The canine influenza that killed two dogs in North Carolina last month and sickened dozens of others is still circulating but hasn’t caused more deaths.
“Things have been relatively quiet for the past two weeks,” said Claire Holley, executive director of the N.C. Veterinary Medical Association.
A few dozen cases in the state have been confirmed, Holley said. Dogs in the Raleigh and Morehead City areas died.
No new cases are known, she said, “but dogs are still coughing, so the risk is still apparent.” Coughing, fever, nasal discharge and lethargy are among the symptoms of the virus.
Because veterinarians are not required to report cases of the flu, some may go uncounted, Holley said.
Cases of the flu were confirmed in Morehead City, Wilmington, Sanford, Fuquay-Varina and in Davidson, where a breeder said seven of her dogs were sickened. The North Carolina cases were linked to a dog show in Perry, Ga.
Suspected cases have swept through the dog world since the flu was identified in Chicago in 2015, the American Kennel Club says. North Carolina reported 225 suspected cases that year. The AKC says recent outbreaks have been reported in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, the Carolinas and Texas.
After getting the first reports this year of a flu outbreak in Florida, Holley said, “our members jumped on it and got the word out. I’m hoping that was our way of helping to stem what could have been a really bad outbreak.”
The association warns that dogs need to be vaccinated if they visit dog parks, spas or boarding facilities. Dog owners who are concerned about their pets’ health should talk to their veterinarian.
Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender