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Canine Flu

The canine flu virus was first identified in racing greyhounds, and it was thought the disease was confined to this breed. However, this flu has now been confirmed in the domestic canine populations in Florida, Massachusetts, and New York. Common symptoms flu include cough, nasal discharge, and fever. These symptoms usually resolve over time with appropriate treatment.

What Is Canine Flu?

Influenza A viruses have infected many different animals, including:
  • Ducks
  • Chickens
  • Pigs
  • Whales
  • Horses
  • Seals.
However, certain subtypes of influenza A virus are specific to certain species, except for birds, which are hosts to all known subtypes of influenza A. Influenza A viruses normally seen in one species sometimes can cross over and cause illness in another species. Most recently, this occurred when H3N8 viruses from horses crossed over and caused outbreaks in canines. This is known as canine flu or dog flu.
Initially, the canine flu virus was identified in racing greyhounds, and there was some speculation that the virus was exclusively causing disease in this breed. However, this flu has now been confirmed in the domestic canine population in general, first in the state of Florida, and then in other states. There has never been a documented case of human infection with this virus.

Symptoms of Canine Flu

Dogs can become infected with the canine flu virus but show no symptoms. In other cases, symptoms can be severe. The virus can cause a respiratory disease that mimics a syndrome called kennel cough.
Common symptoms of canine flu include:
  • Cough
  • Nasal discharge
  • Fever.
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