Veterinary Public Health


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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
What is Canine Influenza?
Canine influenza a disease in dogs caused by an influenza virus. There are two influenza virus strains that can spread between dogs: H3N8 and H3N2. Both of them cause similar symptoms in dogs.
Neither of them make people sick.


The H3N8 virus
was first reported in Florida in 2004. It likely jumped species from horses to dogs. It has caused a few outbreaks in Los Angeles County (see below). Infected dogs shed the virus for 2 days before the start of symptoms, and for 4-10 day after. There are vaccines available to help protect dogs from getting sick with this virus.


The H3N2 virus
was first reported in South Korea in 2006, and appeared in the  Chicago area in 2015, where it caused a large outbreak. It likely jumped species from birds to dogs in Asia. It is able to infect cats, although this appears to be rare. Infected dogs shed the virus for 2 days before the start of symptoms, and some may remain contagious for 30 days or more afterward. It was first detected in California in Orange County in March 2015, and in Los Angeles County in July 2015. Vaccines to protect pets from this virus first became available in November 2015. In March 2017, an outbreak of H3N2 influenza virus was detected in Los Angeles County associated with dogs imported from Asia. 

 

What are the Symptoms of Canine Influenza in dogs?

  • 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.

 

 

How does the virus spread from an infected dog to other dogs?

Canine influenza is spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs, and by contact with contaminated objects. The virus most likely to spread when an infected dog spends time close to other dogs, especially in an indoor areas with little ventilation. The virus can survive for 1-2 days on floors or cages.

 

 

What Owners Can Do to Protect Their Pet’s Health:
 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


Reporting cases. Veterinarians should report cases using the LA County Canine Influenza Case Reporting 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

Last updated April 3, 2017

Canine Influenza H3N2 in LA County

Read more about canine influenza H3N2 cases in Los Angeles County here.

 

2015
In early July 2015, an adult Labrador mix dog was diagnosed with the new strain of canine influenza H3N2 (i.e. ‘new’ dog flu) in the southern half of Los Angeles County. This was the first confirmed case of canine influenza H3N2 in Los Angeles County.  The dog had stayed in a kennel for about a week, and began coughing the day after it arrived home. It had not visited any other dog parks or other facilities. The dog stayed isolated at home for 3 weeks after becoming ill. Three other dogs developed coughing or sneezing after visiting the facility around the same time period, but all three tested negative for canine influenza viruses by PCR testing.

 

2017

In 2017, three separate incidents involving dogs infected with H3N2 occurred. 

  • In March 2017, ill dogs imported from Asia triggered an outbreak. A total of 35 dogs became ill, and 62 dogs were placed under isolation or quarantine in 17 locations to control the outbreak. It was successfully contained.

  • In March 2017, a dog developed pneumonia in San Bernardino County and was taken to Los Angeles County for testing and treatment. The dog recovered, and was in isolation for 2 weeks before being placed with a group of 90 other dogs. Since dogs with canine influenza H3N2 can be contagious for more than 2 weeks, an extensive investigation determined that the virus had not spread further.

  • In late July 2017, a dog came home from a boarding facility in Los Angeles County with a cough. A local veterinarian examined the dog, and tested it for influenza by PCR- it positive for canine influenza H3N2. At least 11 other dogs were reported to be coughing associated with this cluster as of August 9, 2017. Investigation into the source and efforts to control the outbreak are ongoing.

 

Last updated August 11, 2017

Canine Influenza H3N8 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.

 

Last updated January 26, 2016

 
Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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