The signs of canine influenza virus (CIV) infection are mild in most dogs and are similar to those of canine cough.
Pet care professionals must have a high index of suspicion to ensure appropriate identification, management, and prevention of disease transmission.
Impact of a CIV Outbreak
Beyond the potentially devastating effects on a dog and its owner(s), a CIV outbreak can affect many dogs and have a major impact on a facility. Cleanup can be costly, the facility may face a temporary shutdown, and its reputation can be tarnished. It is important to note that, even though dogs are vaccinated against Bordetella bronchiseptica, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, and distemper virus, CIV outbreaks commonly occur in pet dogs.
- Veterinarians and owners/managers must be aware of the potentially widespread and serious effects of a CIV outbreak.
- Facility is responsible for the task of notifying the pet owners. At shelters and other adoption facilities, managers are responsible for the task of notifying the people in the middle of the adoption process.
- A complete cleaning and sanitization of the facility would be required, resulting in costs of cleaning supplies and labor.
- All or part of the facility may require temporary shutdown, resulting in lost revenue. At shelters and other adoption facilities, intake of new dogs would have to be halted at least temporarily, perhaps leaving these animals with limited placement options.
- Despite the fact that canine influenza may occur in dogs that are healthy and up-to-date with their other vaccinations, the facility’s reputation may also be damaged.3,8
In the 2010 outbreak, we lost 25% of our day care for the month because we had to close down to any new dogs. We lost about 25 boarding customers who canceled their reservations and our grooming was also down significantly. I projected a loss of $12,500 in the month of May. My long-term loss from losing customers was about $30,000 to $45,000.—Steve Anatro, kennel owner, Woodland Parks, NJ