Increasing the life-saving capacity of animal shelters and communities through education, shelter outreach, and development of new knowledge

Helping shelters respond to H3N2 canine influenza

In March and April of 2015 a novel strain of canine influenza, H3N2, was identified during an outbreak of canine respiratory disease in Chicago, IL. Our University of Wisconsin Shelter Medicine Program has partnered with many other agencies to uncover valuable information about managing and limiting the impact of this new virus.

Dr. Sandra Newbury and the UW Shelter Medicine Program team continues to work to help shelters respond to the many challenges this new respiratory disease has presented. The support we provide to shelters concerned about any outbreak affecting their animals involves diagnostics as well as advice on management, and ways to minimize the impact for the animals as well as the shelter’s resources. Our continued studies and outreach education in the field have led to a better understanding of treatment, the risks of infection, and management of the disease in shelters.

To learn more about the longer shedding period and recommendations for isolation of  H3N2 positive dogs recommended by Dr. Newbury after conducting research on this new strain of virus refer to https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/160115d.aspx. 

You can also access the May 2016 JAVMA scientific article publication on H3N2 from Dr. Newbury and her collaborators at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory here: http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/pdf/10.2460/javma.248.9.1022

We would like to extend our thanks to the many organizations who have continued to provide support as we manage this new strain of virus.

Maddie’s Fund for responding incredibly quickly to our many requests for help as we realized shelters needed more diagnostic information about this new virus.

Merck Animal Health for reaching out to help support shelters through diagnostic testing.

The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab for going above and beyond with quick and accurate diagnostic testing for our consulting shelters at a discounted shelter rate. 

And to all the Chicago shelter and rescues for being open with their information and supporting each other to manage the illness, collect information, and find answers.