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As someone who just went through this, I would be happy to share my experience with anyone on this flu. We did have 40 dogs with symptoms, but most were just a mild cough. A few did have more nasal congestion, lost interest in food, lethargy and required potent antibiotics. My own dog, who comes with me to daycare every day had only a mild cough when she first woke up two days.

The first few cases looked like kennel cough and were diagnosed as such. We let our clients know about the kennel cough and asked them to keep their dogs home if they showed any signs of kennel cough.

The week before Memorial Day, I had several clients call to tell me their dog had kennel cough. A few had additional symptoms, and were told it was likely a secondary infection that had developed. We worked with the local vet, and we paid to have one of the dogs tested for canine influenza. It seemed to have spread too quickly and the secondary symptoms appeared too quickly to be kennel cough. We finally got the results on Monday.

I called the Morning Call newspaper to alert them to the presence of the disease in the area. I wanted to be sure dog owners and veterinary staff new that it was here. Our clients have reported to me that everyone responded to treatment, and no one required hospitalization. By the time we knew what illness we had been dealing with, the dogs were already recovered. It has been over two weeks since the last dog began coughing.

Now that we know what it was, it is easy to see how it spread so fast. None of the dogs had prior immunity, and dogs are contagious for three days prior to showing any symptoms. A setting like dog daycare, where dogs are in close contact must be an airborne illness' dream come true.

One little silver lining - all of the dogs who were exposed to the flu are now immune to it, even if they didn't show any symptoms.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions at [email protected] or 610-965-DOGS.

Rayne Reitnauer
Owner of Cold Nose Lodge
 
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