Concerns mount as deadly canine flu spreads beyond Midwest – 8 dogs have died, no vaccine

Canine Flu
May 2015HEALTHATHENS, Ga. – The same strain of dog flu that has killed pets in the Midwest has been detected in a dog in the metro Atlanta area, according to the University of Georgia Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories. And protecting man’s best friend from the potentially deadly virus may involve a low-tech approach for now. The Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory said it identified the first positive case of Canine influenza in Georgia on May 15. The infected dog was coughing, had fever, lethargy and anorexia. It was up to date on its DHLPP, Rabies and Bordetella vaccinations. The affected dog had been in contact with other dogs at a metro Atlanta boarding facility, according to UGA officials. Officials have not revealed which boarding facility the affected dog was in.
But the most common way to avoid viruses like dog flu – vaccinations – won’t work in this case, officials are now saying. That’s because there is no vaccine for this specific strain just yet – only the older more common version. And while some boarding facilities are stepping up vaccination requirements others are taking a wait-and-see approach and not requiring them. “Our local vets don’t recommend that we require this vaccine. They’ve informed us that it give them zero protection to this strain,” an employee of Dog Days Boarding in Buckhead said. The contagious flu strain, known as H3N2, has killed at least 8 dogs and sickened more than 1,700 in the Chicago area, according to NBC News.
Symptoms to watch for in your pet include coughing, nasal discharge and lethargy. Dogs that are kept at day cares, parks, or kennels are often considered “high risk.” So that’s why veterinarians are keeping the owners and operators of these facilities in the loop to spot the symptoms early. “The great thing is we’ve notified the boarding kennels of what to look for and identifying these dogs very quickly,” Veterinarian Dr. Duffy Jones said. “If they start to show any signs they can isolate them.” –11alive
Crisis deepens: highly pathogenic avian flu continues to spread in U.S. poultry industry
Bird FluFour more cases brought the total to 60 Iowa sites contaminated with highly pathogenic avian influenza. A Buena Vista turkey farm with about 24,000 birds, plus three Sioux County facilities with a total of about 250,000 birds, were added to the list of Iowa sites where testing has been positive for H5 avian influenza. The Sioux County sites included a commercial laying operation, a pullet farm and a backyard chicken flock. Nearly 26 million birds were affected in Iowa as of Tuesday, May 19, 2015, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture.
State officials said waterfowl such as ducks, geese, swans and gulls, as well as shorebirds like herons and egrets, carry the H5N2 virus. It is spread by direct contact with fecal droppings or respiratory secretions of infected birds, and can be spread by contaminated objects like shoes, clothing and equipment. Affected flocks are quarantined; when the virus is confirmed, contaminated flocks are euthanized. Flocks within 10 kilometers of a confirmed bird flu site are also quarantined as a precaution. There are no food safety concerns associated with bird flu, and there has never been a reported case of human or mammal infection. The virus had not been previously found in North America, the Iowa Department of Agriculture site said. –WQAD
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4 Responses to Concerns mount as deadly canine flu spreads beyond Midwest – 8 dogs have died, no vaccine

  1. niebo says:

    The H3N2 that affects the dogs (poor pups!) is, technically, an avian flu that has proven to be an equal-opportunity virus; it affects birds and mammals and, apparently, “re-assorts” to survive:

    “. . . Since late August 1998, H3N2 subtypes have been isolated from pigs. Most H3N2 virus isolates are triple reassortants, containing genes from human (HA, NA, and PB1), swine (NS, NP, and M), and avian (PB2 and PA) lineages. . . .”

    A study by the CDC reports that “The HA and NA genes of the canine isolate (A/canine/Korea/01/2007 [H3N2]) were closely related to those of avian influenza virus (H3N2) from South Korea.” Also, in canines, “. . .virus was not detected in feces” but was detected in nasal discharges.

    And, in regards to the chickens/turkeys, Mother Jones escalates the numbers to 168 sites and 36 million birds affected and includes these li’l nuggets: “Moreover, it has continued to spread in Iowa, even after the egg industry had ample time to ramp up biosecurity. All of this suggests SOMETHING ELSE, besides wild birds, MIGHT BE the cause. . . .” (Emphasis mine)

    and (this could be a bad pun or an allusion to airborne spread, you decide):

    “Science declared the outbreak “enigmatic.” “All the old dogma about high-path INFLUENZA TRANSMISSION has just GONE OUT THE WINDOW. . . .” (Emphasis mine)

    Some blame using ponds (possibly contaminated) to water stocks; others cite substandard worker hygeine (contaminated clothes/shoes), because they cannot seem to figure out how it spreads farm-to-farm (if migratory birds ARE to blame) without also spreading to backyard flocks.

    This is not a conspiratoriation or nothin’, but the, er, widespread but (oddly) isolated spread IS a conundrum. Or a coincidence. Just sayin’.


  2. niebo says:

    Especially when, “The virus had not been previously found in North America. . . .”


  3. Yellow Bird says:

    on this whole “bird flu” fiasco…

    every time i read numbers of ACTUAL CONFIRMED cases, they are always in the single digits.
    as in the article above,
    “Four more cases brought the total to 60 Iowa sites contaminated…”

    then the articles inevitably proceed to tally TOTAL BIRDS FOR EACH FACILITY:
    ” A Buena Vista turkey farm with about 24,000 birds, plus three Sioux County facilities with a total of about 250,000 birds…”

    next comes intentionally vague affirmations:
    “…were added to the list of Iowa sites where testing has been positive…”

    How many tested positive??
    well, back to first sentence…
    “Four more cases…”
    FOUR. More. Cases.

    Nevertheless, the numbers that come next are always the hyperbolic total of birds “affected”
    “…Nearly 26 million birds were affected in Iowa as of Tuesday, May 19, 2015, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture.”

    How is this mysterious word being defined?
    well… going on previously published articles… it appears to mean something along the lines of “pre-emptively destroyed”
    because after all everyone knows by now that avian influenza is ‘highly pathogenic’ ergo ”
    we have no choice but to burn’em all boys”

    mm, burning feathers
    smellin pretty rancid to me


  4. Yellow Bird says:

    now one week later… at our local markets
    Chicken, previously stable for several years at $1-2 lb, suddenly lept to more than $5.00 lb
    Eggs, previously hovering between $1.50- 2.00 dozen, jumped to 2.50- 3.00 dozen
    unless you want the fancy free range ones, they’re up to $5- 6.00 dozen
    gizzards and necks are no longer available by request for the critters, now they are out on the rack and marked for people consumption… a bargain at $1 lb. couldnt even find livers this time

    the only chicken i saw more or less “reasonably” priced was Tysons flash-frozen boneless junk, at $2.75 lb… but it really is junk because the bag clearly states that 15% of what you are paying for is actually “broth solution”… hm, used to be capped at 7% and that was bad enough


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