Please be aware that there is an outbreak of Canine Influenza in New Jersey which has caused shelters to suspend adoptions.

http://www.northjersey.com/community/131406898_Flu-like_illness_aff...

There is also an outbreak of the flu in Texas:

http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/ArticleStandard/Article/detail...

There may be other areas of the country that are experiencing this outbreak. The flu is extremely contagious, with a morbidity rate of 80%. Untreated, it can lead to pneumonia and other severe complications.

Veterinarians in areas where this strain has been found are recommending a series of two flu shots for all dogs who come into contact with other dogs.

It is also recommended that if you live in an area where the flu is being seen, and your dog has not been vaccinated against this flu virus, you not bring your dog anywhere where there are other dogs unless you can be 100% certain that these other dogs have been vaccinated with the current canine flu vaccine. This includes grooming and boarding facilities, doggy daycare, dog parks, etc. The flu is highly contagious and can be passed without direct contact.

The parainfluenza vaccine which most dogs receive in their DHPP or DHLPP shots is a different vaccine which protects against a different kind of flu, so that alone will not protect your dog from catching Canine Influenza.

For more info on Canine Influenza:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/canine/

 

Tags: Jersey, New, Texas, canine, epidemic, influenza, vaccine

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Thanks for the information, Karen!
Thanks for the info Karen.  Just spoke to my vets office and they are saying that they haven't seen any here in Ohio so that was good news.  Will keep an eye on the girls regardless though.

Good information Karen, here's another link with a Q&A with a vet from the NYTimes: http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/02/10-things-to-know-abou.... It's couple of years old but still has some good background and information. One thing I did note was that, and I am quoting: "Virtually all dogs exposed to the canine influenza virus become infected; about 80 percent develop a flu-like illness, while another 20 percent do not become ill. Fortunately, most dogs recover within two weeks without any further health complications. However, some dogs progress to pneumonia, which is usually due to secondary bacterial infections." and "Dogs in shelters, boarding and training facilities, day care centers, veterinary clinics, pet stores and grooming parlors are at highest risk for exposure to the virus, especially if these facilities are located in communities where the virus is prevalent. Dogs that mostly stay at home and walk around the neighborhood are at low risk." Empahsis mine.

Seems much like human flu virus to me. I never get a flu shot because I just don't get flu. Guess I am in the 20% that doesn't get ill. And since my dogs mostly stay a home and walk in the neighbourhood, I am not likely to vaccinate them any time soon. Even at the groomer's, each one is the only dog there; she will only do one dog at a time. She costs the earth because of all the special attention they receive at her home, but mine get so stressed out with the usual grooming environment that I don't mind spending a bit more. 

Hope the shelters get it under control.

I am going to ask my vet if they have seen any cases in my area. I haven't heard of any. But right now, JD does have to go to the groomer every week, and I'm not sure that they check the dogs' vaccination records.

When I posted this discussion, I should have defined "morbidity". I realize some people may confuse the term with "fatality". Morbidity simply refers to the percentage of dogs who will contract the disease if exposed to it. And as your article states, the morbidity rate for this flu virus is 80%, which is pretty high.

I also do not get flu shots, although they are "recommended" for people in my age group. I have not had the flu, or even a cold, since 2003. But I'm also not around a lot of people on a regular basis, especially in the winter, which is when the outbreaks occur.

Apparently, the canine flu is not seasonal. I saw an article explaining the differences between this canine flu virus and the canine parainfluenza virus, which has been around a long time and is seasonal. This canine flu started just a few years ago, and seems to have come from horses, it's related to the equine virus. Apparently it was first found in greyhounds who were exposed at racetrack facilities where both dog and horses raced.

Oh yes totally know the difference between morbidity and mortality/fatality rates. And yes I too read that it came from horses in fact has been seen in the horse community for over 40 years.

Strangely enough, Riley came down about a week ago with KC or at least it sounded like it. He is on meds but only coughed a few days and not much of that at all. We had to take him to a pet shop groomer about 5 weeks ago, and I suspect that's where he picked it up. It was such a mild case and neither of the other two came down with it. Have to be on guard though.

I called my vet and they aren't giving the 'new' flu vaccine.  They administer something  for flu with their usual annual shots right now, so I plan to keep checking back with them to see if their policy changes.  I don't know if my vet is not up on this or if my area hasn't seen an outbreak.

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