US scientists have identified the first case of multiple cats becoming infected with the H3N2 “canine flu” influenza virus, previously thought to only affect dogs.

Cat on ledge.
Cases of feline infection have previously been recorded in South Korea and the US.

The University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine shelter medicine programme reported the cats were found at a shelter in Indiana after showing unusual signs of respiratory disease.

Hopeful of rarity

In a press release, Sandra Newbury, director of the UW shelter medicine programme, said: “While this first confirmed report of multiple cats testing positive for canine influenza in the US shows the virus can affect cats, we hope infections and illness in felines will continue to be quite rare.”

The infected cats have been quarantined, but no vaccine is available since the H3N2 vaccine is only for dogs. Dogs in the same shelter are also reported to be infected.

In context

Cases of feline infection had been previously reported in South Korea and, in one case last year, a cat had been found to be infected with the H3N2 virus in the US.

This latest outbreak seems to indicate the virus can replicate and spread from cat to cat.

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz

related content

  Ian Wright BVMS. BSc. MSc. MRCVS Veterinary surgeon, co-owner of the Mount Veterinary Practice. … more

26 mins

A one-day session by feline specialist Sarah Caney exploring health issues in older cats is to take place at the end of March.

Alberto Palella Gómez looks at assessing pain in small animals after surgery and latest approaches to its management with or without drugs.

32 mins

Find out why 98% of vets will continue to recommend a Seresto® collar after trying it.

7 mins

Mateusz Jaksz and Claudia Busse, in the first of a two-part article, look at aetiology and clinical signs for this common eye issue, paying particular attention to superficial ulcers.

32 mins

Join the RVC’s feline endocrinology experts Stijn Niessen and Yaiza Forcada on a journey through the facts and myths of cats and their hormones in this webinar series.

14 mins