February 05, 2016

Canine influenza precautions

Two strains of canine influenza virus (CIV) are in the news, and while no cases have been confirmed in Yakima, we are keeping a close eye on both. CIV H3N2 first appeared in Chicago in the spring of 2015; CIV H3N8 first appeared in Florida in 2003. Both are spreading rapidly throughout the United States and both pose a risk to dogs of all ages and breeds, especially to dogs who interact with other dogs at daycare centers, dog parks, dog shows, grooming facilities, kennels, or any other places where dogs gather and socialize. (See the attached PDF for more information.)

Most local veterinarians now carry vaccinations for both CIV H3N2 and CIV H3N8. CIV vaccinations require a series of two shots, administered three weeks apart. The vaccination is considered fully effective one week after the second shot is received.

In addition to the Bordetella vaccination required twice yearly, we are highly recommending both canine influenza vaccinations for all dogs who come to K9 Country Club. We are requiring both CIV vaccinations for any dog who travels outside of Yakima County. If you travel with your dog outside of Yakima County before the vaccination series is completed, please call and tell us your travel plans so that we can assess the risk in the area your dog will visit.

Please remember: no vaccination is 100 percent effective at preventing illness, and it is impossible to vaccinate against everything that can cause a cough. And because both are "novel" viruses —meaning no dogs in Yakima have previously been exposed to them— any dog who comes in contact with either virus will acquire it. The vaccination will lessen the severity of any illness and will shorten the length of time the virus is actively shed and contagious to other dogs.

We will continue to monitor the movement of these two viruses in Washington state and the surrounding areas. If either virus is positively identified in Yakima County, we will then require CIV vaccinations for all dogs coming to K9 Country Club. If you choose not to vaccinate your dog now, keep in mind that if we ultimately require the CIV vaccines, your dog will not be allowed to come to K9 during the four weeks he or she is completing the vaccination series.

My own dogs, Boy and Millie, received their first CIV vaccinations on January 29th. We appreciate your cooperation and hope these precautions help to keep all of our dogs healthy, happy, and ready to play.

Thank you,

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