Canine Influenza Spreading Throughout Michigan
Bay County Animal Control is aware of the current outbreak of Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) that originated in the Detroit, Michigan area in early July. At this time, this virus does not appear to be contained and has spread north to areas surrounding Flint, and west to the Grand Rapids region. Testing for this virus is expensive and only a percentage of cases have been confirmed as a result. Dogs do not have a natural immunity to this virus, and CIV is considered to be both dangerous and very contagious. Nearly 100% of unvaccinated dogs exposed, will become infected. In a small percentage of cases, the disease may be fatal.
This viral respiratory infection can last anywhere from 2-4 weeks with 80% of the cases showing symptoms of the virus which include coughing, sneezing, the dogs acting lethargic, loss of appetite, and a mild to severe fever. The remaining 20% of cases will show no symptoms but will still spread the virus for 2-4 weeks.
CIV is spread through the air by an infected dog coughing or sneezing, and a susceptible dog inhaling the droplets. It can also be spread by contaminated objects, such as toys, water or food dishes, or clothing. CIV is an “enveloped virus” which means it can survive outside of the body for up to 48 hours. Disinfecting floors, countertops, clothing, etc. is effective in killing the virus. Avoiding contact with potentially infected dogs and vaccination is strongly advised.
There is a very safe vaccine available that provides partial to complete immunity in dogs. The vaccine requires a booster within 3-4 weeks of the dog receiving the initial vaccination. Best immunity is achieved about a week after the booster. If you are interested in this immunization for your dog(s), or would just like more information regarding CIV we suggest contacting your veterinarian’s office as soon as possible.
For more information please contact Director of Administrative Services Craig R. Goulet at 989-895-4133 or Bay County Animal Control at 989-894-0679.
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