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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

  • Summer Safety Tips

    Summer Pet Health Tips

    1.      Use Caution When Visiting the Beach-

    A.      Salt and minerals found in ocean water can damage a dogs coat, rinse them off after swimming or playing.

    B.      The salt in seawater, ocean water can and will make dogs sick if the drink it. Leading to vomiting,

    dehydration, and even seizures. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water to drink.

    C.      Taking a jog on the beach the sand can be a strenuous exercise on your dog’s legs- cause tendon or ligament damage.

    D.     Check daily water conditions, sea lice, and jellyfish can be a danger to your dog.

    2.      Pool Time/ Water Safety-

    A.      If you have a pool in the back yard make sure cover is on firmly, some pets have slipped under covers and drown.

    B.      Swimming can be tiring to dogs please take breaks to allow pets to recover some strength.

    C.      Never leave pets unattended in the water

    D.     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).

    E.      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.      Traveling Care-

    A.      One By Land- Try putting sunshades on car windows.

    1.     Bring fresh water and bowl so they can have a drink when you stop for breaks.

    2.     If traveling in a RV never leave completely closed up, make sure some windows are crack open.

    3.     The RV’s using generators, along with air conditioning units need to be monitored often for any problems to prevent deadly results due to malfunctions.

    B.      Two By Sea- Make sure to put a pet life jacket (dogs) on before climbing on board.

    1.      ID on collar, medical records- include contact information, the address for the marina, and the slip #. Some places may require proof of vaccines.

    2.      Introduce pets slowly to boats, and the different noises they make, also the motion the boat might make.

    3.      Potty break aboard can be tricky, try placing litter boxes in the cabin area, for dogs try using a portable dog potty or puppy pads.

    C.      Three by Air- Some airline refuse to transport animals during the summer due to dangers from hot weather. Check with your airline before buying that ticket.

    1.      Make sure all crates are properly labeled, and you have all required paper work (medical records).

    2.      Do not sedate pets prior to travel unless directed be your vet.

    3.      Have a feeding/watering schedule attached to outside for crate, along with food and drinking water.

               4. General Summer Safety-

    A.      Make sure you never leave your furry family member in a car. The inside of cars can be deadly for pets, causing heat stroke, and suffocation. Temperatures can reach fatal levels in minutes even in parking spaces with shade. It is best to leave pets home in hot weather.

                         B. When taking your dog for a walk be careful with hot surfaces. Asphalt, and concrete can burn  their paws easily. Allow them to walk in grass areas when possible.

                        C. Grooming – if your pet has a thick or long coat, consider getting a haircut for them. This will help to keep the cool.

                        D. Letting the air in- make sure all window screens are secure when leaving the windows open. No one wants to see a pet take a fall.

                        E. Hydration- Make sure pets have a good supply on water to keep them from becoming dehydrated.

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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.