FL Agriculture Dept.
Alerts Public To Newly Emerging Canine Flu
TALLAHASSEE - Sept. 20, 2005 -
Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today
alerted the public to an emerging canine respiratory disease that can mimic
symptoms of “kennel cough” but is more serious and generally requires the
attention of a veterinarian.
The state's warning
was 9 months too late for the outbreak of a zoonotic
disease that had sickened exhibitors and their dogs
during the January 2005 show circuit in Central Fla.
Flu-like "crud" with diarrhea
ruined plans but no dogs died. Everyone was
stricken over a 48-hour period with the exception of
judges who flew in for the show the day they were
Known as “canine influenza” or “canine flu”, the
disease is caused by a virus that recently has been identified by the University
of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine researchers and has been responsible
for severe respiratory disease outbreaks in the past year among racing
greyhounds in Florida and other states.
The highly contagious virus is beginning to show
up in dogs in shelters, boarding facilities and clinics in several areas of
Florida, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Duval counties. And with
Hurricane Katrina evacuees accompanied by pets temporarily relocating in
numerous parts of Florida, Bronson believes that the disease could increase in
“We already have alerted veterinary practitioners
throughout the state to be on the lookout for canine flu, and we believe it is
prudent at this time to advise the public to be aware of symptoms of this
respiratory ailment and to respond appropriately,” Bronson said.
Like “kennel cough”, symptoms of canine flu
include a cough and nasal discharge - and sometimes fever and listlessness. The
State Veterinarian’s Office, which is a division of Bronson’s department,
recommends consulting with a veterinarian if the dog experiences severe symptoms
or fails to respond to normal “kennel cough” therapy, which generally involves
Because canine flu is a newly-emerging disease,
all dogs, regardless of breed or age, are susceptible to infection and have no
naturally-acquired or vaccine-induced immunity. While most dogs that contract
the disease experience what is regarded as the milder form of canine flu, some
develop a more acute disease with clinical signs of pneumonia. Among the latter
group, the mortality rate is between 1 and 5 percent.
Canine Flu, including the Univ. Of Florida Statement
re; Canine Flu, which by the way, preceded the equally
zoonotic 2009 Swine Flu outbreak. The research article
covers the probable source of the species-jumping
Dog Show Crud outbreak in Florida, January 2005
which closely preceded release of the
canine flu warning statement by the FL. Dept. Of
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