Canine Influenza H3N2 Virus in NC

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Two weeks ago, I discussed canine influenza H3N2 to alert pet parents about the seriousness of this highly contagious virus. Today, I am providing an update on how H3N2 is progressing in North Carolina.

There have been confirmed cases in Carteret, Rockingham, and Wake County, as well as in the town of Davidson. A breeder in Davidson was showing two of her dogs in Missouri, where they contracted the virus, and spread it to her four retired show dogs at home. All seven are currently recovering in quarantine. There is also a suspicious case in Wilmington. All of these dogs contracted the virus at a dog show or from a dog that had attended a show. Dog shows in Perry, Georgia, Florida, and Missouri have been the initial source of the virus in cases seen.

Thus far, there have been only two known confirmed deaths from the virus, one in Raleigh area, and the other in Morehead City.

We have received many calls from concerned pet parents and we want to assure everyone that at this time it is not widespread and not currently in Union County but because this virus is easily spread caution must be taken. If you will be traveling with your pet, boarding or placing into daycare, or showing at competitions, then it is recommended to vaccinate for canine influenza H3N2. Please note that vaccine treatment consists of an initial vaccine and requires a booster in 2-4 weeks in order to be fully protected. Therefore, plan appropriately when traveling or boarding. It has also come to our attention that some boarding/daycare facilities and trainers are recommending or requiring the canine influenza vaccine. Please check with the facility or trainer in advance to be sure of their requirements.

Should you be concerned that your dog may have contracted the virus, please call your veterinarian immediately so they may make proper arrangements at their hospital in order to safely treat your pet without further spreading the virus to other patients; do not bring them in without calling ahead. Please be aware that the virus can stay on your clothes for 24-48 hours.

Grooming Tip of the Week

If you are concerned about exposing your dog to canine influenza at a grooming facility, there are a few questions you should ask your groomer. Do you allow dogs to come in contact with one another or are they isolated in kennels? Do you clean and disinfect all common areas, kennels, tables, tubs, and tools in between dogs and on a daily basis? Do you use stainless steel kennels that can be 100% cleaned and disinfected unlike wire-cages? Do you have an air filtration system or scrubber to ensure clean air? Do you clean and sanitize towels and bedding on a daily basis and use clean towels and bedding for each pet?

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