Veterinary Division

Canine Influenza in North Carolina Updates

August 24, 2015
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With no known active outbreaks, dog owners can cautiously reintroduce their pets to public play areas. Boarding kennels, veterinary hospitals and shelters should continue to practice increased biosecurity to prevent reintroduction of the canine influenza virus. And pet owners should talk to their private veterinarians if they suspect their dog is sick.

We’d like to thank veterinarians, shelter managers and pet owners for responding diligently when the first wave of cases came to light.  This helped to isolate and contain the virus in small pockets and prevented a larger outbreak from happening. We ask that veterinarians continue to report suspected and confirmed cases to the Animal Welfare Section so that information can be shared quickly. Canine influenza is likely here to stay, but with cooperation, we can protect our furry friends and prevent a larger outbreak.


August 10, 2015
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There have been no new confirmed cases reported to the Animal Welfare Section since the update on August 3, 2015.  There was a suspicious case reported in the Raleigh area but laboratory test results were negative for Canine Influenza for that animal.

August 3, 2015
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Summary of cases to date:  As of August 3, 2015 there have been a total of 10 laboratory-confirmed cases of Canine Influenza Type H3N2 reported to the Animal Welfare Section. In two of those cases there appears to have been transmission of the disease from the initially ill animal to other dogs in the same household. There have been approximately 225 reports of dogs with signs consistent with canine influenza. However, they are considered to be “presumptive cases,” because no laboratory testing was conducted in these cases. Three of these dogs tested negative for canine influenza. 

The vast majority of these cases have occurred in the Asheville area. There has been one confirmed case in Winston-Salem and one in northern Wake County. The confirmed case in the Triangle area had been boarded in Asheville shortly before showing signs. The confirmed case in Winston-Salem had contact with a recently released shelter animal but there have not been any other reported cases associated with the shelter.

Analysis of reports show the first wave of cases to have be exposed around the first week of July and a second wave occurring about mid-July. As the laboratory tests take 10-12 days to be reported to the veterinary clinic, we do not have any cases related to exposure after July 17th. 

To date all of the veterinary clinics report that although some of the dogs have suffered significant secondary complications such as pneumonia, all of the dogs have responded well to treatment. So far all dogs have recovered or are currently improving significantly.  The dogs seem to do well once the secondary infections are under control. The only lingering issue is a persistent cough which may last a few weeks.


July 27, 2015
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The dog noted on July 21, 2015 as having boarded in the Asheville area and examined in the Triangle has been confirmed by laboratory testing as having canine influenza.  Another dog which was boarded in Fletcher area has been confirmed by laboratory testing as having canine influenza.  A veterinary hospital in Durham has reported one dog with clinical signs consistent with canine influenza and is being considered a presumptive case.


July 23, 2015 9:00 AM
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Two cases of dogs with clinical signs consistent with canine influenza were examined and treated by a Raleigh area veterinary clinic.  Two other cases of dogs with clinical signs consistent with canine influenza were examined and treated by a veterinary clinic in northern Wake County.  These reports to the Animal Welfare Section are presumptive cases meaning that while the signs are consistent with canine influenza, the cases have not been confirmed by laboratory tests.  Please keep in mind that other respiratory diseases can mimic the signs of canine influenza.  An Asheville area veterinary clinic has reported that a case they examined and treated on May 16, 2015 has been confirmed by laboratory tests as canine influenza.  The test which details the strain of influenza is still pending for this dog.  This is a newly reported case to the Animal Welfare Section. 


July 21, 2015

There has been one report of a dog in the Triangle being examined and treated for a presumptive case of canine influenza.  This dog was boarded in Asheville during the time in which we were seeing flu cases in that area. Another dog examined for upper respiratory disease after boarding in the Triangle tested negative for the canine flu. A negative test can mean the animal was not shedding the virus at the time of sampling or that the dog had another type of respiratory disease. No new confirmed cases have been reported to the Animal Welfare Section since Friday July 17, 2015. 


July 16, 2015 4:00 PM

Contact with additional veterinary offices and laboratory facilities show that there are now 3 laboratory confirmed Type A influenza cases in N. C.  Two of those cases are confirmed to be the H3N2 strain.  One of those cases is in the Asheville area and the other one is in Winston Salem.  In addition, there has been a cluster of requested influenza testing in the Greensboro area for dogs showing signs consistent with canine influenza but those test results are still pending at this time.  We urge veterinarians in any area of the state who examine and treat patients with signs consistent with influenza to contact AWS so we can continue to monitor the situation.


July 15, 2015 4:00 PM

More facilities have checked in with AWS. It appears that there may be as many as 200 dogs showing signs consistent with canine influenza and/or severe upper respiratory disease. At this time AWS has not been informed of any additional laboratory-confirmed Type A influenza cases other than the two noted in the July 13, 2015 update.

AWS is recommending that anyone concerned about the risk to their personal animals and the advisability of vaccinations or any other veterinary medical issues should contact their veterinarian. AWS is recommending that facilities that house, shelter, or confine populations of dogs should review their current intake, isolation, veterinary care, monitoring and sanitation protocols with their facility veterinarian.


July 14 2015 4:00 PM

A third Asheville area veterinary hospital (Hospital C) has contacted AWS concerning possible canine influenza cases. This hospital has seen five cases within the past week. All five are being treated as presumptive cases of canine influenza. None of the owners of the animals have agreed to laboratory testing to confirm the diagnosis or identify the strain of the virus. One dog developed radiographic signs of pneumonia. All dogs are responding well to treatment.


July 14, 2015 8:00 AM
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A second veterinary hospital (Hospital B) has contacted AWS concerning canine influenza cases. Hospital B saw the first case on July 7th. This puppy
was tested for canine influenza and laboratory tests confirm the presence of the
H3N2 strain of canine influenza. Hospital B has seen approximately 14 additional cases in the past week with signs consistent with canine influenza but no other patients were tested for confirmation of the disease.

To date all of the treated patients are recovering and there have been no fatalities reported.


July 13, 2015 10:00 PM

There has been a news report of a canine influenza cases in the Asheville area. To date only one veterinary hospital (Hospital A) has reported to the Animal Welfare Section (“AWS”) of the N. C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services the treatment of a patient for a confirmed case canine influenza.
The veterinary hospital has examined 2 dogs with signs consistent with canine influenza and one of those patients was tested for the disease. The laboratory test for this patient was positive for Type A canine influenza. The test which differentiates the particular strain of influenza is pending. There are two strains of Type A canine influenza: H3N8 which has been present in the US since 2004 and H3N2 which appeared in the US in 2015. Once the results of the strain for this patient are known to AWS this website will be updated.

Canine influenza is not a reportable disease. Veterinarians are not required to report this disease though veterinarians are encouraged to report cases to AWS so the Section can monitor the situation.

 

Veterinary Division Animal Welfare Section, R. Douglas Meckes, DVM, State Veterinarian
Mailing Address:1030 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1030
Physical Address: 2 W. Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3280; FAX: (919) 733-6431