Important Vaccines for Chicagoland Dogs

Crash Dog Park

Photo courtesy of Jackie Sheppard

With spring break coming up for many families, boarding your dog may be necessary. Even if your furry family member is only going to daycare or the dog parks, there are two vaccines that your dog should receive before interacting with other pups –Leptospirosis and Canine Influenza, the H3N2 strain. Both diseases have had recent outbreaks in Chicago, so it is important your dog be protected!

Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can affect not only animals but people, too. Per Dr. Natalie Marks, co-owner and veterinarian at Blum, “Our dogs that are most of risk of this disease are those that are exposed to water sources (the source of transmission of this bacteria).  This includes dogs that live off of alleyways, those that go to the dog park or the dog beach and are drinking water out of Lake Michigan, dogs that use dog runs where there is communal dog water bowls or drink out of store front water bowls.” 

In 2015, there was an outbreak of a new strain of Canine Influenza (CIV), H3N2, in the Chicagoland area. During the epidemic, we treated hundreds of dogs for this contagious respiratory disease. The Anti-Cruelty Society halted all adoptions in February after a sick dog was taken into the facility and around 70 other dogs were potentially exposed. This virus is now considered “endemic” to Chicago – it has taken up residence and will most likely be around consistently.

Here at Blum, we offer a yearly vaccine for both Leptospirosis and Canine Influenza (H3N2) that is effective in preventing your dog from contracting these diseases. If your pup has never received either of these vaccines before, he or she will need to come in for an initial injection and then come back in 2-4 weeks for a booster.

If you have any further questions about Leptospirosis or Canine Influenza, please call us at: (773) 327-4446 to speak with a Veterinary Care Coordinator.

Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.