“We’re grinding forward but this whole thing is just a great big depressing mess to say the least Not just for our business but as a whole health issue for the dogs of Orlando.” – Bryce Olds, owner of Woof Orlando
The nine-year-old business specializes in dog boarding, grooming, and daycare facility, and was forced into a quarantine on Thursday, August 3, due to reports of canine influenza.
Olds told Bungalower that they made the decision to close their doors once it became apparent that they had a problem on their hands. Immediately after hearing that one of their clients’ pets had tested positive for the virus, they closed their doors and began surveying everyone who had used their services in the past few weeks; coming to the conclusion that any client who had used their services prior to July 21 had not come down with the flu.
The owners lost their own 14-year old dog to the virus, who had already been suffering from late-stage cancer. Since then they have begun to spearhead a best practices campaign for local shelters and dog-related businesses to help stop the spread of the virus.
Woof Orlando will reopen on Thursday, August 10 after being closed for a week to completely disinfect and decontaminate their facilities. As a result, they’ve launched a Go Fund Me page HERE to help offset the cost associated with their loss of business. Anyone that enters the facility in the interim must be completely disinfected before interacting with animals.
Some neighborhood vets are reportedly examining suspected flu cases in the owners’ cars to avoid contaminating their facilities.
A particularly virulent strain of canine influenza called H3N2 has been making its way across the country the past few years and arrived in Florida in May supposedly via two separate dog shows.
Younger dogs and seniors are extremely susceptible to the virus and can become very sick, fairly quickly, with roughly five percent of infected animals dying; with the majority of those dogs having already had some sort of preexisting medical condition. The only way to combat the disease is to have your dog vaccinated and then wait two to four weeks before letting them interact with other animals, particularly at dog parks or dog shows.
If your dog is experiencing symptoms that include coughing, sneezing, fever, nasal discharge, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, or lethargy, please call your local veterinarian. Also, do not expose them to other dogs.