Canine Flu Alert!

Written by Administrator on . Posted in RVVS Blog


What you need to know about canine influenza.
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Canine Flu has been in the US for several years, and there are 2 strains of flu (H3N2 and H3N8). There has been a recent outbreak in the US, and there are reported cases in Minnesota.  We are not aware of any cases at RVVS at this time.

Canine flu is a very contagious upper respiratory virus, easily spread among dogs.  Dogs most at risk include those that spend time with other dogs; at the dog park, boarding and daycare facilities, the groomer, and dog shows. Signs of Canine flu include coughing, nasal discharge, eye discharge, lethargy, decreased appetite, and fever.  Treatment includes supportive care to help the body fight the virus.  The illness is usually worse than kennel cough, and old, young, and dogs with chronic illnesses are at risk of more severe illness or even death. 
We now have a vaccine (Canine Influenza Bivalent) that covers both strains of flu. It is recommended to dogs that attend our day care, boarding and grooming facility (RVGB).  Any dog that frequents any dog park, daycare, boarding or training facility is also at risk. The vaccine is given subcutaneously by injection, and boostered 3 weeks later (but anytime 2-4 weeks later is fine).  Then it is boostered annually.
We will be following the situation closely and adjust our recommendations as needed.

If you have any questions please give us a call at (952) 447-4118.
River Valley Veterinary Services 
15900 Jordan Ave SE
Prior Lake, MN 55372-2051
(952) 447-4118

Say It Isn't So...

Written by Dr. Kari Searcy on . Posted in RVVS Blog

Say it isn’t so… Fall is the time of year when the horse ‘recreational’ season is wrapping up and we all are looking forward to quiet weekends with less travel. This time of year is also a great aid in reflection on both you and your horse’s progress.

While for most of us it seems that there are more steps backwards in a ride than forward, reflection is where we do get to see those strides forward. Be proud of any step that hadn’t occurred in years past…whether that’s rounding a barrel cleanly or entering the show ring for the first time. Progress is progress and yes it takes time but in the end there’s invaluable reward.

So onto a Winter full of dedication and making things a bit more ‘ready’ for the following year.

Outside of maintaining our horse’s athleticism and conditioning for sport, we undoubtedly think of their general health and wellbeing. The past two years were marked with concern regarding EHV-1 outbreak(s); and now on to this year with ever growing concern with increased positive cases of West Nile Virus and Equine Encephalitis.

Vaccination against Equine Encephalitis has been core practice for several decades but the onset of vaccinating against West Nile Virus occurred 12 years ago. Thus it’s a perfect time to reiterate the importance of vaccination and commend those folks who already vaccinate appropriately. In the accompanying map, we can see that nearby counties (Sibley, Hennepin), as well as remote counties that we travel to for shows and trail rides, have cases of horses testing positive with unfortunate morbidity.

At River Valley Veterinary Service our preventative vaccine recommendations serve to employ protecting all horses from disease. By utilizing the recommended protocols, all horses serve as a herd to significantly decrease the ability of disease transmission. Please take this nugget of information and share with all of your horse family to help aid in educating others the importance of vaccinating horses.

Cheers to hot coffee and wool socks,

Kari Searcy, DVM
River Valley Veterinary Service

 minnesota map

A bit more about West Nile Virus and Equine Encephalitis
Both of these diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes and horses develop neurological symptoms.
To stay up to date regarding MN outbreaks and disease surveillance, there are a few great websites:
1. https://www.bah.state.mn.us/horses/
2. http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/horse/
3. http://www.equinediseasecc.org/