The American Spaniel Club - Established in 1881

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WHAT ABOUT THE CANINE INFLUENZA VIRUS?

If you're wondering about the steps the Purina Event Center is taking to keep your dog safe from the flu, you can read their protocol below and do your part as well.

Purina Farms Canine Influenza Virus (H3N2) Protocol

We have started to receive an influx of questions about canine flu lately, and this document is in an effort to accurately convey the facts about the virus and to outline our prevention protocol. The Canine Influenza Virus is highly contagious and the symptoms are similar to tracheobronchitis (kennel cough), however, the cough produced by the flu virus is often soft and moist. Ranging from mild to severe, H3N2 flu starts as an upper-respiratory illness depicted by a persistent cough, clear nasal discharge and low-grade fever combined with lethargy and reduced appetite.

An H3N2 infected dog is most contagious during the two- to four-day incubation period when they are shedding the virus in nasal secretions but not showing signs of illness. (Virtually all dogs exposed to the virus become infected; 80 percent of dogs develop a flu. like illness and the 20 percent that do not become sick can still spread the virus to other dogs.) Sick dogs showing signs of respiratory illness should be separated from other dogs for two weeks. Regarding transmission: A sick dog transmits the virus to another dog through saliva, coughing and sneezing, contaminated objects such as food and water bowls, toys, collars, and leashes, and by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs.  Purina Farms consulted with a veterinarian on our internal advisory council whose area of active research is infectious diseases and his recommendation, along with recommendations set forth by the American Veterinary Medical Association (see below), helped establish our protocol:

- We routinely disinfect all surfaces. We clean using a bleach solution at a 1 to 30 dilution as the virus can survive up to 48 hours on hard surfaces

- Staff have been instructed to wash with soap and water often when coming into contact with dogs or items that may have dog feces, urine, saliva or blood.

- Staff wash their uniforms every night since the virus can live on clothing for up to 12 hours

- Purina Farms also uses disinfectants like Wysiwash and Oxyquat, which are pet-friendly solutions that help kill bacteria, viruses and fungi including parvo. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the facility as an extra precautionary measure

- We do not provide community water bowls and would recommend no sharing of bowls in general

- We request that all clinically ill dogs as well as those with concerning symptoms not attend events on the property

- We encourage exhibitors to have their dogs vaccinated for H3N2 to lessen the signs.  There is a vaccine for this strain and it is a 2 shot series (one shot and then a booster 3-4 weeks later). This vaccine is not the same as the H3N8 vaccine.

What we recommend exhibitors do to prevent contracting this and/or spreading the virus:

- Dogs should avoid nose to nose contact with other dogs and no shared drinking bowls

- Avoid using the off-leash exercise area where dogs come into contact with each other

- Consider getting the 2-series vaccine for H3N2

- Use hand sanitizer available throughout the building & wash hands w/ soap & water often

WHAT DOES THE AKC SAY ABOUT THE VIRUS? Click here