I have an adorable four-year-old black miniature poodle. There are times I have to travel and need to take her to doggie day care. We actually have a really great place to board her for a day. But here is the problem. Now, the boarding places are requiring a canine flu shot in order to board.
OK, I know my 90-year-old dad needs a flu shot, but my dog? I am reluctant. She just had a rabies shot and still has a big knot on her shoulder that hasn’t completely healed.
So I asked my vet. She said there is no canine flu outbreak in our area, but if I want to board my pet, many places are now requiring the shot.
According to the CDC, dog flu is “a contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by a specific Type A influenza virus referred to as a “canine influenza virus.” This is a disease of dogs, not of humans.” The virus was first observed in horses and has now spread to dogs. It is highly contagious and spreading rapidly in some parts of the country. Symptoms include cough, runny nose, and fever. A small percentage of dogs can develop severe disease, but very few dogs actually die from the virus.
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends the vaccine if your dog is in frequent contact with other dogs. Dogs at risk are those that board, go to day care, shelters or travel. People who handle an infected dog can transmit the virus to another dog, but the virus does not transmit from dog to people.
The vaccine is given in a pair of shots weeks apart. Each shot is anywhere from $25.00 to $50.00 and there is no local drug store offering them for free or at a discount.
So to vaccinate or not? That is the question. The decision should probably take into account where you live (is there an outbreak) and how much your dog interacts with other dogs.
For me, I am forgoing the vaccine. Not convinced my dog needs it or that it is good to pump her full of a number of vaccines. This does mean, however, that I have to be created with my dog care!
What will you do?