Canine Influenza

There is a canine influenza outbreak affecting over 1,000 dogs in Chicago and the mid west. The virus that causes canine influenza or dog flu, Influenza Type A (H3N8), was first identified in Florida in 2004. This illness generally affects the respiratory system and  is easily spread from dog to dog. Some dogs can be exposed to the virus and fight off infection without showing any clinical signs, but left untreated this disease may advance to other health problems and require hospitalization.

Symptoms and Types

Dogs that are infected with the canine influenza virus may develop two different syndromes:

  1. Mild – These dogs will have a cough that is typically moist and can have nasal discharge. Occasionally, it will be more of a dry cough. In most cases, the symptoms will last 10 to 30 days and usually will go away on its own.
  2. Severe – Generally, these dogs have a high fever (above 104 degrees Fahrenheit) and develop signs very quickly. Pneumonia, specifically hemorrhagic pneumonia, can develop. The influenza virus affects the capillaries in the lungs, so the dog may cough up blood and have trouble breathing if there is bleeding into the alveoli (air sacs). Patients may also be infected with bacterial pneumonia, which can further complicate the situation.

General signs of these syndromes include coughing, sneezing, anorexia and fever. Red and/or runny eyes and a runny nose may be seen in some dogs. In most cases, there is a history of contact with other dogs that carried the virus. If your dog has any symptoms of canine influenza contact your veterinarian immediately.

Puppy Vaccines

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The staff at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital loves welcoming fresh new faces to our hospital. Adorable puppies and kittens make our day, always bringing smiles to every team member.

Within the first few days of adopting your puppy , it is very important to have your pet seen by a veterinarian for a complete nose-to-tail examination.

When Puppies are born and are nursing from their mothers, they are given an uncertain amount of immunity called maternal antibodies. How long they last is up to the individual animal. The antibodies leave the body at different times therefore it’s hard to determine when each puppy or kitten is protected against which disease. It’s important to vaccinate starting at 8 weeks of age; this is when most maternal antibodies could be starting to leave the animal’s system. It’s also important to not assume that giving one vaccine will provide protection. Puppy and kitten shots will be given up to 16-20 weeks of age. From there on, vaccines will be given either annually or every 3 years given the adult dog or cats age.

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The Importance of Pet Vaccinations

Schertz_iStock_000015133785_LargeVaccinations have become commonplace for dogs today, as they can effectively prevent potentially serious canine diseases like distemper, rabies, and hepatitis. Not only can regular vaccinations protect your pet’s health, they can also keep the human members of your family healthy as well — some canine illnesses can be transferred to humans.

While annual pet vaccinations have been the general rule for some time, recent studies have shown that  vaccinations may be effective for longer periods of time than originally thought. As vaccinations have become safer and better customized to each individual dog, it is becoming more common for veterinarians to recommend less frequent vaccinations that are tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

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Protecting Your Dog from Parvo


VaccinesCanine parvovirus or parvo
 is a highly contagious viral disease that can produce a life-threatening illness in puppies and dogs. It can be transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog’s feces.

Puppies, adolescent dogs, and adult dogs who are not vaccinated are at risk of contracting the (parvo)virus. Protecting your puppy or dog from parvovirus could save his life.

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Canine Parvovirus

vaccinationsCanine Parvovirus, often simply called “parvo”, is a serious and highly contagious virus that affects most canids (dogs, wolves, foxes, coyotes etc.).  Parvovirus can live in the environment for years. This potentially fatal disease attacks rapidly dividing the cells of the intestines and bone marrow. Canine parvovirus causes severe diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy.

There are various parvovirus strains that affect other species such as pigs, cats and even humans. Though they are the same type of virus, they are typically species-specific. Fortunately, canine parvovirus is NOT contagious to humans. In rare cases, certain strains may be contagious to cats.

Fortunately parvovirus can be prevented with vaccination. We recommend that puppies be restricted from public outdoor areas until their vaccination series is completed at 20 weeks of age.

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