Veterinary Division

  • 4/30/19 - The Animal Welfare Section of the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services received a report of a dog in Holly Springs, NC that tested positive for Canine Influenza. These are preliminary tests; the strain has not yet been typed. There is no history of this dog being in a boarding kennel, dog daycare, dog park or animal shelter. Updates will be provided if we receive additional information.
  • 6/20/17 – The Animal Welfare Section of the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services is forwarding the information below. AWS does not endorse this company or its product but the information concerning this disease and its management in animal-dense facilities is timely.

    "As you requested, I have attached a brief description of the FREE WEBINAR sponsored by the IBPSA with Dr. Melissa Bourgeois, DVM PhD, DACVM (virology and Immunology). The time is 1pm Central (so 2pm Eastern). This webinar would be a great way for Kennels, DayCares, Groomers, Dog Sitters, and all types of Animal Care Facilities to better understand the flu and how to prepare, protect ,and manage.

    Description of WEBINAR:

    As reports of the highly contagious canine influenza or “dog flu” continue to rise, IBPSA wants to help make sure our IBPSA Members and all pet care professionals including pet boarding facilities, doggy daycares, pet sitters, pet salons, and dog walkers have the information you need to help keep the pets in your care as safe and healthy as possible.

    Dog Flu Facts Free Webinar

    Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 1PM Central

    Guest presenter Dr. Melissa Bourgeois, DVM, PhD, DACVM (virology, immunology), has served as an associate service fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, become a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (ACVM) in virology (2011) and immunology (2013) and, since July 2015, worked for Merck Animal Health as a senior drug safety specialist.

    To register, they can use the website:"

  • 6/12/17 – Courtesy of NCVMA, "There have been confirmed cases in Carteret, Rockingham, and Wake County, as well as in Davidson, NC. There is also a suspicious case in Wilmington, NC. Symptoms are there, but confirmation is pending. All infected dogs either contracted the virus at a dog show or contracted it from a dog from a show. Dog shows in Perry. Ga, Florida and Missouri have been the initial source of the virus in cases seen. To date, we know of two confirmed deaths from the virus, one in the Raleigh area, the other in Morehead City."

  • 06/02/17 – A second canine death from Canine Influenza has been confirmed. This case is on the east coast of NC and is associated with exposure from the previously mentioned dog show Florida.
  • 6/02/17 – Rollins Laboratories has confirmed the death of a dog due to the canine influenza virus (type yet specified). The dog was from the Raleigh area.

    Below is info courtesy of the AKC:

    Canine Influenza Virus

    • Canine Influenza Virus is spread through:
      • Close proximity to infected dogs (it is airborne and can travel up to 20 ft.; Dog parks are ideal for spreading the virus)
      • Contact with contaminated items (bowls, leashes, crates, tables, clothing, dog runs, etc.)
      • People moving between infected and uninfected dogs
      • 80% of all dogs that are exposed to the virus will contract it
      • The virus lives up to 24 hours on soft surfaces and up to 48 hours on hard surfaces.
    • Some exposed dogs will be subclinical carriers - meaning some dogs will contract and spread the virus without showing symptoms.
    • Dogs show clinical signs within 24-48 hours and can shed the virus for up to 28 days from exposure.
    • Most dogs will completely recover with proper treatment.
    • Dogs that regularly interact with dogs outside of their own family or frequent places where many dogs gather are most susceptible to exposure to Canine Influenza Virus.


    • Dry, hacking cough (similar to kennel cough)
    • Lack of appetite
    • Lethargy
    • Discharge from the nose or eyes
    • Fever (normal temperature is 101 - 102)


    • The best protection is vaccination. There is now a single vaccination for both the H3N2 and H3N8 strains of the virus. The vaccination requires a booster shot two weeks after the initial vaccine. Vaccination provides the best chance of immunity within 7-14 days of booster shot.
    • Isolate sick animals and keep them isolated for up to 30 days after symptoms subside.
    • Practice good sanitation. Use a bleach and water mixture diluted to 1-part bleach x 30 parts water to disinfect common areas such as tables, bowls, leashes, crates, etc. Allow items to thoroughly air dry for a minimum of 10 minutes before exposing dogs to them. Bleach breaks down quickly so solution should be made daily. Keep in mind that bleach becomes inactive in UV light. If mopping use two buckets so as not to cross contaminate areas
    • Wash your hands frequently, ideally between handling different dogs. At the very minimum, hand sanitizer should be used between handling dogs.
    • Use disposable gowns or wipe down clothing and shoes with a bleach solution between dogs or after leaving an area where dogs congregate.
    • Food/water bowls should be made of stainless steel instead of plastic because scratched plastic is hard to fully disinfect.


    • Treatment of Canine Influenza Virus requires veterinary assistance. If you believe your dog may have Canine Influenza Virus, please contact your veterinarian immediately. Untreated, the illness may progress to pneumonia or other, more serious problems. H3N2 can lead to severe secondary pneumonia which can cause extremely sick dogs with potential fatalities.
    • Most dogs take 2-3 weeks to recover from the illness.


    • Any dog suspected of having Canine Influenza Virus should be immediately isolated from other dogs and should not attend dog shows, day care, grooming facilities, dog parks, or other places dogs gather. Dogs are contagious for up to 30 days once they have started showing symptoms.
    • Contact your veterinarian to let them know that your dog may be showing symptoms of Canine Influenza Virus. If your dog is going to a veterinary hospital or clinic, call ahead to let them know you have a suspected case of Canine Influenza Virus. They may ask you to follow a specific protocol before entering the clinic to minimize the spread of the disease, including waiting in your car until they are ready to examine your dog.
    • Keep sick dogs at home and isolated from other dogs and cats until you are certain the illness has run its course (typically 3-4 weeks).

    Consideration for Event Venues

    • Use a bleach and water mixture diluted to 1-part bleach x 30 parts water to disinfect common areas including show floors, grooming tables, ring gates, in-ring examination tables and ramps, and x-pens. Allow solution to completely dry (at least ten minutes in order to assure virus has been killed). Bleach breaks down quickly so solution should be made daily. Keep in mind that bleach becomes inactive in UV light. If mopping use two buckets so as not to cross contaminate areas.
    • When wiping down hard surfaces paper towels are preferred over cloth.
    • Consider having two exam tables at every ring so that they can be cleaned and allowed to air dry frequently in between classes.
    • Provide hand sanitizer in each ring and in grooming areas.
    • Exhibitors should consider grooming dogs at their cars instead of using grooming areas where dogs are in very close proximity.


Signs of canine influenza

The signs of canine flu are cough, runny nose and fever and are similar to other respiratory problems. Other signs can include lethargy, eye discharge, reduced appetite and low-grade fever. Most dogs recover within two to three weeks. However, secondary bacterial infections can develop, and may cause more severe illness and pneumonia. Anyone with concerns about their pet’s health, or whose pet is showing signs of canine influenza, should contact their veterinarian.

The virus is highly contagious and easily spread from infected dogs to other dogs through direct contact, nasal secretions (through coughing and sneezing), contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes), and people moving between infected and uninfected dogs.

There is a canine flu vaccination, but it may not be effective against all strains. Pet owners should contact their veterinarian to determine if vaccination is advisable.

Human Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no evidence of transmission of canine influenza viruses from dogs to people and there has not been a reported case of human infection with  canine influenza. Also, this strain of influenza is different from avian influenza that has caused the deaths of birds in the Midwest.

Resources for pet owners

Boarding and Shelters

Boarding and shelter facilities should review their current intake, isolation, veterinary care, monitoring and sanitation protocols with their facility veterinarian to be sure they are taking adequate measures to control the spread of this virus.

Resources for Shelters & Boarding facilities

Resources for Veterinarians

Canine influenza is not a reportable disease, though veterinarians are encouraged to report cases to AWS so the Section can monitor the situation.

Phone: 919-707-3280


Veterinary Division, R. Douglas Meckes, DVM, State Veterinarian
Animal Welfare Section, Patricia L Norris, DVM, MS, Director
Mailing Address:1030 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1030
Physical Address: 2 W. Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3280; FAX: (919) 733-6431