March 31, 2016
Categories: Shelter Medicine

Disturbing news was just released by the Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine indicating cats as well as dogs can become ill from a new strain of canine influenza virus (CIV), H3N2:

[Dr. Sandra] Newbury, in collaboration with Virology Section Head at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Kathy Toohey-Kurth, recently tested multiple cats at an animal shelter in Northwest Indiana and found them positive for the H3N2 canine influenza virus.

“Suspicions of an outbreak in the cats were initially raised when a group of them displayed unusual signs of respiratory disease,” Newbury says. “While this first confirmed report of multiple cats testing positive for canine influenza in the U.S. shows the virus can affect cats, we hope that infections and illness in felines will continue to be quite rare.”


Cats sick with the virus in this shelter have displayed upper respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, congestion and general malaise, as well as lip smacking and excessive salivation. Symptoms have resolved quickly for this group of cats, and so far, the virus has not shown to be fatal in felines.

Read the complete release at “UW Shelter Medicine, WVDL find canine influenza transmitted to cats in Midwestern shelter, ” as well as this FAQ document on feline CIV infections.

Also of interest:

Maddie’s Fund ® grants to University of Wisconsin shelter medicine education

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