Positive Canine Influenza Case in Georgia

UPDATE: As of July 14, 2015, the Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has tested 293 dogs for Canine influenza virus (CIV), resulting in 88 confirmed positives (30%) and 5 suspect. The first positive cases originated in Metro-Atlanta, but recently positive cases have also been detected in a few other counties outside that area. So far all 2015 positive cases in Georgia that have undergone additional testing have been identified as the new H3N2 strain.

On Friday, May 15th the Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory identified its first positive case of Canine influenza in Georgia. There is evidence to suggest that the H3N8 strain of canine influenza virus first entered Georgia’s dog population around 2005. The recent patient presented with coughing, fever, lethargy, anorexia and was up to date on DHLPP, Rabies and Bordetella vaccinations. It was reported that the affected canine had recently been in contact with other dogs at a Metro-Atlanta boarding facility. The influenza A virus we detected will be further typed to determine whether it is the well-established canine influenza strain (H3N8) or the new H3N2 strain that has recently been reported. The typing results will be available by Wednesday May 20th.

It is important to note that signs of Canine influenza virus infection are similar to those caused by more well-known pathogens of kennel cough and include cough, runny nose, fever, and lethargy. Because many viral and bacterial agents can cause canine respiratory disease, we recommend that dogs exhibiting upper respiratory illness should be tested for multiple agents in order to identify the exact cause. Our laboratory offers a canine respiratory PCR test panel, which includes tests for Influenza A (i.e., all type A influenza viruses including the old and new canine strains), Bordetella bronchiseptica, Mycoplasma spp, Canine adenovirus-2, Canine distemper, and Canine coronavirus. We also offer a feline respiratory PCR test panel, which includes: Feline herpesvirus, Chlamydophila felis, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Mycoplasma, Influenza A, and Feline calicivirus. Two identical deep nasal swabs are the samples of choice and should be placed in a sterile red-top tube with a few drops of sterile saline and shipped cold (ice packs) for priority overnight delivery. We can also test post-mortem respiratory tissues (lung and trachea). Samples can be submitted through our courier in the Greater Atlanta Area, or with our prepaid UPS shipping labels from anywhere.

Information Links:

Veterinarian Resources

Client Resources

National Surveillance Data

Recommended testing for suspicious cases:

Canine Respiratory PCR Panel

  • Includes: Bordetella, Mycoplasma, Canine Adenovirus, Influenza A (all subtypes), Canine Distemper, and Corona.
  • Fees: In state $95, Out of state $118.75
  • Test Code: BCARESPPCR
  • Turnaround time: 2 days
  • Samples Accepted: Two identical deep nasal swabs should be placed in a sterile red-top tube with a few drops of sterile saline. Samples should shipped priority overnight with ice packs.
  • Please call us at 706-542-5568 with any other questions, to request a discounted shipping label, or visit us online at ugavetlab.org for additional information.

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