As some of you may recall, last year there was a significant canine influenza outbreak in the Chicago and Northern Indiana area. More recently positive cases have been discovered as close to us as Marion, IN. This influenza strain was new to the U.S., and, at the time, there was no vaccine available that would be effective in protecting dogs from the new strain. This year there is a vaccine available that offers protection against this most recent strain, and Alexandria Animal Hospital is offering this to our canine patients.
Canine influenza virus (CIV) is highly contagious. Direct contact and droplets from sneezing or coughing spread CIV from dog to dog. Environments such as boarding kennels, groomers, dog parks, pet day care centers and the like are particularly risky. We recommend owners consider vaccinating their dogs, if they will have exposure to these environments. This includes dogs who have boarding reservations in our hospital. Vaccination involves 2 boosters, 3-4 weeks apart. Though any risk of reaction is very low, we are suggesting that these boosters take place at a separate time than regular annual vaccinations, since it is a new vaccine to your dog's system. In the future it may be incorporated into regular vaccination protocols.
Please visit DogFluFacts.com for more information or give our office a call to schedule a vaccine appointment. No additional office call or exam fee will be applied to flu vaccine visits for our regular patients, unless other medical issues warrant further investigation or treatment.