The Forsyth Humane Society (FHS) reopened to the general public this morning after tests confirmed that there is no presence of Canine Influenza H3N2 at their adoption center. The center had been closed to the public since July 15th following a confirmed case of Canine Influenza H3N2 in Forsyth County. The decision to close was made to protect the health of its dogs and minimize the risk of contagion.
FHS partnered with leading canine influenza expert Dr. Sandra Newbury, Director of the Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Wisconsin School Of Veterinary Medicine, to secure grant funding for testing and to establish protective protocols for the animals in its care as well as the person pets of staff and volunteers.
Veterinarian Dr. McAvoy’s personal dog has tested positive for Canine Influenza H3N2. Dr. McAvoy volunteers at the FHS shelter and fostered a dog from FHS. The other dogs this foster dog had contact with have tested negative for Canine Influenza H3N2.
Canine Influenza H3N2 is a highly contagious infection caused by an influenza A virus. It is transmitted by aerosolized respiratory secretions. It can be transmitted between dogs via contaminated objects such as food and water bowls, collars, leashes, and nose to nose contact between dogs. The virus is able to live on surfaces for up to 48 hours, clothing for 24 hours and on hands for up to 12 hours.
Signs or symptoms of the illness include a persistent cough, nasal discharge, fever, eye discharge, reduced appetite, and reduced activity. If your dog presents with these symptoms please consult with your personal veterinarian so they may do the testing to confirm whether or not your dog has Canine Influenza H3N2.
Dr. Newbury states, “people should not panic” most dogs will do well with a course of antibiotics. Dr. Newbury shares that the key to controlling this illness is “education on how it is transmitted and safeguards that can be used to minimize transmission.”
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