Canine Flu Continues To Spread, Cases Reported In Michigan

A case of the H3N2 canine influenza has affected a dog in the Macomb County area of Michigan according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

More than 1,000 dogs in the Midwest have caught the canine flu virus since it first broke. This case in Macomb County and two additional cases in Grand Rapids are the first cases to be reported in Michigan.

An older strain, H3N8, has also been affecting dogs in the Midwest. Both strains of the virus can cause coughing, runny nose and fever in dogs. According to our partner organization, the Canine Health Foundation, a small percentage of dogs will develop more severe symptoms. These strains do not impact humans but can be contagious to cats.

Like viral flu in humans, canine influenza cannot be cured and must be simply allowed to run its course. Like most viral diseases, any treatment is mostly supportive. If you have a dog that has been diagnosed with the virus you should isolate him from other dogs for at least 7 to 10 days. This will help to prevent or at least minimize infection of other dogs.

If your dog has a mild case, you can manage him at home rather than a vet hospital. This will be more comfortable for him. Keep your dog in a quiet, calm and familiar environment. Keep him well-hydrated, with lots of access to fresh water, and should be fed a nutritious, palatable diet.

In more severe cases, it might be necessary to hospitalize your dog and provide intravenous antibiotic and fluid support. We would always advise seeking help from your local vet if you have any questions or concerns.