AceThere has been a lot of talk about a virus that is infecting our canine population. Chicago has recently reported that Canine Influenza is being seen in epidemic proportions in their area. Canine Influenza symptoms are a high fever, loss of appetite, a never-ending cough and lethargy.

We have been seeing a persistent cough in the St. Louis and surrounding areas as well. It is not clear yet if this is the Canine Influenza virus or a new respiratory virus. The “new“ proposed name for the respiratory complex of diseases we are seeing is Contagious Canine Cough Complex. Currently our doctors are treating between 20 and 25 cases of CCCC per week. What can cause CCCC? The infection may be triggered by a variety of different pathogens, Bordetella, Adenovirus -2, Distemper, parainfluenza, herpes virus, corona, and canine influenza, mycoplasma, or streptococcus equi bacteria. It has been estimated that only 10% of CCCC is caused by Bordetella. The only commercially available and tested vaccines we have are for Bordetella, canine adenovirus-2 and Canine influenza.

The spread of these viruses is from dog to dog through contact at dog parks, boarding kennels, shelters and other public areas where dogs play and interact. Plus Stress will also play a role in developing a respiratory infection; like staying at a kennel, being scared of storms or going to the groomer.

The signs of an upper respiratory tract infection are coughing and or sneezing and/or nasal or excessive ocular discharge.

Treatment can vary from a medication to control the cough and possibly antibiotics.  Should your pet exhibit any of these symptoms do not take them in public settings and contact your veterinarian to discuss treatment options.

We now have the Canine Influenza vaccine available.  The vaccine is given in two doses that are 2 – 3 weeks apart.  The cost for both doses is $42.00.