Dog Flu Cases on the Rise
A dog flu outbreak has struck the Truckee meadows.
A dog flu outbreak has struck the Truckee meadows. One local animal hospital has seen sixty dogs recently who they strongly suspect have the dog flu. Veterinarians believe this virus has moved into Reno, following a recent outbreak in the Bay area.
Dr. Bob Baker with the Baring Blvd. Veterinary Hospital says a dog that has caught the flu will be coughing and sneezing, but fortunately the virus isn't deadly. He says the flu can however become dangerous to dogs that have underlying medical conditions.
At his clinic, Baker says dogs suspected of carrying the canine flu should wait outside to reduce the risk of exposing others.
“The dog can look completely fine, and be shedding the virus all over the place,” said Baker.
To keep the sickness contained to a specific area, this animal hospital has set up an outdoor treatment center. Baker says he’s never had to do that in his 30 years of experience.
“We have one doctor who's seeing all the cases so we can minimize cross contamination,” said Baker.
Dog grooming and boarding facilities like On Command are taking precautions for their furry clients as well. Courtney Kollasch, the kennel manager at On Command, says so far their daycare and training center has seen no canine flu cases.
“We are just trying to stay ahead of it by keeping as clean as possible,” said Kollasch. “We are now requiring the vaccine for any new clients coming to our facility."
Fortunately, it's not hard to find. The vets over at Baring Veterinary Hospital ordered 800 new doses of the vaccine, since there are no signs that the flu is yet behind us.
“They get an initial vaccination and then they get one two weeks later and immunity is generally occurring 7 to 10 days after that second shot,” said Baker.
Baker says to avoid the vaccination altogether, and to give your dog the best chance at staying healthy, just keep your pet at home away from other animals.
“Don't go to the groomer, in fact if you need a nail trim I wouldn't come here either,” said Baker. “You can have a healthy dog walk through the lobby that’s shedding the virus and no one will even know it."
The virus itself is highly contagious, but not very resilient. It will live 12 hours on your hands, a day on your clothes and two days on a hard surface. So washing regularly can also help keep this away from your pets.