Stop the Spread of Dog Flu

The Importance of Isolation

Because Dog Flu is highly contagious, all pet professionals and dog owners should know clinic protocols for preventing its spread.

  • Dogs with suspected Dog Flu infection should be isolated immediately and evaluated in a separate room.
  • After evaluation, the floors, walls, and tables in the room used should be thoroughly disinfected. Particular attention should be given to doorknobs and other objects that were touched by humans who were in contact with the dog.4
  • Hospitalized dogs should be isolated for the protection of other dogs.
  • The air supply should be as separate as possible, ideally by a full wall and door; a designated area within a common air space may not be adequate to prevent transmission of the virus.8
  • At a minimum, gloves and a gown should be worn while handling infected dogs.
  • Staff should wash their hands with soap and water or disinfect them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after handling the animal.
  • Shoes should be disinfected with an appropriately maintained disinfectant footbath when exiting the isolation room.4 Dedicated shoes for the isolation room are preferred.

Dog owners should keep their dogs at home until they have made a full recovery. They should also be taught to wash their hands, as well as food and water bowls, with soap frequently. Changing clothes and shoes before handling other dogs is also recommended.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has posted interim guidelines addressing some of these issues, click here to view.

Infection Control Precautions for Facilities

1. Routine infection control precautions are critical for preventing the spread of viral diseases within veterinary and other animal care facilities.2,26 Dog Flu is easily killed by disinfectants that are commonly used in veterinary clinics (quaternary ammonium compounds, bleach solutions at a 1 to 30 dilution, or potassium peroxymonosulfate (hydrogen peroxide process) [Trifectant®]).2,26 A contact time of at least 10 minutes is recommended.

2. It is important that facilities establish clear protocols for thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting cages, bowls, and other surfaces between uses. In addition, employees should wash their hands 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.