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Canine Influenza Virus

New Research Funding Looks to Stop Spread of Canine Influenza Virus

Denver, Nov. 3, 2009 - Morris Animal Foundation is funding a new three-year study on Canine Influenza Virus (CIV). Led by Dr. Gabriele Landolt of Colorado State University, the project will help shelters develop effective testing and control methods to limit the effects of this disease in communities nationwide.

Commonly known as canine flu, CIV causes a great deal of pain and suffering in dogs. It spreads through coughing, sneezing and close contact in closed environments, which makes canine flu particularly damaging to dogs in shelters. Many shelters find it nearly impossible to rid their facilities of the disease once it is introduced. It can also affect pet dogs that spend time in boarding kennels and doggie daycare. Read more about symptoms.

Researchers will learn more about how canine flu spreads among shelter dogs and will also determine whether there is a reliable "patient-side" test that could detect the virus during a dog's intake exam at a shelter. This would allow shelter managers to quarantine affected dogs and keep the virus from spreading to healthy animals. The information learned could also help promote the use of a vaccine for this emerging and common virus.

The study will feature ASPCA partners in Sacramento, Austin, Tampa, Charleston, New York and Colorado Springs. Dr. Miranda Spindel, ASPCA director of veterinary outreach, will be working with Dr. Landolt on the study.

First identified as a respiratory pathogen in 2004, CIV has spread widely among dogs in the United States. Morris Animal Foundation began funding research into disease prevention and transmission in 2005 and has provided nearly half a million dollars in research funding to study this canine health issue.

Read about additional canine influenza research the Foundation is funding at the University of Florida and Colorado State University.