Multiple cases of canine influenza, or dog flu, have been reported by veterinarians in the Rapid City area. Dogs affected by the virus develop respiratory disease symptoms including fever and coughing.
State Veterinarian, Dr. Dustin Oedekoven, says laboratory tests have confirmed this is the same strain of H3N2 canine influenza that has caused outbreaks in other parts of the U. S. earlier this year. H3N2 canine influenza has not been known to cause illness in people.
The virus is not highly fatal, but is easily spread among dogs by direct contact with an infected dog, or by contact with contaminated objects. Dogs exposed to other dogs at boarding facilities, dog daycares, or dog parks may be at increased risk of becoming infected. Dog boarding facilities, pet groomers, and other dog-related businesses are encouraged to consult with local veterinarians to develop biosecurity measures and infection control practices that will minimize the risk of spreading this disease.
It is unknown at this time whether commercially available vaccines will provide protection against this strain of canine influenza. Dog owners who are concerned about dog flu should consult their local veterinarian. Additional information can be accessed at www.aib.sd.gov.
Source: South Dakota Animal Industry Board