Gateway Gazette

Alberta Veterinary Medical Association Pet Importation Warning: Canine Influenza (H3N2)

 

A strain of canine influenza has recently been spreading in parts of the United States including Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and New York State. To control the spread of this infection and keep our animals safe, we request that you do not import animals from these areas until the infection has subsided. While H3N2 is not believed to be able to infect humans, severe infections in dogs can cause tremendous suffering and even death in the worst cases.

Originally believed to be an H3N8 strain, this surge of canine influenza is actually a strain of H3N2 that has been previously diagnosed in Asia and Europe.  It is not known whether dogs vaccinated for H3N8 will receive any protection from this strain. Dogs can remain carriers of the virus for up to two weeks after their symptoms have cleared, so we recommend keeping your dog away from others pets for that period of time.

If your dog (or cat) is displaying any combination of the symptoms below, please call your veterinarian immediately:

  • cough
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • red or runny eyes
  • fever
  • malaise

The virus is spread by aerosol as well as by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, which includes anything a contaminated dog may have touched. Because of this infection’s contagious potential, we strongly encourage you to call your veterinarian’s office before bringing your pet for an examination to ensure that precautions can be taken to prevent the spread of the virus.

For more information about Canine Influenza (Dog Flu), you can refer to these key facts about Canine Influenza by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here are some other great regional resources:

Source Alberta Veterinary Medical Association

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