The first two cases of canine influenza virus were confirmed by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit this past week. The canine flu is a highly infectious viral infection that causes lethargy, fever, coughing, sneezing and runny nose. It is transmitted easily between dogs when they are in close contact especially places like kennels and dog parks. The virus has been present for a long time in Asia and has been in the United States for a number of years but these are the first known cases in Canada. The affected dogs were brought to Canada from South Korea.
Dogs with canine Influenza virus can actually shed the virus for a few days before symptoms arise and for up to 3 weeks once they are infected. In most cases, the disease runs it’s course and dogs do not become seriously ill. Symptoms are similar to other infectious respiratory diseases in dogs, like kennel cough. Dogs at higher risk of becoming more seriously ill and developing complications of the disease, such are pneumonia, are very young, old or immune compromised animals.
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