Dogs can get flu shots? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Dogs can get flu shots?

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

With so many people traveling for the holidays, Texas veterinarians have a few tips for pet owners.

A contagious strain of dog flu is popping up sporadically across the state and kenneling your dogs may increase the chances of your pup catching the flu.

Veterinarians talked about what the symptoms look like and just how cautious Tyler pet owners should be.

Many of us receive an annual flu shot, but what about dogs? Should we worry about our pets catching the flu too?

"Dog flu was first recognized about eight years ago in some racing Greyhounds in Florida, and since that time there have been sporadic outbreaks across the country," says veterinarian Bryan Ramsey who is also owner of South Tyler Animal Clinic.

A few of those outbreaks have been a little too close to home.

"There were about 20 cases or so in San Antonio, and there have been some sporadic reports of cases over the metroplex," Ramsey explained.

But so far, Doctor Ramsey says he has not diagnosed any dogs in Tyler.

"It really hasn't spread with a high morbidity like we were afraid," the doctor says.

He says the symptoms of dog flu are very similar to that of kennel cough, runny nose, a cough, fever, general malaise, and decrease in appetite.

If your pets experience any of those symptoms, Doctor Ramsey says you may need to take them to the vet.

Now, there is an influenza vaccine for dogs. As of right now, Ramsey says Tyler pups may not need the shot.

"If you give the vaccine it won't necessarily prevent the disease, but it is reported to decrease the severity and the duration of illness," Dr. Ramsey explained.

But if your dog is constantly around other dogs or travels frequently, Dr. Ramsey says the shot might be a good idea.

Dr. Ramsey is not offering the vaccine at this time, but he says if dogs in the area test positive for influenza, then he will begin treating dogs with the vaccine.

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