Action Plans and Procedures to Minimize Infection

Facility Staff and Pet Owner Education

Staff should be educated about the signs of and risk for Dog Flu infection, as well as the precautions and procedures to minimize the risk of transmission in various situations.4,26 If a dog with signs of a respiratory infection arrives at the facility, staff should ask the person transporting the dog if the dog has recently:

  • Been boarded or adopted from a shelter
  • Participated in dog-related group activities
  • Been exposed to other dogs known to have Dog Flu or canine cough

The dog should be taken directly into a separate examination/triage area that is reserved for dogs with signs of respiratory illness. The dog should not be allowed to enter any areas where it may come into contact with other dogs.26 The facility should consult their veterinarian for advice and possible evaluation and treatment.

If a dog is suspected to have Dog Flu after admission to any facility, the dog should be evaluated and treated by a veterinarian. Isolation protocols to prevent spread of Dog Flu should be implemented for dogs showing signs of respiratory disease, including the wearing of disposable gloves by staff who contact the dogs, and the thorough cleaning and disinfecting of contaminated cages. Any unusual cases of respiratory illness or an increase in cases should be investigated. Appropriate diagnostic samples should be submitted for testing.26

Pet owners should be informed about Dog Flu, and the fact that it can be spread via direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs and by contact with contaminated inanimate objects. Pet owners should not participate in activities or bring their dogs to facilities where other dogs can be exposed if their dog is coughing or exhibiting other signs of respiratory disease. Dog owners should be taught to clean and disinfect clothing, equipment, surfaces and hands after exposure to dogs showing signs of respiratory disease to prevent transmission of infection to susceptible dogs.26

Establish a Facility and Community Action Plan for Handling Outbreaks

Facilities should develop a clear protocol for handling outbreaks of Dog Flu. Staff should be educated about the plan, and it should be implemented at the first signs of an outbreak.