We are sending the following update by email, and wanted our blog friends to see it too.  Please call us with questions or concerns.

March 15,2016

To Our Valued Midlothian Animal Clinic Clients,

We want to share important updates on the status of the new Canine Influenza strain H3N2 first identified in April 2015.  Cases of Canine Influenza (H3N2) are being confirmed on a weekly basis around the US, with the most cases in Chicago. Unfortunately, due to the length and spread of this outbreak, this strain is becoming endemic (a permanent virus) in the United States. We have not yet identified the H3N2 virus in Richmond. Cases have been identified in North Carolina, and there has been a significant outbreak in Atlanta.  In Spring of 2015 the only vaccination available for canines was for the H3N8 strain. Many of our dogs received this vaccination and will continue to receive yearly boosters.  This March we received the new H3N2 specific influenza vaccine which many of our clients are scheduling their dogs to receive in order to protect them from this newest influenza strain.

Our current recommendation for at risk canines includes vaccination against BOTH strains of influenza, H3N8 and H3N2. At risk dogs would include those in contact with other dogs in dog parks, at grooming/daycare/kennels, dogs who travel with owners ,or routinely go to the river, pet stores, or events around town.  We are always available to discuss this in more detail for each individual patient.

If your dog has had an annual exam within the last 6 months, the first H3N2 vaccination can be administered at a technician visit, followed by an H3N2 booster in 3 weeks, also administered by a technician. Your dog is then protected for a year.

If your dog has NOT had an annual exam within 6 months, the start of the H3N2 vaccine series should be performed with a doctor; please schedule an exam by calling us at 804.794.2099 or through our website at www.macvetva.com.

Please contact us if you have any further questions or concerns. Thank you for entrusting us with your pet’s healthcare.

Doctors & Staff of Midlothian Animal Clinic