A picture from Pine Forest Animal Clinic in Pensacola, Florida

Pine Forest Animal Clinic
Dr. David Perrett

Veterinarian

6860 Pine Forest Road
Pensacola, FL 32526

Fido Flu

The New Fido Flu
Pine Forest Animal Clinic Recommends Vaccination

Dear Friends,

Dogs visiting veterinary hospitals, grooming and boarding facilities, dog parks and other high traffic tail-wagging areas are at risk for exposure to H3N8 known as canine influenza or “dog flu.” This highly contagious and persistent virus may cause your dog to exhibit some of the same exhausting symptoms people experience when we come down with the flu such as fever, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and risk for pneumonia.

There is no evidence to suggest canine influenza is contagious to humans, however infection is spread between dogs in much the same way people transmit our flu virus to one another. Canines in direct dog-to-dog contact during activities such as sniffing and wrestling may infect one another. Additionally, dogs may pick up the virus from contaminated surfaces which were sneezed or coughed on by an infected pet. People can also transmit the virus between man’s best friends if we pet an infected pooch and subsequently handle a healthy dog. Unfortunately, a dog with canine influenza may not appear to be outrightly sick − the virus is often shed in greater quantities before symptoms such as coughing are at their worst!

Vaccination significantly limits your dog’s risk for contracting this catchy virus and its potential for pneumonia development. Owners of puppies as young as 6 weeks of age may choose to include the canine influenza vaccine within the routine series of puppy shots normally administered as prevention against infections such as parvovirus, distemper, rabies, and leptospirosis. Healthy adult dogs should also receive this vaccine during their annual exam. Furthermore, vaccination is beneficial to any dog exposed to boarding, grooming, group training sessions, and other social situations. In addition to offering the canine influenza vaccine, our animal clinic enforces preventative hygiene measures such as frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizer between handling of pets from different families, limiting the introduction of infected pets to common areas of the clinic, and thoroughly cleaning examination rooms between visitors.

Please share with us your concerns regarding the new dog flu at your next visit or give us a call at 850-944-1205. We’ll be happy to discuss any questions you may have.

Yours in Christ,

David Perrett

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