College of Veterinary Medicine implements precautions for open house Saturday (April 18) due to canine influenza

April 17, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Due to canine influenza being confirmed in the Chicago area and some Midwestern states, including Indiana, Purdue's College of Veterinary Medicine has decided as a precautionary measure that no dogs will participate in Saturday's (April 18) annual open house.

This includes blood-donor greyhounds and Purdue's K9 unit.

To address public concern about canine influenza, Steve Thompson, veterinarian and director of the Pet Wellness Clinic at the College of Veterinary Medicine, will give a lecture on the illness during the open house at noon in Lynn Hall, Room G167.

"While there is no reason to panic about the recent outbreak, we want to demonstrate proper care and concern for the well-being of our canine companions," said Kevin Doerr, director of public affairs and communications for the college. "This change, though disappointing, also gives us an opportunity to educate, by example, about the importance of infection control, and always putting the health of our companion animals first. All of the other activities, demonstrations and exhibits will go on as planned."

College of Veterinary Medicine experts say the clinical signs of canine influenza are similar to "kennel cough," and the first symptom is coughing. Canine influenza is believed to infect nearly every dog that is exposed. In its milder form, it 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.

Because the disease is highly contagious, infected animals should be isolated. The incubation time, from exposure to clinical signs of the illness, is approximately two to five days. Avoiding exposure is the best means of prevention. 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.

Five local cases of canine influenza had been confirmed as of Friday (April 17), Doerr said.

The college encourages pet owners and veterinarians to learn more by consulting information from or

The open house, which has been held annually since 1963, is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (April 18) at Lynn Hall. The theme is "The Human-Animal Bond." 

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, 

Sources: Kevin Doerr, director of public affairs and communications, College of Veterinary Medicine,

Steve Thompson, 765-494-1107, 

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