PINE ANIMAL HOSPITAL POSITION STATEMENT
ON CANINE INFLUENZA VACCINE
The doctors and staff of Pine Animal Hospital have always been advocates of conscientious preventative medicine, thereby recommending vaccines to dogs and cats when absolutely necessary. So far we have 35 cases of canine influenza in all of Los Angeles County, which we believe is not enough to warrant giving another vaccine. No medication or vaccine (whether preventative or for purposes of treatment) come without their own potential adverse side effects. We believe that this influenza virus can readily be dealt with and eradicated from the canine population in Southern California through practicing high-quality medicine, which includes diagnosing, treating, and quarantine.
This does not mean that at no point we won’t change our minds and decide that there is enough of an outbreak of canine influenza (or any other infectious disease) to warrant recommending and providing a vaccine. We live in a highly mobile and accessible world in which diseases (especially viral diseases) quickly spread in and out of our animal and human communities. We will remain vigilant against all infectious diseases, and prudently advocate for conscientious preventatives including vaccines when necessary.Canine influenza H3N2 is a contagious virus that causes a respiratory infection in dogs and occasionally in cats
On March 31, 2017, Veterinary Public Health was alerted that the probable index case of a respiratory outbreak among imported dogs tested PCR positive for canine influenza H3N2. The dog was imported from China into Los Angeles County on March 11, 2017 and diagnosed with H3N2 canine influenza, but was not initially reported to Public Health.
There are approximately 35 dogs involved in the outbreak, most of which have been ill. Further diagnostic tests are pending. All dogs associated with the outbreak are spread over nine locations in LA County and have all been placed under quarantine. Veterinary Public Health is working closely with local partners to trace back all of the dogs’ potential contacts. To date, there is no evidence of further spread of canine influenza H3N2 within the LA County beyond the initial cluster.
Dogs are most contagious during the incubation period (2-4 days post exposure) when they are not exhibiting clinical signs. Dogs that are infected with canine influenza H3N2 are contagious for up to 3 weeks, therefore dogs infected with H3N2 should be isolated for at least 21 days.
solation of sick animals for 3 weeks
• Frequent cleaning and disinfection in pet boarding facilities, grooming salons, and veterinary practices, with written protocols and policies for maintaining infection control
• Frequent hand washing by animal owners and handlers – wash hands after handing each animal.
• Not sharing equipment or toys between healthy and sick animals.
• Washing and disinfecting medical or grooming equipment after use on animals
• Handling sick animals last in group settings
• Testing any sick animals
• Reporting confirmed and suspected cases of influenza to our program (see below)
To report a case of canine influenza:
Influenza in any animal species is legally reportable in Los Angeles County. To report a case, complete the Influenza Reporting Form (http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/vet/docs/Forms/InfluenzaAnimalForm.pdf) and fax it in to our program.
Information about Los Angeles County cases of canine influenza H3N2 are available on the website and will be updated as reports are received: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/vet/InfluenzaCanineH3N2.htm
Symptoms You Should Be Looking For
As with flu in humans, symptoms and symptom severity may vary from dog to dog. Symptoms of CIV H3N2 are similar to those of CIV H3N8. They may include reduced appetite, high fever, cough, runny nose, and lethargy. Symptoms can persist for several weeks.
Dogs with CIV H3N2 may show more severe signs than dogs with CIV H3N8—or they may show no signs at all. Only diagnostic testing can distinguish which type is present.
If you have any concerns that your dog may be showing signs of dog flu, contact your veterinarian.