Rise in canine influenza cases causes concern in Metro Detroit

Disease has flu-like symptoms

DETROIT – Veterinarians across Metro Detroit are warning dog owners about an uptick in canine influenza cases. 

There have been confirmed cases in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties this summer.

Things are busier than normal at Blue Pearl Pet Hospital.

“I just actually saw my first case of the canine Influenza that we confirmed,” Dr. Ashley Davis said.

Davis said it is a respiratory disease that carries flu-like symptoms. 

“Most of the symptoms that we’ll see from dogs will range from just feeling a little off, not eating as much as they normally would, but some will have discharge from their nose or eyes that can look green or yellow in color,” Davis said.

It’s not really common in this area, but for some reason more and more dogs are getting sick with the canine flu.

“Most commonly, dogs are picking it up from boarding facilities or grooming facilities, somewhere where they have interaction or contact with other dogs," Davis said.

The illness has caused some businesses to close out of caution.

“We decided we’re going to be proactive and close as of today,” said Michael Smiler with Rexpointe Kennel. 

It may be an extreme action to take, but Smiler said it’s necessary, especially since more than half of the animals he’s taking care of may have been exposed somewhere else.

“I've just never seen this many dogs get sick in such a short period of time. Apparently it’s been happening elsewhere, but I’m not going to take a chance of other dogs getting sick,” Smiler said.

The kennel is closed, effective immediately and it will not reopen its doors until August. 

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