Fall is the time of year that many people think about getting flu vaccines. But have you considered the flu vaccine for your dog as well?
Dogs get the flu?
“Dog flu” is the common name for canine influenza, a highly contagious and quite serious respiratory disease that can affect dogs and sometimes cats, but never humans (human strains of flu are a different virus). We discussed dog flu and its symptoms on our vet’s blog before (read about dog flu here).
Like the human strain of influenza, dog flu can change each year, so it’s important to track the strains of flu and the outbreak range to know if your dog may be at risk. Currently there are two main strains of canine influenza, H3N8 as well as the more recent H3N2. Vaccines are available for both strains.
Why consider the canine flu vaccine?
If your dog goes on trips, attends dog shows, socializes at dog parks or grooming facilities, is ever boarded, or shares space with other dogs who do these activities, then you should consider getting the canine flu vaccine at Animal Clinic of Woodruff. Vaccines include two initial sets of vaccines followed by an annual booster.
Some boarding facilities require the flu vaccine, so make sure you make an appointment for your dog’s canine influenza vaccine well in advance of holiday boarding time.
Furthermore, if your dog starts showing signs of having the flu, such as coughing, thick nasal discharge (runny nose), running a fever, reduced appetite, or eye discharge, please make an appointment with a veterinarian. Your dog may have the flu or may have other diseases with similar symptoms that need immediate treatment. You will need to keep your dog isolated from other dogs and let the sickness run its course for 2-3 weeks.
The best way to prevent your dog from getting dog flu is to avoid socializing with sick dogs, keep surfaces clean and – most importantly – get a canine influenza vaccine.
For further information about the canine influenza vaccine, reach out to our team at Animal Clinic of Woodruff.