There are new outbreaks of the H3N2 strain of influenza occurring in dogs.  This is the mutated strain that was first seen in Asia and not the same as the H3N8 strain that was originally seen in the United States (Florida and Louisiana).

With any newer strain, outbreaks will happen in immunologically naive populations which is what has been seen (previously in Houston, Chicago, Atlanta).   We recommend Upper Respiratory PCR testing of any dog with upper respiratory signs. The IDEXX panel will include both stains.

Dogs with the H3N2 strain of influenza will often be febrile and have coughing or upper respiratory signs.   Influenza is not much different from the other constituents that cause canine infectious tracheobronchitis, other than these dogs tend to be a bit more ill and get secondary bacterial pneumonias more commonly.

Dogs can also shed the virus for just over 3 weeks, so owners should be educated to keep their dogs isolated.  The biggest thing is proper isolation of any suspected patients on the front end to avoid a hospital disaster on the back side.  Influenza has a bad image due to the reported deaths in prior outbreaks, which are largely in untreated dogs (shelters, strays) or previously in greyhound racing facilities.  In actuality, the vast majority of dogs survive with proper supportive care.  Just be aware of it and properly isolate any respiratory patients to prevent an outbreak in your hospital.