Here at No Barks About It, the most important thing is the health and safety of your dog. That’s why we want to take a moment to talk about something that may be frightening, but is becoming increasingly more important to be aware of: Canine Influenza.
Canine Influenza – in particular, the H3n2 strain – starts off very similarly to the more common, and less serious, “bordetella”, or kennel cough. 3-4 days after exposure, dogs have symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, lethargy, loss of appetite, and fever. If caught early, your vet can prescribe medications to put your dog on the mend more quickly. However, left untreated, Canine Influenza can lead to potentially fatal pneumonia, so it’s important to get your dog to a vet if they are showing signs of illness.
While this particular strain seems to be largely centered in the dog show circuit in southern states, viruses are extremely contagious and highly unpredictable. So here at No Barks, we are on high alert. We already regularly clean with 256, a disinfectant that kills canine influenza, bordetella, parvo, and over 50 other viruses and pathogens. We’ll continue disinfecting the toys, water bowls, and surfaces daily. We’ll also be keeping a close eye out for any signs of illness in the pups in our care. If we think something is “off”, we’ll be contacting you so you can pick Fido up and take them home to rest. Canine Influenza is an airborne disease, but it can also be spread through direct contact between dogs. This means that it is especially important that you keep your dog home from daycare if you think they may have been exposed or if they are showing any signs of feeling less than their best.
If you’re concerned about the health of your animal, don’t be shy about talking to your vet: they are the number one resource for keeping your dog in tip top shape. There is a vaccination against H3n2, and if your dog frequents dog shows or facilities often used by show dogs (i.e. boarding, agility, etc.), it may be worth considering. Canine Influenza is nothing to sneeze at, but with care and vigilance, we’ll do our best to keep your pet safe and healthy!