Montgomery Parks Warns of Canine Influenza in County and Urges Dog Owners to Take Precautions

by MCS Staff

Montgomery Parks  is alerting park visitors and dog park users of a canine influenza (dog flu) outbreak affecting Montgomery County and the Washington, DC area. Dog owners should take precautions to ensure their pets’ health and safety.   According to the Montgomery County Office of Animal Services, the respiratory disease is caused by a specific strain of Type A Influenza virus and is highly contagious. While most cases of dog flu are mild, more severe disease can lead to death.  “Canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory virus that affects dogs. Vaccination and avoiding contact with any unknown dogs or dogs who are showing signs of upper respiratory infection are the best ways to protect pets. Please talk to your vet about getting vaccinated today,” said Dr. Gregory Lawrence, DVM Chief Veterinarian for Montgomery County Office of Animal Services.

Montgomery Parks advises dog owners and dog park users in the county to contact their veterinarians if they notice symptoms of dog flu, which include cough, runny nose, eye discharge, fever, lethargy, and poor appetite. Infected dogs should be separated from other dogs for at least 28 days and not go to dog parks, doggy daycare, or grooming and boarding facilities. Some ways to help protect your dog from becoming ill include:

  • Keep your dog up to date on their vaccinations, including canine influenza vaccine
  • Limit contact with other dogs when on walks
  • Avoid using shared toys or dishes
  • Skip daycare, grooming, boarding facilities and dog parks if your dog is showing signs of illness
  • Contact the dog’s daycare or boarding facility and ask about recent cases and cleaning protocols.
  • Avoid touching unknown dogs as humans can spread the disease from infected to uninfected dogs.

About Montgomery Parks        
Montgomery Parks manages more than 37,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 420 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high-quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems.

Montgomery Parks, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities. Please contact the Program Access Office at 301-495-2581 (Voice/TTY), MD Relay 7-1-1 or 800-552-7724 or to request a disability modification. Visit Montgomery Parks Program Access for more information. 



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