New strain of Kennel Cough- deadly

Does anyone have any information on this report, saw it on the wire this morning, apparently it is on the East Coast and has been found as far west as Iowa and Wisconisn? They say is deadly for older and weaker animals, anyone have any firsthand info they can share?


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Well, not exactly kennel cough, but something similar. The bordatella vaccine will be of no use for this either, (it's not much use for anything actually.... but that's another story)
Here is some info....

September 22, 2005
A New Deadly, Contagious Dog Flu Virus Is Detected in 7 States
A new, highly contagious and sometimes deadly canine flu is spreading
in kennels and at dog tracks around the country, veterinarians said

The virus, which scientists say mutated from an influenza strain that
affects horses, has killed racing greyhounds in seven states and has
been found in shelters and pet shops in many places, including the New
York suburbs, though the extent of its spread is unknown.

Dr. Cynda Crawford, an immunologist at the University of Florida's
College of Veterinary Medicine who is studying the virus, said that it
spread most easily where dogs were housed together but that it could
also be passed on the street, in dog runs or even by a human
transferring it from one dog to another. Kennel workers have carried
the virus home with them, she said.

How many dogs die from the virus is unclear, but scientists said the
fatality rate is more than 1 percent and could be as high as 10
percent among puppies and older dogs.

Dr. Crawford first began investigating greyhound deaths in January
2004 at a racetrack in Jacksonville, Fla., where 8 of the 24
greyhounds who contracted the virus died.

"This is a newly emerging pathogen," she said, "and we have very
little information to make predictions about it. But I think the
fatality rate is between 1 and 10 percent."

She added that because dogs had no natural immunity to the virus,
virtually every animal exposed would be infected. About 80 percent of
dogs that are infected with the virus will develop symptoms, Dr.
Crawford said. She added that the symptoms were often mistaken for
"kennel cough," a common canine illness that is caused by the
bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria.

Both diseases can cause coughing and gagging for up to three weeks,
but dogs with canine flu may spike fevers as high as 106 degrees and
have runny noses. A few will develop pneumonia, and some of those
cases will be fatal. Antibiotics and fluid cut the pneumonia fatality
rate, Dr. Crawford said.

The virus is an H3N8 flu closely related to an equine flu strain. It
is not related to typical human flus or to the H5N1 avian flu that has
killed about 100 people in Asia.

Experts said there were no known cases of the canine flu infecting
humans. "The risk of that is low, but we are keeping an eye on it,"
said Dr. Ruben Donis, chief of molecular genetics for the influenza
branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is
tracking the illness.

But with the approach of the human flu season and fears about bird flu
in Asia, there is much confusion among some dog owners who have heard
about the disease.

Dr. Crawford said she was fielding calls from kennels and
veterinarians across the country worried that they were having

"The hysteria out there is unbelievable, and the misinformation is
incredible," said Dr. Ann E. Hohenhaus, chief of medicine at the
Animal Medical Center in New York.

Dr. Hohenhaus said she had heard of an alert from a Virginia dog club
reporting rumors that 10,000 show dogs had died.

"We don't believe that's true," she said, adding that no dogs in her
Manhattan hospital even had coughs.

Dr. Donis of the disease control centers said that there was currently
no vaccine for the canine flu. But he said one would be relatively
easy to develop. The canine flu is less lethal than parvovirus, which
typically kills puppies but can be prevented by routine vaccination.

Laboratory tests, Dr. Donis said, have shown that the new flu is
susceptible to the two most common antiviral drugs, amantidine and
Tamiflu, but those drugs are not licensed for use in dogs.

The flu has killed greyhounds at tracks in Florida, Massachusetts,
Arizona, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas and Iowa. Tracks and kennels
have been forced to shut down for weeks for disinfection.

In Chestnut Ridge, north of New York City, about 88 dogs became sick
by early September, and 15 percent of those required hospitalization,
said Debra Bennetts, a spokeswoman for Best Friends Pet Care, a chain
of boarding kennels. The kennel was vacated for decontamination by
Sept. 17.

About 17 of the infected dogs were treated at the Oradell Animal
Hospital in Paramus, N.J., where one died and two more were still
hospitalized, a staff veterinarian said.

The Best Friends chain owns 41 other kennels in 18 states, and no
others have had an outbreak, Dr. Larry J. Nieman, the company's
veterinarian, said.

In late July, at Gracelane Kennels in Ossining, N.Y., about 35 dogs
showed symptoms, said the owner, Bob Gatti, and he closed the kennel
for three weeks to disinfect.

About 25 of the dogs were treated by an Ossining veterinarian, Glenn
M. Zeitz, who said two of them had died.

"The dogs came in very sick, with high fevers and very high white
blood cell counts," Dr. Zeitz said, making him suspicious that they
had something worse than kennel cough.

A spokesman for the New York City Health Department said that there
were "a few confirmed cases" in New York but that the city was not yet
tracking the disease.

Veterinarians voluntarily sent samples to the Animal Health Diagnostic
Center at the Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine, which was the
only laboratory doing blood tests.
I saw it in our local paper this morning - seems to mutated from horses to dogs and is hitting the states with greyhound tracks (like AZ). It does not seem to be spreading widely among household pets yet.
We took our baby to Disney World last time we went and she stayed in the kennel there. We could visit her and take her out for walks whenever we wanted 24 hrs so we thought it was a good idea. It wasn't. Our baby, 7 months old, has had all her vaccinations but a couple days after we came back home to St Pete, she started coughing - a lot!
I knew it wasn't kennel cough because she has been vaccinated. I searched online and found this dog flu. I was terrified! I called the vet right away and he did give her antibiotics just so it wouldn't develop into any infections. But she was fine. We didn't wait around for it to get bad - she never had a temperature or any other symptoms - just the cough. It lasted about 2 weeks. Very frightning though.
not sure if ts the same strain but i live in wyoming and just have brought my 2 year old mix bread back from and early grave due to a bug he picked up at a local pound it is an unknown bug that did get reported to usda due to its unknown origin i was told that the bordetella shots did not keep him from getting this . this went into a full blown lower lung pnemonia week long breathing treatments and 3 types of pills he is doing much better know i dont know if this is going to help if i can be of more help
We just had our chiuaua mix put to sleep last friday. I'm not positive if this was what he had but sounds very similar. We had him for 2 weeks and he was so sick every day. We got him from the shelter and thought it was distemper but never got the results back. He had a runny nose with greensh yellow discharge, eye discharge and was so lethargic he couldn't even get up to go to the bathroom. He also couldn't eat or drink on his own. He was on 3 diff. types of antibiotics and none worked. He is very missed!
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