As you may have heard, there has been a canine influenza outbreak in the San Francisco Bay Area. The influenza virus can be spread directly from dog to dog, and also can be inadvertently spread by people on their hands, clothing, shoes, etc. The virus can survive up to 48 hours on these items. At Guide Dogs for the Blind, we are taking precautionary steps to ensure that neither of our campuses are affected by this outbreak.
At the current time, we are:
- Vaccinating all dogs living on GDB campuses, puppies in our puppy raising program, dogs in our foster care program, and all active breeders.
- Advising our clients with active guide dogs to consult with their veterinarian about whether their dog is at-risk and should be vaccinated.
- Asking all clients who are boarding their dogs on campus to have them vaccinated before returning if possible.
- Requiring that dogs belonging to staff or volunteers who come to campus be vaccinated.
- Advising that all pet dogs of staff/volunteers be vaccinated for canine influenza whether the pet dog comes to campus or not. We advise this to protect the pet dogs as well as the GDB dogs.
If your pet dog experiences flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, nasal discharge, coughing or sneezing, lethargy), you should contact your local veterinarian for information regarding diagnosis and treatment. Special precautions can be taken to minimize spread. If your dog is suspected of having canine influenza, your veterinarian can provide recommendations for how to minimize the risk of inadvertent transmission of canine influenza from your pet dog to other dogs.