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Dog Flu Information

Dog Flu Facts

  • The H3N8 influenza virus has jumped from horses to dogs
  • This H3N8 virus causes ‘dog flu’
  • Initial findings of H3N8 infected dogs were at a Florida greyhound racing track
  • H3N8 virus causes symptoms that mimic traditional ‘kennel cough’
  • ‘Kennel cough’ is typically caused by bordetella bronchispetica bacterium
  • Other symptoms of H3N8 infection are nasal discharge and fever
  • Both H3N8 and bordetella are contagious between dogs
  • Dogs diagnosed with H3N8 infection should be isolated
  • Approximately 80% of H3N8 infections will be mild
  • A small minority of infected dogs may experience complications such as pneumonia
  • A small minority of infected dogs will also be asymptomatic and will not show any signs of the infection. However, it is believed that asymptomatic dogs are infectious
  • The H3N8 virus has never infected humans
  • H3N8 causes a mortality rate of 5 to 8% in infected dogs
  • There have been verified occurrences of H3N8 in dogs in South Florida shelters, boarding facilities and veterinary clinics
  • H3N8 has also been verified in New York City and Massachusetts
  • If a pet dog exhibits coughing, nasal discharge or fever, the dog should be treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible
  • Dog owners that have a dog that recently had a respiratory infection should keep their dogs home for a couple of weeks after the illness to not infect other dogs

The above information was condensed from a transcript from a Centers for Disease Control media teleconference on September 26, 2005