by Dr. Tia Greenberg
In sharing information with clients here at WVG, I decided to share the current canine influenza information to our clients that are visiting the website and don’t have a current appointment.
Although if we haven’t seen you in a year, please make an appointment for an annual check-up. I often remind my clients yearly exams are about preventing medical issues or maintaining the good health of your pet. For example, senior pets that have recommended ultrasounds may find a minor medical issue, have it taken care of and be able return to an active healthy lifestyle for many years instead of waiting too long and effecting quality of life in their pet.
Returning to canine influenza – This year’s outbreak is mostly found in the Chicago area and not been seen here in Southern California. The current outbreak is H3N2, a strain that is in South Korea and China. The previous strain H3N8 which is what the canine influenza vaccine protects against NOT likely to help with H3N2.There is no new vaccine available.
Canine flu can spread to other dogs by direct contact with aerosolized respiratory secretions (coughing and sneezing) from infected dogs, by uninfected dogs coming into contact with contaminated objects, and by moving contaminated objects or materials between infected and uninfected dogs. Therefore, dog owners whose dogs are coughing or showing other signs of respiratory disease should not expose their dog to other dogs. (CDC- http://www.cdc.gov/flu/canine/index.htm ) Additionally, there is no evidence of that people can contract this influenza from dogs.
Clinical Signs: infection, mild pyrexia, sever-life threatening pneumonia and clinically the inflammatory response results in rhinitis, tracheitis, bronchitis and bronchiolitis Unlike the “seasonal” flu – infections can occur year-round for dogs.
If you suspect your dog has symptoms like kennel cough or H3N2 consult a veterinarian. For more information https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Reference/Pages/Canine-Influenza-Backgrounder.aspx