dog-labDue to the recent outbreak of canine influenza in the Chicagoland area, Lincolnway Animal Hospital now offers the canine influenza vaccine.

In addition, beginning April 14, 2015, all patients being boarded or hospitalized at Lincolnway Animal Hospital will be required to have the canine influenza vaccine.

Canine influenza is a respiratory infection that is easily spread between dogs in social settings such as daycares, kennels, groomers, dog parks and shelters. It can even be brought back home on clothing or other items if an owner comes in contact with an infected dog.

Prevention is the best way to protect your dog from this highly contagious infection. Call us today at (708) 720-2400 to schedule your dog's canine influenza vaccination.

Clinical signs are usually exhibited two-five days after exposure. Signs of a mild infection include a cough that can last anywhere from 10 to 30 days, and clear nasal discharge. Signs of a more severe infection include a fever, thick nasal discharge, loss of appetite, lethargy, difficulty breathing and sometimes even pneumonia.

If you suspect your dog has the infection, please call us immediately to schedule a physical exam. An exam will help us get a complete history, get to know what your dog's daily life is like, and check for symptoms. We may also perform blood tests if necessary.

Every dog displaying symptoms will be treated as an out-patient. This way, the patient can be isolated from other dogs and decrease the risk of exposure to other animals. Treatment usually consists of oral antibiotics, cough suppressants and medications to open the airway.

Luckily, with swift and appropriate veterinary care, patients rarely progress to the severe level of the infection and the mortality rate is very low.