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  • Canine Influenza Letter

    May 4, 2018


    Dear Clients:

           Recently, we’ve been receiving questions from some of our pet owners about a dog virus called canine influenza. They were concerned about stories they had seen or read in the news about “dog flu” outbreaks. In answering their questions, we realizes that all of our dog owners may have similar questions and concerns. So, we’re writing to tell you about canine influenza, what puts dogs at risk and what can be done to protect them.

    Canine influenza is a relatively new disease and can be caused by two different canine influenza virus strains, H3N* and H3N2. Both strains of canine influenza virus cause respiratory disease in dogs. Affected dogs may develop coughing, nasal discharge, fever, lethargy and loss of appetite. The signs of infection are similar to those of other respiratory disease in dogs. With proper medical attention, most dogs will recover. However, in some cases, canine influenza can progress to a more severe or even life-threatening condition, such as pneumonia.

    Canine influenza is highly contagious, so visiting places where dogs socialize or congregate, such as doggie day cares, dog parks, boarding facilities and urban location, places dog dogs at higher risk for becoming infected. Making the situation even more difficult to control is that dogs can spread the virus before signs of illness appear.

    The best way to protect your dog from canine influenza is through vaccination. Fortunately, there are vaccines now available for each canine influenza strain, H3N8 and H3N2, The initial vaccination requires two doses of each vaccine, given 2 to 4 weeks apart. Thereafter, an annual booster for each influenza strain is recommended for continued protection.

    We recommend vaccinating dogs against both canine influenza H3N8 and H3N2 and have vaccines available. Please call us to discuss any questions you might have and to set up an appointment.



    The Staff at Layhill Animal Hospital

  • Memorial Day Safety Tips

    Memorial Day Pet Safety

    We celebrate Memorial Day to honor those whom have passed away. Here are some tips to keep your furry family members safe.

    1. Provide a shady place and fresh water if going to be outside for long periods of time. You may have to change locations as the sun moves in the sky. You can also add a few ice cubes to the water bowl to keep water cool.

    2. Pool / Water Safety-If you have a pool in the back yard make sure cover is on firmly, some pets have slipped under covers and drown. Swimming can be tiring to dogs please take breaks to allow pets to recover some strength. Never leave pets unattended in the water. Make sure dogs know where the stairs are located so they can get out safely, also rinse dogs off after swimming (chemicals used to treat pool water can damage their coats). Remember Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease pets/people can get from contaminated water. There is a vaccine to protect dogs, but not for people.

    3. Many of us have cookouts during the long weekend. Remember to keep pets away from grills, candles.  The smell of cooking food may entice them to try to steal a sample from the hot surface.  Also keep table scrapes away from pets. You do not want to spend the holiday in the pet emergency hospital.  Candles we use to help keep mosquitos away can be harmful to our pets. If ingested they can cause serval symptoms such as stomach inflammation or depression of the central nervous system. Smoke from the candles can also cause of breathing issues. The also pose a fire hazard if knocked over.

    4. Are you planning to spend extra time outdoors? Possibly going on a hike, make sure your pets are current on their parasite preventive (heartworm/flea and tick). Heartworms are transmitted thru a mosquito bite.  Many heartworm medications also include internal parasite preventive (round worms, hookworms, and whipworms).  Fleas and ticks can live under leaves and downed trees even in winter.  Several ticks are carriers of different diseases, such as Lyme, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever.

    5. Having guests over? Ensuring your pet is microchipped can help reunite you with a pet that gets lose by accident.  Also make sure to register the microchip number. Collars can come off, a microchip in implanted under the skin where they cannot get lost.

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  • HeadlineCanine Influenza Outbreak 2015-2017

    Canine Influenza Outbreak 2015-2017

    Update 2017-

    As of May 2017 H3N2 canine influenza has been confirmed in the following states. Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana, and Illinois. There is a new vaccine that helps to lower the risk of contracting H3N2, H3N8.

    There has been a recent outbreak of Canine Influenza in the Midwest. Researchers have linked it to a new strain of the H3N8 virus for which we are currently vaccinating. The new strain is called H3N2. It is not known if the current vaccine will provide any protection from this new virus. The Maryland Department of Agriculture first notified the public in August of 2013 of the virus being identified in six dogs from a dog park in Montgomery County of which two died. As of August 29, there were twenty cases of H3N8 in Montgomery County. Canine influenza has been found in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Symptoms of both viruses include persistent coughing, runny nose, fever, and lethargy. The H3N2 virus can also cause illness in cats. The virus is spread through respiratory secretions, and can remain alive on surfaces for 48hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on human hands for 12 hours. Some dogs may not show any symptoms and can still be infected. In the latest outbreak, there have been 6 reported deaths, and thousands of illnesses. If your pet goes to boarding or grooming facilities, or dog parks, and you have any concerns, please contact our office at (301) 598-7300.