Dog Flu Epidemic: Chicago Veterinary Emergency Offers Advice


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The canine influenza virus (dog flu)  is now an epidemic in the Chicago area. Listen HERE, as Dr.Brooke Bartell of Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center explains on Steve Dale’s Pet World on WGN Radio that well over 1,000 dogs have been affected, with at least five dying.  Many consider these numbers conservative.

Dr. Bartell notes nearly every dog exposed will get the virus, though some dogs don’t exhibit symptoms. So, dogs don’t need to be sick to spread the virus. What’s more, while people don’t get sick from the dog flu, we can even perpetrate the spread of the dog flu.

Two ways to significantly slow the canine influenza virus: One is to limit your dog’s social activities (no doggy daycare, no dog parks, no boarding, do dog training lessons, et). And second is the vaccine canine influenza virus. And while the bordetella vaccine is common for social dogs, and makes sense, the vaccine for dog flu is something all together different.

We talk about the public education efforts of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, and how the Chicago Park District is proactively suggesting that dog owners use Dog Friendly Areas at their risk. Dr. Bartelll agrees the park district stood up to do the right thing.

Dr Bartell has herself treated one of the dogs who died as a result of this flu, and talks about the heartbreak.

Check this story with FAR more details regarding the canine influenza virus, and advice to dog owners.

Helpful infographic form Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center

Advice, and guest blog from Dr. Ann Cohen, Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center

Dr. Derrrick Landini and Dr. Natalie Marks discuss the dog flu on WGN Radio.