Jun 07 2017

Canine Influenza Update

New Development

  • 6/02/17 Rollins Laboratories has confirmed the death of a dog due to the canine influenza virus (type yet specified). The dog was from the Raleigh area.

Below is info courtesy of the AKC: (We have modified some information)

Canine Influenza Virus

    • Canine Influenza Virus is spread through:
      • Close proximity to infected dogs (it is airborne and can travel up to 20 ft.; Dog parks and boarding facilities are ideal for spreading the virus)
      • Contact with contaminated items (bowls, leashes, crates, tables, clothing, dog runs, shoes etc.)
      • People moving between infected and uninfected dogs (includes petting)
      • 80% of all dogs that are exposed to the virus will contract it
      • The virus lives up to 24 hours on soft surfaces and up to 48 hours on hard surfaces.
    • Some exposed dogs will be subclinical carriers – meaning some dogs will contract and spread the virus without showing clinical symptoms.
    • Dogs show clinical signs within 24-48 hours and can shed the virus for up to 28 days from exposure.
    • Most dogs will completely recover with proper treatment.
    • Dogs that regularly interact with dogs outside of their own family or frequent places where many dogs gather are most susceptible to exposure to Canine Influenza Virus.


    • Dry, hacking cough (similar to kennel cough)
    • Lack of appetite
    • Lethargy (periods of weakness, lifelessness)
    • Discharge from the nose or eyes
    • Fever (normal rectal temperature is 101 – 102)


    • The best protection is vaccination. There is now a single vaccination for both the H3N2 and H3N8 strains of the virus. The vaccination requires a booster shot two weeks after the initial vaccine. Vaccination provides the best chance of immunity within 7-14 days of booster shot.
    • If your pet receives an annual vaccine it will need a booster of the new strain.
    • Isolate sick animals and keep them isolated for up to 30 days after symptoms subside.
    • Practice good sanitation. Use a bleach and water mixture diluted to 1-part bleach x 30 parts water to disinfect common areas such as tables, bowls, leashes, crates, etc. Allow items to thoroughly air dry for a minimum of 10 minutes before exposing dogs to them. Bleach breaks down quickly so solution should be made daily. Keep in mind that bleach becomes inactive in UV light. If mopping use two buckets so as not to cross contaminate areas
    • Wash your hands frequently, ideally between handling different dogs. At the very minimum, hand sanitizer should be used between handling dogs.
    • Use disposable gowns or wipe down clothing and shoes with a bleach solution between dogs or after leaving an area where dogs congregate.
    • Food/water bowls should be made of stainless steel instead of plastic because scratched plastic is hard to fully disinfect.


    • Treatment of Canine Influenza Virus requires veterinary assistance. If you believe your dog may have Canine Influenza Virus, please contact your veterinarian immediately. Untreated, the illness may progress to pneumonia or other, more serious problems. H3N2 can lead to severe secondary pneumonia which can cause extremely sick dogs with potential fatalities.
    • Most dogs take 2-3 weeks to recover from the illness.


    • Any dog suspected of having Canine Influenza Virus should be immediately isolated from other dogs and should not attend dog shows, day care, grooming facilities, dog parks, or other places dogs gather. Dogs are contagious for up to 30 days once they have started showing symptoms.
    • Contact your veterinarian to let them know that your dog may be showing symptoms of Canine Influenza Virus (CIV). If your dog is going to a veterinary hospital or clinic, call ahead to let them know you have a suspected case of Canine Influenza Virus. They may ask you to follow a specific protocol before entering the clinic to minimize the spread of the disease, including waiting in your car until they are ready to examine your dog.
    • Keep sick dogs at home and isolated from other dogs and cats until you are certain the illness has run its course (typically 3-4 weeks).

Consideration for Event Venues

    • Use a bleach and water mixture diluted to 1-part bleach x 30 parts water to disinfect common areas including show floors, grooming tables, ring gates, in-ring examination tables and ramps, and x-pens. Allow solution to completely dry (at least ten minutes in order to assure virus has been killed). Bleach breaks down quickly so solution should be made daily. Keep in mind that bleach becomes inactive in UV light. If mopping use two buckets so as not to cross contaminate areas.
    • When wiping down hard surfaces paper towels are preferred over cloth.
    • Consider having two exam tables at every ring so that they can be cleaned and allowed to air dry frequently in between classes.
    • Provide hand sanitizer in each ring and in grooming areas.
    • Exhibitors should consider grooming dogs at their cars instead of using grooming areas where dogs are in very close proximity.
  • 5/26/17 The Animal Welfare Section of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services has received reports of cases of Canine Influenza H3N2 associated with recent dog shows in Florida and Georgia. There has been a confirmed case of Canine Influenza H3N2 in a Morehead City, NC dog that attended one of these shows. More information about canine influenza can be found at this link: http://hospitals.vetmed.ufl.edu/canine-influenza/

*Article from the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, with modifications

Tammy Zawila | Advice from Dr. Michelle Hays

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