At Glenwood Village Pet Hospital, we are doing our part to protect your pet and prevent the spread of canine influenza and other contagious diseases. We are taking special measures to ensure that your dog is not exposed to those who may be carrying viruses.
- We ask that any owner who schedules an appointment for a pet with signs such as cough, sneeze, runny nose, or any other signs of potentially contagious diseases, please wait in the car and call the front desk from his/her cell phone upon arrival.
- Once a room is available, the receptionist will then come out to the car to escort the patient and owner through the side door and directly into the nearest exam room, thus preventing the sick patient from entering the lobby at all.
- Once the patient has been seen, the veterinarian and technician change their clothing and disinfect equipment such as stethoscopes before moving to the next patient.
- The owner is checked out in the room (instead of standing by the front desk with all the other patients) then escorted through the side door without entering the lobby.
- The exam room and hallway are then bleached and allowed to dry before another patient can go into that room.
This way, we prevent sick pets from waiting in the lobby (either before or after the appointment) and potentially exposing other healthy pets. This has always been our protocol for dogs exhibiting signs of respiratory disease, so rest assured we have practice at this!
Hospitalized pets are kept in a separate isolation ward, away from all other pets.
The isolation ward is in a separate area of the hospital and has its own ventilation system, so that airborne particles cannot be spread to other pets. Equipment such as fluid pumps, stethoscopes, etc., that are used in isolation are designated specifically for that area of the hospital, used only on pets in isolation, and are not removed from isolation.
Personnel who treat sick pets must wear protective clothing that is changed after treating the patient, and must dip their feet in a bleach foot bath to prevent tracking of the virus around the hospital.
Isolation laundry is separately bagged and washed with bleach, separately from all other laundry. When the pet is discharged from the hospital, the entire isolation ward and all equipment is washed down with bleach to prevent potential spread of disease.
Two major ways to protect your pet from Canine Influenza and other contagious diseases include:
- Avoiding bringing your dog to areas where dogs congregate (such as dog parks, pet stores, groomers, etc.)
- Having your pet vaccinated
Even though the strain of Canine Influenza currently spreading through the Midwest has been found to be an H3N2 virus, it is still recommended to vaccinate your dog with the H3N8 vaccine that is available. It is believed that there may be some cross-protection from this vaccine, so that even if your dog is exposed to the H3N2 virus, he/she may not become as severely sick from it as if he/she was not vaccinated.
We have also heard anecdotal reports from colleagues in areas where the virus has hit severely, that dogs who are vaccinated are not getting sick, while dogs who have not been vaccinated are getting very sick — some even needing hospitalization.
Hopefully this information helps soothe your fears of exposing your dog to canine influenza. If you have questions, or would like to schedule your pet's vaccination, please call us at (708) 758-2400.