Health

Does Your Dog Really Need a Flu Shot?

With the virus hitting hard this year, Rex could be next

We have not yet hit peak flu season — and already, health experts are saying we’ve reached infection of epidemic proportions. The flu is now widespread in 37 states. Children and the elderly aren’t the only ones we need to watch closely for the bug — our dogs may be at risk of serious illness as well.

[lz_ndn video=31915257]

Two strains of canine influenza virus (CIV) hit four-legged friends hard this past year, affecting dogs in 26 states throughout the early spring and summer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CIV is highly contagious, strikes any time of year, and brings symptoms that range anywhere from a mild sneeze and cough to severe conditions such as pneumonia, dehydration — even death.

A vaccine has largely been available for years, but it hasn’t worked well — and few knew to ask their veterinarian for it anyway.

Scientists from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry recently announced they were able to develop two new temperature-sensitive live vaccines that are more effective than anything else on the market. They also provide a better immune response for a longer time.

Getting the vaccine may not be relevant unless you live in a highly concentrated area where there are a lot of other dogs; if you’re traveling; or if you’re kenneling your dog, according to veterinarian Dr. Holly Cheever of the Village Animal Clinic in Voorheesville, New York.

Who Is A Bigger Threat To America?

By completing the poll, you agree to receive emails from LifeZette, occasional offers from our partners and that you've read and agree to our privacy policy and legal statement.

Related: Most Surprising Ways to Ward Off the Miserable Flu

The virus isn’t something they see much of at all in the rural Albany region. “I have very, very few clients that need or request it because of where we are. We don’t really have the need in this area,” Cheever told LifeZette.

But for those who do, the new vaccines could also guard against the possibility of dogs transmitting dangerous flu strains to humans, researchers say.

Dehydration, by the way, is an important thing to look for if you’re not sure your dog is feeling well. Check inside the dog’s lip: If it’s moist, things should be OK, but if it’s dry and tacky, the dog may be dehydrated and a trip to the vet is in order.

Join the Discussion

Comments are currently closed.