Thursday, September 24, 2009

ASK THE VET: Canine Influenza

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Rufus Needs to Know
 About Dog Flu

You will start hearing more about Canine Influenza as time goes on.  It did seem to start here in Florida in 2004, or was at least traced back to a greyhound racetrack at that time. 

 It seems to present problems for dogs in ‘shelter situations’ like humane societies, race tracks, and boarding facilities.  It is popping up in our companion animals but mimics many other upper respiratory infections.  Because of that, we aren’t diagnosing the flu exactly but just giving it the all encompassing ‘upper respiratory infection’ title.  

Most people do not want to pay for the specialized test to be run in order to find out for sure.  They just want some pills to make their dogs stop coughing and sneezing.  

There is only 1 lab that is running the influenza test to my knowledge, at this time, and that is Cornell.  A vaccine did hit the market in July of this year but is not widely used yet.  Veterinarians would like to have more data suggesting it’s efficacy before recommending the vaccine.  I would imagine that it will become a core vaccine in the next 5-10 years.  

Canine flu is not zoonotic; in other words humans cannot get it from dogs.

Dr. Jacki

For more information on Dr. Jacki and her practice, you may find her at  4 Paws House Calls, or (407) 832-9266. A personal appointment will most likely provide more specific information on your dog and your questions.

Dr. Jacki's opinion or advice does not replace an actual exam with a veterinarian.

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