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The Importance of the Canine Flu Vaccine

When it comes to the health and well-being of your dog, you are the one responsible for making sure your dog has all of the resources to stay happy and healthy, such as eating the best diet available and exercising every day. Another important factor in keeping your dog from becoming sick is to keep your dog on a routine vaccination schedule. With all of the different vaccines available, however, it can be overwhelming trying to stay on track with the few shots that are necessary. As the best professional veterinary clinic in East Nashville, 5 Points Animal Hospital, provides all of the vaccinations that your pet needs as part of our wellness and preventive care services. You may have heard debates on whether every dog needs a vaccination for the canine influenza virus (CIV), and while your dog may never be exposed to the virus, if he were to be, it is highly contagious. Many veterinary clinics do not even keep the CIV vaccine in stock. In fact, we just recently added it to our vaccination options because there have been reported cases of “dog flu” in 40 states, including East Tennessee and Kentucky. To help you understand exactly how important the CIV vaccine is, we would like to tell you more about this virus.Sick dog with Canine Influenza Virus and thermometer in mouth

What exactly is “dog flu”?

First confirmed in 2006 in Asia, this virus, also known as H3N2, appeared in this country in 2015 when rescue dogs were imported to Chicago from Asia. After several dogs at a boarding facility became sick, that company had to quickly close several facilities to disinfect them. However, it was too late as Chicago was experiencing the worst outbreak of an infectious respiratory illness in 35 years. This virus is so contagious that there were over 1,000 cases reported in Chicago, and from there, it quickly spread across the country. Not only can the virus live on surfaces for as many as 48 hours, but it can also live on clothes for 24 hours and on human hands for 12 hours.

How do I know if my dog has been infected with CIV?

Two to three days after being exposed to this virus, your dog will come down with a cough that is either soft and moist or dry and hacking which can last from anywhere between 10 to 21 days. This cough is typically combined with other symptoms such as lethargy, fever, sneezing, runny eyes and nose, and decrease in appetite. If your dog is officially diagnosed, he will have to be quarantined for 21 days as he is being treated with fluids, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication since that is how long his cough could last.

Does my dog need to be vaccinated against the canine flu?

If your dog stays in a daycare facility or needs to be boarded or groomed, he is at a higher risk of being exposed, and 5 Points Animal Hospital recommends that you have him vaccinated every year against CIV. If you have a young puppy, elderly dog, or other pet with a weakened immune system, we also feel you should consider giving your dog the CIV vaccine as it could lead to pneumonia. According to PetMD, it may also help to protect your dog by finding a facility that requires all dogs to be vaccinated before they can come inside.

If you are considering to have your dog vaccinated against the canine influenza virus, 5 Points Animal Hospital can help you find out even more information. Contact us today to schedule a wellness check for your dog to keep him happier and healthier.

The Canine Flu: Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

When it comes to keeping your dog healthy, you may not realize that he could become sick with a type of influenza. However, there are specific Type A influenza viruses that do affect dogs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While there has been no evidence of humans being affected by canine influenza viruses, these viruses are constantly changing and mutating. Although the risk is possible, the CDC considers canine influenza viruses to be a low threat to humans. Fortunately for dogs, the canine flu is both preventable and treatable. 5 Points Animal Hospital can help you and your dog deal with the canine flu. We can vaccinate your dog to protect him from this virus. In addition, we can also provide the right treatments. We would like to tell you more about the canine flu.

What are the symptoms of the canine flu?

Not every dog who has the canine flu shows the signs of this illness. However, symptoms include cough, runny nose, eye discharge, lethargy, fever, and lack of appetite. If you notice any of these symptoms,or if you feel like your dog is not feeling well, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital. Although the canine flu usually is not serious, it could develop into secondary bacterial infections that could lead to pneumonia.

How can the canine flu be prevented?

There are vaccines available for both strains (H3N8 and H3N2) of the canine influenza virus. Fortunately, 5 Points Animal Hospital has these vaccines in our office. We can talk to you about the chances of your dog being exposed to either of these strains. If you decide to have your dog vaccinated against the canine flu, we can do so.

How is the canine flu treated?

If we find that your dog has been exposed to the canine flu virus, we can provide supportive care to help your dog mount an immune response. This care involves medication to make your dog feel more comfortable. Plus, we’ll give them plenty of fluids to keep your dog hydrated. If your dog has developed a more serious bacterial infection, we can prescribe broad spectrum antibiotics to fight the infection.

At the time of this writing, no cases of canine influenza have been documented in Nashville. Having said that, there have been 4 documented cases in East Tennessee thus far. The virus appears to be spreading across the country at a steady pace. Therefore, we want to make sure that we are providing protection for our patients by offering a vaccine for canine influenza.

A healthy dog is a happy dog! Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to make an appointment for an examination in our office. We can give you tips on how to keep your dog as healthy as possible!

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5 Points Animal Hospital | 1103 Woodland St., Nashville, TN 37206 | Click to Call Us Now