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 Post subject: Canine flu outbreak sickens hundreds of dogs in Midwest
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:22 pm 
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A canine flu outbreak has sickened many dogs in the Midwest, and veterinarians are cautioning pet owners to keep their dogs from going nose-to-nose with other four-legged friends.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Veterinary Medicine says the virus has sickened at least 1,000 dogs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. Recent tests from the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory have identified the strain as H3N2. Clinical assistant professor Keith Poulsen says it’s not yet known how effective current vaccines are against this strain, which is believed to have come from Asia.

He said an older strain, H3N8, has also been detected in the region.

Both viruses can cause persistent cough, runny nose and fever in dogs. Experts say a small percentage will develop more severe symptoms. The H3N2 infection has been associated with some deaths.

Poulsen said pet owners with sick dogs should call a veterinarian to schedule a test outside the veterinary clinic and should not bring dogs into areas where they could interact with other dogs.

“It’s really no different if you’re talking about dogs or toddlers, if you think they’re sick, don’t bring them to day care,” Poulsen said.

Veterinarians say neither canine strain is related to bird flu or is contagious to humans, but the H3N2 strain could sicken cats.

Renee Brantner Shanesy, who owns the Ruffin’ It Resort in Madison, said the kennel required immunizations against H3N8 for all dogs boarded there late last week. Shanesy said she’s now recommending, not requiring, the vaccination after veterinarians said it won’t protect against H3N2.

http://wtop.com/sports/2015/04/canine-f ... t/slide/1/


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