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Posted on 04-24-2015

Understandably, we have been receiving many questions and phone calls regarding the current Canine Influenza outbreak. We wanted to take a moment to give you our best understanding and recommendations. So here is what you need to know.

The dog flu is similar to flu in people-not pleasant-but for the vast majority of dogs with a healthy immune system it is treatable and they recover with basic supportive care. The current outbreak is a different strain of flu (H3N2) than previous outbreaks (H3N8) and is a different strain than the influenza vaccine (H3N8) for dogs. It is not currently known if today’s vaccine offers any protection against the current outbreak strain. At best it would likely only lessen the clinical signs, not prevent infection. We have had numerous calls from our concerned dog owners requesting the influenza vaccination for their pets. Due to the lack of evidence of any benefit from vaccination at this time, we are not recommending vaccination. However, we certainly understand the desire from our loving pet owners to provide your dog with every possible protection, so we did order it. Unfortunately, due to low production and high demand the vaccine is currently on back-order. As soon as we receive it we will notify those clients who have contacted us requesting the vaccination for their dog--let us know if you want on the list or want to talk to your pet's doctor for more details!

Currently the best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposing your pet to other dogs which are possible carriers of the virus (i.e. visiting dog parks, doggie day care, and boarding facilities). Since the symptoms of canine flu are similar to our human flu and other respiratory viruses in dogs you should watch for signs of: fever, muscle aches, runny nose, and a dry, hacking cough. If your pet is exhibiting any of these signs please let us know immediately. Your pet’s happiness and health is our first and foremost concern! We will continue to stay on top of the current situation and keep you informed.

To learn more we encourage you to check out these helpful links from the American Veterinary Medical Association: Canine Influenza FAQ’s & Canine Influenza: A Pet Owner’s Guide . Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions at 317-291-3932 or send us an e-mail!

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