It’s that time of year. The kids are back in school, cooler weather is around the corner, and doctors are already reporting the season’s first cases of the flu. What many pet owners don’t realize is that dogs can get the flu, too, and should be vaccinated annually.
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, there are two strains of canine influenza viruses—H3N8 and H3N2. Both are relatively new viruses, adapted within the past decade from equine and avian flu strains. All dogs are susceptible to infection since they haven’t yet developed a natural immune response to the two flu strains. Most dogs that develop the flu have mild symptoms, but some dogs can become very sick and require treatment. Older dogs or dogs with chronic health conditions such as asthma run a higher risk for more serious complications.
Canine influenza causes many of the same uncomfortable symptoms that affect humans, including:
- Nasal discharge
- Mild, low-grade fever (103°F)
- Loss of appetite
If your dog shows any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian and keep him isolated from other dogs if possible. Just like human flu, canine influenza is highly contagious among dogs. Unless your dog has already had the flu and recovered, he will become infected if exposed to the virus and can remain contagious for up to 24 days. Dogs are at higher risk of coming down with the flu if they spend time at dog parks, kennels, and daycare or grooming facilities. Traveling may also increase the risk of dog flu infection.
The good news is that there are now vaccines available to decrease the chances that your dog will suffer from complications of the flu. In Knoxville and Alcoa, the veterinarians at PetWellClinic® provide affordable vaccinations against both strains of canine influenza. If it is the first flu vaccine your pet has ever received, it will need to be re-boostered three later.
By operating convenient hours for non-surgical care, PetWellClinic® is also able to offer substantially discounted prices for other vaccinations, flea and tick preventative products, wellness exams, and treatment of minor conditions. We operate as a “minute clinic” for your pet—no appointment necessary, with convenient hours and quick in-and-out service. You can save even more time by pre-registering and pre-paying online for our walk-in clinics.
PetWellClinic® has three locations: 10549 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37922; 7329 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919; and 228 S. Calderwood Street, Alcoa,TN 37701. Learn more about how PetWellClinic® can exceed your expectations for affordable, top quality pet care by visiting our website at www.petwellclinic.com.