Local veterinarian says dog flu vaccine protects pets from canine influenza

Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 8:05 PM CDT
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VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WBRC) - Veterinarians in our area are seeing an influx of sick dogs coming into their clinics.

Doctors said canine influenza, also known as dog flu, is spreading, but there are steps you can take to prevent your dog from catching it.

Dr. Kylie Harmon with Pet Wellness Animal Hospital in Vestavia Hills said dogs have been coming into animal clinics with symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and hacking since the beginning of summer.

She said it’s often misdiagnosed as kennel cough, but it’s really canine flu, a contagious respiratory disease found in dogs.

Some animal shelters like the Greater Birmingham Humane Society have suspended all dog adoptions after several animals tested positive for dog flu.

And some animal clinics aren’t allowing any pets into their facilities—treating them outside until further notice.

Dr. Harmon said thankfully, Pet Wellness hasn’t seen any dog flu cases yet, and believes it’s because their patients are vaccinated.

“The influenza vaccine would be for dogs that board a lot, they come to daycare a lot that sort of thing and so in terms of the vaccine, it would give a single injection you’ll give a single vaccine and about 3 to 4 weeks later you would booster it. What the vaccine will do is reduce the risk of that a dog would become infected. If a dog did become infected, but was vaccinated against influenza, their clinical signs would be less severe,” Dr. Harmon said.

And if you’re wondering about costs for a dog flu vaccine, Dr. Harmon said it’s done as a bundle with distemper and kennel cough shots at Pet Wellness for a total of $60.

After that, it’s an annual booster, which will run you about $35.

Doctors said the chance of your dog dying from the flu is very small.

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