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Oklahoma State University
Center for Veterinary Health Sciences

Healthy Animals - Healthy People

Canine Flu

An outbreak of canine flu was described in the Chicago region in 2015.  The infection was caused by a specific strain of type A canine influenza virus (CIV) known as H3N2.  Since then, sporadic outbreaks of H3N2 and H3N8 have been reported in several metropolitan areas in the US.

vet holding dogOADDL offers rapid testing for infection with canine influenza by utilizing a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that detects any influenza virus in the specimen.

The PCR test is a valuable diagnostic tool for dogs with acute respiratory disease and fever.  For best results, testing should be performed within 4-5 days of the onset of clinical signs.

The preferred sample of choice is a deep nasal swab from each nasal passage.  The swabs should be placed together in a red top tube with a few drops of sterile saline and kept chilled until tested. Plastic (non-wooden) shaft with synthetic (e.g. Dacron) swabs are recommended.

In addition to offering the PCR testing for canine flu, OADDL also offers testing for other canine respiratory pathogens that mimic flu (e.g. Bordetella bronchisepticaStreptococcus sp., and canine distemper virus).

In terms of public safety, there has been no evidence of transmission of CIV from dogs to humans.