LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Local vets are urging pet owners to have their dogs vaccinated against canine flu.
Canine flu is a virus that spreads dog-to-dog through things like water bowls, toys, and even barking.
The chief veterinarian at the Animal Foundation says while she hasn’t seen a spike in the Las Vegas valley, canine influenza can mimic other respiratory illnesses, so pet parents should be aware of the risks.
“There’s animals that are asymptomatic when they’re carrying influenza,” said Dr. Jo Jarred. “There could be no signs. There could be signs like fever, coughing, nasal discharge, being lethargic all the way up to severe signs of pneumonia and even death.”
Dr. Jarred said canine flu is like human flu, but there are no documented cases of it spreading from dogs to humans.
The best treatment is supportive care because secondary infections are the biggest concern. The best prevention is a two-dose vaccine with an annual booster.
“If your lifestyle warrants the vaccine, you should get it,” said Dr. Jarred. “It’s just a silly risk if there’s a way to prevent it.”
Dr. Jarred said most veterinary offices in the Las Vegas valley have the vaccine available.