Monday, 11 November 2013 21:26

Tampa Area Dog Owners Urged to Take Precautions during Flu-like Virus Outbreak Featured

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(Nov. 11, 2013) – After confirmation of two new flu-like canine viruses in the Tampa Bay region, The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association cautions dog owners in the area to avoid places where dogs socialize or congregate.

Last week, Hillsborough County Animal Services announced that several dogs at its shelter tested positive for respiratory coronavirus and pneumovirus. Dogs at the shelter were tested as part of a Cornell University research study.

Barry Kellogg, VMD, HSVMA’s senior veterinary advisor said: “If you notice your dog has runny eyes, a runny nose, or is sneezing and/or coughing, you should immediately contact your veterinarian.”

Management of canine infectious respiratory disease in dogs housed in close proximity to one another remains a challenge, and it is critical that veterinarians working in and with animal shelters are familiar with its various causes. CIRDC is commonly known as “kennel cough.” The pneumovirus and respiratory coronavirus are just two of the viruses that cause respiratory diseases.

Any of these upper respiratory infections cause an illness similar to when a human gets the flu; however, these are not the same disease as the Canine Flu. The viruses are not usually deadly, but infected animals should be given veterinary care, including antibiotics for secondary infections. While respiratory coronavirus and pneumovirus are not contagious to humans or cats, Hillsborough County Animal Services – the only shelter in the area – has taken steps to confine the viruses. The shelter temporarily halted adoptions, and will only accept sick or injured dogs, dogs who have bitten someone and dogs deemed “dangerous.”

There is no way to prevent outbreaks such as this, but animals vaccinated for the upper respiratory complex may fare better in such situations. Pet owners should make sure their animals are properly vaccinated. A consultation with a veterinarian who understands both your situation and the vaccines available will determine which vaccines are best for your animals.

Additional Resources and Information

  • Stephanie Janeczko, DVM, a shelter medicine specialist with the ASPCA discussed the two new viruses in her session entitled “Emerging Canine Infectious Respiratory Diseases,” part of the scientific program at the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference. Veterinarians can read the sessions notes here.


The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association was formed as a home for veterinary professionals who want to join together to speak out for animals, engage in direct care programs for animals in need, and educate the public and others in the profession about animal welfare issues. The HSVMA is an affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States.

Subscribe to Wayne Pacelle’s blog, A Humane Nation. Follow The HSUS PR department on Twitter for the latest animal welfare news. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “Humane TV” app.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at

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Jon Patch

Graduated from Penn State University in 1983 and landed my first broadcasting job at the flagship station to SUN Radio Network in St. Petersburg, FL as a producer of talk radio. In 3 months advanced to a network producer, then on air as a national eventually local weather reporter for the Tampa Bay area. Held a position in management as a trainer to new hosts and producers and later Affiliate Relations Manager, eventually in 1990 started hosting, Talkin' Pets. Left SUN radio several years later and worked with USA Radio Networks for 1 year. I worked with Business TalkRadio & Lifestyle TalkRadio Networks for19 years under the title of V.P. Affiliate Relations and Programming, later worked with Genesis Communications until starting a new network ATRN.  Currently working with GAB Radio Network and with Josh Leng at Talk Media Network.  I am still hosting the largest and longest running pet radio and internet show in the country, Talkin' Pets, for the past 29 years... My one true passion in life is to help to educate the world through interviews with celebrities like Betty White, Tippi Hedren, Bob Barker, Linda Blair and others, authors, foundations and organizations like the ASPCA, LCA, HSUS, AHA, WSPA on the ways to make this world a better place for all animals and mankind whom all share this very fragile and mysterious planet called earth. This is the only home we have so we all need to learn how to share and maintain it so that life for us all continues and evolves forever...

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