early may minimize this risk.
If your dog has any of these signs, consult your veterinarian and avoid taking the dog anywhere that other dogs may be exposed (other than the veterinarian’s office if so instructed) until he or she has made a full recovery.
What do I do if my dog has signs of CIV infection?
If your dog shows signs of a respiratory infection such as coughing or runny nose, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can determine the cause of your dog’s signs and can prescribe safe medications to help your dog. It is never a good idea to treat your dog at home using human drugs, as many of these drugs have not been studied in dogs and may be harmful.
If your dog is coughing or even just getting over a cough, you should keep your dog home for a couple of weeks. Most importantly, it gives your dog a chance to recover fully. And, in case he or she is contagious, it protects other healthy dogs and prevents spread of disease.
What are the treatment options for CIV infection?
As with all viruses, there are no available drugs that kill CIV. The illness must simply run its course. Treatment options are focused on providing supportive care and making sure the dog is as comfortable as possible, hydrated, and eating well; those things will help boost the dog’s immune system so it can fight the virus on its own. Dogs that have nasal discharge or pneumonia signs are usually given an antibiotic because they are likely to have a secondary bacterial infection. Some dogs with more severe illness may require hospitalization for intravenous fluids and antibiotics. Contact your veterinarian if your dog has signs of a respiratory infection for recommendations regarding appropriate care and evaluation.
Is my dog likely to die from CIV infection?
Fortunately, the mortality rate for dogs with CIV infection is fairly low, about 5 to 8%. You should be aware that this may change as we learn more about CIV. In addition, it is important to seek veterinary care at the first signs of a respiratory infection in your dog because early treatment can result in better outcomes.
We certainly hope this helps clear up the current situation for our furry friends. If you are unsure about your risks, or have more questions about this disease or vaccine, please don't hesitate to call us. We are here to help!!
Mon: 8:00am - 5:30pm
Tue: 8:00am - 7:00pm
Wed: 8:00am - 5:30pm
Thu: 8:00am - 5:30pm
Fri: 8:00am - 5:30pm
Every Other Saturday:
8:00am - 12:00pm
Closed on Sundays