Has your dog been vaccinated yet? Dog Influenza is still a serious problem in Louisville and Southern Indiana. This is an extremely contagious virus passed by aerosol from coughing dog to other dogs. We are recommending not boarding your dogs or going to dog parks until your dog receives 2 vaccines, at least 2-4 weeks apart. Even then, they are not protected for 2 weeks after the second vaccine.
If you come to our office with a coughing pet, we will insist that the exam takes place outside and our staff will wear special gowns and mask. It's THAT CONTAGIOUS! Do not bring your coughing dog into our hospitals , please.
We have a special trailer by the back entrance at our 24 hour hospital specifically for exams of coughing dogs. Unfortunately, your pet can be contagious 7-10 days before symptoms start which makes it very difficult to assess the presence of the virus.
If your dog is coughing, we can take throat, nasal and conjunctival (eye) swabs and blood samples to confirm that it is the dog flu. If your dog is positive, they will need to be quaranteened for 48 days before considering boarding or bing around other dogs. A natural infection only lasts 6 months so you will have to have your pet vaccinated after recovery before they should be boarded at a kennel.
Several kennels in the louisivlle and Southern Indiana area have had to close their doors due to this very contagious virus and there have been several deaths. Symptoms besides a deep cough are fever, anorexia (not eating), lethargy and pneumonia. Older pets or those compromised with other health problems are at higher risk. We have had a few milder cases in dogs already vaccinated but they have recovered without serious problems. It all depends on when your pet was exposed.
Call us today for Flu vaccine #1 and then we can give the second vaccine in 2-4 weeks. But please wait outside if your pet is showing any signs of cough. It's impossible to tell if your cough is just old fashioned "kennel cough" or the more serious Canine Flu. Testing is highly recommended.