There are a lot of questions regarding the recent Canine Influenza outbreak in Northumberland County. Firstly, people have been wondering what to do and what to look for. According to Dr. Scott Weese at the University of Guelph and his “Worms and Germs” blog the following general messages apply:
“If you see a sick dog, keep your dog away from it.”
“If you have contact with a sick dog, wash your hands (and ideally change your clothes) before you touch your dog.”
“If your dog has signs that could be consistent with influenza (e.g. cough, nasal discharge, fever, runny nose or eyes) and you are taking it to your veterinarian, make sure you call the veterinary clinic first so they can use measures to prevent exposure of other dogs at the clinic (e.g. admitting your dog directly to an exam room or isolation area).”
“Most dogs with influenza get over it on their own. As long as they are bright, alert, eating and don’t have yellowish discharge, we typically do not provide any specific treatments beyond cough suppressants, if coughing is excessive.”
“If your dog is sick and has been at a kennel, doggy daycare, puppy class, or any other event, contact the owner/operator to let them know.”
“If your dog is diagnosed with influenza or has signs consistent with influenza it should be kept away from other dogs for 4 weeks (even if it no longer looks sick sooner than this).”
“Vaccination is recommended in the areas where canine influenza is present, as well as adjacent areas, to help reduce the spread.”, He suggests prioritizing dogs for vaccination:
Dogs at increased risk of exposure to the virus—
Dogs that attend kennels, classes, day cares, shows/competitions and other areas where many dogs may mix.”
Dogs that are at increased risk of severe disease if they get infected
Dogs with underlying heart or respiratory disease.
Bulldogs and other brachycephalic breeds.
Breeding kennel dogs.”
Call us at 905-372-2721 for more information. Remember that this will remain a concern until we know that the outbreaks have been contained and there are no new cases. Vaccinating your dog(s) will help control the situation.