"Because this is a brand new virus and it was not present in the dog population before 2004, really no dogs have been exposed to it before then, and therefore if they come in contact with it they will get sick."
- Dr. Jennifer Stone, Medical Director at the Animal Foundation.
Only a select few states have been hit thus far, but if left unchecked, this bit of dog flu could very well hit your neck of the woods and infect your Little Friend. There is an airborne strain of flu that affects canines only and unless you get your Little Friend vaccinated, your pup could have a rough go of things. Symptoms of canine influenza, or dog flu, include:
The first few cases were reported in the state of Florida and has since spread to Texas, Colorado, California and now on our doorstep of Nevada. It is a sneaky little devil of a virus. Unfortunately, the aforementioned symptoms only manifest themselves once the canine influenza is pretty much full-blown. Your Little Friend could have been infected for several days before any signs of sickness are even the slightest bit noticeable. All the while, your dog could very well be spreading a contagious pathogen among other dogs and their unsuspecting owners.
If you frequent dog parks or board your dogs in kennels, veterinarians are wholly encouraging that dog owners get the canine influenza vaccine administered if not as a precautionary measure. Although there haven't been any cases reported in the city of Las Vegas, to ensure that in the event the dog flu does hit the Vegas strip, the collateral damage is kept in check by what Dr. Stone refers to as "community immunity". Consult with your local veterinarian or visit the Center for Disease Control website for further information. There is a limited supply of dog flu vaccines available to the general public at a discounted price thanks to government grants.