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(Publisher’s note: Because my dogs are traveling into the heart of this outbreak, I did have both of them vaccinated before I left for the first leg of my dog show trip.)

Lane Animal Hospital has issued the following to their clients.

We wanted to reach out to all of our clients to inform you of the serious risk of Canine Influenza Virus and a spreading outbreak in northern Ohio and southeast Michigan.

While we were hoping that this outbreak would remain isolated, it appears to have spread further north and it will likely only be a matter of time before we see it in our area.

With that in mind, in an effort to prevent further spread of this serious respiratory disease, Lane Animal Hospital will now require all pets coming in for boarding, grooming and elective surgeries to be vaccinated against both strains of canine influenza (H3N2 and H2N8). This vaccination is given in a series of two injections spaced 3-4 weeks apart. There are only two vaccinations that protect pets from both strains; these two vaccinations are manufactured by Zoetis Animal Health and Merck Animal Health.

If your pet is scheduled to come in for boarding, grooming or surgery, we will require that they have had at least their first vaccination in the series of two completed prior to their scheduled visit.

Since dogs are contagious prior to showing any symptoms of this virus, we will be unable to accept any pets for boarding or grooming without having the first vaccination given in advance of their visit.

The deadline to receive the first vaccination in this series prior to a boarding, grooming or surgical visit will be Nov. 22, 2017 and beginning on Dec. 9, 2017, we will require all canine patients be fully boostered with two vaccines prior to coming in for any boarding, grooming or surgical visits.

While this may seem like an extreme approach to take, the canine influenza virus is extremely contagious and can make your pet very ill. Severe cases of canine influenza can cause high fever, pneumonia and cane result in death. Most dogs take between two and three weeks to recover fully.

The team at Lane Animal Hospital wants to do everything we can to ensure that our patients remain healthy while under our care. While we take extreme precautions to ensure that our boarding and grooming facilities are thoroughly sanitized between patients, viral infections can spread easily from one pet to the next. We recognize that this may pose an inconvenience for some of our clients, however, we feel that it is important that we do all we can to keep our patients safe and healthy in the face of a serious outbreak.

While we are requiring this vaccination for all boarding, grooming and surgical patients, we are also recommending it for all canines in the area.

If you would like to schedule an appointment to get your pet started on their canine influenza vaccine series, please contact our office at 734-475-8696.

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