So far we have not received notice that any animals visiting our shop have contracted any illness. We do deem your pet's safety and health as our utmost importance and disinfect regularly between each animal. Please let us know if your animal has a sensitivity we are using a bleach solution as recommended vs. the natural ones we used in the past.
Even though we are not sure what is exactly in our area I believe readers need to step away from the fear based tactics of headlines and read some facts. Influenza A virus, subtype H3N8 might be what Durango is currently experiencing with our canine friends; one can assume from the descriptions that it has similar clinical symptoms.
Canine influenza virus can be traced from 1998 and in 2006 broke into the regular pet populace according to Cornell University of Veterinary Diagnostic Center; and by 2009 was seen in 30 states. CIV shared similarities to the equine flu and was first seen at Greyhound racetracks; CIV is fast spreading because dogs have no immunity to it; basically any dog that is exposed becomes infected. The virus has been making its way across the nation and according to the American Veterinary Medical Association is very prevalent in areas of Colorado.
According to University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine the canine influenza virus infects and replicates inside the cells of the respiratory tract, from the nasal lining to the terminal airways. The inflammatory response results in rhinitis, tracheitits, bronchitis and bronchiolitis. The pathologic process also involves the death of the epithelial cells lining the respiratory tract, resulting in exposure of the underlying basement membrane. This, in turn, predisposes the respiratory tract to secondary bacterial infections that contribute to the nasal discharge and coughing.
There are two clinical forms of influenza. 80% of dogs are infected with a mild version that has a soft, moist cough (often confused with Kennel Cough or ITB infectious tracheobronchitis) lasting 10 to 30 days, sometimes a greenish nasal discharge also occurs. Kennel Cough or Bordetella brochiseptica is a bacterial infection; but has very similar clinical symptoms to CIV.
Peak viral shedding occurs before clinical signs are present just like the human flu; the virus typically has an incubation period of two to five days before clinical signs are present. 19% of canines show no clinical signs but still can transmit the virus.
Less than 1% contracts the critical form. The dog develops a very high fever 104 to 106 the virus invades the trachea and moves deep into the lungs developing a deep chesty cough, pneumonia can develop. According to the news article posted Saturday March 19th in the Durango Herald there have only been 6 critical cases, in the area. Also no one has alerted Chris Nelson director of the Humane Society of La Plata County Shelter of an epidemic.
Influenza can be confirmed by the amount of antibodies in the bloodstream (seologic testing) however by the time that the test comes back it is of little benefit to the dog, according to Jeff Grognet DVM "unfortunately test results come back too late". Nasal or pharyngeal swab testing is less likely to be reliable past the peak virus shedding time of four days according to University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.
Like the human Flu virus; antibiotics cannot treat a viral infection. The main treatment is supportive care!!! Hydration, anti-inflammatory medicine for high fevers, etc . . . Antibiotics will help any secondary bacterial infection. Having your dog in good health is the best preventive medicine (proper nutrition, adequate shelter and water supply, exercise etc).
In June 2008 a new outbreak was discovered of the influenza in Illinois, a DVM became suspicious when he saw about sixty dogs with respiratory infections in three weeks time. Authorities believe that this new virus is spreading across America but the good news is that canines should be gaining immunity to the virus and will have the ability to fend it off.
The AVMA and CDCP are recommending isolation of those animals who show symptoms and those with immune system problems therefore ceasing recreational socialization of animals for the interim, however numerous of animals are contracting the virus from walks around the block. Unlike humans there is no 'flu season' dogs can contract it year round- the virus can remain viable for 48hrs on all surfaces 24 hrs on clothes 12hrs on hands. Disinfecting with a bleach solution or quaternary ammonium compounds areas and washing your hands with soap and water between touching animals will help stop the spread of CIV. Very similar to a new strand of human flu.
If your dog shows symptoms isolate your animal and go to your veterinary clinic as soon as possible and remember to disinfect! Yes, there is a risk to exercise your dog but there is also a risk having your child pet your neighbor's dog and come home; it is almost the same. According to all sources this CIV is not transferable to humans.
In 2010 there was an inactivated whole virus influenza vaccine created by Intervet/Schering Plough Animal Health Corporation. Trials have shown that it may prevent the severity of infection but not prevent infection altogether. It is not recommended for every dog.
I hope this information helps and stops the fear with information.
|©2013 Happy Paws Pet Spa | 1301 East Florida Road | Durango, Colorado 81301 | 970-259-7917|