ATLANTA — Georgia State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Cobb confirms an increase in the prevalence of canine respiratory disease found in dogs associated with dog shows.
As a result, dogs from several states have been diagnosed with canine influenza virus infections. The increase is associated with a high virulence and infection rate. The strain of CIV currently observed is H3N2.
"Contact your private veterinarian immediately if your dog develops canine influenza like symptoms," Cobb said. "Common symptoms can include coughing, sneezing, lack of appetite and fever. To prevent the spread of the virus, be sure to establish and maintain proper biosecurity procedures."
In May, there was a dog show at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry. Many of the dogs had recently attended dog shows in other states. Following the show in Perry, multiple attendee dogs developed respiratory disease and have been found positive to H3N2. Several kennels in Georgia are reporting increased respiratory disease. Isolation and testing is in progress. At this time, three reported confirmed positive H3N2 CIV have been found in Georgia.
The virus does not appear to affect humans, but is highly contagious in dogs. The mortality rate for canine influenza is low and most dogs recover without any complications. Affected animals should be isolated until a diagnosis is made and appropriate veterinary action taken. Canine influenza is not reportable to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. For more information regarding the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Canine Influenza visit www.agr.georgia.gov.