Canine Influenza Information
The recently diagnosed cases of canine influenza in the Chicago area are an emerging strain of the virus, H3N2. This virus originated among birds in Asia (Korea, China, and Thailand) and is known to infect and cause disease in dogs and cats. While ferrets are susceptible to the virus, initial studies indicate minimal disease in this species. It does not appear to infect people. It is unknown how this virus reached the US. Typical symptoms are coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge and fever. Less commonly, it may progress to pneumonia and even death. Dogs in multi-dog settings such as kennels, shelters, and shows/trials are at greatest risk. The current influenza vaccine available for dogs contains the H3N8 subtype of virus. It is not known if this vaccine provides any protection against the H3N2 subtype.
The Clinical Virology Laboratory at UTVMC can detect all strains of influenza using PCR. Submit nasal or oropharyngeal swabs, or transtracheal wash fluid for testing. Turn-around time is usually 2 days or less. Samples should be collected early in the disease. Please contact Dr. Melissa Kennedy with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local veterinarians may drop off samples at the refrigerator adjacent to the Pharmacy. All specimens should be accompanied by a request form and labeled with the animal's name. If shipping or mailing specimens, blood, serum and tissues should be sent fresh with a refrigerant pack. Feces may be sent without ice pack. Unfixed, air-dried slides should be packaged in a slide holder with bubble wrap. Please follow current USPS and DOT requirements for etiological and biological laboratory specimens.
Conjunctival scrapings for antigen detection must be made prior to diagnostic application of fluorescein to the eye.
Telephone Numbers and Email
- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (EST)
- Monday - Friday
- UTVMC Virology/Serology Service
- Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences
- 2407 River Drive, Room C239
- Knoxville, TN 37996-4543
*The Virology Lab follows the UTK Holiday Schedule. Limited staffing is maintained during holidays for emergencies.