New York Dog Tests Positive for H1N1

Mixed-breed dog tested positive for H1N1 virus but is recovering after hospitalization.

Posted: December 22, 2009, 5 a.m. EST

A 13-year-old male mixed-breed dog has tested positive for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, the first known reported U.S. case, according to Idexx Reference Laboratories. The Westbrook, Maine-based company, which recently launched its H1N1 Influenza Virus RealPCR Test, made the announcement Monday.

The canine sample was submitted to Idexx by the Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center in Bedford Hills, N.Y., earlier this month. The sample tested positive for H1N1. The result was later independently verified by Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory.

The dog had been taken to the veterinarian after not feeling well for several days. He was treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories with no improvement in condition. The dog was then taken to an emergency veterinarian at Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center on Dec. 13 with lethargy, lack of appetite, dry cough and a fever of 103.6°F. During the exam, the owner reported that he had tested positive earlier in the week for the H1N1 influenza virus.

After 48 hours of hospitalization and supportive care, the dog improved and was sent home, where he is reportedly recovering well.

To date, H1N1 has also been detected in cats, ferrets, pigs, birds and humans. So far, pets are believed to have contracted the virus from their owners.

“There have been a number of apparent reverse zoonosis cases in companion animals whose owners were also infected with the virus,” said Jane Robertson, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, head of internal medicine at Idexx Reference Laboratories. “While there is no evidence these pets spread H1N1 to other animals or to people, this new case confirms the ability of the virus to infect multiple species including dogs.”


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2/2/2010 10:47:01 AM


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Iris   San Diego, CA

1/26/2010 11:50:37 AM

Why did you have to say "mixed breed" in the headline? Was that relevant? Anything negative written about "mixed breeds" is just more substantition for people to go to a shelter and get a wonderful loving mutt.

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Janelle   Concordia, KS

1/26/2010 4:07:20 AM

It almost makes me wonder about my Boxer. Before Christmas, Sensamelia got really sick and a week to the day that she fell ill, she died. She wouldn't eat, she wouldn't drink and she ran a fever. The vet told us that she died of renal failure but never said how or why. After reading this article, it makes me wonder now...

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Monica   Baltimore, MD

1/25/2010 12:18:32 PM

So many times my dog has been 'down' and I've wondered if he has a flu or virus, and have never been given a positive answer from vets if this is possible. Now I know it is--if a dog catches H1N1 then of course dogs can catch other viruses. Good to be aware of this.

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