Canine Influenza Update | View our previous Canine Influenza post
New Additional InformationMore than 1,000 cases confirmed with five fatalities. Dog owners urged to keep their dogs isolated.
The outbreak in Chicago suggests a recent introduction of the H3N2 virus from Asia. Both Influenza strains (H3N2 & H3N8) can cause high fever, loss of appetite, coughing, nasal discharge, and lethargy. Symptoms may be more severe in cases caused by the H3N2 virus. Some infected dogs may not show symptoms at all. H3N2 has caused infection and respiratory illness in cats.
The ages of dogs affected by the outbreak vary, but the worst cases have been seen in dogs younger than 1 year or older than age 7. The Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control (CCDARC) recommends taking any animals suspected to have Influenza to be seen by their veterinarian, and stresses that the Influenza Virus is highly contagious and avoiding pet friendly locations like dog parks and boarding facilities is key to containing the outbreak. Dogs can be contagious even if they aren’t displaying any symptoms.
Brendan McKiernan, DVM, DACVIM, director of the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana and an expert in respiratory diseases of dogs and cats, is advising pet owners whose dogs have contact with others to give their pets the Canine Influenza Vaccine, at least until the outbreak is over.
While vaccines might not prevent all cases, they can minimize the severity of the disease, McKiernan adds, at least the H3N8 strain.
While the Canine Influenza cannot be transmitted to humans, humans can spread the disease from dog to dog, as the virus can live on fabrics for 24 hours and hard surfaces for 48 hours.
PLEASE NOTEIf your pet is symptomatic, please call us first – and when coming for an appointment – please remain in your car with your pet. We will come out to get you when we have an isolation area prepared for you and your pet.
The Doctors and Staff at Angel Animal Hospital