Veterinarians at University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine (UT) recently confirmed two cases of influenza A in dogs in the Knoxville city by analyzing the samples it received on June 5, 2017. Dr. Melissa Kennedy, the Director of the virology laboratory at the veterinary college unmistakably confirmed that the disease was canine influenza. Infected dogs show common respiratory symptoms such as nasal discharge, sneezing, and coughing and may cause fever in canines.
Vaccines to Prevent Against H3N8 and H3N2 Influenza
The infected dog was housed at a boarding facility in the Knoxville region that also kept a dog who has been exposed to dogs coming from a show held in Perry, Georgia. After surfacing first time in the US in Chicago in 2015, cases of canines infected with H3N2 influenza virus have been confirmed in various parts of Georgia and Florida. The owners of dogs who boarded at the facility have been warned of immediately isolating their pets, according to a UT news release. Veterinarians are actively involved in determining if the strain in East Tennessee is similar to the virus found in other infected dogs in the Southeast states.
Elderly dogs, puppies, and dogs already infected with other diseases are the most susceptible to this type of influenza and vaccines against H3N8 and H3N2 Influenza are available to prevent the disease. Disinfectants are usually helpful in eliminating the virus.
Canines Participating in Shows and Competition Especially Susceptible
Dr. Kennedy has strictly recommended vaccines as a potential prevention regime for canine influenza for dogs who participate in shows and competition or are housed at training or boarding facilities. For specific recommendations, dog owners must seek the advice of veterinarians, she added. Several dog training facilities in East Tennessee have already exercised due caution even before these cases were confirmed by the UT. Many training classes, taking heed of the impending danger, have also been cancelled.
The illness is usually mild and lasts for about a couple of weeks. No transmission of H3N2 influenza to humans have so far been documented and the disease rarely kills the infected canines.