Canine Influenza Alert and Information

Walk-in Influenza Vaccination Clinic Hours:

  • Monday, June 12, 2017: 6:00 to 8:00PM
  • Tuesday, June 13, 2017: 6:00 to 8:00PM
  • Wednesday, June 14, 2017: 6:00 to 8:00PM
  • Thursday, June 15, 2017: 6:00 to 8:00PM
  • Friday, June 16, 2017: 6:00 to 8:00PM 

Cost for the series of two vaccinations is $79. Please bring cash or check as doing so will allow you to proceed more quickly. Do not call for an appointment, just arrive during the above hours. Please call only if your pet has a history of vaccine reactions and will need premedication.  Please do not bring any pet who is showing signs of illness such as coughing, discharge from the eyes or nose, trouble breathing, lethargy or poor appetite.  If your dog has symptoms, please call for an appointment to be seen at our separate facility.

You will be given information of the times available to return for your second vaccination (already paid for) in 2 to 3 weeks.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Dear Client,

This message is being sent to all our clients but is important to families with dogs. There is concern that the current outbreak of the highly contagious H3N2 canine flu in dogs may come to the Asheville area this summer.  A multistate outbreak has been confirmed in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas and Illinois, according to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. At least two dogs in NC have died of H3N2 flu and although we are not aware of reported cases in the Asheville area at this time, we feel obligated to inform you that an outbreak could occur here. The closest report, to date, has been in the town of Davidson, just north of Charlotte.

It is important for you to know that when the Asheville outbreak occurred in the summer of 2015, there was no vaccine for this more serious (H3N2) strain but there is now. A bivalent vaccine that provides protection against both H3N2 influenza and H3N8 influenza in now available.  The reason we are telling you now, before a local outbreak is reported, is that if your dog is not currently vaccinated, he or she will need a series of two vaccinations 2 to 3 weeks apart and immunity will not peak until 2 to 3 weeks after the second vaccination. Therefore, if you want to protect your dog you should get the vaccination series started now. At this time, there is no indication that a vaccine shortage will occur, but a shortage is always a possibility if canine influenza spreads as there is no way to know if the vaccine manufacturers will be able to keep up with the demand for vaccine.  While no vaccine is 100% effective, this vaccine greatly reduces the risk of contracting the disease and reduces the duration and severity of infection, should it occur.  

At this time, we have enough vaccine to vaccinate 600 previously unvaccinated dogs. We are reserving this vaccine for established patients and will be administering vaccines on a first come, first serve, walk-in basis without an examination fee during our daily evening vaccination clinics on Monday, June 12th through Friday, June 16th.  The cost of vaccination is $79 for the series of two with payment for both vaccines ($79) due at the time your dog receives the first dose. Prepayment for the second dose allows us to hold the second dose in reserve for your dog to receive 2 to 3 weeks later. Dogs experience very little discomfort when receiving the vaccine because it is given just under the skin (not in the muscle).  We ask for your patience as our vaccine clinics will be first come, first serve and only influenza vaccinations will be performed.  Please do not call, just arrive between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM on Monday, June 12 through Friday, June 16. Signs will be in place to direct you past the waiting room doors, to the right to the outside door of the Education Room.

If you need information on your pet’s vaccination status, please email us at info@ahna.net giving your first and last name, your telephone number in your pet’s record and your dog’s name. We will respond by email promptly. You can also find the information in the reminder section of your last AHNA invoice.  If your dog is vaccinated, it will show up there. The information is also available through your Pet Portal. If at all possible, please try to avoid calling us on Monday through Friday as we need to be able to answer incoming calls for sick patients.  

While any dog can contract canine influenza, the dogs at highest risk of exposure are those who go to boarding facilities, daycare centers, groomers, dog shows, dog parks, or other areas where dogs congregate. The virus can be spread without direct contact, through the air or on surfaces.  Those at highest risk for serious complications related to influenza are puppies and older dogs, especially those with other health problems; however, any dog may have serious complications develop so we encourage vaccination for all dogs.

We recommend that you follow news reports closely and prevent contact with other dogs should there be reports of canine influenza in the Asheville area and to be careful if you are traveling with your dog this summer.  We will be monitoring all our professional sites for information, but the news reporters often make the first announcement. Due to the short window of time that dogs who are sick from influenza test positive, the expense of testing and the time required to receive results, official reports often lag behind the news reports.  Should an outbreak occur, AHNA will not be seeing dogs who are sick with respiratory symptoms at our main hospital, but will see them in a separate building using a separate parking area to prevent exposure of other patients.

Latest information received from the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Society:
“Please know that this is what has been reported to us so far. There may very well be more cases, but they have not been reported to us by members. There have been confirmed cases in Carteret, Rockingham, and Wake County, as well as in Davidson, NC. There is also a suspicious case in Wilmington, NC. Symptoms are there, but confirmation is pending. All infected dogs either contracted the virus at a dog show or contracted it from a dog from a show. Dog shows in Perry, GA, Florida, and Missouri have been the initial source of the virus in cases seen.

To date, we know of two confirmed deaths from the virus, one in the Raleigh area, the other in Morehead City.

Dogs are on the move and cases are still popping up. Clients who plan to board their pets for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday are well-advised to begin the vaccine treatment in order to fully protect their pets by boarding time.”

The below links will supply more information on H3N2 influenza:

http://www.wyff4.com/article/contagious-potentially-deadly-dog-flu-confirmed-in-carolinas/9995185
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article154799289.html
http://www.ncagr.gov/vet/aws/canineflu/index.htm
http://myfox8.com/2017/06/08/dog-flu-outbreak-reported-in-nc/

Notice:  Pet Dental Talk cancelled for Tuesday, 7:00 PM June 13 due to need to use our Education Room for the influenza vaccination clinic.

Thank you,
The Doctors and Staff of Animal Hospital of North Asheville