With all the news recently about the Canine Influenza, you may have questions as to how Barking Hound Village is prepared.
First, we are pleased to report that there have been NO cases of the Canine Influenza at any BHV location. Our staff is watching all the pups under our care throughout the day for any indications of respiratory issues and we are constantly cleaning and sanitizing our facilities to help guard against potential transmission.
Currently there is no official source for tracking infections around Georgia and Atlanta as the Canine Influenza is not on the list of reportable diseases tracked by the Department of Agriculture. We can only rely on news reports and self-reporting by facilities around the Metro area to monitor the influenza’s progress. Three facilities have self-reported via their Facebook pages that dogs visiting their facilities have tested positive for the influenza or have symptoms (Wag-A-Lot Reynoldstown, Unleashed Doggy Daycare in Johns Creek and Pet Lodge Pet Resort in Alpharetta). We thank these facilities for reporting these issues so that the public can be aware if they or their dog(s) were around customers of those facilities.
There is a Canine Influenza vaccine, but reports say the strain going around appears to be H3N2. Based on our conversations with vets, the current vaccine covers (and poorly at that) the H3N8 strain and there appears to be no cross reactivity between the two strains. Meaning that vaccination against one doesn’t necessarily help the dog defend against the other; like with humans and our yearly influenza shots. Thus, we are not requiring that your dog get the influenza vaccine at this time.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Symptoms mimic what we see with the influenza in humans: coughing, nasal and eye discharge, sneezing, fever and reduced appetite and lethargy. These symptoms are also very similar to bordatella (kennel cough) so you should see a vet immediately for a diagnosis and treatment. About one in five infected dogs may develop severe complications such as pneumonia.
We are committed to keeping Barking Hound Village and our customers influenza-free. Here are the steps we are taking (and we need your help as well):
• Effective immediately, and until at least July 10th, we will not take new customers into our facilities for boarding, grooming or daycare. This will allow us to focus on dogs we know well so we can spot anything out of the ordinary and seek treatment.
• We are requiring that vaccinations be fully up-to-date (rabies, bordatella and DHLPP) before your stay.
• Our facilities are being sanitized daily and “deep cleaned” on an enhanced schedule.
• We are changing HVAC filters more frequently.
• We have briefed our staff on the symptoms and have them closely watching the dogs under their care for any abnormal behavior. Please be aware we may call you and ask that your dog be picked up for even the slightest hint of symptoms such as sneezing, cough, eye discharge or anything “out of the ordinary” for your pup.
Here’s what you can do to help:
• Monitor your pup daily for any of the symptoms listed above and should you see anything, take them immediately to the vet. Call ahead as they may have special procedures in place for dogs suspected of the influenza or kennel cough. Notify your BHV Manager immediately of any positive test for either Canine Influenza or Bordatella (Kennel Cough).
• Don’t take your dog to a dog park then bring them to our facilities. We ask that you avoid dog parks all together for now if you plan to come to BHV in the next several weeks. If you have taken your dog recently, please notify us so that we can take extra steps to monitor him.
• Don’t take your dog to more than one daycare/boarding/grooming facility. Pick one or the other and stay there for now. This reduces the risk of cross-contamination of facilities should an outbreak occur.
• Don’t bring your dog in if he/she has a compromised immune system which makes them prone to illness.
• If you use a dog sitter or mobile groomer, ask what precautions they are taking to avoid cross-contaminating households between visits.
As always, we thank you for your continued support and trust. We remain committed to the highest standard of care for your dog; and with your help we can minimize exposure and lower the risk for everyone visiting BHV by taking these simple precautions.
Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.