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How do you clean up after Canine Influenza Virus?

By: Dr. Jon Rappaport

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Our question this week was:

Hello, recently we bought a 10 week old Doberman we had her 2 weeks she was happy and healthy one night Saturday she had a cough then in the AM was very sick. We thought it was kennel cough but by midday she had no white blood cells and lungs had filled up on Sunday night she passed away. Since then we learned that another dog had died in the same litter. We suspect that it was Canine influenza. My question is- I would like to get another puppy but the other puppy has been all over our house sheets, bed, and couch, Can she catch that flu again? Should I sterilize the house or will virus be gone by the time the new puppy arrives in 10 weeks?

Cliff


Answer

Hi Cliff– thanks for your email. I'm very sorry to hear about your dog. That is very unfortunate. IN general with the Canine Flu – the mortality rate is estimated to be 5-8 %.

I did some research to find out the best recommendations for cleaning up after this virus. The best information I found was on the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) website. They recommend (much of the information is to control or prevent infection in veterinary hospitals but it will tell you how to clean up your home):

The canine influenza virus appears to be easily killed by disinfectants (e.g., quaternary ammonium compounds and bleach solutions at a 1 to 30 dilution) in common use in veterinary clinics, boarding facilities, and animal shelters. Protocols should be established for thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting cages, bowls, and other surfaces between uses. Employees should wash their hands with soap and water (or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are unavailable) before and after handling each dog; after coming into contact with a dog's saliva, urine, feces, or blood; after cleaning cages; and upon arriving at and before leaving the facility.
Cliff, I'd recommend cleaning all the surfaces, crates, bowls, floor, etc. as described above. Also wash bedding with laundry detergent at normal washing temperatures.

In additional, you might find this interesting. The AVMA gave advice to animal caregivers that included:

Canine influenza is not known to be transmissible from dogs to people. However, caretakers can inadvertently transmit canine influenza virus from infected dogs to susceptible dogs by not following good hygiene and infection control practices. To prevent spread of canine influenza virus, caretakers should take the following precautions:
  • Wash hands with soap and water (if soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner)
    • Before and after handling each animal
    • After coming into contact with animal saliva, urine, feces or blood
    • After cleaning cages
    • Before eating meals, taking breaks, smoking or leaving the facility
    • Before and after using the restroom


  • Wear a barrier gown over your clothes and wear gloves when handling sick animals or cleaning cages. Discard gown and gloves before working with other animals.

  • Consider use of goggles or face protection if splashes from contaminated surfaces may occur

  • Bring a change of clothes to wear home at the end of the day

  • Thoroughly clean clothes worn at the animal facility

  • Do not allow animals to "kiss" you or lick your face

  • Do not eat in the animal care area

  • Separate newly arriving animals from animals that have been housed one week or longer.

  • Routinely monitor animals for signs of illness. Separate sick animals from healthy animals, especially animals with signs of
    respiratory disease.

  • There is no evidence of transmission of canine influenza virus from dogs to people. However, because of concerns about diseases that are transmissible from dogs to people, in general, it may be prudent for young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and immunocompromised persons to limit or avoid contact with animals that are ill.


Good luck Cliff!

I hope this helps. An article that might be helpful to you is Canine Influenza Virus (Dog Flu)


Best of luck!


Dr. Jon




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