Canine Influenza Virus
Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) has arrived in the Kansas City Area.
It is time to protect your pets! Effective January 1st, 2018 CIV vaccination will be required by Blue Springs Animal Hospital & Pet Resort for admission to boarding, daycare, or bathing. We have not seen any cases in Blue Springs yet, but we must take action now to prevent an outbreak and protect the pets who visit our facility. We anticipate other boarding & grooming facilities will also require CIV as the news travels.
What is CIV?
CIV is a highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) Type A. There are 2 known strains in the United States: H3N8 and H3N2. CIV has currently spread to 46 states, including recent cases in nearby St Joseph, Missouri.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms are similar to other respiratory diseases and include fever, coughing, runny nose, loss of appetite, and lethargy. Up to 20% of infected dogs develop a serious infection with pneumonia. Seniors, puppies, and brachycephalic breeds often become sicker and require additional medical treatment.
With proper medical care most dogs recover, but CIV is fatal in a small percentage of the cases that develop pneumonia.
How is CIV spread?
Identification and prevention of contact with contagious pets is impossible because dogs start spreading the virus 2-4 days before showing symptoms. Infected dogs continue to spread the virus for several weeks.
It spreads through direct contact (nose touching, doggie kisses), through the air (breathing, coughing, sneezing), and on objects like toys, doors, walls, floors, clothes, and hands.
The inability to identify contagious pets and the rapid spread via multiple routes makes it very difficult to prevent spread of the infection to unvaccinated dogs.
Which dogs are at highest risk?
Dogs who have any contact with other dogs are at risk. Those who participate in boarding, grooming, daycare, dog shows, dog parks, training classes, events like Dogtoberfest, pet store visits, etc. are at higher risk.
Neighborhood dogs and dogs belonging to friends or family also pose a potential exposure risk to your pets. Keep in mind that an infected dog can appear perfectly healthy.
Since this is a new virus, dogs have no natural immunity. During an outbreak 80-90% of unvaccinated dogs will get sick and require intensive treatment. Eradication from a facility with an outbreak requires a minimum 2 week closure to remove all sick dogs and decontaminate the environment.
Is vaccination safe and effective?
Merck Animal Health has developed a bivalent vaccine against both Canine Influenza Virus strains, H3N8 and H3N2. The vaccine is safe and effective.
Immunity requires an initial vaccine, a booster 2 weeks later, then annual boosters with the other vaccines.
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