Canine Influenza Update:
It's back to school for the kids and dogs, too!
We're happy to say we are in the clear from our Flu/Kennel Cough outbbreak! It has been almost 3 weeks since the last reported case (July 22). Thanks again for your patience and understanding.
How Can You Help?
Please keep an eye out for the symptoms described above. If you notice that your dog has a cough, a runny nose, a fever, seems lethargic, or out of sorts in any way, we encourage you to contact your vet so that they can recommend an appropriate course of treatment. This is especially true of very young dogs, very old dogs, and dogs with compromised immune systems.
If it is determined that your dog does have the virus, or even if you simply suspect that he has it, we kindly ask that you notify us immediately and that you do not bring your dog back to our facility for at least 3 weeks after his/her symptoms disappear.
We also ask that If your dog has been in contact with any other dogs, or in any environment where dogs gather (groomers, other daycare or boarding facilities, dog parks, etc), you also kindly refrain from bringing your dog to our facility until three weeks after that exposure. While we understand that this may be inconvenient, it is a far better alternative than increasing the likelihood of your dog and the dogs of others getting ill. Remember, a portion of all infected dogs will not show any symptoms and yet still shed the virus to others. There is no such thing as being overly cautious!
As we work with others in the community to responsibly manage this virus, we will remain transparent with all of you and are asking you to do the same. We will post updates on Facebook and on our website and will be more than happy to answer any questions that have via email or telephone.
Can't The Barker Lounge prevent my dog from catching Canine Influenza?
While the spread of Canine Influenza can be minimized by denying access to obviously sick animals, proper cleaning, isolating obviously sick animals, and properly ventilating the facility, no amount of supervision, sanitation, or personalized care is guaranteed to be 100% effective against the illness. Keep in mind that this is a fairly new virus to which dogs have no natural immunity. In addition, many dogs will show no symptoms at all while carrying and shedding the virus to others. Combine all of this with the fact that some dog owners are unaware of or unconcerned with the virus and it's symptoms, and you can see why it becomes an uphill battle trying to keep it at bay.
All that a good pet care facility can do is require that all admitted guests are healthy to the best of everyone’s knowledge, refuse to admit an obviously sick dog, follow responsible cleaning and sanitation practices, listen and watch for any signs of sickness, and make sure that any dog requiring veterinary attention receives it promptly.
It is important to understand that, just like the flu vaccines for humans, the vaccine that is used to prevent Canine Influenza does not guarantee prevention. There is not even evidence suggesting that the vaccine is effective against some strains of it. So even though your dog may have been vaccinated against Canine Influenza, it is still possible for your dog to contract it. This is best understood when thinking about it in terms of the flu in children; a child who attends daycare/school and has received a flu shot can (and often does) still get the flu, right?
Great time and care goes into our efforts to keep our guests safe and healthy. This includes the way that we manage our airflow, our cleaning and sanitation protocols, our vaccination policies and other safety procedures. But despite these efforts, events such as this are sometimes an unfortunate inevitability in this industry. Please know that our facility has been very carefully designed by our Franchise team, with these very types of situations in mind. We have different sections of our facility with completely different air spaces. The rate of air exchange in these different areas, as well as the flow and purification of this air have been carefully thought out to help minimize the spread in circumstances such as these. While this can’t eliminate the spread of viruses, it certainly helps to slow it down by ensuring that no airspace is shared between designated groups of dogs…no belongings are shared…no water is shared, etc. Dogs who we choose to separate from others are done so in every sense of the word.
You can visit the following links for more general information on Canine Influenza:
Canine influenza: Pet Owners' Guide
Cornell University Press Release
Thanks for your patience, understanding, and your help in keeping the doggies in our community safe!
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