UW Shelter Medicine Program Helps Contain Canine Influenza Outbreak

Posted: June 21st, 2019 Author: KSMP

A Canine Influenza outbreak at two Oakland, California shelters is being managed by the Shelter Medicine program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM), directed by former Koret Shelter Medicine Program faculty member, Dr. Sandra Newbury.

Alerted to the possibility of an outbreak, the Koret Shelter Medicine Program’s Dr. Cindy Karsten reached out to Dr. Newbury, a member of the Canine Influenza Task Force.

Testing revealed that two dogs transferred from Oakland Animal Services to the East Bay SPCA were infected with the H3N2 strain, as were two dogs still at OAS. Testing at both facilities continues thanks to the financial support of Maddie’s Fund.

UW shelter veterinarians are on the scene providing expertise on treatment of infected animals and containment of the outbreak.

Symptoms of the disease include runny nose, cough, and fever and can be either mild or severe. Owners whose dogs show those symptoms are urged to contact their veterinarian. Most dogs recover if isolated and treated properly.

Infections of cats are possible but rare; the canine version of H3N2 cannot infect humans.

You can learn more about Canine Influenza by reading the Canine Influenza information sheet in our resource library. Visit the UW Shelter Medicine website to read more about this outbreak.

Dr. Karsten is Outreach Veterinarian for the Koret Shelter Medicine Program at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Newbury helped to build the KSMP from 2006-2014 and now directs the Shelter Medicine Program at UW. She can be reached at sandra.newbury@wisc.edu.