Canine Flu Vaccine


The answer to last week’s unusual radiograph was — Grandma’s dentures!!! She only set them on the coffee table for a few minutes at Thanksgiving dinner. Yum! Surgery one month later revealed the Christmas surprise. They came out shiny and clean as a whistle. Not sure if Granny popped them back in??

Canine Flu Vaccine Recommended for Social Dogs

Several years ago there were simultaneous outbreaks of canine flu in Chicago, Florida, Minnesota, Georgia, and other small occurrences nationwide. We ordered the Flu vaccine, which at that time protected against just one flu strain, and recommended it for dogs traveling with owners and those going to dog shows. However, those outbreaks soon quieted down, and it seemed that the need to vaccinate the majority of our patients had passed.

The past two years mostly saw small outbreaks at greyhound kennels, large breeding facilities, and at some dog shows. Recently there have been larger outbreaks again, most notably in Columbus, Ohio, and surrounding areas. The presence of infected dogs in our neck of the woods is concerning.

Canine influenza was first reported in 2004 when equine influenza H3N8 mutated and was able to jump species to dogs, initially greyhounds in Florida, then some kennels, and shelters. A second canine influenza virus strain H3N2 was isolated in South Korea in 2007, but wasn’t identified in the U.S. until 2015. Now thousands of dogs have tested positive in 46 States. Because these are newly mutated viruses, dogs do not have immunity so that infections after exposure are common. Spread of canine influenza happens from direct contact with respiratory secretions and indirect contact with clothing, hands, and pet toys, or other objects.

Some exposed dogs have mild respiratory symptoms, but those who become sick with flu express symptoms that can be similar to other causes of canine upper respiratory infection (like kennel cough) and include: cough, fever, lethargy, and reduced appetite. The tip-off that canine flu may be the culprit are the additional symptoms of a runny nose, eye discharge, prolonged fever and inappetence, and generally, a much sicker dog. Diagnostic tests can confirm the disease. More aggressive treatment is required than generally prescribed for kennel cough. Longer term antibiotics, fluid therapy, and supportive care with hand feeding are often needed. Most dogs recover with treatment, but about 10% may not.

Combined vaccines for both strains of Canine Influenza are now available. Immunization with two vaccinations three weeks apart are now recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association for social dogs who visit dog parks, go to doggie daycare or kennels, are frequently groomed, or travel to dog shows.

Our Veterinarians, Technicians, and Receptionists will be glad to help you assess your dog’s risk for Canine Influenza and arrange for vaccinations.

Our Winter Dental Cleaning and Polishing Special saving 10% is in full swing and appointment slots are filling fast.

Our pets are living 3-4 years longer than 25 years ago, so help your pet keep his teeth for the long haul — you’ll appreciate the pleasant breath and puppy/kitty licks and kisses!

Call Karen, Jann, or Michelle to reserve today – 412-798-8770

Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic is a state-of-the-art, full-service suburban veterinary facility serving the Pittsburgh Area since 1980.. We offer diagnostic, medical, surgical, and dental care to dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and pocket pets in the Pittsburgh area.

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