Domestic dog tests positive for avian influenza in Canada

The dog had chewed on the carcass of a wild goose
calendar icon 5 April 2023
clock icon 1 minute read

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Public Health Agency of Canada issued a joint statement yesterday confirming that a domestic dog in Oshawa, Ontario tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

The domestic dog was found to have been infected with avian influenza after chewing on a wild goose, and died after developing clinical signs. The necropsy was completed on April 3, 2023, and showed respiratory system involvement. Further testing is underway. It is the only case of its kind in Canada.

The number of documented cases of avian influenza H5N1 in non-avian species, such as cats and dogs is low, despite the fact that this virus has caused large avian outbreaks globally over the last few years.

Based on the current evidence in Canada, the risk to the general public remains low and current scientific evidence suggests that the risk of a human contracting avian influenza from a domestic pet is minor.

Furthermore, no domestically acquired human cases of avian influenza have been reported in Canada. Cases of avian influenza among humans are rare and almost always acquired through direct contact with infected birds or exposure to heavily contaminated environments. To date, there has been no evidence of sustained person-to-person spread.

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