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Misty Pines Gazette

July 2015
Volume XI: Issue 7

Table of Contents

Happy Fourth of July from Misty Pines!

Upcoming Events for:




















4th of July - Closed

Kids Camp

Kids Camp

Kids Camp

Starter Orientation


Kids For A Cause BBQ

Starter Test Out

Class at North Park

Puppy Orientation

Mutts N' Mingle

CGC/TDI/Service Dog/Public Access Test Prep


Kids Camp

Kids Camp

Kids Camp


Puppy Test Out


4th of July

Please note that Misty Pines will be closed on Saturday, July 4th. There will be no Dog Training Classes nor checking in or out from Boarding.


Though heavy rain and storms threatened we still had a nice turn out for this year's BYOB & D. We were able to raise over $400 for Animal Friends' Low Cost Spay and Neuter program, which is one of the most important components of their work. The following is an excerpt from their website:

At Animal Friends, we know that spay and neuter programs are the only way to proactively relieve the pet overpopulation problem. In Allegheny County alone, conservative estimates show that 20,000 homeless animals are euthanized every year. The problem is simple: there are too many pets and not enough homes.

Animal Friends offers low-cost spay/neuter and vaccine services to ensure that all families can afford to keep their pets healthy. Using conservative "multipliers" to estimate the number of offspring that would have been born in the absence of any spaying and neutering efforts, Animal Friends' low-cost spay and neuter program has prevented the births of more than 2.5 million unwanted kittens and puppies since 1993.

The rain held off, for the most part, and we had an enjoyable evening sharing company with friends, human and dog alike. There were two games to participate in; a sit-stay competition with some very difficult and "creative" distractions as well as Musical Sit-Stay (think musical chairs). A 50/50 and basket raffle were also available.

A big "Thank You" to everyone that came out for the evening and a very special "Thank You" to Marleen Ashton who was the ambassador for Animal Friends.

Check out pictures from the event on our Facebook page. Or here for those that don't have Facebook.

Though we do not have any more BYOB & Ds scheduled for the year, we do have the Kids For A Cause BBQ scheduled for Saturday, July 11th from 11:30 - 2:30 PM and Mutts N' Mingle presented by Maniac Magazine scheduled for Friday, July 17th from 6:00 - 9:00 PM

Kids Camp - $99 first kid/$89 per kid in same family

Week #1 - Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, July 6th, 7th & 8th | 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Week #2 - Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, July 20th, 21st & 22nd | 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Kids Camp is the perfect way for your child to enjoy their pet and learn proper handling skills and dog safety. Help your child have a great relationship with their canine best friend. The kids enjoy games, dog obedience, agility obstacles, trail hikes and pond time. Kids Camp is available for kids 7-13 years of age.

Space is limited so sign up now! Online registration is available.

Kids For A Cause BBQ

Saturday, June 20th, 2015 | 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Barbecue to benefit the Animal Friends Low Cost Spay and Neuter program. The event is sponsored by Misty Pines Dog Park and Billy Loya. Bring your pooch and enjoy the afternoon.

In addition to the food there will be raffle baskets available. If you would like to volunteer to help or donate a basket or monetary gift, please contact Misty Pines via e-mail at All donations will receive a dog safe frisbee courtesy of Bonnie Loya, Caldwell Banker Real Estate Services.

For more information, to volunteer or to make a donation, please contact Misty Pines.

Maniac Magazine: Mutts N' Mingle

Maniac Magazine is a local fashion magazine and has a yearly issue with a focus on dogs. Maniac has launch parties for each of their issues so when we were approached with the idea of having one of their launch parites here and benefitting Animal Friends, well, how could we so no?

The party will be held on Friday, July 17th from 6 - 9 and will feature free drinks and food with your $40 admission. Vendors and activities will also be available as well as usage of the park and pond. Come out and support Animal Friends at Maniac Magzines's Mutts & Mingle party at Misty Pines!

To register, please visit

Coming This Summer

Swimming and Dock Diving

Believe it or not Summer is here and brought the fun with it. This summer the place to be is the pond at Misty Pines! We've got Swimming and Dock Diving Competitions planned for this summer and on top of all that, you can use the pond any day of the week when visiting the park. For $6 you'll get full use of the park grounds for 2 hours and that includes full access to the pond.

Take a look below for some of the schedules or you can head over to our Specialty Classes page for a full description and list of dates for each class. If you need a bit of summer right now you can nose around our Facebook page for pictures of dogs having fun in the pond.

Swimming Class will be held the First and Third Saturday of June, July and August

2:30 - 3:30 PM
Cost - $15

Does your dog need a swimming lesson? Is your dog a good swimmer but wants to have friends to swim with? We offer a Summer Swimming Class! This helpful class will be sure to get your dog in the water at our dog pond in no time. Be sure to bring a water toy, enticing dog treats, a long leash, your bathing suit or old clothes and water shoes. You Will Get Wet! Please pre-register.

Sunday, August 23rd, 2014

There will be 2 rounds of jumps. One will be at 10 o'clock, and one at 12 o'clock. Each dog entered will get 2 jumps off the dock. The better of the two jumps will determine the dog’s division and place in that division. At 2 o'clock we will take the top 6 dogs of each division and have them jump for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in their division. The top three places will receive a ribbon and prizes.

Novice Division: 1 inch to 9 feet 11 inches.
Junior Division: 10 feet to 14 feet 11 inches.
Senior Division: 15 feet to 19 feet 11 inches.
Master Division: 20 feet to 22 feet 11 inches.
Elite Division: 23 feet to 24 feet 11 inches.
Super Elite Division: 25 feet and above.

Three Rivers Dockdog Club members will be present to help organize this competition. A class with the Three Rivers Dockdog members will take place at 8:00 AM, so show up early and they’ll not only help you work on your jumps, but also run you through the process for the competition.

Misty Pines’ facility will be open and we will have refreshments that can be purchased, so come early or stay late and have some fun in the park or take a nice relaxing walk through the trails. Don’t forget to stop by the grill and grab a hotdog, drink and other concessions to get you through the day. If your dogs need a bath the grooming tubs and soap will be available for you to wash your dog at $10 per bath.

No parking will be permitted along the driveway. All parking will be in the parking lots at the top of the driveway. Each handler will need to sign in, pay and obtain a wrist band at the main office before proceeding to the dock.

Participants and spectators are asked to bring lawn chairs to sit along the hillside, which will provide a spectacular view of the event.

Each round of jumps, at 10:00 and 12:00, will have a 50 dog maximum, so be sure to get your spot soon. Participants will be organized into groups of 10 and each group will be assigned a jump time. Upon arriving at Misty Pines, participants will receive a flyer with each groups jump time, instructions for registration and rules for the event and park.

Each handler/dog team needs to be here 1 hour before their dock dive slot, which would be 9:00a or 11:00p.

$15 per entry.

Click here for Official Rules.

Please register for the August 23rd Fun Trial online by clicking here.

Product Spotlight

Vet Dogs

June Sales

Red, White or Blue

20% Off this month at Misty Pines!

Celebrate your freedom this month with a new red, white and/or blue dog toy. And don't forget to spruce up your four legged buddy for all those back yard parties...get a Rainforest spa package and save $5!

20% off Red White and Blue dog toys $5 off Rainforest spa package


Closed - 4th of July

Saturday, July 4th - All Day

Kids Camp

Mon. - Wed, July 6 - 8 @ 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Saturday, July 11th @ 8:00 AM

Kids For A Cause BBQ

Saturday, July 11th @ 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Kids Class

Saturday, July 11th @ 2:30 PM

Puppy Test Out

Saturday, July 11th @ 4:45 PM

Class at North Park

Tuesday, July 14th @ 6:30 - 7:30 PM

Mutts & Mingle

Friday, July 17th @ 6:00 - 9:00 PM

CGC/TDI/Service Dog/Public Access Prep Class

Saturday, July 18th @ 8:00 AM

Swimming Class

Saturday, July 18th @ 2:30 PM

Kids Camp

Mon. - Wed, July 20 - 22 @ 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Saturday, July 25th @ 8:00 AM

Kids Class

Saturday, July 25th @ 2:30 PM

Starter Test Out

Saturday, July 25th @ 4:45 PM


CGC/TDI/Service Dog/Public Access Prep Class

Saturday, August 1st @ 8:00 AM

Swimming Class

Saturday, August 1st @ 2:30 PM

CGC/TDI/Service Dog/Public Access Prep Class

Friday, August 7th - Tests begin @ 5:30 PM


Saturday, August 8th @ 8:00 AM

Puppy Test Out

Saturday, August 11th @ 4:45 PM

Class at North Park

Tuesday, August 11th @ 6:30 - 7:30 PM

CGC/TDI/Service Dog/Public Access Prep Class

Saturday, August 15th @ 8:00 AM

Swimming Class

Saturday, August 15th @ 2:30 PM


Saturday, August 22nd @ 8:00 AM

Starter Test Out

Saturday, August 22nd @ 4:45 PM

Dock Diving Class

Sunday, August 23rd @ 8:00 - 9:30 AM

Dock Diving Fun Trial

Sunday, August 23rd - All day event


Saturday, August 29th @ 8:00 AM

Kids and Dogs

Each July we have two Kids Camps that focus on proper interactions between kids and dogs. This is a common theme at Misty Pines and is brought up at our Puppy Orienations as well. If children are taught how to correctly and safely interact with dogs they will grow up to become adults who know how to safely and correctly interact with dogs which will, over time, improve the relationship between humans canines.

Below is an info-graphic illustrating the proper way to interact with dogs and below that graphic are links to other articles detailing how NOT to interact with dogs. Be sure to print these out, show them to your children and practice these habits on a daily basis. Putting them on the fridge might not be a bad idea either!

How Kids Should interact with Dogs

PDF's are courtesy of

How To Interact Poster.pdf

How Not To Interact Poster.pdf

How To Greet A Dog Posters

Safety Checklist for Kids - Courtesy of the AKC.

Let's all enjoy what we have left of Summer, but remember to be safe! Keep all these things in mind and you'll be sure to have enjoyable family trips and safe dog friendly activities.

All About Bordetella + The New Strain of Dog Flu - What You Need To Know

Canine Influenza Outbreak – Chicago 2015

Over 1,000 cases and five deaths have been attributed to the recent Canine Influenza outbreak in Chicago during 2015. Increasingly, I have been asked my thoughts and opinions on the subject and if dogs should be vaccinated for this virus.

Canine Influenza Virus (H3N8)*

Canine influenza virus can be spread by direct contact with aerosolized respiratory secretions from infected dogs, by contact with contaminated objects, and by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs.

The number of dogs infected with this disease that die is very small. Some dogs have asymptomatic infections (no symptoms at all), while a few have severe infections. Severe illness is characterized by the onset of pneumonia, so infected dogs have a fever whereas those with plain kennel cough are typically without a fever. Although this is a relatively new cause of disease in dogs and nearly all dogs are susceptible to infection, about 80 percent of dogs will have a mild form of disease. If the dog is one of those that harbors Streptococcus organisms in their upper respiratory tract or lungs (uncommon), then the combination with canine influenza virus can be serious, and 2-3 % of these dogs can die.

Testing to confirm canine influenza virus infection is available at veterinary diagnostic centers. The tests can be performed using respiratory secretions collected at the time of disease onset or using two blood samples; the first collected while the animal is sick and the second 2 to 3 weeks later.

Available since 2009; the vaccine requires 2 doses 3 weeks apart and annual boosters. The Canine Influenza vaccine is considered a “lifestyle” vaccine and should be assessed according to your dog’s individual risk factors. Does your dog play at a dog park with other animals? Is he boarded in a kennel? Does he attend doggy daycare? Does your geographic location have increasing outbreaks or incidences of a particular disease? All of these factors should come into play when deciding whether to vaccinate your pet against the lifestyle vaccines.

The Chicago Outbreak of 2015

Chicago has a very dense dog population that is largely walked and attends dog-friendly venues such as parks, daycares and stores. Chicagoans say they can take their dogs anywhere! Unfortunately, while the disease is being reported all over the city and the suburbs, it is unknown what neighborhoods are the most affected. This is critical in determining whether or not your dog should or should not receive the vaccine or if your dog has already been exposed but is asymptomatic. Dogs that are asymptomatic can still be carriers and infect other dogs that may have compromised immune systems.

I agree with my veterinary colleagues and the Cook County Department of Animal Control and Rabies Control that all dogs should be restricted from dog-friendly areas and activities for at least the next 2-3 weeks to see if the outbreak will hopefully subside. When walking your dog, please do not allow your dog to say “hello” to the neighbor’s dog as well.

In this instance, dog caregivers in the Chicago area are encouraged to have an in-depth discussion with their veterinarians about the canine flu vaccine based upon the exposure risk where they live. If it is a high exposure area or depending on your dog’s lifestyle, he probably has already been exposed and the vaccine could be less effective. If you live in a low exposure area and do not take your pet to dog-friendly areas, vaccinating your dog may not be needed, unless you have special concern about the risk of his contracting the virus and spreading it to his dog friends.

UPDATED 4.13.2015

When we released this statement, the veterinary and immunology communities believed this strain of Canine Influenza was H3N8. Cornell University issued a press release on April 12, 2015 that states that the ongoing canine influenza in the Chicago area is due to the H3N2 subtype of canine influenza, not the H3N8 subtype that has been seen in the U.S. previously. This is the first identification of the H3N2 subtype outside of Asia. At this time, it is not known if the currently available H3N8 vaccines will provide any cross-immunity to dogs exposed to the H3N2 subtype.

I do stand by my statement that dogs should be restricted from dog-friendly areas and activities until we know more about this outbreak.

W. Jean Dodds, DVM
Hemopet / NutriScan
11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843

*Extracted and adapted from Centers of Disease Control,, 4.9.2015

Local Reaction and Information

On June 4, 2015, KDKA shared the following post on Facebook.

“A new strain of flu is affecting thousands of dogs all over the country -- at least 6 have died in Chicago. You may want to rethink boarding your pet during summer travel season. Here's how to keep your pet flu-free:”

Dr. Arielle Pechette hears from concerned dog owners every day. They're looking to keep their pets away from the new strain of flu first found in Chicago that's quickly spread to 30 states around the country.” The best preventative is complete avoidance of other dogs because the unfortunate thing about this particular virus is its most contagious before they actually start showing clinical signs. So they're most contagious that two-to- four-day window before they start coughing, before their nose starts running," said Dr. Pechette. Coughing, sneezing, fever and loss of appetite are the main symptoms of this highly contagious virus. Puppies and dogs with compromised immune systems are most susceptible. "While humans can't get the dog flu, they still can be a carrier of the dog flu and pass it from dog to dog. So, if you're around multiple dogs, be sure you're washing your hands, or even changing your clothes before interacting with each dog," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List. Because infected dogs may not be showing symptoms, there's no way to guarantee the virus won't reach your doggie day care or favorite boarding facility. "If you are going to be boarding your dog this summer, be sure to discuss their protocol for how they would handle if the flu did arrive at the kennel, and if they don't have a good protocol, or they just kind of shrug it off, choose another kennel," said Hicks. "The good news is that most of the cases are mild. They say that almost every dog that comes in contact with it will get infected. Of those, only 80% will show clinical signs. So some dogs will get it and not even cough," said Dr. Pechette.

This type of article in the media may have our clients asking us questions. On June 5, 2015, Misty Pines personally spoke with Dr. Mike Hutchinson of Animal General Veterinary Hospital in regards to the new strain of canine flu.

- To date, there have been no confirmed cases in Pennsylvania. Dr. Mike will receive notification if there would be a confirmed case and will forward the information immediately to us.

- The media stories talk about “over 1,000 cases”, but there have only been 200 confirmed cases with 6 deaths out of those confirmed cases.

- They have documented carrier dogs. These are dogs that are carrying the virus, but are not showing any symptoms.

- Be cautious with boarding out of state travelers that board in other facilities, go to daycare, and frequent dog parks. He would be less concerned with an out of state guest that has not participated in those activities.

- Virus is easily destroyed by cleaners.

- Dr. Mike stated “He knows we (Misty Pines) are doing everything that we can to prevent illness. We are Class A in his books.”

Canine Influenza FAQ - by the AVMA

Q: What is canine influenza?

A: Canine influenza (CI), or dog flu, is a highly contagious respiratory infection of dogs that is caused by an influenza A virus. In the U.S., canine influenza has been caused by two influenza strains. The first strain reported in the United States, beginning in 2004, was an H3N8 influenza A virus. This strain is closely related to the virus that causes equine influenza, and it is thought that the equine influenza virus mutated to produce the canine strain. In 2015, an outbreak that started in Chicago was caused by a separate canine influenza virus, H3N2. The strain causing the 2015 outbreak was almost genetically identical to an H3N2 strain previously reported only in Asia – specifically, Korea, China and Thailand. In Asia. This H3N2 strain is believed to have resulted from the direct transfer of an avian influenza virus – possibly from among viruses circulating in live bird markets – to dogs.

Two clinical syndromes have been seen in dogs infected with the canine influenza virus—a mild form of the disease and a more severe form that is accompanied by pneumonia.

Mild form — Dogs suffering with the mild form of canine influenza develop a soft, moist cough that persists for 10 to 30 days. They may also be lethargic and have reduced appetite and a fever. Sneezing and discharge from the eyes and/or nose may also be observed. Some dogs have a dry cough similar to the traditional "kennel cough" caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica/parainfluenza virus complex. Dogs with the mild form of influenza may also have a thick nasal discharge, which is usually caused by a secondary bacterial infection.

Severe form — Dogs with the severe form of canine influenza develop high fevers (104ºF to 106ºF) and have clinical signs of pneumonia, such as increased respiratory rates and effort. Pneumonia may be due to a secondary bacterial infection.

Q: Are all dogs at risk of getting canine influenza?

A: Because this is still an emerging disease and dogs in the U.S. have not been exposed to it before, almost all dogs, regardless of breed or age, lack immunity to it and are susceptible to infection if exposed to the active virus. Virtually all dogs exposed to the virus become infected, and nearly 80% show clinical signs of disease, though most exhibit the mild form described above.

However, the risk of any dog being exposed to the canine influenza virus depends on that dog’s lifestyle. Dogs that are frequently or regularly exposed to other dogs – for example at boarding or day care facilities, dog parks, grooming salons, or social events with other dogs present – are at greater risk of coming into contact with the virus. Also, as with other infectious diseases, extra precautions may be needed with puppies, elderly or pregnant dogs, and dogs that are immunocompromised. Dog owners should talk with their own veterinarian to assess their dog’s risk.

Q: Do dogs die from canine influenza?

A: Fatal cases of pneumonia resulting from infection with canine influenza virus have been reported in dogs, but the fatality rate is low (less than 10%). Most dogs recover in 2-3 weeks.

Q: How widespread is the disease?

A: The first recognized outbreak of canine influenza in the world is believed to have occurred in racing greyhounds in January 2004 at a track in Florida. From June to August of 2004, outbreaks of respiratory disease were reported at 14 tracks in 6 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Texas, and West Virginia). Between January and May of 2005, outbreaks occurred at 20 tracks in 11 states (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin). The canine influenza virus has been reported in at least 30 states and Washington, DC.

The H3N2 strain of canine influenza virus had been reported in Korea, China and Thailand, but had not been detected outside of those countries until 2015. In April 2015, an outbreak that started in Chicago was determined to be caused by an H3N2 strain that was genetically almost identical to the one one in Asia.

Q: Is there a vaccine?

A: The first canine vaccine for H3N8 canine influenza was approved in 2009, and there are several H3N8 canine influenza vaccines available. At this time, there is not an H3N2 vaccine available in the United States, and it is not known whether the H3N8 vaccine will offer any protection against the H3N2 strain. Canine influenza vaccines are considered "lifestyle" vaccines, meaning the decision to vaccinate is based on a dog’s risk of exposure. Dog owners should consult their veterinarian to determine whether vaccination is needed.

Q: How is a dog with canine influenza treated?

A: As with any disease caused by a virus, treatment is largely supportive. Good animal care practices and nutrition assist dogs in mounting an effective immune response.

The course of treatment depends on the pet's condition, including the presence or absence of a secondary bacterial infection, pneumonia, dehydration, or other medical issues (e.g., pregnancy, pre-existing respiratory disease, compromised immune system, etc.). The veterinarian might prescribe medications, such as an antibiotic (to fight secondary infections) and/or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (to reduce fever, swelling and pain). Dehydrated pets may need fluid therapy to restore and maintain hydration. Other medications, or even hospitalization, may also be necessary for more severe cases.

Q: Is canine influenza virus transmissible from dogs to humans?

A: To date, there is no evidence of transmission of canine influenza virus from dogs to people.

Q: Is canine influenza virus transmissible from dogs to cats, horses or other animal species?

A: At this time, there is no evidence of transmission of H3N8 canine influenza from dogs to horses, cats, ferrets, or other animal species. The H3N2 strain, however, has been reported in Asia to infect cats, and there’s also some evidence that guinea pigs and ferrets can become infected.

Precautions to prevent spread of the virus are outlined below, in the answer to "I work in a kennel/animal care facility. What should I do to prevent transmission of influenza virus from infected dogs to susceptible dogs?"

Q: Do I need to be concerned about putting my dog in day care or boarding it at a kennel?

A: Dog owners should be aware that any situation that brings dogs together increases the risk of spread of communicable illnesses. Good infection control practices can reduce that risk, so dog owners involved in shows, sports, or other activities with their dogs or who board their dogs at kennels should ask whether respiratory disease has been a problem there, and whether the facility has a plan for isolating dogs that develop respiratory disease and for notifying owners if their dogs have been exposed to dogs with respiratory disease.

As long as good infection control practices are in place, pet owners should not be overly concerned about putting dogs in training facilities, dog parks, kennels, or other areas frequented by dogs.

Q: My dog has a cough...what should I do?

A: Consult your veterinarian. Coughing can be caused by many different medical problems, and your veterinarian can examine and evaluate your dog and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. If canine influenza is suspected, treatment will usually focus on maximizing the ability of your dog's immune system to combat the virus. A typical approach might include administration of fluids if your dog is becoming dehydrated and prescribing an antimicrobial if a secondary bacterial infection is suspected.

Canine influenza virus can be spread via direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs, and by contact with contaminated inanimate objects. Therefore, dog owners whose dogs are coughing or exhibiting other signs of respiratory disease should not participate in activities or bring their dogs to facilities where other dogs can be exposed to them. Clothing, equipment, surfaces, and hands should be cleaned and disinfected after exposure to dogs showing signs of respiratory disease to prevent transmission of infection to susceptible dogs. Clothing can be adequately cleaned by using a detergent at normal laundry temperatures.

Q: I manage a kennel/veterinary clinic/animal shelter/dog day care center. How do I keep canine influenza out of my facility, and if it does enter my facility, what should I do?

A: Viral disease is usually best prevented through vaccination. A vaccine against H3N8 canine influenza has been available since 2009. It is considered a "lifestyle" vaccine, which means that the decision to vaccinate a dog against CIV is based on the risk of exposure. A veterinarian should determine whether vaccination is needed based on related risks and benefits, and should administer these vaccinations at least 2 weeks prior to planned visits to dog activity and care facilities (e.g., kennels, veterinary clinics, dog day care centers, training facilities, dog parks). This differs from "core" vaccines - such as distemper, parvo and rabies - that are required for all dogs, regardless of lifestyle.

Vaccination against other pathogens causing respiratory disease may help prevent more common respiratory pathogens from becoming secondary infections in a respiratory tract already compromised by influenza infection.

Routine infection control precautions are key to preventing spread of viral disease within facilities. The canine influenza virus appears to be easily killed by disinfectants (e.g., quaternary ammonium compounds and bleach solutions at a 1 to 30 dilution) in common use in veterinary clinics, boarding facilities, and animal shelters. Protocols should be established for thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting cages, bowls, and other surfaces between uses. Employees should wash their hands with soap and water (or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are unavailable) before and after handling each dog; after coming into contact with a dog's saliva, urine, feces, or blood; after cleaning cages; and upon arriving at and before leaving the facility. (See "I work in a kennel/animal care facility. What should I do to prevent transmission of influenza virus from infected dogs to susceptible dogs?")

Animal care facility staff should be alerted to the possibility that a dog with a respiratory infection could be presented for care or boarding. If a dog with respiratory signs is presented, staff members should inquire whether the dog has recently been boarded or adopted from a shelter, has recently participated in dog-related group activities, or has been exposed to other dogs known to have canine influenza or kennel cough. The dog should be brought directly into a separate examination/triage area that is reserved for dogs with respiratory signs and should not be allowed to enter the waiting room or other areas where susceptible dogs may be present.

Dogs with suspected canine influenza virus infection discovered after entry into the facility should be evaluated and treated by a veterinarian. Isolation protocols should be rigorously applied for dogs showing signs of respiratory disease, including the wearing of disposable gloves by persons handling infected dogs or cleaning contaminated cages. Respiratory disease beyond what is considered typical for a particular facility should be investigated, and the investigation should include submission of appropriate diagnostic samples. (See "What diagnostic tests will tell me whether a dog has canine influenza?")

Q: What diagnostic tests will tell me whether a dog has canine influenza? What samples do I send? Where do I send the samples? How do I distinguish between canine influenza and kennel cough?

A: There is no rapid test for the specific diagnosis of acute canine influenza virus infection. Nasal or throat swabs from dogs that have been ill for less than 4 days may be sent to a diagnostic laboratory for testing. Your veterinarian may also offer other testing, such as an in-house test to detect influenza types A and B.

Antibodies to canine influenza virus may be detected as early as seven days after onset of clinical signs. Convalescent-phase samples should be collected at least two weeks after collection of the acute-phase sample. If an acute-phase sample is not available, testing a convalescent-phase sample can reveal whether a dog has been infected with or exposed to CIV at some point in the past.

For dogs that have died from pneumonia or other conditions in which CIV is suspected, additional diagnostic tests are available to your veterinarian through reference laboratories.

Q: I work in a kennel/animal care facility. What should I do to prevent transmission of influenza virus from infected dogs to susceptible dogs?

A: Canine influenza is not known to be transmissible from dogs to people. However, caretakers can inadvertently transmit canine influenza virus from infected dogs to susceptible dogs by not following good hygiene and infection control practices. To prevent spread of canine influenza virus, caretakers should take the following precautions:

  • Wash hands with soap and water (if soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner):
  • Upon arriving at the facility
  • Before and after handling each animal
  • After coming into contact with animal saliva, urine, feces or blood
  • After cleaning cages
  • Before eating meals, taking breaks, smoking or leaving the facility
  • Before and after using the restroom
  • Wear a barrier gown over your clothes and wear gloves when handling sick animals or cleaning cages. Discard gown and gloves before working with other animals.
  • Consider use of goggles or face protection if splashes from contaminated surfaces may occur.
  • Bring a change of clothes to wear home at the end of the day.
  • Thoroughly clean clothes worn at the animal facility.
  • Do not allow animals to "kiss" you or lick your face.
  • Do not eat in the animal care area.
  • Separate newly arriving animals from animals that have been housed one week or longer.
  • Routinely monitor animals for signs of illness. Separate sick animals from healthy animals, especially animals with signs of respiratory disease.
  • There is no evidence of transmission of canine influenza virus from dogs to people. However, because of concerns about diseases that are transmissible from dogs to people, in general, it may be prudent for young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and immunocompromised persons to limit or avoid contact with animals that are ill.
  • Bordetella/Canine Cough

    Brief Overview:

    Infectious tracheobronchitis, or canine cough, is a highly contagious, upper-respiratory virus that is similar to a chest cold in humans. There are at least forty agents that are capable of causing canine cough. Parainfluenza, adenovirus, Bordetella or any combination thereof is most often passed on through the air, but can also be transmitted on hands or clothing. The incubation period of the disease is roughly 3-10 days and an infected pet may be contagious for three weeks after showing the first signs of illness and up to 2 weeks before showing any clinical symptoms. The main symptom is a hacking cough that sounds like a goose honk, sometimes accompanied by sneezing and nasal discharge, which can last from a few days to several weeks. Although the cough is very annoying, it does not usually develop into anything more serious; however, just as a common cold, it can lower the dog’s resistance to other diseases making it susceptible to secondary infections, so the dog must be observed closely to avoid complications. Canine cough can be an especially serious problem for puppies and geriatric dogs whose immune systems may be weaker.

    Just as in the case of the common cold, canine cough is not “cured” but must run its course; however, any dog displaying signs of a secondary infection should see a veterinarian. Many times an antibiotic will be prescribed as a precaution and sometimes cough suppressants will be used to reduce excessive coughing. Canine cough, just like flu and cold season, is often seasonal. It usually occurs in spring and late fall.

    How is it Transmitted?

    Airborne organisms are carried in the air by microscopic water vapor and dust particles. The particles, if inhaled, by a susceptible dog, may attach to the lining of the trachea and upper airways. These organisms are easily spread when infected dogs sneeze, bark, cough, or even drool. Some dogs are carriers and can spread the infection for months while not showing any signs. These “carriers” are a source of infection to other dogs. Contact can also occur through hands and clothing. This virus can be present at dogs shows, pet stores, your veterinarians office, and even in your own backyard.

    Why are the Chances of Catching it Greater in a Kennel?

    A dog encounters two conditions in boarding facilities that do not typically occur at home: 1) they are with a number of potentially contagious dogs 2) the stress and excitement of a less familiar environment, both of which can result in lowered resistance to disease. The more frequently a dog visits the kennel, the greater the chance the dog will gain immunity to the disease. Even during a widespread outbreak, only a small percentage of exposed dogs are affected.

    How is it Treated?

    Many dogs that contract canine cough will display minor signs of coughing that may last 7-10 days and will not require any medication. The majority of dogs will continue to eat and play except for the annoying, dry, non-productive cough.

    The dog should be kept warm in an isolated area with good ventilation. It should be free of drafts. The dog can also be put in a steam filled room or use a cold mist vaporizer several times a day. It is important to keep the dog quiet; any excessive barking may irritate the trachea even more. In some cases the dog may develop a secondary infection. The dog may run a fever, not eat, will have a thick yellow or green nasal discharge, and wheezing. The dog may develop pneumonia which will require immediate veterinary care.

    How Can I Protect My Dog?

    There are 3 types of vaccines for canine cough; intranasal, injectable, and oral. Some dogs will develop mild symptoms similar to canine cough when given this vaccine. The symptoms will last for several days and the dog will not require medical treatment, but they can also spread it to other dogs. This is the main reason your dog should not be around other dogs after receiving the vaccine. The downfall with these vaccines is that they have a short duration. High risk dogs should be vaccinated twice a year. A high risk dog would be one that goes to the kennel, grooming shop, daycare, dog park, or is involved in group training classes. Dogs that have been vaccinated can still contact the disease, but the symptoms are usually not as severe and do not last as long. The vaccine should be given at least 5 days before exposure around other dogs.*

    Why Does Misty Pines Require Bordetella every 6 Months?

    Immunity of this vaccine has a short duration and has not been scientifically proven to be effective for one full year. The efficacy of the vaccine is anywhere from six to nine months based on various researches. Since we have implemented this policy in 2007, we have seen a substantial decrease in dogs that have developed the virus while at our facility. Those that have developed it have seemed to have had a shorter duration of the virus with milder symptoms and have recovered quickly.

    What Does Misty Pines Do When A Boarding Dog Begins Coughing?

    We immediately isolate the dog into our quarantine area of the kennel. The quarantine area is set up like the rest of the facility; indoor/outdoor with radiant floor heating and automatic waterers. It has its own heating, cooling, and ventilation system. The quarantine room also has a separate entrance and exit to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination through the rest of the kennel. We also have a footbath that the kennel staff steps into whenever they enter or exit the quarantine area to avoid contaminating the rest of the facility.

    The dog will have their temperature taken and tracked twice daily until they go home. The owners or emergency phone number will be contacted so they are aware of the situation. Our policy states that you must have someone available to pick up your dog within 24 hours in the event of them coughing. If we are unable to get in touch with you or your emergency contact, we will contact Dr. Larrimer of Franklin Park Veterinary Hospital who may want to examine the dog and prescribe antibiotics and/or cough suppressants.

    Once we have the dog settled into the quarantine area, the cleaning process begins in the area of the kennel that the dog originated. Cleaning consists of dismantling the dog’s original enclosure to ensure that we disinfect every nook and cranny. It gets soaped down with one of our disinfectants which we let soak for 10 minutes. While that is soaking, we soak the food bowls, water bowl, and water bowl attachments in hot, soapy water. While everything is soaking, we will clean the ceiling fans, exhaust fan, and ceiling vents in that section of the kennel. The kennel is then rinsed thoroughly, bowls washed, and everything gets put back together.

    An End Note…

    While we do not have any boarders in our facility who are coughing, it is impossible for us to tell when there might be a dog here that has been exposed to canine cough prior to their arrival. Remember that the virus is sub-clinical meaning that it does not show visible signs of infection until up to 10 days after being exposed. We are making strong efforts to avoid an outbreak in our facility by requiring biannual Bordetella vaccinations, extensive cleaning and disinfecting procedures in our facility, and public awareness about the virus. While we make every effort to prevent the occurrence of Canine Cough in our kennel, we are unable to give 100% assurance that someone’s dog will not bring it to the kennel while boarding. This is the same assurance that a teacher can’t give you when your child goes to school and catches a cold or the flu from another student.

    * Journal of The American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol. 220, No.1, 2002

    As we receive new information or updates, we will pass it along.

    Therapy Dog Visits

    Locations To Visit

    Once your dog has passed their Therapy Dog International certification, it's time for the fun to begin. Click the link below for a list of places that are always looking for registered therapy dogs to brighten the day of the patients and residents:

    Baden Memorial Library
    Dog reading program. Need volunteer for 2 Thursdays per month from 5:00pm - 6:30pm
    and 1 Saturday per month for 1 1/2 hours.
    Contact: Kathleen Wagner

    Gateway Hospice
    Contact: Sr. Linda Larkman OSB, Volunteer Coordinator 412-737-0969

    West Haven Manor
    Contact: Karen Zimmerman, Coordinator of Volunteer Services 724-727-3451

    North Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center
    Contact: Teri A. Slimick 724-935-3781

    McGuire Memorial
    Contact: Susan Matlock 724-843-3400

    Excela Health Home Care and Hospice (Westmoreland County)
    Contact: Joan Roth, Volunteer Coordinator

    Family Hospice Palliative Care
    Contact: Pam Tomczak 412-572-8803

    Western Pa. Humane Society coordinates visits to multiple locations in the community with volunteers who have Certified Therapy Dogs.
    Contact: Joy Kealey

    Odyssey Health Care
    Cliff Mine Rd., Pittsburgh
    Contact: Barbara Coulter 1-800-861-8584

    Condordia of Franklin Park
    Contact: Carol Kosela 724-935-1075 ext. 103

    VA Hospitals in Pittsburgh
    Activities Director: 412-688-6000 ext. 3682

    Country Meadows (South Hills)
    Activities Director: 412-257-4566

    Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
    Volunteer Coordinator: 412-690-6508

    Animal Friends also coordinates a Pet Assisted Therapy program that visits multiple locations. To join their therapy group contact:

    Ann Cadman: (412) 847-7031

    Allegheny General Hospital
    Jennifer Kopar: 412-359-3067

    Tail Waggin Tutors at Baden Library
    Laura Bain: 724-869-3960

    Heartland Hospice
    Barb Kralik, Volunteer Coordinator: 412-919-5617

    Caring Hospice Services
    Brittany Bailey, Volunteer Coordinator: 412-563-3300

    Concordia of Wexford
    Michelle Moon: 724-935-1266

    Passavant Memorial Homes and Subsidiaries
    Colleen Perry, Social Services Coordinator: 412-820-1015 ext. 521

    Services & Teams

    If you would like to have Therapy Dogs visit your facility, please contact one of the following Therapy Dog Teams or contact Misty Pines to have your facility listed in the above section so that our teams may contact you. Click the link below for teams that are interested in visiting those in need of therapeutic visits from their furry friends:

    Pets With Heart, Pet Therapy
    Sister Sharon Costello: 724-869-6545

    "The golden gift is this: Intimately connected with his own emotions, the dog cannot lie. What he feels, he expresses. What he shows in his body posture is true, without guile, completely and utterly honest. Distanced from our own feelings, bound by our fears, we treasure and are amazed by this quality of complete truth in our dogs."

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