Word on the Canine Influenza A H3N2 Virus (CIV) is that it’s spreading. Now identified in 13 states, this disease is caused by a rapidly replicating strain of organisms that invade a dog’s respiratory passageways, causing body ache, fever, exhaustion, nasal discharge, coughing and sneezing.
Nobody wants his or her dog to suffer, but what exactly is the risk of contracting CIV? You might be wondering:
➢ How many dogs are affected and in what states?
➢ Should I avoid kennels, day cares and dog parks?
➢ What are the symptoms - and is it fatal?
➢ Is there a vaccine?
Cornell University's Animal Health Diagnostic Center is one organization tracking the CIV disease. The biggest numbers of reported CIV cases are coming out of Chicago, the hometown of dog expert Steve Dale who keeps a regular tab on the city’s efforts to control the outbreak. While other states have reported infections, the overall percentage of affected dogs is low. And although this strain of canine flu is highly contagious, it isn’t generally fatal unless, if left untreated, it can morph into something else like pneumonia. So far, 8 dogs have died in the Chicago area alone; 2 directly from the virus, the other from secondary infections.
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