Dear AHAH Friends,
First of all, I would like to thank all of you for your understanding with regards to some of the changes that were implemented in The Retreat following a recent run of upper respiratory tract infections in the area.
At this time, it appears that we have seen an improvement in the overall control and prevention of this recent “outbreak”. However, based on my conversations with other facilities in the area, there continues to be an increase in the number of respiratory cases that are being seen and treated. Test results submitted from some of the cases that we have seen showed a Parainfluenza virus as the primary cause. This virus causes mild upper respiratory tract infection symptoms as described in my previous email. This a virus that we vaccinate against and include in our core set of vaccinations. With viruses, it can be difficult to predict how they will behave and cause disease (much like the flu in people,) however the current vaccines that we have available are considered effective in preventing and allowing any sickness to be short-lived if contracted, despite vaccination.
As you know, we have taken an extremely proactive approach to managing this “outbreak” and are encouraged by the results thus far. Our goal is to protect your pets from disease and keep them as healthy as possible for as long as we can. As such, we are making some minor adjustments to our vaccination protocols for those pets that we believe are at an increased risk for respiratory infections. Risk factors include:
- Dog parks
- Boarding facilities
- Grooming facilities
- Neighborhood or neighboring animals (across fences)
Vaccine Protocol Changes
At AHAH, we believe that vaccinations are to be taken seriously and can have potential side effects if administered incorrectly or to patients that may not be at risk for contracting a particular disease. Therefore, risk assessment is important to us and allows us to offer what we believe is best at keeping your pets safe from disease and sickness. With careful thought and consideration we are making the following adjustments to our Retreat protocols:
Bordetella/Parainfluenza vaccination- Over the next 6 months, for those patients that are due, we will be exclusively administering the intranasal vaccination as we feel this will provide the best protection against both Parainfluenza (a virus) and Bordetella (a bacterium) infections.
Influenza vaccinations- From reports gathered, influenza virus infections have been recently diagnosed in local boarding facilities within an approximate 10 mile radius. At this time, the testing can’t confirm the type (H3N8 or the newest strain H3N2). Up to this point we have required the H3N8 vaccination be up to date for our facility. In order to protect against this newer strain (H3N2), we will be requiring all Retreat guests to receive the H3N2 vaccination as well. This change in protocol will take effect on Monday September 26h. Information will be distributed to clients at the time of boarding reservation.
Ultimately, our goal is to protect your beloved pets from contracting and spreading potential sickness and disease. We thank you for allowing us to be an integral part in your pet’s care and appreciate your understanding.
James R. Davis, DVM
AHAH Veterinarian & Owner