On Wednesday May 23, 2007 a dog presented to the Burke Veterinary
Clinic in Burke, Virginia with symptoms of acute onset of fever, nasal
discharge, cough, innapetance, and reluctance to move. These symptoms
are consistent with several diseases, but the history suggested Canine
Influenza. The dog lived in a restricted environment, but was at the
Dog Park on Monday May 21. The illness developed that night and
progressed to a dire medical event by Wednesday.
Nasal swabs were tested for influenza by the X-PECT FLU A+B test at a
local human hospital. These tests were positive for influenza.
Official confirmation will require a sample in 2 weeks to be sent to
the testing lab at Cornell University.
The impact of this discovery is serious for the dog owning population
because Canine Influenza has a 5% fatality rate, and at the present
time there is no effective vaccine. This dog contracted the virus from one
of a group of dogs that was playing outdoors at a dog park. The virus
is spread by aerosol means. Your dog cannot pick it up from the
environment. It is advisable that dogs be kept away from each other
until an effective vaccine is available. This means NO DOG PARKS, NO
INDOOR GROOMING, NO BOARDING KENNELS, NO GROUP DOG TRAINING CLASSES.
The initial presentation mimics Kennel Cough.
The distinction is that Influenza usually causes a high fever.
Influenza also presents in a similar fashion as Canine Distemper Virus,
but this virus has been all but eliminated by proper vaccinations.
Further information is available at the Center for Disease Control's