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Canine flu causes Montgomery County Animal Services to close


The animal shelter now accepts only essential intakes, which includes sick and injured animals, and those that pose a threat to public safety.

Deerwood, MD – L Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center in Deerwood is closed until further notice due to a dog flu outbreak.

The adoption center says despite being vaccinated against canine influenza virus (CIV), a respiratory disease, and following cleaning protocols, one dog in their care tested positive for it, and 22 other dogs developed symptoms. The dogs at the center are now isolated and will not exit the building. Adoptions of other animals have also been temporarily halted.

The virus spreads mainly from infected dogs to other dogs or cats, through respiratory droplets including coughing, sneezing, barking, or sniffing. It can also be spread through contaminated surfaces and clothing.

The virus is not transmitted from animals to humans, but people can transmit the virus to other dogs through their clothing or hands.

Effective immediately, the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center (MCASAC) is closed to the public due to…

Posted by Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center on Thursday, May 2, 2024

Symptoms include cough, runny nose, eye discharge, fever, lethargy, and poor appetite, and signs range in severity from no symptoms to severe illness leading to death.

“Canine influenza is a highly contagious virus that spreads rapidly through shelter dog populations,” said Gregory Lawrence, MCASAC’s chief veterinarian. “We will continue to do everything we can to prevent further spread of the virus and treat infected dogs.”

If your dog shows any symptoms of hepatitis CIV, contact your veterinarian immediately for evaluation and early supportive treatment. Keep your dog separated from others for at least 28 days. Dog parks, doggie daycares, grooming and boarding facilities should also be avoided.

Most dogs recover within 2-3 weeks, but some develop a secondary bacterial infection that can lead to more serious illness.

The animal shelter now accepts only essential intakes, which includes sick and injured animals, and those that pose a threat to public safety.

Residents who find a lost pet are asked not to bring the animal to the shelter for the safety of those animals.

The canine influenza vaccine is not required and is not considered a standard vaccine for all dogs. However, if cases occur in the DMV area, the center recommends speaking with your veterinarian about vaccinating your dog. Additional precautions to take to keep your dog safe include:

  • Limit direct contact with other dogs while walking. Do not allow them to smell each other.
  • Avoid using shared toys or dishes.
  • Consider skipping daycare facilities, boarding, grooming and dog parks.
  • Contact your dog’s daycare or boarding facility and ask about recent statuses and cleaning protocols.

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