Canine Influenza – Dog Flu – H3N2-H3N8

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Canine Influenza – Dog Flu – H3N2-H3N8

Canine Influenza – What we know…2017

More than 12 cases of canine influenza A virus (H3N2 CIV) have been confirmed – first confirmed cases ever in FL
These dogs were present at dog shows in Perry, GA (between Atlanta and Valdosta) and Deland, FL (north of Orlando).
Also H3N8 CIV previously noted in racing greyhounds; endemic to parts of FL

Canine Influenza – Transmission…

Spread by direct contact with sick dog or environmental/human fomites
Can spread dog-to-cat or cat-to-cat
Can survive in environment for 12 – 48 hours
Easily killed by soap/water, roccal, odoban, and bleach

Canine Influenza – Clinical Picture…

Incubation period is 2 – 4 days (most dogs are contagious and have no clinical signs)
20% – 25% of infected dogs will remain asymptomatic, but will shed virus
Sneezing, nasal discharge, frequent coughing
Fever, decreased appetite, and lethargy
20% progress to pneumonia

Canine Influenza – A trip to the Veterinarian

There is no evidence of H3N2 being zoonotic (i.e. dog-to-human transmission). However, this disease is highly contagious to other pets and requires a little special management (see below).

  • If you suspect your pet may be infected with Dog Flu please call ahead and inform hospital staff
  • Call again when you arrive, a staff member will meet you at your car

H3N2-H3N8 – Diagnosis

Serology – is the most reliable and sensitive testing method.
Must submit paired serum titers from beginning of infection and 10 – 14 days later. An appropriate increase in antibodies indicated an infection was present.(H3N2 and H3N8 available)
PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) – is a good test but only for the first 4 days of an infection. Reliability decreases after day 4 of infection
positive is likely infected; negative may be false negative
Your veterinarian can discuss this with you

Canine Flu – Treatment

Treat as outpatient with appropriate antibiotics and maybe cough medicine. severe cases may need hospitalization your veterinarian can advise you.

Canine Flu – Prognosis

With appropriate treatment, Most dogs recover with few complications
Some, however, do not and may need more intensive care by professional veterinary staff.
Very contagious – many pets can become infected.
Low mortality – very few do not recover

H3N2-H3N8 – Prevention

Merck and Zoetis have vaccines for H3N2 and H3N8
They may not completely prevent infection, but makes infection less likely
Decreases severity and duration of illness for immunized
Decreases shedding of virus if infected
Reduce risk of pneumonia from virus
Killed virus – cannot cause disease, but requires booster 2 – 3 weeks apart
Establishes immunity within 1 – 2 weeks after second dose

Canine Influenza – Dog Flu – H3N2-H3N8 – Additional Questions

If you have additional questions about the following sources may help

  1. Dunedin Animal Medical Center Veterinarians
  2. AVMA