An outbreak of sever tracheobronchitis in racing greyhounds in New Zealand

An outbreak of sever tracheobronchitis in racing greyhounds in New Zealand
Peer reviewed


An outbreak of respiratory disease occurred among racing greyhounds in the North Island of New Zealand in the spring of 2008. Although respiratory disease was widespread among racing greyhound kennels in the North Island, mortalities were low. Of three dogs that died, one was examined post mortem. That dog had severe pulmonary haemorrhage and haemorrhagic pleural effusion. Due to similarities to canine influenza virus infection, an infectious disease investigation was launched by the Investigation and Diagnostic Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. A fourth greyhound with severe respiratory disease was euthanised for post-mortem examination. Gross and histological lesions were chronic tracheobronchitis and suppurative bronchopneumonia. No pathogenic bacteria were isolated. PCR performed on tissues and fluids were negative for Influenza A. Viral isolation failed to identify any canine respiratory viruses. Serum from affected dogs taken twice 2 weeks apart and tested by haemagglutination inhibition against equine H3N8 HAI antigen showed no titres to influenza virus. The outbreak of tracheobronchitis in racing greyhounds was considered to be associated with inadequate vaccination strategies. The cause of haemorrhagic pleural effusion was not determined. If haemorrhagic pneumonia occurs in a setting of high-morbidity respiratory disease in dogs, infection with canine influenza virus should be ruled out.

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