Veterinarians have submitted multiple cases of canine influenza virus (CIV) H3N2 to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) in the last few weeks. Currently centered in Columbus, many cases are dogs that have been exposed to other dogs at boarding or daycare facilities.
The CIV H3N2 virus first appeared in the United States in 2015 and has previously been reported in Ohio. This particular strain, however, appears to affect more dogs than prior outbreaks, and veterinarians are encouraged to be on the lookout for possible cases. CIV H3N2 is highly contagious to dogs, but it is important to note it is not zoonotic.
Please note that canine influenza is not an official reportable disease, so you are not required to share confirmed cases of CI with ODA or any other state agency.
Cornell University maintains a map of national CIV activity over the previous 45 days, which can be viewed on its website.
At highest risk of contracting the illness are dogs that are frequently around other dogs at boarding facilities, doggie daycares, parks, grooming salons or even social events. Also, as with other infectious diseases, extra precautions may be needed with puppies, elderly or pregnant dogs, and dogs that are immunocompromised. (Source)
The onset of clinical signs will be two to three days post infection, with virus shedding peaking at three to four days after infection. However, longer shedding times of up to 24 days have been identified in dogs infected with H3N2. Because of this wide range, ODA recommends a seven-day quarantine for dogs with H3N8 influenza and a 30-day quarantine for dogs with H3N2 influenza. Dogs may continue to cough for several weeks during recovery.
Some animals can have a mild form of influenza with symptoms such as a hacking cough or nasal discharge, while other animals are more severely affected and demonstrate high fevers and pneumonia. Vaccines are available for both CIV H3N2 and H3N8 and should be given based on the dog’s risk and potential exposure. Veterinarians should talk with clients to assess risk of illness to their pets.
The ADDL offers real-time PCR assays to detect and differentiate the canine influenza H3N2 virus, and the turnaround time is within 24 hours if samples are received by 11 a.m. Appropriate sample types include nasal and/or nasopharyngeal swabs, 1-2 mL tracheal wash, or fresh tissue (trachea, lung). Samples should be collected, shipped and tested within the first four days of illness. The testing fee is $30 per sample. For more information, please contact the ADDL at 614-728-6220.