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The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development released information regarding an uptick in cases of canine influenza in the state. As of August 3, in 2018 there have been 70 confirmed cases of canine influenza reported, all of which have occurred since July 13. The cases have occurred in Huron, Kent, Macomb, Oakland, Ottawa and Wayne counties. With the State 4-H Dog Show and other dog exhibitions quickly approaching, I wanted to provide you with some helpful information regarding this issue.


Canine influenza, or dog flu, is a highly contagious respiratory infection in dogs caused by an influenza virus. Signs of canine influenza can include fever, lethargy, coughing, and nasal and/or eye discharge. Most cases of canine influenza are mild, and affected dogs usually recover within two to three weeks. However, more severe cases can occur, so it is important to talk with your veterinarian if you think your dog has influenza.


If your dog is ill, please do not bring them to a dog show and talk with your veterinarian about getting your dog vaccinated for influenza. Facilities where dogs are brought together for care, grooming, or other activities are advised to prevent the spread of influenza by keeping sick dogs away, cleaning and disinfecting thoroughly, and recommending that dogs are vaccinated before arrival.


If your dog is showing signs of canine influenza, contact your veterinarian. Canine influenza is reportable to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

As a reminder, there is a risk for disease any time dogs come together in groups. During the show season, you can help keep your dog and other members' dogs healthy by following some basic biosecurity practices.

  • Keep your distance: 

    • Restrict your dog's access to people and other dogs. Remember that places such as dog parks, doggie day cares, dog boarding facilities and other places where dogs can potentially be a risk canine influenza.

    • Also, avoiding eating and drinking around animals. Although this type of influenza is not believed to be transferrable to humans, it is always a best practice to not consume food around animals and wash your hands regularly. 

  • Keep it clean

    • Washing your hands and clothes after working with your dog and regularly cleaning and disinfecting your equipment such as brushes and water/food dishes is essential to preventing disease

  • Don't bring in disease

    • Think twice before sharing equipment or supplies with others. If you decide to share equipment with others, always clean and disinfect equipment before and after sharing.

  • Recognize a sick animal

    • Early detection of unhealthy animals can help prevent the spread of the disease. Be on the lookout for signs of illness including fever, lethargy, coughing, and nasal and/or eye discharge. A dog's normal temperature range is 101 and 102.5F, however, each dog has its own normal temperature. It is helpful to know what your dog's normal temperature is so you can quickly tell if your dog is showing signs of fever. For detailed instructions on how to correctly take your dog's temperature, please click here. If you have any concerns about your animal's health, consult with your local veterinarian

For more information and the current case count, visit


If you have questions, please contact Katie Ockert 4-H Animal Science Educator 517-432-5270 or

Canine Influenza


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