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Veterinary Public Health

Veterinary Public Health


Pet Health Calendar
Contact Information
Veterinary Public Health Program
313 N Figueroa St. Rm 1127
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel (213) 989-7060
Tel: (877) 747-2243
Fax (213) 481-2375
vet@ph.lacounty.gov
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Canine Influenza

Canine Influenza H3N2 Outbreak in the Midwest

A large outbreak (over 1000 dogs) of canine influenza (dog flu) has been reported in the Chicago area and Midwestern areas of the US.

 

This outbreak is caused by canine influenza virus H3N2, which, until now had not been detected in the US. Canine influenza H3N2 has been circulating in southern China and South Korea since 2006.

 

To date, the outbreak in the US has been situated primarily in Chicago and parts of the Midwest. One case in Southern California was reported by one of the laboratories testing dogs for this new strain of influenza. The laboratory stated that the sample came from a veterinary clinic in Orange County, not Los Angeles County.

 

There have been no reports of cases of canine influenza H3N2 reported in Los Angeles County as of 5.26.15


Canine influenza H3N2 is a different type of influenza strain than canine influenza H3N8, which has been circulating in the United States for over a decade (2004). There is no evidence that either the older or newer of canine influenza virus can be transmitted to humans.

 

It is not clear yet if the current vaccines for canine influenza H3N8 will also provide protection against H3N2. There is no vaccine specifically for canine influenza virus H3N2.

 

Diagnostic tests are available to determine if a dog has been infected with canine influenza virus, however, not all tests can detect the new H3N2 strain.


In Asia, the canine influenza H3N2 strain has been shown to also cause infection and respiratory illness in cats. In the US, however, there have not been any reports of cats becoming ill from this virus.


Signs of Canine Influenza Include:

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sneeze
  • Some dogs have no symptoms
  • Nasal discharge

 

 

 

More severe and fatal cases of pneumonia resulting from infection with either strain canine influenza virus have been reported in dogs, but are rare. Most dogs with canine influenza recover in 2-3 weeks.


What Owners Can Do to Protect Their Pet’s Health:
Canine influenza is spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs, and by contact with contaminated objects. Some standard recommendations to help prevent spread of disease between pets include:

  • Keep your pet up-to-date on vaccinations

  • Take your pet to your veterinarian if he/she is sick

  • Do not take your dog to public areas if he/she is sick

  • Wash your hands after handling pets - avoid spreading disease between pets


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is working closely with veterinarians and shelters to monitor for animal disease outbreaks. Please continue monitor our website for updates and information.

 

Reporting cases

Veterinarians should report cases using this form.

 

Additional Resources:
Cornell University - Press Release 4.12.15

Cornell University - Nationwide Canine Influenza Statistics
American Veterinary Medical Association - Canine Influenza Pet Owner's Guide
American Veterinary Medical Association - Canine Influenza FAQs

LA County Canine Influenza Case Reporting Form

Updated 4/20/15

Outbreaks of canine influenza H3N8 (older dog flu strain) in LA County

2011

In June 2011, a report was received about four puppies that tested positive for Canine Influenza by PCR in the South Bay Area.   The puppies originally were turned in to a local animal shelter, where they were vaccinated against canine influenza (killed virus), in addition to Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus (DHLPP) and Bordetella.  They were emaciated and tested positive for Demodex mange.  The puppies were then taken by a rescue group and treated at a local veterinary hospital.  They had slight fevers when first examined, and developed a slight cough a week after entering the hospital.  PCR testing for canine influenza was performed on pharyngeal and conjunctival swabs collected on the first day of coughing.  Their illness was mild and recovery was seen within days. It remains unclear where the four puppies contracted the infection.  There was no indication of a larger outbreak at the clinic.

 

2007

In July  2007, a veterinary clinic in the San Gabriel Valley reported a cluster of respiratory disease associated with the dog boarding section of their facility.  A total of approximately 40 dogs became ill over a period of 3 weeks.  Exposure to canine influenza was confirmed by serologic testing in 5 of the cases. Vigorous infection control measures were implemented to control the outbreak. Most of the dogs had mild symptoms, although four dogs developed  pneumonia.  This outbreak appeared to be triggered after a puppy from Colorado, sick with pneumonia, was brought into the clinic. The canine influenza vaccine was not available in 2007, so none of the dogs had been vaccinated.

 

2005

In September 2005, an Inglewood veterinarian confirmed four cases among dogs that had been at a single boarding facility at various times during August of that year. Veterinary Public Health conducted extensive surveillance for 6 months following that outbreak, but did not detect additional cases.

 

Updated 4/20/15

 
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