Canine influenza (or dog flu) is an influenza A virus that infects dogs. There are two different dog flu viruses: H3N8 and H3N2 virus. Most dogs have no immunity to either strain of virus and it is highly contagious. It can also infect cats. It is not known to infect humans. The first documented case of H3N2 in Canada was on January 2, 2018 in Windsor-Essex County.
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Earlier this week, H3N2 canine influenza was identified in two dogs in Essex County. The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) has now confirmed that 5 dogs that were in close contact with the affected dogs have tested positive for canine influenza. Affected and exposed dogs are being confined by their owners to help prevent further spread.
Nasal swabbing is the preferred antemortem sample collection technique for diagnosing acute influenza infection caused by canine influenza virus.
H3N2 canine influenza has been identified in two dogs in Essex County. The dogs were imported from South Korea (via the United States) in late December and were showing signs of respiratory disease the following day when they were examined by a veterinarian. A small number of dogs that had close contact with the affected dogs also have mild respiratory disease, but test results from those animals are not yet available.