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At the request of veterinarians and the public, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health placed canine influenza back on its official list of reportable diseases; it was previously removed in 2016. Reportable diseases are those with the potential to negatively impact Minnesota’s domestic species. These diseases pose a significant risk to the animal, and in some cases human, community. Minnesota law requires animal health professionals who confirm a reportable disease or reasonably suspect an animal is infected to immediately report it to the Board.

Image/MemoryCatcher via pixabay
Image/MemoryCatcher via pixabay

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“The list, like animal diseases, is dynamic and we manage it carefully with consideration to our domestic animals and those who care for them,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Beth Thompson. “Canine influenza was removed in June 2016 because at that time it appeared the disease was diminishing in the state. However, we’ve recently received feedback from private practice veterinarians and determined it’s in everyone’s interest to place it back on the list.”

Canine influenza is a highly contagious infection of dogs that’s transmitted via coughing, sneezing or direct contact between dogs or contaminated surfaces. An infected dog may have a mild cough, fever, lethargy or increased sneezing and nasal discharge. Vaccines are available and dog owners should work with their veterinarian to explore options. Although it’s rare, cats can potentially contract canine influenza and should be kept away from infected dogs.