Dog Flu: New Cases of Canine Influenza Confirmed in Several States

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The University of Georgia Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Athens said a metro Atlanta dog tested positive for the H3N2 virus

A potentially deadly strain of canine influenza that was responsible for recent dog deaths in the Midwest, has been confirmed in metro Atlanta, the first case reported in Georgia.

The University of Georgia Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Athens said the virus that sickened a dog last week is the same H3N2 strain that killed at least a half-dozen dogs in an outbreak last month in Chicago.

The lab said in a news release that the dog had been in contact with other dogs “at a metro-Atlanta boarding facility,” but did not say where the facility was located.

The sick dog in question, which had coughing, fever, lethargy, and anorexia and was up to date on vaccinations, tested positive for the flu on May 15, but the UGA lab said further testing was needed to determine if the virus was the well-established H3N8 strain, or the new, more serious, H3N2.

Authorities said the testing revealed H3N2, the same virus that also sickened more than 1,000 dogs in the Chicago outbreak, according to NPR.

The sick dog in Georgia is improving, FoxAtlanta reported.

UGA officials said dog flu symptoms are similar to those of kennel cough — cough, runny nose, fever, and lethargy — so it’s important to get your dog checked out if you notice those signs.

“Because many viral and bacterial agents can cause canine respiratory disease, we recommend that dogs exhibiting upper respiratory illness should be tested for multiple agents in order to identify the exact cause,” the UGA lab said.

It was “common kennel cough agents” that was the apparent culprit of an outbreak in April that sickened more than 20 dogs and killed one at the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter. That facility was closed for two weeks for cleaning; the sick dogs were moved to a temporary shelter. The shelter’s director said changes have been made to intake procedures, including a “vaccination on intake program.”

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DeeDee Barker

Writer at The Pluto Daily
Writer/Design/Editor. Born in New Orleans but raised in Philly. DeeDee has been with the Pluto Daily since June 2014.