How the Canine Flu Reached Canada

You may all be wondering what all the fuss has been about in the news as of late with respect to a few pups with the sniffles. It’s more than just the common cold – it’s the flu and your pup could catch it this year. So why now?

As it turns out, a very well intentioned American rescue –MotorCity Greyhound Rescue in Detroit, Michigan, travelled to South Korea to rescue Greyhounds that were destined for the meat market. These sick pooches were vaccinated and quarantined three months prior to travelling back to the U.S. Much like your annual flu vaccines the strains contained within them are a best guess and you may still get the flu if the strain you catch isn’t in the batch! Such was the case here. Gratefully, the sick pups were not in contact with any other pups and are recovering themselves. However, there are up to five reported cases of the canine flu on this side of the border.  The Canadian pups located in Southwestern Ontario,  caught the flu from the same Greyhounds that came from South Korea.

According to Scott Weese, a professor and infectious disease specialist at the Ontario Veterinary College says it can be difficult to determine if pups have the canine flu, H3N2. Getting the flu is more dangerous for dogs who already have pre-existing respiratory conditions.

We humans have our own viral bugs to contend with each ear but luckily the canine flu is not transmissible to us. However, there is still the potential for a sick pup to contract the human flu and have the two DNA’s mix to form a flu that is transmissible to humans.

Unfortunately, the canine flu isn’t a reportable disease. The World Trade Organization sets out these rules for international trade; one being “a country cannot impose import restrictions for diseases for which no official programs are in place to control or eliminate the disease.” Only rabies is required to be reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency when importing dogs.

Lets keep our pups healthy to keep any epidemic at bay. Do your part to take your pup to the vet if you have any questions and keep your furry besty away from all other pups who appear to be sick this season!




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