Reports of canine influenza in surrounding states

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Georgia, Florida and Tennessee have seen cases of H3N2, canine influenza. Although there have been no cases reported in Alabama, Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine faculty is advising pet owners take caution. 

An outbreak of the same viral strain found in Georgia, Florida and Tennessee started the outbreak in March 2015 that left dogs sick with coughing, fever, sneezing and loss of appetite. 

Some symptoms progressed to secondary pneumonia. 

Auburn veterinarians caution owners and stress the necessity of knowing the symptoms. Coughing, sneezing, fever, clear nasal discharge that progresses to yellowish-green mucus, rapid breathing, loss of appetite and lethargy are all possible symptoms.

“While we’ve not seen any cases or had reports, it is important for animal owners to be aware of symptoms, especially as they travel with their pets this summer,” said Lenore Bacek, an assistant clinical professor in the Emergency and Critical Care Service in Auburn University’s Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital.

Bacek said if you believe your pet may have or have been exposed to canine influenza, call your primary care veterinarian. For emergencies, Emergency and Critical Care Service is open 24 hours.

Pets in high risk are those encountering large groups of animals. The American Kennel Club issued a statement warning dog show participants of the reports in Georgia and Florida. AKC recommends seeking veterinarian assistance as soon as possible.

The America Veterinary Medical Association released tips for veterinarians and pet owners: 

  • Veterinarians with traveling patients, especially around the Southeast, should consider offering canine influenza vaccine.
  • Any dog residing or traveling through the Southeast should be closely monitored for the respiratory disease.
  • Any dog that becomes ill with canine influenza should be isolated for at least 21 days. 

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