In case you needed more confirmation. Some good diagnostic information on the site too. Here's some of it.
UPDATE 9/29/05: For better information than Snopes, see also my other two posts on this subject:
Claim: A virus deadly to dogs has been spreading in the canine population of the U.S.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2005]
The New Canine Influenza, Greyhound Disease, Race Flu, Equine Influenza, Avian Flu
The New Canine Flu, which has killed so many greyhounds is now in the domestic dog population. There is no treatment and no vaccine. It has jumped species, (by feeding greyhounds raw horse meat, which was infected with horse influenza), (
horse influenza is avian flu, which jumped species from birds (avian flu), to horses (horse influenza). The avian flu has now moved to racing greyhounds and domestic dogs and the indications are that there may be a potential problem for humans.[Snopes info is disupted, see comments below] It is deadly and it is on the loose. It may just be a matter of time. The CDC is watching the disease.
There is no central tracking agency with report and stat capability for dogs that will get the word out to all vets in the US.
The domestic dog population is at present risk.
This week on my net groups I saw many anecdotal accounts of $100,000 show dogs dying while packed in ice and hooked up to IVs, with high temps. No one knows what is wrong with these dogs and the vets do not know what they are treating. I think it is Greyhound Influenza or Race Flu.
Show populations are now infected and the majority of veterinarians have never heard of the disease. Isolated individuals know this but the country as a whole does not. A few days after exposure at dog shows, dogs are traveling back to their home states and infecting the local populations. Many dogs are dying needlessly. It is not kennel cough.
The period of incubation is 2-5 days. It is airborne, can be transmitted by inanimate objects, and clothing. Virtually all exposed will contract. The morbidity is 80% with 20% being sub clinically affected and shedding the virus. The course of the disease is four weeks. There are two forms, milder and very extreme. Two weeks into the viral disease the dog looks like he is getting over the cough and then bacterial infections become an acute problem. Oft times the owner has reported the dog is well, only to find that a short time later an acute bacterial infection has taken over the dog, in a matter of hours. The owners think the disease has run its course only to learn it hasn't gotten started yet, so dogs are dying needlessly.
My vet thinks earlier rather than later treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics are the best way to treat the disease. With proper vet care perhaps there will only be a mortality of 1-5%.
The information needs to go out so that all vets will know this is not kennel cough, so they will not VAX for kennel cough while ill, and so they can monitor beyond the two week period.
It has been almost impossible for me to understand how in the last four days i have contacted state vets who have never heard of the new influenza, all the while, the people with the info on the disease, refuse to release it nationally.
The AVMA has info that will go out next month. How many will die prior to that? I have begged and cajoled them to do this, so perhaps we are making some headway, however, we need info to go out ASAP.
APHIS says it is not their job.
The people who are handling research on the initial outbreak in FLA., are contacting local, (FLA) BUT not national sources to disseminate information.
Below is a link to a photo album in which i placed the FLA Veterinary Alert and Advisory, which was put out by the FLA VET MED ASSOC., at the request of the State Vet. It is not on the state website.
Origins: In 2004, a virulent form of canine influenza surfaced at greyhound racing parks in Florida. In that outbreak, it infected 24 greyhounds and killed 8 more. The contagion has since been confirmed in seven states, having killed greyhounds at tracks in Florida, Massachusetts, Arizona, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas and Iowa. It is highly contagious, with the uninfected picking it up from the infected via shared items or human contact (kennel workers have carried the virus home with them), in addition to dog-to-dog encounters.
The virus that has been felling greyhounds 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.
Dr. Ruben Donis, chief of molecular genetics for the influenza branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, confirms the flu jumped from horses to dogs, "a very rare event of considerable scientific interest" and adds "at this point, there is no reason to panic." How that jump occurred is either not known at this point or is not being commented on, so the e-mail's assertion that the eating of raw meat was to blame should be regarded as speculation rather than as fact. While there is always the possibility the virus might again jump species, this time to humans, this strain of flu has been present in horses for more than 40 years yet there are no documented cases of humans catching it. There are no known cases of canine flu infecting humans.
A vaccine for the canine flu is under development, a vaccine for the equine version already exists.
We found this good advice for vets and dog owners in our inbox one day:
PLEASE DO NOT PANIC, and do NOT assume that every cough is Canine Influenza. Kennel Cough from parainfluenza and Bordetella is more common. However, the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell is interested in receiving samples from dogs that appear to have kennel cough.
Clinical Signs: Since this is a new pathogen in dogs, there is currently no natural immunity present in the unexposed canine population. Almost all exposed dogs will become infected, and nearly 80% have clinical signs. In the mild form the dogs will have a cough that persists for 10 to 21 days. The cough may be soft and moist or dry. Many dogs will have a nasal discharge from a secondary bacterial infection and low grade fever. The nasal discharge responds to broad spectrum antibiotics.
In the severe form with pneumonia there is a high fever (104-106 F) and respiratory difficulties. X-rays may show consolidation. These dogs often have secondary bacterial infections and have responded to broad-spectrum antibiotics and supportive care including intravenous hydration.
The incubation period is two to five days and dogs may shed virus for seven to 10 days. The disease can spread rapidly throughout a boarding kennel. Dogs that are coughing SHOULD NOT BE BROUGHT TO SHOWS or Performance EVENTS.