Cases of Canine Influenza have been reported in Bracebridge, Gravenhurst and Orillia. These are the first known circumstances of the H3N2 canine flu in Canada. According to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Office, the first two clusters of the dog flu were reported in Essex County and the Simcoe-Muskoka
area which have since been contained.

Cottage country dog owners are advised to evaluate the overall health of their dog, and keep an eye out for continuous coughing, sneezing or even an escalating fever. Most dogs easily recover within 2 to 3 weeks with no treatment or with basic anti-inflammatories and cough suppressants.

Canine influenza virus is more likely to cause severe disease or death in very young or older dogs or ones that have some sort of a degree of a chronic illness already. Vaccines are available in Canada and help to reduce the possibility and harshness of the virus. Animal shelters in the States are among the highest risk for canines extracting the virus. Outbreaks are also common certain parts of Asia. Officials say all known cases have a link (direct or indirectly) to a rescue dog that may have been imported from China.

(Filed by: Julie Pierias)