Vaccine Clinic to Benefit National Assistance Dog Training Organization - May 15th 2010
We are going to host a special clinic on Saturday, May 15, as part of a nationwide initiative to vaccinate dogs against the canine influenza virus, H3N8 and raise funds for NEADS/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans. Area pet owners can participate in the fundraiser and have their dogs vaccinated at the same time.
A donation of $40 will go to support NEADS, the National Education for Assistance Dog Services, a national nonprofit organization that trains and places dogs to help people with various challenges to lead full and active lives.
“Pet lovers throughout the Northern New Jersey/New York area can support this worthwhile cause, helping provide companion animals for people coping with deafness, disability and injuries sustained during military service, while helping keep our own dogs healthy,” said Dr. Nurhan Ezik, who heads the Englewood clinic. “We recommend vaccination for ‘social’ dogs who are in frequent contact with other dogs. This includes dogs that are boarded, go to doggie day-care or dog shows, travel with their families or are rescue or shelter dogs.”
The first dose of the vaccine that protects dogs against this newly emerging infection will be administered the day of the clinic. The follow-up inoculation, which is covered by the $40 donation, can be scheduled at the pet owner’s convenience within two to four weeks after the clinic.
Canine influenza virus, H3N8, is highly contagious among dogs and affects them much like human flu affects people. Fever, coughing, runny noses, lethargy and loss of appetite are among the symptoms that can afflict dogs with canine influenza. Unlike the seasonal “flu” that afflicts people, outbreaks of canine influenza can occur at any time of year. People cannot contract H3N8 but they can inadvertently spread it to healthy dogs if they come in contact with an infected dog. Sick dogs don’t exhibit symptoms immediately after contracting canine influenza, so a dog might have the flu before anyone suspects.
This vaccination program is designed to enable NEADS to expand its capacity and help an increasing number of people. The company is supporting NEADS through financial contributions, animal healthcare product donations and a campaign to raise awareness about the ways service dogs improve the quality of people’s lives. More information about assistance dogs can be found at www.neads.org.
In addition to training dogs to assist the hearing impaired, NEADS runs the Canines for Combat Veterans program to help members of the armed forces who have been injured or traumatized. It also trains assistance dogs that provide balance and stability to people who have difficulty standing or walking without support. Many of the dogs provide a comforting and calming presence to residents and patients in nursing homes as well as students or adults in special needs classrooms, group homes and other situations.