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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.

     

    Sincerely,

    The Staff at Layhill Animal Hospital

  • Fall into Safety

    FALL PET SAFETY TIPS

    1.        SCHOOL SUPPLIES: With kids going back to school, we sometimes overlook potential danger their supplies maybe for our pets. Some can be toxic, others may pose a risk of gastrointestinal upset, or blockages.

    2.        ALLERGIES: The cooler weather can bring out allergies, most common are ragweed, mold, along with dust. Some signs to look for are scratching, biting and chewing, sneezing, and hives or rashes.

    3.       ARTHRITIS: Colder temperatures can cause joints to become inflamed. If your pet starts limping, and having trouble moving, or starts to cry out when moving they may be showing signs of arthritis. Speak to you vet about medication that may help.

    4.       COMPOSTING: Your compost pile may be good for the environment, but can be toxic to pets.  The organic material that is decomposing can contain Mycotoxins which can cause hyperthermia, excessive panting, or seizures.

    5.       RAT/MICE POISON: When temperatures turn cooler rats/mice come looking for warmer places to be. The rodenticides we use can be fatal to beloved pets. So make sure they are put where pets are Not going to be able to reach them.

    6.       SHEDDING: Remember indoor pets do not get warm under coats that outdoor pets get, and cannot be outside for long periods of time. If you are planning to be outdoors with your pet you may want to purchase a doggy coat for your furry friend.

    7.       HEATING DEVICES: Outdoor fire pits, and indoor fireplaces can be a danger for beloved pets. Please make sure they are blocked off to prevent pets from getting into trouble. Also electric heaters are dangerous as pets may try to rub up against them and get burned, or they may try to chew on the cords and get shocked. Please make sure you turn them off, and unplug them when not in use.

    8.       HUNTING: Planning on taking a trail walk through the woods, remember fall starts the hunting season. Make sure you keep your dog is leashed at all times during the walk, and stay on marked trails.

    9.       POTPOURRI/OILS: We use both to help our homes smell good during the fall/winter months. Both can be dangerous for our pets- the oils used to scent potpourri can be toxic especially to cats (causing liver damage). Some examples are Peppermint oil, Lavender oil, Tea Tree oil, Cinnamon Bark oil, And Wintergreen oil.

    10.   SAFETY GEAR FOR PETS: Darkness comes on quicker in the fall and winter months- having reflective collars/leashes on walks can help keep you and your beloved pet more visible (they even make pet vests).

    11.   FLEAS/TICKS/ MOSQUITOES: Those little pests can make homes in leaf piles and live out the colder months. So continue to use flea and tick medication year round to protect pets, and your home from infestations. Also mosquitoes can make their way into our homes, so make sure to keep up on your pets Heartworm medication (year round).

    12.    PLANTS: Some plants and flower bulbs can be toxic to pets. Here are some plants and bulbs to be cautious around. Death cap mushrooms, Autumn Crocus, Chrysanthemum, Tulip/Hyacinth/Daffodil bulbs.

    13.   WATCH OUT FOR WILDLIFE: With cooler weather remember snakes, rodents, and even bugs are looking for     warmer places to stay. Which increases the possibility of bites to unlucky pets who happen upon them. To  keep out any unwanted company check and close off any opening along your foundation. 

    14.   TOUCHDOWN/FOOTBALL SEASON: Who does not like cheering for your favorite team? Just make sure your furry family member does not pull a quarterback sneak, and grab food off the table. Ingesting  people food can be deadly for pets. Watch drinks also Caffeine/Alcohol/Artificial sweetener can cause major health problems. Loud cheering by you or a guest may also be stressful for pets, you may want to keep them in a different room while watching the game

  • Canine 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.