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I received an email from my vet today describing outbreaks of this canine flu in our area. I thought others might find the info useful:

On Saturday June 13th 2008 the Chicago Tribune published an article about the Canine Influenza Virus in the Chicago Metropolitan area. Here is the URL for the article: (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nati ... 2857.story)

The emerging canine respiratory disease known as canine influenza or canine flu was recognized in dogs within shelters, boarding facilities, and veterinary clinics in several areas of Florida prior to the current incidence of the flu in the Chicago area. Cases had also been confirmed in New York & Massachusetts.

The disease is caused by a highly contagious virus that can mimic the signs of kennel cough. All dogs, regardless of breed or age, are susceptible to infection and do not have naturally acquired or vaccine induced immunity, according to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. The virus can spread by respiratory secretions, contaminated inanimate objects, and by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs.

Canine flu, whose symptoms include a hacking cough, lethargy and vomiting phlegm, can be mistaken for kennel cough. Both conditions affect dogs confined to close quarters, like animal shelters, grooming facilities, communal dog parks and day-care centers for dogs.

Most dogs develop a mild form of influenza, while 1-5 % may develop pneumonia and occasionally may become fatal. Most patients respond to supportive therapy ( i.e. rest, proper nutrition and maintaining good hydration) with a self limiting course but care should be taken since this disease can be potentially more serious in some patients. We have been sending samples to Cornell University on patients presenting with these symptoms and have yet to have a patient show antibodies and presumptive exposure to the newly recognized Influenza virus.

The most important preventive measure at this time would be to minimize exposure at day care centers, dog parks and boarding kennels until we know the extent of the disease in the Chicago area. If you have any questions regarding the disease or if we can be of any assistance please do not hesitate to call our office at 708.383.3606.

This disease was first recognized in 2004 and published online in the September issue of Science Express Reports. The preliminary findings suggested that the equine influenza virus had jumped the species barrier from horses to dogs as reported in April 2004 by a group of researchers at the University of Florida. For a copy of the Science magazine report visit www.vetmed.ufl.edu/pr.


Deb
 

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Yikes, that makes me nervous because Cali will go to the kennel this week when we go on vacation for two weeks. The only encouraging this is we're not in one of the currently affected areas. Hopefully all will be well.
 

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wow! The flu in the summer? Very strange...thanks for the info.

I swear dogs are so similar to humans...first all these seasonal allergies and now the flu? I was laughing because my friend got a steroid shot for his allergies...I told him it was the same shot they gave Dex last month ;)
 

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thanks for the head up and info Deb
 
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