Updated: August 13, 2021
There is an outbreak of Canine Influenza that is affecting LA County and dogs at our facility were affected. Our priority is to provide a safe environment for your pets and we take that commitment seriously. We’ll keep this blog post up-to-date with all the details and you can contact us any time with questions.
What is Canine Influenza (Dog Flu)?
Canine Influenza (dog flu) is a very contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by specific influenza viruses known to infect dogs. There are two known strains of the virus: H3N8 and H3N2. There have been no reports of it infecting humans. Since being identified in 2005, it has been detected in dogs across the United States.
Symptoms can appear similar to “kennel cough” but it is a different disease. Dogs may exhibit a cough, runny nose, fever, lethargy, eye discharge, and reduced appetite. Not all dogs will show these signs and signs usually do not appear until 2-3 days after exposure. Unfortunately, even dogs without symptoms can be contagious.
Most dogs recover in 2-3 weeks. Antibiotics may be prescribed to limit any secondary bacterial infections. There is already an effective vaccine available.
This infection generally does not affect cats. We keep all cats in a separate portion of our facility and have not had any issues related to this outbreak.
In mid-to-late-July, a dog was brought into our facility with Canine Influenza. It is possible this dog was not showing any signs of illness during the stay. As the outbreak spread, we cancelled dog reservations starting July 27, began enhanced cleaning procedures, worked with our partner vets to ensure every dog was cared for, and called on LA County and the CDC to assist with the investigation.
At the beginning of August, we confirmed Canine Influenza as the culprit. On August 12th, the CDC confirmed H3N2 as the strain. There is an effective vaccine for this strain. We are planning to allow new dog reservations for stays starting on or after September 3rd.
Actions We’re Taking
We implemented social distancing between the few dogs remaining at our facility, stopped new reservations, and began extensive cleaning procedures. As it is airborne, contagious and continues to live on surfaces for up to 48 hours, we are thoroughly spraying and wiping down all surfaces throughout the day. Our staff are also taking additional precautions to sanitize their hands and clothing.
We’ve also reached out to all customers who might have been affected to follow up and ensure they have the latest information.
We’re currently not accepting new dog reservations through September 2. We will require Canine Influenza vaccination for all dogs at our facility starting September 1. Please note that it requires 2 doses separated by a few weeks, so you should start the series as soon as possible.
To protect all guests and staff, we are only allowing customers to bring food, medicine and treats for dogs. No outside bedding, toys, or other personal items will be allowed.
We’re working with LA County and the CDC to ensure we’re following the best available protocols. If you have any questions for the Chief Veterinarian of LA County, please contact us and we’ll put you in touch.
Actions You Should Take
- Contact your vet for details on getting the Canine Influenza vaccine. It requires two doses separated by a few weeks, so plan ahead.
- Email your vaccine records (showing both doses) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Monitoring and reporting for exposed dogs
- If your dog stayed with us between July 12th and August 10th, and shows signs of illness, please report it to LA County Veterinary Public Health at email@example.com
- Also, consult your veterinarian if your dog is displaying the symptoms described above
- Isolate sick dogs for 28 days
- Quarantine exposed dogs for 14 days
Monitoring and reporting for exposed people
- As of this notice, no human illnesses have been reported. However, if you, or any of your family, have been exposed to or in contact with sick dogs or cats displaying the symptoms described above, please monitor yourself for 10 days.
- If you develop any flu symptoms (fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, or vomiting/diarrhea) please contact a healthcare provider to get tested for influenza virus. These symptoms can mimic COVID-19 symptoms, so consult with your physician about the need for a COVID-19 test also.
- Please email Public Health (firstname.lastname@example.org) about your illness and advise your healthcare provider that they should also report your illness to the Department of Public Health who can advise them on the best next steps.
Precautions around sick pets
As a precaution, reduce close interaction with sick pets that are part of this outbreak.
- Avoid direct contact with the nose and mouth of sick pets
- Wear gloves when handling them, and wash your hands after
- Wear a mask around affected dogs
We are committed to your pet’s health, safety and well-being. As a premier provider of boarding and daycare services, we know you count on us. We’ll update this information weekly and be available to answer any questions on the phone or via email.
I’d be happy to chat with you personally. I’m dedicating every moment to making sure we can provide the safe loving services you count on. Call 310-338-9166 and ask for me. – Kimberly, Owner