Canine Influenza: Our Response to the Recent Confirmed Cases in San Antonio
Due to the recent article that ran in San Antonio Express-News, we have been receiving a lot of phone calls about Canine Influenza. (see http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/article/Dog-flu-foundin-San-Antonio-2174695.php for the article) As of September 2011, a veterinary clinic/boarding facility in San Antonio did have 20 confirmed cases of canine influenza, as well as several other suspected cases.
With the recent cases in San Antonio, we have decided to, at least temporarily, offer the Canine Influenza vaccine to our patients before this holiday season. If a dog is to be boarded, it would probably be prudent to get both the Bordetella (aka Kennel Cough) vaccine, as well as this Canine Influenza vaccine.
Like the Kennel Cough vaccine, the Canine Influenza vaccine does not fully prevent an infection; however it WILL greatly lessen the symptoms and decrease the chance of severe complications, including death secondary to pneumonia. The Canine Influenza vaccine must be boostered 2-4 weeks after the initial dose, in order to be fully protective.
Obviously, the recent cases in San Antonio have caught our attention, and we will certainly be staying abreast of any more emerging cases. As of right now, we are offering the Canine Influenza vaccine on a trial basis. If we continue to feel that Canine Influenza is a threat, we may continue to offer it. As of right now, we wanted to at least offer the vaccine prior to the holidays, which tends to be the most common time for our patients to be boarded.