Welcome to the DCPAH

The Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (DCPAH) is a full-service veterinary diagnostic laboratory offering more than 800 tests in 11 service sections. In the more than 30 years since its inception, DCPAH has become one of the country's premier veterinary diagnostic laboratories, handling more than 220,000 cases involving approximately 1.5 million tests annually.

The Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health is an invaluable professional resource, making quality, trusted, and comprehensive veterinary diagnostics widely available. Income from the laboratory is reinvested in teaching, research, and outreach for the purpose of protecting human and animal welfare domestically and around the world.

Spring 2015 Newsletter
News Archives

The DCPAH quarterly newsletter for clients is back! It has a new look, a new name, and the same great content you've come to expect from our experts. Check out Diagnostic News for diagnostic- and disease-related information and articles for practitioners, and DCPAH business tips and updates for clinic staff.

Archives of our past DCPAHealth News are still available.

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Canine Influenza Update
April 13, 2015 - It has been determined that the strain of influenza affecting dogs in the Chicago area is not the equine H3N8 strains as previously thought. The H3N2 strain that has been identified in diagnostic samples does not affect humans, but can cause illness in cats. The diagnostic approach is not altered by this discovery. DCPAH's ability to detect the influenza virus is not affected. See our previous update for additional information and links to resources developed by the AVMA which are being updated as new information is available.

Canine Influenza Virus
April 8, 2015 - The Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (DCPAH) has evidence that at least two diagnostic laboratories have confirmed influenza virus in Chicago dogs. Individual dogs or small groups of dogs may have been infected occasionally, but we have no evidence that we have had a sustained infection here in Michigan. While canine influenza typically does not affect humans, the H3N2 strain that has been identified in this outbreak can cause illness in cats (updated April 13, 2015).

Canine influenza virus is one of several pathogens that can cause infectious respiratory disease in dogs. Any pet owner who suspects that their dog may be sick should see their veterinarian. Signs of illness include cough, fever, lack of appetite, and lethargy. Because signs are similar, diagnostic testing is needed to identify the specific cause of illness. A veterinarian will generally take a nasal swab and send it to a laboratory such as ours to test for viral and bacterial pathogens.

Dogs can shed viral and bacterial pathogens that cause infectious respiratory disease during the incubation period before showing any clinical signs. Testing within the first few days of illness is very important because this shedding is limited in duration.

DCPAH recommends testing for the most common causes of respiratory diseases in dogs with our canine respiratory disease core panel (test # 80984) or the core panel plus (test # 80985) if distemper is also suspected. We will include influenza by request for a nominal additional charge. Please indicate on the submittal form if influenza is suspected. PCR testing for canine influenza virus alone is also available. Please call us at (517) 353-1683 for more information regarding collection protocol, pricing, or with other questions.

Few infected dogs will develop the severe form of illness. The majority may be asymptomatic and show no symptoms but can shed the virus. Some will develop the mild form and show signs including cough and fever. The minority of dogs that develop the severe form will have a higher fever and be much sicker; radiographs will show evidence of pneumonia. This is similar to what we see in humans with influenza.

Dog owners who are in the Chicago area are encouraged limit contact with other dogs at places such as dog parks, boarding facilities, grooming facilities, etc. and to wash their hands after petting or interacting with dogs. Soap and water and regular disinfectants are effective. Those planning to travel to Chicago are encouraged not to travel with their dogs if at all possible; if it is necessary, limiting contact with other dogs is strongly recommended.

For additional information, please see the resources below:

Canine Influenza FAQ (AVMA)
Canine Influenza Reference for Veterinarians (AVMA)
Canine Influenza: Pet Owners' Guide (AVMA)
What You Need to Know About Canine Influenza (Michigan Veterinary Medical Association)
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American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians
through December 31, 2017
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