Canine influenza confirmed in the Capital Region

LATHAM, N.Y. – The Guilderland Animal Hospital confirmed reports of the Canine Influenza Virus in the Capital Region, and a local veterinarian offers advice on how to prevent the virus and protect your pets.

Dr. Kathleen Shaw at Latham Animal Hospital said CIV mirrors kennel cough, and her hospital treats dogs with fluids or antibiotics and sometimes a vaccination.

“It may not prevent the flu, but it might make the flu much less serious for the dog if they’re exposed to it,” she said.

Shaw said CIV is highly contagious. The virus can be transmitted between dogs through a cough the same way humans spread the flu.

“If we had a dog come in here that we diagnosed with the canine flu, we would not allow any dogs in the room until we bleached the whole room and cleaned it and changed our clothes,” she explained. “We just don’t want to take the chance.”

Brienne Wilson regularly takes her dog to the dog park to socialize, but she wasn’t aware the virus even existed. She said she will now pay closer attention to her pet.

“It’s definitely scary,” she said. “He comes to the dog park a lot. I would say at least three or four times a week. He also goes to doggy daycare occasionally, so he is definitely in contact with a lot of different dogs.”

Shaw recommends keeping your pet away from other dogs if you think your dog has any kind of respiratory infection.

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