Important Canine Influenza Health Alert and Policy Change

On March 31, 2017, Veterinary Public Health was alerted to a respiratory outbreak involving dogs that tested positive for canine influenza virus (dog flu). There were approximately 35 dogs involved in the outbreak, most of which had been ill. All dogs associated with the outbreak were spread over nine locations in LA County and all were placed under quarantine.

The Barkley Pet Hotel and Day Spa is committed to handle health issues very seriously and wants to assure pet owners that we are doing all we can to take preventative measures to protect your pet against infectious diseases. We have been working closely with our Team of Doctors to formulate a plan to help protect your pet, based on the recommendations of the Veterinary Public Health Program (VPH) in conjunction with The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health. Based on their recommendations, we have chosen to be proactive and require that every dog start the influenza vaccine series immediately in order to protect them against this serious health risk.

Important Note: As of June 19, 2017 The Barkley Pet Hotel and Day Spa will require that all dogs be vaccinated against Canine Influenza for any service, including boarding, grooming, day camp, training classes and programs.

At The Barkley Pet Hotel and Day Spa we continue to strive to provide the best care for your pet. While other facilities might not require the canine influenza vaccination at this time, we believe it is critical to proactively protect pets against this serious health risk that has now been reported in our area.

Here are some useful facts about Canine Influenza:

What is canine influenza?

Canine Influenza or H3N2, also known as “dog flu”, is a very contagious virus that spreads from dog to dog. It causes a respiratory infection in dogs.

What are the symptoms of canine influenza?

The most common symptom is a cough that persists for 10-21 days despite treatment. Dogs may have a soft, moist cough or a dry hacking cough similar to “kennel cough.” Discharge from the eyes or nose, sneezing, lethargy, and decrease in appetite may also be present. Many dogs develop a secondary bacterial infection causing high fever and nasal discharge, or even pneumonia.

When was this canine influenza found in LA County?

Canine influenza (H3N2), was first reported in the United States in 2015. It caused a large outbreak in dogs in the Chicago area. In March 2017, a sick dog was brought into LA County from Asia and confirmed to be infected with canine influenza. An outbreak of respiratory disease occurred in other dogs imported with that shipment and dogs that had contact with the imported dogs. As of April 2017, about 35 dogs have been placed under quarantine (separated from other dogs).  As of May 4th, 2017 all remaining sick dogs have recovered and, the vast majority of dogs have been released from quarantine.

How does the canine influenza vaccine work?

There is no naturally acquired or other immunity for canine influenza. This means that if your dog is exposed to the virus, there is a high probability that it will become infected and develop clinical signs. The benefit of the vaccine is that it can build antibodies in your dog so your dog can fight canine influenza and not come down with the flu.

The canine influenza vaccine can’t completely prevent your dog from being infected with canine influenza virus. Like in human flu vaccines, the flu vaccine is not 100% and a dog may still come down with canine influenza, however by getting the vaccine it reduces the clinical signs to a milder form and decreases the risk of shedding the virus into the environment. This is especially important in at-risk dogs and to help reduce the spread of outbreaks. Although most infected dogs will only develop a mild form of canine influenza and recover without complications, some dogs may develop severe, life-threatening pneumonia.

How is the canine influenza vaccine administered?

Initial vaccination involves a series of two vaccines given two to four weeks apart, and then annually thereafter.

Why does The Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa require the canine influenza vaccine?

At The Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa your pet’s health and well-being is of the utmost importance as is protecting the health of all pets in our community.

We treat all health issues at The Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa very seriously and want to assure you we are doing all we can to take preventative measures to protect your pets against infectious diseases. We adhere to the highest standards of cleaning and disinfecting, as well as strict monitoring of all pets for signs of illness and isolating any known infected pets immediately. Unfortunately, no amount of supervision or sanitizing can guarantee complete prevention of this disease.

Under recommendation by the Veterinary Public Health Program (VPH) and in conjunction with The County of Los Angeles County of Public Health, as of June 19, 2017 we now will require all dogs that enter The Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa for any service, including boarding, grooming, day camp, and training classes and programs be vaccinated against canine influenza.

Vaccination requirements:
Rabies: Required at 12 weeks of age for puppies and the past three years for adults.
DHPP: Current in the last year.
Bordetella: Current in the last six months.

Canine Influenza (combo preferred or recent strain): Administered by June 19, 2017 then current in the last year.

How do I protect my dog from canine influenza?
* Set up an appointment with your veterinarian to get your dog vaccinated to protect him/her against canine influenza as soon as possible. It takes two weeks after the second booster shot before your pet has the best protection. There is no vaccination available for cats at this time. The adjacent VCA Westlake Village Animal Hospital has a combination vaccine that protects your dog against both strains of canine influenza (H3N8 and H3N2). Please call VCA Westlake Village Animal Hospital at (805) 497-4900 for more information or to set up an appointment.
* If you think your pet has canine influenza, keep him/her away from other pets and contact your veterinarian right away.

* Make sure your dogs and cats are up-to-date on their routine vaccinations

Is there a titer test available for canine influenza? Can I sign a waiver so my pet is not required to have the canine Influenza vaccine?
  • At this time there is no titer test available for canine influenza.
  • All dogs must be vaccinated for  the Canine Influenza unless we are provided with a medical letter from a licensed veterinarian dated within the last calendar year and the owner signs our unvaccinated pet waiver form.

Your pet’s health is our greatest concern. Please call us if you have any questions about the canine influenza vaccine requirement, (818) 889-2275.

Reduced Cost Vaccine Clinic at VCA Westlake Village Animal Hospital

Reduced Cost Vaccinations at VCA Westlake Village Animal Hospital are offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 7pm. VCA Westlake Village Animal Hospital offers affordable preventative care vaccines, including the Canine Influenza vaccine, for the health and well being of your pet. Please call for your appointment for any weekend day for your reduced cost vaccines. Call for more information or appointments, 805-497-4900.