Canine Influenza Concerns
We are sure most of you have heard something in the media regarding the Canine Influenza "epidemic" in Colorado. Dr. Atlas, at this point in time, is not recommending the vaccine for any of our patients or boarders. We have not seen a case of the flu at our clinic, nor have we heard of any cases in Evergreen. The main risk to the dog population is in high volume shelters and kennels.
According to the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association, "Canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection of dogs caused by influenza A subtype H3N8 virus. Thousands of infected dogs have been identified in 30 states, and the virus is now enzootic in many communities in Colorado." Again, these affected communities are mostly the high volume shelters and kennels. Signs to watch for, if you believe your dog has been exposed, are much like human flu symptoms: nasal discharge, coughing, mild fever, etc.
The influenza vaccine is considered a "lifestyle" vaccine. This means that the vaccine is only given based on a pet's possible exposure to influenza. For example, if your pet has little or no interaction with other pets, does not board, or go to a groomer-the vaccine is not recommended simply because it is unlikely they will be exposed.
We will continue to monitor the influenza situation and will make recommendations accordingly. IF this disease becomes a threat to our patients and community we will certainly notify you further.
Please feel free to contact us at 303.670.0838 if you have any further questions or concerns.