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Veterinary Public Health

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
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Canine Influenza
First case of canine influenza H3N2 reported in Los Angeles County 7.14.15. Click here to read more

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). There is a vaccine 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. It was first detected in California in Orange County in March 2015, and in Los Angeles County in July 2015. There is no vaccine yet to protect pets from this virus. It is not clear if the vaccines for canine influenza H3N8 will provide some protection against it.


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

Updated 7/15/15

Canine influenza H3N2 in LA County

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. In this reported case, the dog had begun coughing on June 30, but had no fever or nasal discharge. It was diagnosed via a respiratory PCR panel performed on conjunctival and deep pharyngeal swabs. The dog had been treated empirically with doxycycline (for potential bacterial involvement) and is recovering well. As of the date of this advisory, no other cases have been reported, and there is no evidence of a larger outbreak. The dog had stayed in a kennel for about a week, and began coughing the day after it arrived home. It did not visit any other dog parks or other facilities. The dog stayed isolated at home 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. The facility plans to arrange PCR testing if any more dogs show clinical signs of influenza.

Updated 7/15/15

Canine influenza H3N8 in LA County


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.



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.



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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