Things you need to know about dog flu
Canine influenza virus (CIV; dog flu) continues to raise its ugly head infecting many dogs in the United States and internationally. Although most dogs suffer mild to moderate illness, some dogs die from infection and the effects on a business, such as a veterinary clinic or doggie daycare, can be disastrous (temporary or permanent closure, damage to reputation, large expenses to business and dog owners). Here are three things you need to know about Dog Flu to help protect your business and patients.
Dog Flu is highly infectious. Large outbreaks have occurred in group canine settings (e.g., clinics, doggie day care, boarding, dog shows) because people underestimated how easily and quickly flu can spread. Ensure you have a plan for your clinic for how staff will triage, admit (if needed), and care for suspects (e.g., don’t let coughing dogs into common areas such as lobbies).
Help your clients recognize their dog’s risk and steps to reduce this. A risk assessment will include the dog’s chance for coming into contact with an infectious dog (e.g., current Dog Flu transmission in the area, travel, taking part in group settings). Based on risk, advise risk mitigation steps, such as vaccination against Dog Flu, taking extra precautions when there is documented Dog Flu transmission in the area.
Stay current as Dog Flu risks can change quickly in an area. There are resources to help you and your clients stay on top of current Dog Flu transmission areas (e.g., Canine Influenza Virus Surveillance Network: https://ahdc.vet.cornell.edu/news/civchicago.cfm).