Update On K-9 Influenza

NOT IN MINNESOTA YET, AWESOME

Canine Influenza H3N2 has surfaced in Chicago. Eleven hundred dogs have gotten this contagious disease. So sad for the six fatalities and their families.

Transmission:

  • Canine A H3N2 is very contagious and is spread by respiratory secretions, it can live on surfaces for 48 hours, but is easily killed by most sanitizing agents. Dogs are most contagious in the first 4 days, however dogs do not show any signs of infection during this time. Viral shedding dramatically drops off by day seven.

What to expect if infected:

  • Twenty percent of infected animals will not show any symptoms, of the 80% that show symptoms, sneezing and coughing will start 2-4 days after exposure, this will last for 7 to 10 days. So it's not too bad for most. A much smaller number will get pneumonia with a high fever, heavy lungs and loss of appetite. These animals will need supportive care while they whether the storm for a week to ten days. Like influenza in the human, a few of the young, old and immunosuppressed will not be able to handle the infection and may die.

The good thing is we know a lot about the disease and have great communication sources, outside the mainstream, like the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and the CDC (Center for Disease Control).

Safety concerns:

  • If your dog travels the country: get them vaccinated.                                         
  • If you board your animal: get them vaccinated or ask the boarding facility if they get travel   histories from new boarders.

Protection: 

  • The vaccine available at this time is of a very similar strain and may provide some cross protection. Although not 100 % protective it should lessen the severity of disease.