Disease Spreads; Owners Should Be Alert to Symptoms
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dog by S. Harbison

Canine influenza is usually a mild disease, resembling “kennel cough.” The course of infection of most canine influenzas is generally two to three weeks.​ Concerned owners should contact their veterinarian. Photo by S. Harbison, courtesy UTIA.

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Please note: This outbreak is a fluid situation.  We will post updates as they become available. The original article appears below, dated June 5, 2017. For additional information from the State Veterinarian visit the Tennessee Department of Agriculture's Animal Health Alerts website​

UPDATE 4:00 p.m., June 14, 2017:

Two samples were submitted to our virology laboratory June 13. Both were negative for canine influenza. No new positive cases have been identified to date.


UPDATE 6:06 p.m., June 12, 2017: 

A fourth case of Canine influenza has been identified in a dog in the Knoxville area. This case is the first with no apparent connection to the dog show in Perry, Georgia. We do not yet know the subtype of this new case, and analysis is ongoing.  Owners of puppies and dogs that are going to be commingled with other dogs (boarding, groomer, obedience classes, shows, and competitions) should contact their veterinarian for specific recommendations to protect their pet.”


UPDATE 4:30 p.m., June 12, 2017:

The Virology Laboratory at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine has confirmed a third case of canine influenza in the Knoxville area associated with the same facility that was the source of the original two cases. Unfortunately, the dog had developed severe pneumonia and had to be euthanized. The outbreak originated at a dog show in Perry, Georgia. Nine other samples from a variety of locales in East Tennessee have tested negative for canine influenza at the virology lab. Canine influenza is usually a mild disease, resembling "kennel cough" but can lead to secondary pneumonia which can be severe. Historically, canine influenza has been most severe in puppies and elderly dogs, or dogs with pre-existing conditions. This outbreak has not been detected in the general pet population, but contact your veterinarian to evaluate your dog's risk or if you suspect canine influenza in your dog. 


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (6/5/2017) – The Virology Laboratory at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine has confirmed two cases of Type A Influenza in dogs in the Knoxville region. The samples were received Monday, June 5. Sub-typing is ongoing and will determine if it is H3N2 Influenza, a strain of influenza that has been confirmed in dogs in the southeast. 

H3N2 Influenza in dogs was first reported in Korea in 2007 originating in birds. It was then documented in China as far back as 2006. It emerged in the U.S. in 2015 in the Chicago area. It has since been documented across the U.S. Recently, an outbreak originating at dog shows have led to cases being confirmed in Georgia and Florida.

“We know it is an influenza from a dog,” says Dr. Melissa Kennedy, director of the virology laboratory at the veterinary college. “The dog was at a boarding facility in the Knoxville region that housed a dog that had been exposed to dogs from a show in Perry, Georgia, where a confirmed outbreak has occurred.” Owners of dogs boarded at the facility have been notified and are isolating their dogs.

Dogs infected with H3N2 Influenza exhibit coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge and fever. Canine influenza is usually a mild disease, resembling “kennel cough.” The course of infection of most canine influenzas is generally two to three weeks. A more severe form with pneumonia may occur, but is uncommon. Death from H3N2 is rare.  Puppies, elderly dogs, and dogs with other diseases are most susceptible to disease. Vaccines against H3N2 and H3N8 Influenza are available.

Situations which bring dogs together increase the risk for exposure. Transmission of most strains of canine influenza from dog to dog is by spread of respiratory secretions; coughing, dog-to-dog contact, or indirect contact, such as animal caretakers or contaminated objects like bowls may transmit the virus. The virus is easily killed in the environment with disinfectants.

Dr. Kennedy recommends vaccination against canine influenza prior to dogs being boarded or participating in shows or competition. Dogs that may have been exposed to the virus should be isolated from other dogs for at least three weeks. There has been no documented transmission of H3N2 Influenza to humans, but Kennedy recommends limited close contact with any species that has any influenza virus.

Dr. Kennedy advises dog owners to talk to their veterinarian for specific recommendations. Anyone with a coughing dog should seek veterinary treatment. There are many causes, both viral and bacterial, of a cough in a dog, and a veterinarian is best equipped to determine the cause and prescribe the most appropriate treatment. Diagnostic tests are available to determine if influenza is involved, and the UT College of Veterinary Medicine offers PCR testing for influenza virus in all species for all strains. Visit
https://vetmed.tennessee.edu/vmc/dls/Virology for information on submission guidelines.

For more information about canine influenza, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association website at
https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Reference/Pages/Canine-Influenza-Backgrounder.aspx

One of 30 veterinary colleges in the United States, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine educates students in the art and science of veterinary medicine and related biomedical sciences, promotes scientific research and enhances human and animal well-being. 

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.
ag.tennessee.edu.


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Contact: 

Sandra Harbison, CVM media relations, 865-974-7377, sharbiso@utk.edu