Canine influenza confirmed in Tippecanoe County dogs

April 17, 2015  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine reports that canine influenza has been confirmed in five dogs in Tippecanoe County. The dogs were tested after showing clinical signs of coughing, fever and loss of appetite.

Tests were conducted at the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, and the results were determined late Thursday (April 16) afternoon. The dogs that needed hospitalization were kept in isolation. All recovered well and have since been released. 

"These cases highlight the importance of dog owners following precautions," said Kevin Doerr, director of public affairs and communications for the college. "Avoiding exposure is the best means of prevention. Dog owners should currently avoid areas where canines congregate and watch their animals closely for signs of infection."

The clinical signs of canine influenza are similar to "kennel cough," and the first symptom to appear is coughing. Canine influenza is believed to infect nearly every dog that is exposed, as most canines are naïve to the virus.

In its milder form, canine influenza causes a low-grade fever along with coughing and a runny nose, but ill animals may develop a high fever or, less commonly, pneumonia. Mortality is believed to be low, from less than 1 percent to 5 percent.

Dogs are most contagious during the two- to four-day period following exposure, when they are infected and shedding the virus but are not showing signs of illness. There is a vaccine for canine influenza, but it is not effective in animals that already have become infected. Additionally, two strains of canine influenza have been identified, and the vaccine's effectiveness against the newer strain, H3N2, which was detected in the recent Chicago outbreak, is unknown. Owners are advised to be alert for evidence of clinical signs that would indicate the pet needs to be seen by a veterinarian. Healthy dogs, if exposed, likely will become ill but recover.

The college encourages pet owners and veterinarians to learn more by consulting information from the American Veterinary Medical Association at https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/CanineInfluenza.aspx and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/canine/index.htm

Media contact: Kevin Doerr, director of public affairs and communications, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 765-494-8216, doerrkr@purdue.edu 

Sources: Lynn Guptill, associate professor, small animal internal medicine, 765-494-1107

Steve Thompson, clinical associate professor and director of the Pet Wellness Clinic, 765-494-1107

George Moore, professor of clinical epidemiology, 765-496-3393 

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