CANINE INFLUENZA REPORTED IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY
In early September, twenty-two cases of Canine Influenza were reported in Montgomery County, MD. Two of the dogs died from their infections. Canine Influenza has been a known canine pathogen since 2004, but while highly infectious, it’s incident rate has remained low. Most cases show mild signs with coughing, lethargy, and nasal discharge. Much like human influenza, some cases develop more severe signs such as fever and pneumonia, and can lead to death. The occurance of these recent cases locally has brought attention back to this disease.
So, what do you need to do to protect your pet? Risk factors for contracting Canine Influenza are very much the same as those for Kennel Cough—that is environments where your dog will be exposed to where multiple dogs gather, such as boarding kennels, animal shelters, dog parks, grooming facilities, and veterinary clinics. There is a vaccine available for Canine Influenza, and some boarding kennels and veterinary clinics are already requiring it. Currently, we are not requiring the vaccine at Palmer Animal Hospital, but are offering it as an option. If more cases of Influenza continue to be reported, widespread use of the vaccine will likely be required.
If you have any questions about your dog’s risk for Canine Influenza, please feel free to give us a call!