Help the Animal Victims of Hurricane Florence!
Many of our clients are looking for a way to help animals in the wake of Hurricane Florence. With the difficulty or near impossibility of moving needed items to the coast, we feel the best way we can help is monetarily. NC State College of Veterinary Medicine (from which both Dr. Gaither and Dr. Christy graduated) is collecting donations via the NC State Disaster Relief Fund. Their mission states: "Your donation to our Disaster Relief Fund supports rescued and sheltered animals. We remain committed to the protection and care for animals before, during and after an emergency."
By following the link below, you can donate as much (or as little) as you want to help animals in need. The link will guide you to the Disaster Relief Fund. We hope you'll take this opportunity to help our fellow North Carolinians care for the animals that, along with their human caretakers, were victims of this disaster.
Canine Influenza Vaccine
Most dog owners have heard of Canine Influenza Virus, or CIV. It is a relatively new, highly contagious virus that we have recommended vaccinating for if your dog is at risk. At risk dogs are those that are exposed to boarding facilities, grooming or daycare facilities, dog parks, dog shows and the like.
We have closely monitored the spread and scope of this disease over the last 10 years. While Statesville has yet to have a positive case of influenza, it has been reported in Asheville, Wilmington, Charlotte, and as close as Davidson. Most concerning is the fact that the outbreaks are becoming more common and more widespread. A recent outbreak in northern California reported 526 positive cases - and these were just the dogs that were tested. I have a colleague in the area who reported that several kennels had to close to stop the spread of the disease. There was one kennel, though, who already required the vaccine in order to board, and they reported no illness.
With these facts in mind, we have determined that we will begin requiring the Bivalent Influenza vaccine for all dogs using our kennel, daycare or grooming facility. This vaccine protects again both known strains of CIV. The vaccine is a two-shot series given 2-6 weeks apart. It then takes another 2 weeks for the body to develop immunity. A yearly booster is required thereafter. This new requirement will go into effect March 1, 2019, so as not to prevent boarding for all the clients who have already booked their pet's stay. We DO recommend updating your pet ASAP, however. This means that any pet not at least starting the series by February 1, 2019 will not be allowed to board until 2 weeks after the series is completed. If you do not booster the vaccine within the 6-week time frame, the vaccine series would then need to be repeated, delaying your ability to board your pets. many of our boarders have already added the Bivalent Influenza vaccine to their pets' core vaccination protocol. For those pets, no additional vaccine will be necessary, as long as the vaccine is kept current. Others of you will just need to add it to your pets' annual or semi-annual wellness visits.
Unfortunately, this disease continues to spread, and we are convinced that, at some point, it will make its way to Statesville. It all comes down to trying to provide a healthy environment for all of our boarding, daycare and grooming dogs.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call us for more information.