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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

  • Easter Safety Tips

    Tips for Safety during Easter


    1.      Did you know that Easter lilies and other spring flowers (daffodils) can be toxic if ingested? Some of the signs are vomiting, lethargy, and if left untreated, may cause kidney (renal) failure even death.

    2.      Easter basket grass can also be a dangerous to pets. If ingested can become a serious medical emergency. The long strings of grass can become trapped in the intestinal tract causing vomiting, painful straining to defecate, and a painful abdomen. A surgical procedure may be required to remove the grass.

    3.      The Easter Bunny loves to bring us all kinds on candy in our baskets, please make sure your beloved pets do not sneak any. As the candy we love can be toxic to them. For example Chocolate contains caffeine, and theobromine which can cause intestinal upset, hyperactivity, seizures. Also sugar substitutes like Xylitol can cause a drop in blood sugar, seizures, even liver failure.

    4.      If you are planning to dying Easter eggs be sure to keep pets away from the dye, and vinegar. As vinegar can cause drooling, pawing at mouth, vomiting, and abdominal pain in pets. Also egg shells are not readily digested and can cause several days of discomfort.

    5.      Easter egg hunting can be fun for everyone, but remember dogs like to find thing too. The items we place inside the eggs can be toxic to beloved pets. Also plastic eggs ingested can cause a serious medical emergency. Plastic is not digestible, and can cause lacerations to the intestines, and or, a blockage that may require a surgical procedure at your veterinary hospital.

    6.      Table scraps – are a danger for your pets, the fatty foods we eat at the holidays can cause stomach problems such as gastrointestinal upsets. Also the onions/onion powder used to season food can destroy red blood cells in your dog or cat which can lead to anemia. Grapes and raisins contain a toxin that can cause kidney damage in both dogs and cats if ingested. Did you also know Herbs and their essential oils/resins can cause gastrointestinal upset, even central nervous system depression to pets (especially cats)?

    7.      Bones can cause choking, or possible other obstructions that may need to be removed by an emergency surgical procedure. To be safe discard any unused bones in a secure bag and place in a garage can outside that locks closed.

    8.      Holiday guests coming over can provide an open door for escape. Please make sure pets are micro chipped and have current ID tags.  Or to make it less stressful on you and your pet try placing them in a separate room, or kenneling them at a boarding facility.

    9.      Remember when serving deserts that some chemicals found in sweets are toxic to pets, (i.e.) Chocolate, Xylitol.

    10.  If having guests over please make sure pets are up to date on all their vaccines.


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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.