On Friday August 2nd, we received notice from Oregon’s Public Health Veterinarian, Dr. Emilio DeBess, that at least 2 rescue dogs in Portland have tested positive for CIV.
If only a couple of dogs have the flu, why is it a concern?
Canine Influenza, also known as Dog Flu or CIV, is highly contagious. As we learned from the original outbreak in the Midwest in 2015, and the outbreaks last year in the Bay Area and New York City, CIV spreads rapidly, quickly growing from a few cases to several hundred in a matter of weeks. In a dog-friendly and social area like Portland Metro, the risk of an outbreak is very high.
What can I do to help prevent an outbreak?
The #1 thing you can do is vaccinate your dog. If you aren’t sure if your dog is vaccinated or if his/her vaccine is up-to-date, please give us a call today and we’ll check your medical records. If your dog isn’t vaccinated, we’ll make an appointment ASAP to get the first vaccine and one booster scheduled.
The #2 step is just as important – if your dog begins showing the possible symptoms of CIV, keep him or her at home and call your veterinarian (more on this in #3). Just like a toddler with the flu cannot go to preschool, if your dog has a cough, nasal discharge, fever and/or lethargy, they need to avoid spreading the virus to others. This means no trips to the pet store, dog park, daycare, dog-friendly restaurant patio, drinking from public water bowls, etc.
If your dog is showing symptoms, step #3 is calling your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will help determine what supportive care is appropriate, and if a visit to the hospital is recommended. DO NOT bring your dog inside the practice until instructed by your veterinarian – because of the highly contagious nature of CIV, veterinary practices must take precautionary measures to avoid spreading the virus to other patients, many of whom may be chronically ill, immunocompromised, unable to receive vaccinations, etc. and are at high risk for life-threatening complications if exposed to CIV.
Of course, if your dog shows any signs of respiratory distress – difficulty breathing, pale gums, weakness – bring him or her to the hospital immediately and call the hospital while en route for further instructions.
More Information on CIV: