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No changes to dog show procedures

New York, NY – The American Kennel Club (AKC®) is monitoring the spread of the recently reported “canine flu” which, according to experts tracking the virus at Cornell University has been confirmed in 13 states and the District of Columbia. However, the 121-year not-for-profit dog registry has no current plans to change any standard dog show procedures.

“Currently, we haven’t changed any standard dog show procedures, such as having a judge physically examine a dog’s mouth and teeth,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “AKC field representatives and judges are aware of the canine flu and are taking precautions, like always, against spreading any potential illness.

“While the AKC is concerned about the canine influenza virus, there have been no reports of outbreaks at dog shows or amongst the thousands of local AKC-affiliated kennel clubs around the country,” added Peterson. “However, since the virus is contagious to all dogs, especially where they might congregate in large numbers such as a boarding kennel, dog run or dog show, we are watching developments closely and recommending that all dog owners take precautions. While many of us go to work when we are sick, we shouldn’t consider sending our dog to a kennel or entering him in a dog show if he is showing any signs of illness.”

Peterson offered the following tips to keep your dog safe from the canine flu:

  • Avoid contact with unfamiliar dogs when walking your dog out in public.
  • When visiting the dog run or town park, keep an eye out for coughing dogs. Since “canine flu” and bordetella or “kennel cough” are both airborne diseases, keeping your dog away from any coughing dog is the best prevention.
  • Closely watch for symptoms of canine flu, including a dry cough and a high fever.
  • If your dog does exhibit symptoms, contact your vet immediately since the virus does have the potential to cause a secondary bacterial infection, such as pneumonia, which can be fatal to some dogs.
  • Before you bring your dog to the veterinarian, call and alert them about your dog’s symptoms. They may want to set up a separate quarantine area for your dog before your visit. Do not show up unannounced at your vet’s office.
  • Currently, there is no vaccine for canine influenza, but scientists estimate one may be available within 10 to 24 months.
  • This canine flu has been traced to the equine influenza, but there are no know reports of this flu jumping to humans.

For more information, visit these online resources:

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine:

University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine: