Local dog in San Gabriel Valley infected

Written by LA Animal Services Department:

Los Angeles, August 15, 2017 – LA County Veterinary Public Health reported that a dog living in the San Gabriel Valley tested positive for canine influenza H3N2. The dog developed a cough on July 29 after boarding at a kennel in the San Gabriel Valley. Efforts to contain the disease are underway after learning from the boarding facility that at least 11 other dogs developed coughs after being at the facility during the last half of July.
The source of this outbreak is currently unknown. Considering the spread of infection elsewhere in the nation and the continued import of dogs from Asia, there is a risk that this virus will be repeatedly introduced into the area.
Veterinary Public Health recommends that dogs that interact with other dogs should be vaccinated against canine influenza.
“If owners suspect their dog is infected, they should immediately seek veterinary medical attention and keep their pups away from other dogs,” said Dr. Jeremy Prupas, LA Animal Services Chief Veterinarian. “This virus has the potential to spread quickly and could reach our shelter population. At this time, we are not seeing any indication that the virus has entered any of our shelters.”
LA Animal Services is vaccinating dogs against canine influenza as part of our protocol upon admission. We are doing this to decrease the severity should an outbreak occur in our community.
The keys to preventing the spread of canine influenza H3N2 virus include:
  • Vaccination against canine influenza (requires two vaccinations, two to four weeks apart).
  • Isolation of sick animals for at least 30 days.
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfection in pet boarding facilities, grooming salons and veterinary practices, with written protocols and policies for maintaining infection control.
  • Frequent hand washing by animal owners and handlers.
  • Not sharing equipment or toys between healthy and sick animals.
Canine influenza H3N2 is a highly contagious upper respiratory viral disease in dogs. The majority of infected dogs exhibit a cough that persists for 10 to 21 days despite treatment with antibiotics and cough suppressants. Affected dogs may have a soft, moist cough or a dry cough similar to that induced by kennel cough. Nasal and/or ocular discharge, sneezing, lethargy and anorexia may also be observed. Many dogs develop a purulent nasal discharge and fever (104 – 105 degrees Fahrenheit). A small percentage of infected dogs may develop a severe pneumonia and require extensive hospitalization.
The virus is spread via coughing, barking and sneezing, as well as contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes). The virus can remain alive and able to infect other animals on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on hands for 12 hours.
Information about Los Angeles County cases of canine influenza H3N2 are available on LA Veterinary Public Health website and will be updated as reports are received: publichealth.lacounty.gov/vet/InfluenzaCanineH3N2.htm.