Canine Influenza

The Pet Palace Health Advisory – for Houston Area

Canine Influenza Reported at Gulf Greyhound Park

At The Pet Palace, our primary goal is provide a safe and healthy environment for our pets. To that end, we have been following the progression of canine influenza throughout the country for the past two years.  Recently there have been confirmed cases reported at Gulf Greyhound Park.  Although this seems to be an isolated case, we feel it is of utmost importance that we do our part to inform everyone involved with pets by spreading the word so that other dogs will not be affected.  This is a very important time for our clients to understand The Pet Palace’s position on Canine Influenza.

We have been listening closely to local veterinarians for their advice. Here are some of the facts: Canine influenza is a contagious respiratory disease, easily transmitted by direct contact, cough, sneeze, or contaminated surfaces. It differs from Canine Cough and other respiratory illnesses and can be much more serious. Originally an Equine Influenza Virus, and in existence for more than 40 years.  Canine influenza was first identified in 2004 among racing greyhounds in Florida as an “unknown illness.” Investigations revealed that this respiratory illness was caused by the equine influenza, a H3N8 virus, and it is believed that this virus jumped species (from horses to dogs) and has adapted to cause illness in and spread efficiently among dogs.  Since that time, the canine influenza virus (CIV) has spread to over 30 states in the U.S., including Texas. Recently, there have been cases confirmed in San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin, as well as two confirmed cases in the Houston area prior to the suspected outbreak at Gulf Greyhound Park.

A vaccination is available for canine influenza. Although it may not prevent some dogs from contracting the illness if they are exposed, it is however proven to decrease the severity and duration of the disease and lessen the impact of the infection on the pet as well as helps prevent the spread of the virus to other dogs.

What is The Pet Palace planning to do, and what does this mean for your pet companions?

While some disagreement may still exist among area veterinarians regarding the potential risk that CIV may pose, our decisions for The Pet Palace must focus on what we feel is in the best interest of your pet’s health and safety.  We have sought advice from a number of local veterinarians. Based on their recommendations,  we have revised our vaccination policy to include the canine influenza vaccine. In order to allow ample time for our customers to see their veterinarians, we will not implement this new policy until after July 1st.

To help with this process, Spencer Animal Hospital has offered to come to The Pet Palace on Thursday, May 17th from 4-6 pm. In an effort to make things more convenient for you, a waiver  will be  provided to allow your pet to be vaccinated while staying with us! Spencer Animal Hospital will also be offering other required vaccinations at a low-cost to our clients in the event your pets vaccines are not current.  Appointments are not necessary, but will be helpful in determining the quantity of vaccines needed.  Please  contact us to be put on the list if you plan on attending.  Since the Canine influenza Vaccine is a two-part vaccination. Spencer Animal Hospital will return on June 17th from 4-6pm to administer the second part or you may follow-up with them at their office, or your primary veterinarian clinic!

In the meantime, be vigilant with your dog and watch  for symptoms.  If you see any, please contact your veterinarian.  For more information on Canine Influenza and its symptoms, please go to the CDC website:

** I have tried up loading the documents for you to print out and it is not opening correctly. If you are interested please send an email to and we will email the documents to you! 

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