Should You Vaccinate Your Dog Against The Canine Flu?

veterinary surgeon is giving the vaccine to the dog German Sheph

More than 1,000 dogs in Chicago have been hit with canine flu, and some vets say the illness is a borderline epidemic. Since five dogs have already died, many owners are rightfully worried and want to know if their dogs should get the canine influenza shot.

According to Arlington Animal Hospital, most vaccinated dogs will not experience any negative effects, but there is always a risk. For example, small-breed dogs are most likely to experience side-effects such as fatigue, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory distress, and pain at the injection side. In case of an anaphylactic event, immediately take your dog to the vet.

You also need to know that dogs have to be at least six weeks old to get the influenza shot, and the two-shot vaccine should be given three weeks apart.

Edward Dubovi, director of the virology laboratory at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, told Pets Web MD that people from Chicago should vaccinate their dogs, as opposed to people who live in areas that are free of canine flu.

“If I lived in New York City and I was getting ready to board my pet for the holidays, I’d definitely get the vaccine. But if I lived in Minneapolis, where there’s never been a diagnosed case, I probably wouldn’t use it.”

RELATED: Owners, Beware Of Dog Flu

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