Canine Influenza Virus (CIV)
has arrived in Southern California . This is a highly contagious respiratory infection characterized by fever, nasal discharge, persistent cough, lack of appetite, dehydration, and sometimes even death.
Most dogs have no immunity to canine influenza because it is a new virus, and therefore it can spread rapidly through animal shelters, hospitals, boarding facilities, and any location where dogs congregate. It is easily transmitted by direct contact, cough, sneeze, or via contaminated surfaces. Consequently, we expect this to be a serious on-going threat for dogs.
Virtually all dogs exposed to the virus will become infected, with 10-20% of dogs developing the severe form, and up to 8% of clinically ill dogs may die from complications. Since this is a viral pneumonia, it cannot be "cured" with antibiotics, but antibiotics do treat the secondary bacterial lung infections that occur with this disease.
The Good News: We now have an effective vaccine to prevent this disease. Initially, it is a two-injection series followed by annual boosters. We strongly recommend the vaccine for all dogs that go to boarding kennels, dog parks, groomers, or anywhere dogs gather together. We also recommend vaccinating your current pets BEFORE adopting a new dog from any shelter/kennel situation.
Please talk to our staff and/or doctors if you have any questions or concerns.