Uptick in Canine Influenza Cases
For Immediate Release: August 2, 2018
Contact: Jessy Sielski, 517-284-5725, SielskiJ@
LANSING—Since July 13, 2018, there have been 49 confirmed cases of canine influenza reported. The cases have occurred in Huron, Kent, Macomb, Oakland, Ottawa and Wayne counties. In all of 2017, there were nine reported cases of canine influenza.
Canine influenza, or dog flu, is a highly contagious respiratory infection in dogs caused by an influenza virus. Signs of canine influenza can include fever, lethargy, coughing, and nasal and/or eye discharge. Most cases of canine influenza are mild, and affected dogs usually recover within two to three weeks. However, more severe cases can occur, so it is important to talk with your veterinarian if you think your dog has influenza.
“Any time dogs come together in groups, there is a risk for disease,” said Michigan’s State Veterinarian, James Averill, DVM, PhD. “It’s important that dog owners work with their veterinarians to protect their dogs.”
If your dog is ill, keep it home and/or be sure to prevent it from coming into contact with other dogs; and talk with your veterinarian about getting your dog vaccinated for influenza. Facilities where dogs are brought together for care, grooming, or other activities are advised to prevent the spread of influenza by keeping sick dogs away, cleaning and disinfecting thoroughly, and recommending that dogs are vaccinated before arrival.
If your dog is showing signs of canine influenza, contact your veterinarian. Canine influenza is reportable to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Confirmed cases should be reported to MDARD at 800-292-3939.
IF YOUR PET HAS THESE SYMPTOMS:
TAKE THEM TO YOUR VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY!
We STRONGLY urge you to do your part to take the precautions listed below to keep your dog and cat safe from contracting this potentially life-threatening illness .20% of dogs who contract the canine flu won't show any symptoms. Some dogs are more severely affected and exhibit clinical signs of pneumonia, such as a high-grade fever (104 to 106 degrees) and increased respiratory rate and effort. Although most dogs recover without incident, deaths due to the Canine Flu have been reported.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
HOW DOGS AND CATS CONTRACT THE CANINE FLU:Once contact is made with a carrier, it is almost certain the virus will transfer. Dog Flu can pass from dog to dog or dog to cat through direct physical contact or from virus particles in the air due to a cough, sneeze, panting or shedding fur. It can also be spread through objects that were touched by infected dogs, like toys, water bowls, leashes/harnesses and bedding. This makes ongoing sanitation and disinfection imperative.INCUBATION PERIOD:The Canine Flu has an incubation period of 1 to 5 days, with clinical signs in most cases appearing 2 to 3 days after exposure. Dogs infected with the Canine Flu may start showing respiratory signs between 2 and 8 days after infection. Dogs are most contagious during the 1-5 day incubation period and shed the virus even though they are not showing signs of illness.SYMPTOMS:Most dogs exhibit a cough that persists for 10 to 21 days, despite treatment with antibiotics and cough suppressants, and typically fully recover within 2-3 weeks. There are no antibiotics that can kill the Canine Influenza virus. It is up to the dog’s body to do the work and recover. As a result, much of the treatment for Canine Flu consists of supportive care designed to strengthen the immune system and help your pet recover faster. However, antibiotics will be used to treat dogs who contract a secondary infection or show signs of yellow/green nasal discharge , or extreme coughing, indicating pneumonia which can potentially be life-threatening.DIAGNOSIS AT THE VET:The canine flu cannot be diagnosed solely by clinical signs (coughing, sneezing, and nasal discharge), because these symptoms are present with other canine respiratory illnesses like bordatella (kennel cough). Your vet must perform specific tests aimed to confirm Canine Influenza.ISOLATION AND RECOVERY:During illness and recovery, ALL dogs and cats within the household should be isolated and quarantined for 4+ weeks , preferably in an area with a separate air supply. It is imperative during that 4+ weeks to keep ALL of your household pets away from public activities where other dogs or cats are present, to avoid infecting other animals.