1111 El Camino Real - San Bruno, CA 94066 | T: (650) 583-5039 | info@sanbrunopet.comAppointments

1111 El Camino Real - San Bruno, CA 94066 | T: (650) 583-5039 | info@sanbrunopet.comClient Portal | Dr. Lee's Farewell Letter

Canine Flu Update

Canine Respiratory Illness Reports—Just the Facts Here

If you’re worried about the recent news stories about the “mystery” canine respiratory illness going around the country, it’s understandable!
Here’s what you need to know: Just like in humans, periodic outbreaks of respiratory illnesses are not uncommon, and veterinary specialists are concerned but not overly alarmed at this time. Currently, there have been no reports of positive cases in the Peninsula/Bay Area.
What you can do:

  • Ensure your dog’s vaccinations are current, especially Bordetella and CIV (canine influenza). If you need to determine whether your dog is current on their vaccines, call us at (650) 583-5039.
  • If you’re concerned about potential exposure, keep your dog away from other dogs. In particular, avoid places like dog parks, doggy daycare/boarding facilities, and groomers.
  • Watch for any symptoms: coughing, nasal discharge, loss of appetite, and lethargy. Call us immediately to schedule an exam if you see any of these symptoms in your pup.

There is a lot that we are still learning about this illness, and recommendations may change in the future if there are new developments. If you have any further questions, please give us a call at (650) 583-5039—we’re here to help! 

Canine influenza (CIV) is a highly contagious respiratory disease of concern to all dogs, but of special concern
to dogs in boarding facilities, shelters, rescue groups, and anywhere dogs gather or are co-housed. Dogs who
are otherwise compromised may suffer more severely. Two strains of CIV have been identified; neither appears
capable of infecting humans.

As of early 2018 an outbreak of CIV is occurring in the Bay Area. The outbreak is reported to include both strains
of the dangerous virus, and therefore is believed to pose an exceptional risk. For the safety of your dog as well
as the other dogs in the facility, the bivalent vaccine (which protects against both strains) now is required for
dogs that board at San Bruno Pet Hospital.

The bivalent vaccine is available at San Bruno Pet Hospital, and our staff will be happy to discuss the process of
vaccination with you. If your dog has a special medical condition that may preclude vaccination, please advise
our staff.

Clinical signs:
When canine influenza first strikes a given population, a large percentage of dogs will become infected in a
wave like pattern with up to 20% of the population showing no signs of disease. All exposed dogs should be
considered an infectious risk, whether or not they are showing signs of respiratory infection. In most dogs, signs
of infection are similar to canine infectious respiratory disease (“kennel cough”), and may include:

  • Mild low-grade fever
  • Soft, moist (productive) or dry, honking cough lasting 10-30 days
  • Poor response to antibiotics or cough suppressants
  • +/- thick, purulent/mildly bloody nasal discharge
  • Decreased appetite and activity
  • After the initial onset of coughing, 10-20% of dogs may progress to a more severe form of infection, including:
  • High fever (104-106 F)
  • Pneumonia
  • Death (overall fatality rate varies and is between 1-5%)

The vaccine is labeled for use in puppies 6 weeks of age and older, and should be given as two injections, 2-4
weeks apart. The requirement for a booster means there is a 4-6 week delay in onset of maximum immunity;
however, some degree of protection will be offered by a dog that has started but not completed the vaccination
process. The series of two vaccines should ideally be completed at least two weeks before boarding to allow for
optimal immune response. The vaccine should be repeated once a year to continue protection. We’ve seen a number of client NOT repeat the vaccine because they thought the threat was over and this is not the case. However, at this time partially vaccinated dogs will be permitted to be guests in our
boarding facility.

Thank you for your understanding as we work to keep your dog safe