Vets Promote Canine Flu Vaccine After Los Angeles Outbreak – NBC 7 San Diego
Veterinarians are encouraging dog owners to consider vaccinating their pets against canine flu after a breakout was reported in Los Angeles County.
Zarah Hedge, DVM, Chief Medical Officer of the San Diego Humanitarian Society, said the last strain of canine flu was reported in California in 2015. She said it was not a common virus but could be spread easily. Hedge said most dogs don’t have immunity to the virus, which is why she advises dog owners to meet with their vet to discuss vaccinating their furry friend.
“I was at the dog park and someone asked me, ‘Does your dog have the vaccine?’ and I didn’t know it, ”Jessica Corona said. She is a dog owner and often visits the dog park. She said she was unfamiliar with the canine flu vaccine, but is now considering getting her dog vaccinated.
“Don’t panic about the outbreak in Los Angeles, but be on the lookout,” said Hedge, who explained that there had been no reports of dogs with the flu to the San Diego Humane Society. and that she had not been alerted to any cases in San Diego County.
Hedge said it might be difficult for pet owners to identify canine flu symptoms.
“If you notice your dog is coughing or sneezing, has a runny nose or eyes, it could be a variety of different viruses,” Hedge said. Hedge stressed the importance of seeing a veterinarian if dog owners notice cold or flu-like symptoms.
“It could be very important to make sure your dog has the flu shot and to make sure it’s a vaccine that covers both variants of the flu virus. Especially if they go to places like boarding schools, groomers, dog daycares, dog parks, anywhere they go around lots of other dogs.
Hedge also said that young dogs and those with health problems may be more likely to develop serious illness from canine flu.