Influenza Virus Infection in Dogs in Shelters

Canine InfluenzaCanine influenza virus (CIV) is a rapidly emerging threat to dogs in shelters with great impact on the health and welfare of the dogs as well as economic impact for facility operators.

The objectives of this study are to determine the prevalence of CIV as a causative agent of respiratory infections in dogs in Florida shelters, its relationship with other respiratory pathogens such as canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus, canine parainfluenza virus,Bordetella bronchiseptica, and Mycoplasma, and host and facility factors associated with occurrence of CIV infections.

Paired acute and convalescent serum samples, pharyngeal swabs, and respiratory tissues will be collected from 1000 dogs with respiratory infections for diagnostic testing to determine the causative agents of the infections. The diagnostic tests include serology for viruses, bacterial and viral cultures, viral PCR, histopathology, and immunohistochemistry.  Dog- and facility- related factors will be correlated with the occurrence of CIV infections as well as other identified respiratory pathogens. The study results will be invaluable for development of effective guidelines for management of respiratory infections, particularly influenza, in shelters.

This study is being conducted by Dr. Cynda Crawford and is funded by Morris Animal Foundation. Shelters that are experiencing outbreaks of respiratory infections in dogs can contact Dr. Crawford for assistance with diagnosis and control strategies.