On our previous post, we shared that Chicago Canine Influenza has become an epidemic. Not only has it affected its neighboring towns but it is showing up in other Midwest states.
Currently, we are in our North Shore suburban home. We are here for a short time and had plans to visit and attend several dog events in Chicago. We received confirmations that these events are going to be cancelled due to the canine influenza. We understand and I would not risk taking Sugar to these events.
All dog parents are asked not to take their dogs to doggy daycares, dog parks, and take precautions going to the pet stores and grooming places. Since many dog parents are taking their dogs to the vet, vet offices have also taken safety measures.
Sugar is due for a urinary tract infection (UTI) tests and check-up. She is starting to exhibit licking behaviors pertaining to her UTI. I called Sugar’s vet to set-up an appointment. I was asked not to take Sugar to the vet. The vet staff informed me that many suburban dogs are exhibiting symptoms of the canine influenza. I’m glad that Sugar’s vet is taking extra precautions and making sure all their pet patients will be safe. Sugar is at her critical senior age, and her health is my number priority. I want Sugar to continue to have a healthy happy senior life.
Our dog mom friend from Chicago shared these
10 Must Know About Canine Influenza
1. The outbreak in Chicago is a strain of canine influenza called A H3N2. It is suspected to be the same flu detected in Asia in 2007 and started out as an avian flu virus that adapted to infect dogs.
2. It is now the second canine flu virus detected in the U.S.
Symptoms can include: cough, lethargic, loss of appetite, runny nose, and fever, but not all dogs are symptomatic.
3. It is contagious from one dog to another, but not contagious to humans.
4. It can be contracted by air direct ( it can spread up to 50 feet) and by uninfected dogs coming in contact with contaminated objects like dog toys.
5. The virus can last several hours in dried secretions. Thus, clothing, equipment, surfaces, and hands should be cleaned and disinfected after exposure to dogs showing signs of respiratory complications.
6. It is mostly prevalent in dogs that have been in boarding, at a shelter, at a groomer or in a daycare environment with multiple other dogs.
7. Any breed or age is susceptible.
8. The CCDARC (Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control) recommends that dog owners should avoid pet-friendly areas/places/events.
9. There have also been reports of cats now contracting this illness as well.
10. There is a vaccination available for canine influenza. However, the vaccination hasn’t been firmly established. The experts in the field have said there is some hope that the H3N8 vaccine may stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies that will be effective (or at least partially effective) in combating the H3N2 virus. Limiting exposure and good sanitation practices are very important in combating the spread. As with the human flu, the vaccinations aren’t 100% effective but the vaccine is known to reduce the clinical signs, severity and spread of the canine influenza significantly.
Times like these, I know many vets are calling-in and/or providing home care visits. With modern technology, some vets are connecting with their patient through mobile apps like VetProto, Vet24seven and VetOnDemand. Next month, we will share more about VetOnDemand app.
We are blessed to have a wonderful accredited AAHA vet that cares for their pet patients. We know that Sugar’s vet is always reachable via phone and if needed will be available to do house call doggy care.