We’ve gotten many calls in the past few weeks about news reports of the canine influenza virus (CI) outbreak spreading around the U.S. So far, there have been no confirmed cases of canine influenza in Edmond, or in Oklahoma in general. Your Sunset Veterinary Clinic veterinarian team would like to assuage pet owners’ fears and also let them know that we’re prepared with a policy in place to handle current and future vaccination needs:
1. Canine Influenza in the United States
According to official canine influenza data from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Two strains of CI are present in the United States: H3N8 and H3N2. H3N8 was first reported in Florida in 2004. H3N2 was first identified during an outbreak among dogs in Chicago. H3N8 has appeared in most states. As of July 2017, H3N2 has infected dogs and cats in Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. Most of the dogs and cats that got sick had recently been to a dog show or were adopted from an animal shelter. So far there have been no cases reported in Oklahoma from the most recent 2017 outbreak.
2. How Contagious is Canine Influenza?
CI is very contagious between dogs. The virus spreads through respiratory droplets and survives in the environment for 48 hours on items such as food and water bowls, kennels, and collars. 80% of dogs exposed to the virus get sick. The pets with the most risk are those that frequent boarding and grooming facilities, pet shows, animal shelters, etc. Canine influenza is not contagious to humans.
3. Symptoms of Canine Influenza
Symptoms include persistent cough, sneezing, eye and nasal discharge, fever, reduced appetite and lethargy—similar to Kennel Cough. In severe cases pneumonia can develop. Only 10% of dogs infected with CI have died. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible if your cat or dog has these symptoms. Prompt treatment usually leads to full recovery.
4. Sunset Veterinary Clinic Boarding Policy and CI
We do not currently require pets to have a CI vaccine for boarding at SVC. However, other local boarding facilities and groomers do require the vaccine, so we carry the vaccine in house for those needing it. If you travel with your pet, talk to your veterinarian about the risk of CI in the areas you will be traveling to. The vaccine covers both strains (H3N8, H3N2) active in the U.S.
5. Ask Your Veterinarian if Your Dog Should have the Canine Influenza Vaccine
The CI vaccination requires two separate injections, 2 -4 weeks apart. The second injection should ideally be given 1-2 weeks prior to travel or exposure risk. Please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian at (405) 844-2888 if you want your dog to receive the CI vaccine.
Thank you again for your trust! Our team at Sunset Veterinary Clinic is well prepared if the outbreak reaches Oklahoma and will take more aggressive actions if necessary to control the virus in our area.