There have been a couple isolated cases of the H3N2 virus reported in Northumberland County. Here is information from the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association on how to keep your pup protected. “The virus can infect cats, but the incidence appears to be low.”
Additional cases of dogs infected with H3N2 Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) have been reported in Northumberland County, Ontario. This cluster of cases is in addition to clusters previously identified in Essex County in January and the Simcoe-Muskoka area in February.
Most dogs recover within a few weeks with no treatment or with basic supportive care. Canine influenza virus is more likely to cause severe disease or death in very young and old dogs, as well as bracycephalic breeds and dogs with underlying respiratory or cardiac disease.
Infected dogs can start shedding the virus shortly before the onset of clinical signs (within 24 hours). Dogs that have contact with other dogs at events or facilities such as kennels, off-leash parks, classes or competitions are more likely to be exposed. It is recommended that dogs with suspected or confirmed canine influenza be kept away from other dogs for four weeks. The virus can infect cats, but the incidence appears to be low. Ferrets are also susceptible to the virus.
Ontario veterinarians and veterinary laboratories are required to immediately report known or suspected infections with “novel influenza viruses” to their local medical officer of health.
- If a dog is sick (depressed, cough, runny eyes, runny nose, decreased appetite), keep it at home and away from other dogs.
- If you see a sick dog, keep your dog away from it.
- If a dog has symptoms of canine influenza, pet owners should inform their veterinary clinic so that proper infection control measures can be taken to prevent exposure to other animals at the clinic
- Vaccination is recommended in the areas where canine influenza is present, as well as adjacent areas, to help reduce the spread. An H3N2 canine influenza vaccine is available in Canada and efforts are underway to try to ensure that an adequate vaccine supply is present. Vaccination requires two doses, two to four weeks apart. Vaccination is particularly important for dogs that are at higher risk of severe illness.
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