McHenry County Animal Control (MCAC) has canceled the recently announced low cost rabies vaccination and microchip event scheduled for May 2 at its Crystal Lake facility. MCAC will reschedule this event later in the year. McHenry County Department of Health reports three dogs in the County became ill with symptoms consistent with the H3N2 dog flu which has sickened over 1,000 dogs in the Chicagoland area and other parts of the Midwest. One dog has since died, another dog is suspected to have the illness and test results are pending on the third animal.
Pet owners are cautioned to keep their dogs away from dog parks and from kenneling animals to reduce the spread of the virus. A fact sheet about canine influenza can be found on the American Veterinary Medical Association website https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/FAQs/Pages/Control-of-Canine-Influenza-in-Dogs.aspx.
According to a press release issued by Cornell University researchers and posted on its website http://mediarelations.cornell.edu/2015/04/12/midwest-canine-influenza-outbreak-caused-by-new-strain-of-virus/, there is no evidence that the H3N2 subtype can be transmitted to people. However, it apparently has caused infection and respiratory illness in cats.
Anyone with concerns about their pet’s health, or whose pet is showing symptoms of canine influenza, should contact their veterinarian. Symptoms of the disease may include a soft, moist cough or dry cough similar to that induced by kennel cough; discharge from the nose or eyes; sneezing; lethargy; low-grade fever; and loss of appetite. For more information, contact MCAC at 815-459-6222 or www.mcdh.info.