In light of the recently diagnosed canine influenza cases, MGAH will be taking extra precautions to protect your pets.
Due to the high risk of infection to dogs in close contact such as boarding, grooming and day care facilities, MGAH will be taking extra precautions to protect your pets from the illness. We will be implementing additional disinfection procedures to limit transmission of the virus. We will also be screening all boarding and grooming dogs for their recent travel and health status. We will not be requiring the influenza vaccine at this time. Boarding and grooming may be denied for those that do not pass our screening.
Canine influenza, commonly referred to as the dog flu, is a highly contagious viral infection. Currently there are two strains of the vaccine, H3N2 and H3H8. The recently diagnosed cases have been of the H3H2 strain. The virus can be spread through the air (coughing, barking, sneezing), direct physical contact with infected dogs, indirectly through objects (bowls, kennels, leashes, etc.), or through people that have been in contact with infected dogs.
The virus can remain viable on surfaces for 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours and on hands for 12 hours. Signs of the illness usually develop within 24-48 hours of exposure. Approximately 20% of infected dogs may show no signs of the disease but can still shed the virus for up to 30 days.
The virus causes a respiratory infection similar to kennel cough. Signs include coughing, nasal/eye discharge, sneezing, decreased appetite, fever and lethargy. Most dogs recover fine from the illness, however dogs that are older, younger or have other illnesses are more at risk of severe cases or even death.
MGAH will have vaccines available to cover both strains of the disease. Protection will require a series of two vaccines, boostered two weeks apart. Like any vaccine it is not 100% effective, but can reduce the risk of infection as well as reducing the severity and duration of the illness if infected.
Follow this link to learn more about canine influenza. https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Reference/Pages/Canine-Influenza-Backgrounder.aspx