The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine has identified two more cases of canine influenza virus (CIV), and one of the dogs had to be euthanized.
Guesstimates are that more than 300 dogs have been infected with the H3N2 virus in 11 states. Approximately 30 to 40 cases have been confirmed via diagnostic labs. Also, there are several confirmed fatalities.
States with confirmed H3N2 are currently California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, and Texas. Some states appear to have only a few sick dogs, while others have far more. Many argue that H3N2 is endemic in the Chicago area, which means it may linger in the environment for a long time.
This brings the total number of cases of the H3N2 CIV strain identified via a diagnostic lab in east Tennessee to four. Animal health experts linked the first three cases to a dog show in Perry, Georgia. University of Tennessee (UT) veterinarians said this most recent dog had to be euthanized after developing a severe case of pneumonia.
“The fourth case we have not been able to make a connection to the dog show, so that one is a little more troubling,” says Dr. Melissa Kennedy, with the UT College of Veterinary Medicine. “We’re a little concerned that it may be getting into the general pet population.”
Canine influenza is usually a mild disease, but it can lead to severe secondary pneumonia. Learn more about the dog flu and the recent outbreak here.
Oddly, this TV report is from a dog park, where dogs should not be unless vaccinated because the virus is so contagious. Where dog flu appears, there should, at the very least, be signage warning dog owners to vaccinate. There are two ways to prevent dog flu: (1) Dogs should be absolutely antisocial, away from other dogs or places others have recently been, and (2) vaccinate.