How To Protect Your Dog From Canine Influenza

canine flu, dog flu

A number of dogs at the West LA Animal Shelter have tested positive for canine influenza. Canine Influenza is a highly contagious upper respiratory disease caused by a specific virus known to infect dogs. While the virus does not attack humans, it can be spread to dogs by humans through touching infected areas. Although the animals in our shelters are either fully or partially vaccinated for canine influenza, the vaccine does not prevent the virus from getting into the shelter population from dogs coming into the shelter.

The best way to protect your dogs from Canine Influenza is to have them vaccinated. The vaccination for Canine Influenza requires two (2) doses of the vaccine given two to four weeks apart. Protection from the virus does not occur until two weeks past the second dose. Similar to the two dose COVID-19 vaccine, the canine influenza vaccine takes up to six weeks for full immunity.

In an abundance of caution, we are implementing the following steps at the West LA Shelter effectively immediately, which is following the same safety protocol as the West Valley Animal Shelter to prevent the spread of the virus to healthy dogs in our other shelters and community.

  • All dogs at the West LA Animal Shelter shall be quarantined as ordered by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
  • Volunteers and members of the public will not be allowed in the quarantined kennel areas.
  • Dogs presented to West LA Animal Shelter for intake will be triaged and those not exhibiting upper respiratory infection (URI) symptoms will be diverted to the North Central Animal Shelter.
  • Dogs exhibiting URI symptoms will be maintained at the West LA Animal Shelter.

West LA Animal Shelter will continue to remain open during normal business hours from 11am to 5pm on the weekends and 9am to 4pm by appointment only Tuesday through Friday. Dogs at West LA will be available for adoption to Los Angeles County residents and owners may redeem their lost dogs, but will be provided with instructions to quarantine at home until the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health releases them from quarantine. Owners with dogs at home should refrain from bringing a new dog home at this time.

Cats, kittens, rabbits, and small mammals are not affected by the canine influenza virus and will be available for adoption at the West LA Animal Shelter as usual.

For more information on Canine Influenza, please visit LA County Public Health’s Website or call your veterinarian for information on getting your dog(s) vaccinated, or to learn more on how to keep your dog safe from the virus. 

To foster a healthy dog or adopt another animal from the West LA Animal Shelter, you can make an appointment using this link or call 888-452-7381.

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