First Canine Influenza Case Reported In Brainerd
A case of canine influenza was reported on a dog in the Brainerd area on July 18 after being seen at the Lakeland Veterinary Hospital in Baxter. The dog was adopted, so there is no pedigree information, but it is believed to be a Landseer named Bella.
Canine influenza is similar to the virus found in humans. According to Dr. Deborah Piepgras of the Lakeland Veterinary Hospital, it’s a respiratory virus that affects the lining of the airway and can lead to upper respiratory disease. Symptoms include nasal discharge, sneezing, coughing, high fever and can ultimately be fatal.
There are two strains of the virus, H3N8, which has been around the longest, and H3N2, which Bella tested positive for. Dr. Peipgras says there is no treatment for the virus and it has to run its course that could be between two to three weeks.
The virus is highly contagious and typically 100 percent of dogs exposed to canine influenza get infected. Eighty percent will get sick and show symptoms and the remaining 20 percent may not act sick, but can spread the virus to other dogs.
“The best protection is vaccinations, it covers both strains of the virus,” said Dr. Piepgras. “If your dog is infected keep it isolated for three weeks, so it doesn’t spread to other dogs.”
According to the University of Minnesota’s Center For Animal Health And Food Safety report, the first outbreak of canine influenza between pet dogs was reported in 2015.