Chicago has been hit by a particularly virulent form of canine influenza in recent weeks. Even dogs who have been vaccinated for Bordatella, or kennel cough, are getting ill. That’s because while the virus mimics the symptoms of kennel cough, it’s a different virus.
What can you do to prevent your dog from being exposed to this?
Keep your dogs out of doggie day care. Even day care places like See Spot Run have (responsibly) sent emails to those on their mailing lists saying, “We have experienced five confirmed cases of influenza at our facility over the past four days, along with three reported cases in recent weeks from clients whose pets had visited prior to becoming symptomatic. Although we are not closed for business, we are encouraging our daycare clients to consider other options over the next week or two if possible. For those boarding overnight, we will be able to exercise your dog individually if that’s your preference. Otherwise, we will continue to allow group play among all asymptomatic dogs, alerting owners immediately if their dogs begin coughing.“
Also, in spite of spring weather, don’t take your dog to the dog park. It’s a much better idea to simply take walks and avoid other dogs. Or keep your dogs in your back yard. Elderly dogs would be especially susceptible to getting more seriously ill as would dogs with compromised immune systems.
A large percentage of dogs exposed to the virus will become sick. They develop flu-like symptoms and should be seen by your veterinarian immediately. Some may develop pneumonia, and a few dogs have died from this virus.
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