Veterinary Public Health Confirms Case of H3N2 or Canine Influenza in Los Angeles Area

spcaLA offers Canine Influenza Vaccine (CIV) at Saturday’s vaccine clinic

Los Angeles, CA – A dog has tested positive for Canine Influenza H3N2 (CIV H3N2) and three more dogs are currently under quarantine in Los Angeles and Orange County. CIV H3N2 is highly contagious between dogs, and can also cause outbreaks in cats. Clinical signs of CIV H3N2 include coughing, fever, sneezing, and nasal discharge. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) urges pet owners to vaccinate their dogs, especially if their dogs frequent places where many dogs gather like dog parks or boarding facilities. spcaLA will offer the CIV vaccine at upcoming vaccine clinics in Downtown Los Angeles (March 17th) and West Hollywood (April 28th).

On March 9, 2018, Veterinary Public Health (VPH) inspected a shipment of dogs imported from South Korea by a rescue group. One dog was found to have nasal and ocular discharge. It was reported on March 12, 2018, that the dog tested PCR positive for canine influenza H3N2 (CIV H3N2) and is currently being quarantined. Three other dogs were in the same shipment and may have been exposed to CIV H3N2. The exposed dogs are under quarantine in Long Beach and Los Angeles County, and required isolation in Orange County.

CIV H3N2 was first reported in South Korea in 2007 and has been circulating in Asia. It was first detected in the United States during a large canine influenza outbreak in the Chicago area starting in early 2015. Over a thousand dogs were reported ill in the Chicago/Midwest area before the infectious cause was discovered. In 2015, there was a single confirmed case of CIV H3H2 reported in LA County. In 2017, five incidents involving dogs infected with CIV H3N2 were reported to VPH. One other dog with confirmed CIV H3N2 was reported in LA County this year. That dog became ill in late January and was quarantined at home. The source of infection was not identified. Also in January 2018, a dog in the South Bay Area of Los Angeles tested PCR positive for CIV H3N2 and beginning on January 9, 2018, multiple news outlets began reporting a CIV H3N2 outbreak in and around San Jose, California in Northern California.

According to VPH, this is the second time in the past year that a rescued dog imported into LA County was infected with CIV H3N2. With the increase in imported dogs from Asia, Veterinary Public Health recommends that dogs that interact with other dogs should be vaccinated against CIV H3N2.

Canine Influenza Virus (CIV), or ‘dog flu’, is a relatively new, highly contagious viral infection affecting dogs. Affected dogs may develop coughing, nasal discharge, fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite. With proper care, most dogs will recover. However, in some cases, CIV can progress to a more severe or even life-threatening condition, such as pneumonia. CIV is spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs (coughing, barking, and sneezing) and by contact with contaminated objects (toys, water bowls, food dishes, leashes). Dogs may continue to spread CIV for weeks, even after symptoms are no longer present.

spcaLA hosts Low Cost Vaccine Clinics that offer CIV. The vaccine is $20 and requires a booster. The next vaccine clinic is Saturday, March 17th from 10am to 12pm at Spring Street Park (428 S. Spring Street) in Downtown LA. After that, spcaLA will host a clinic on Saturday, April 28th 10am to 1pm at Plummer Park (7377 Santa Monica Blvd.) in West Hollywood. More info HERE.