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.

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