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Canine Influenza Update - March 25, 2016

In January there were new cases of Canine Influenza Virus. There were six cases in Racine, one case in Milwaukee, and one case in Green Bay. In February there were several new cases - three cases in Green Bay, one case in Racine and 12 cases in Green Bay of past exposure.

At this time we are still not recommending routine canine influenza vaccines but if you do want to vaccinate your dog, we have the vaccine. Initially it requires two vaccinations three to four weeks apart for coverage protection. Although the vaccine may not prevent H3N2 infection altogether, trials have shown that it may significantly reduce the severity and duration of the illness. These benefits are similar to those provided by the influenza vaccine used in humans.

The canine influenza vaccine is a "lifestyle" vaccine, and is not recommended for every dog. In general, the vaccine is intended for the protection of dogs at risk for exposure to the canine influenza virus, which include those that either participate in activities with many other dogs or are housed in communal facilities, particularly where the virus is prevalent.

If you have any questions, please call us. We will be happy to speak with you.

Canine Influenza Update - April 17, 2015

Canine Influenza Virus H3N2 is a new strain of flu not previously seen in the United States before. It is not the H3N8 as previously thought. Both influenza strains can cause high fevers, loss of appetite, persistent coughing, nasal discharge and lethargy. The severity of the symptoms may vary. The virus is spread via direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs and by contact with contaminated inanimate objects. It is highly contagious. This new virus is still not transmissible to humans but can be transmitted to cats.

As of April 17, 2015 there has only been one dog diagnosed in Wisconsin (Madison). This dog had been in Chicago where they have been experiencing an epidemic of more than 1300 cases and six dogs have died as a result of the disease.

There is no Canine Influenza Vaccine for this new strain of flu. It is not known if the vaccine for the other strain will help dogs.

Our Recommendation

If you want to be safe, keep your dogs out of contact with other dogs, daycares, kennels, grooming facilities and dog parks until the outbreak passes. No nose-to-nose contact.