The number of confirmed cases of canine influenza in Michigan has spiked to 70 reported to the state since mid-July, according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD)
The statewide tally, last updated on Aug. 3, shows Oakland, Macomb and Ottawa counties as the hot spots for this highly-contagious dog flu. A handful of other counties are reporting a smaller number of cases. The climbing caseload is a large jump from 2017, which saw only nine cases reported to the state.
What to Look For
Canine influenza is a respiratory infection that dogs can get after being exposed to the virus. They can be exposed by sniffing or licking dogs who have the virus, by sharing water or food bowls with those dogs, or by being around sick dogs who are coughing or sneezing.
They can also get the dog flu from humans whose clothing or skin have been contaminated with the virus.
Symptoms include lethargic behavior, fever, discharge from the eyes and/or nose, and coughing, MDARD said in a news release alerting dog owners to the growing problem.
While most cases are mild and dogs recover in a few weeks, some cases can be severe. If you think your dog has these symptoms, you’ll want to talk to your veterinarian.
It’s especially necessary to watch for symptoms of sick dogs in places where animals gather for activities or care, like dog parks, boarding kennels and groomers, among other spots.
If your dog is ill or showing these symptoms, keep it away from other animals, MDARD advises.
“Any time dogs come together in groups, there is a risk for disease,” said James Averill, Michigan’s state veterinarian. “It’s important that dog owners work with their veterinarians to protect their dogs.”
As of Sunday, Aug. 5, this is the county-by-county breakdown being reported:
Confirmed Cases in Reported Counties
- Genesee – 1
- Huron – 1
- Kent – 1
- Livingston – 6
- Macomb – 14
- Oakland – 27
- Ottawa – 13
- Wayne – 6