New Year, New Options: Canine Influenza Vaccine

Over the last few years there has been a lot of discussion about Canine Influenza.  More recently, a Canine Influenza Vaccine has been introduced to veterinarians. Morris Animal Inn, in an effort to maintain our status as a leader in the industry, has done extensive research with local veterinarians and Schering Plough, manufacturers of the CIV vaccine. We would like to share the following with you as you make the decision with your veterinarian whether to add the CIV vaccination to your pet’s 2011 list of vaccinations.

Morris Animal Inn has not had any cases of the Canine Influenza; however, there have been cases in New Jersey, so we are taking the potential exposure seriously.

The Canine Influenza is highly contagious and can be transmitted by infected dogs prior to their showing any symptoms. Typically, it is airborne, passed by dog to dog contact, or via people’s hands or clothing. The disease is usually mild, accompanied by coughing and sneezing similar to the typical Canine Cough. The main concern is for approximately 20% of the dogs that may exhibit additional symptoms such as loss of appetite, lethargy, nasal discharge, fever, and potentially, pneumonia.

Based on discussions with area veterinarians and representatives from Schering Plough, our recommendation is that all our customers’ dogs be vaccinated for Canine Influenza; however, we are not mandating it at this time. You should consult with your veterinarian to determine if the vaccine is appropriate for your dog.

Canine Influenza Vaccine

It is important to keep in mind that the current vaccine is not a preventative, and even a properly vaccinated dog, when exposed, will still contract the virus. The vaccine is designed to reduce the severity of the disease, the length of time the dog is sick and the complications that are brought on by secondary bacterial infections. The vaccine is a two injection series and becomes effective after 30 days.

Hopefully, your pet(s) will never contract Canine Influenza, but if your dog exhibits symptoms, it is important that you consult with your veterinarian promptly. Due to the nature of this virus, regardless of how diligent we are in cleaning and screening protocols, it may be impossible to totally prevent in the future. That said, we want to assure you that your pet’s health and happiness is always our main concern.

Morris Animal Inn wishes you and your family a happy, healthy New Year!