Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Canine Influenza Continued: A Message from Dr. Bailey

I wanted to address the seriousness of the Canine Influenza virus (CIV).  This virus is not like regular kennel cough.  It is much more serious.  CIV is one of the biggest threats to dogs in our area since the Parvovirus outbreak in the 1970’s.  The Chicago land area is seeing a large number of cases with 80% of the dogs tested being positive (Source: Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association).  Most of the boarding facilities in Chicago have closed.  One boarding facility in Chicago had 26 sick dogs being treated at one time. 

The Chicago land area is overwhelmed with sick dogs.  I believe that even the news has not correctly portrayed the speed at which it has spread nor the seriousness of the disease to your dog.  I personally know a veterinarian in Lincoln Park, who, for the first time in her 30 year career, cancelled all regular visits to exclusively see patients with CIV like symptoms on Saturday.  They are treating a lot of dogs for Pneumonia.  Because many families traveled over the Easter weekend, there is concern the virus may be spreading.  Please avoid dog parks and other areas where dogs gather.

Currently we have not yet seen any confirmed cases in our area, but I would recommend avoiding dog parks and other areas where dogs gather until they are fully vaccinated. 

Here at Michigan City Animal Hospital we are taking strict precautions to help keep your pet healthy.

Due to the hundreds of dogs in the Chicago area who visit our area, we are recommending all dogs be vaccinated for Canine Influenza starting this week.  All dogs boarding at our hospital must be vaccinated for Canine Influenza. 

Signs of CIV are similar to Kennel Cough and include:

  • Dry hacking cough 
  • coughing up a white foaming phlegm
  • lethargy
  • vomiting
  • lack of appetite
  • runny nose
  • rapid breathing
  • fever

A few dogs have died and the numbers of dogs being treated with pneumonia has risen so fast the veterinarians and pharmacies are struggling to keep up with antibiotics.  One client drove 30 minutes from Chicago to get the antibiotics.  I do not see this going away anytime soon.  This is not to scare anyone, but this is a real concern in our area.  There is no evidence that this disease can transmit to people or other animals.

Contact us today with any questions you may have: http://www.mcanimalhospital.com/

The following article was copied from ISVMA (http://www.isvma.org/)
UPDATED 4-4-15

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