Vets urge vigilance in light of reports of canine flu in NC

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina veterinary officials have received confirmation of three cases of canine influenza in Asheville and Winston-Salem, and are receiving reports of suspected cases in Greensboro.

The disease is highly contagious and this particular strain has dog owners worried.

“Especially if they are coming to dog parks and around other dogs then that would be a big concern,” said dog owner Jennifer Huggins.

With the disease already confirmed in North Carolina, it could be more widespread since that disease is not reportable.

Veterinarians recommend dog owners make sure their dog is healthy and current on their vaccines. They also suggest pet owners be aware of the signs of canine flu.

“We’re seeing a very harsh type cough, a large nasal discharge, we are seeing animals that have fevers, they are lying around they are not feeling good or eating,” said Director of the Animal Welfare Section, Dr. Patricia Norris.

There is a vaccine for the flu, but vets like Dr. Evan Rosenoff warn it may not be helpful.

“It’s for the H3N8 strain and the current outbreak is H3N2 so we just don’t know if the vaccine is going to be affective against the newer strain,” he said.
Veterinarians are asked to voluntarily report cases to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Animal Welfare Section at 919-715-7111 or agr.aws@ncagr.gov so officials can track the spread.

More information can be found here.

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