2018-08-09 / Opinions

VIEW from Lansing

Uptick in canine flu

LANSING - Since July 13, 2018, there have been 49 confirmed cases of canine influenza reported, occurring in Huron, Kent, Macomb, Oakland, Ottawa and Wayne counties. There were nine reported cases of canine influenza in all of 2017.

Canine influenza, or dog flu, is a highly contagious respiratory infection in dogs caused by an influenza virus. Signs of canine influenza can include fever, lethargy, coughing, and nasal and/or eye discharge. Most cases of canine influenza are mild, and affected dogs usually recover within two to three weeks. However, more severe cases can occur, so it is important to talk with your veterinarian if you think your dog has influenza.

“Any time dogs come together in groups, there is a risk for disease,” said Michigan’s State Veterinarian, James Averill, DVM, PhD. “It’s important that dog owners work with their veterinarians to protect their dogs.”

If your dog is ill, keep it home and/ or be sure to prevent it from coming into contact with other dogs; and talk with your veterinarian about getting your dog vaccinated for influenza. Facilities where dogs are brought together for care, grooming, or other activities are advised to prevent the spread of influenza by keeping sick dogs away, cleaning and disinfecting thoroughly, and recommending that dogs are vaccinated before arrival.

If your dog is showing signs of canine influenza, contact your veterinarian. Canine influenza is reportable to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Confirmed cases should be reported to MDARD at 800-292-3939.

For more information and the current case count: www.michigan.gov/animalprograms.

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