Today Merck Animal Health announced Dog Flu Vaccination Day, which will occur on Wednesday, June 20. Participating veterinary clinics in Charlotte will offer specials to pet parents who schedule dog flu vaccination appointments on this day.
Dog flu is a year-round, highly contagious respiratory illness that is commonly spread among social dogs. There are two strains of dog flu – H3N8 and H3N2 – which have infected dogs in nearly all 50 states. Cases continue to grow this year, with over 600 confirmed cases between January and May. Common symptoms of dog flu include high fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, cough, runny nose and, in some cases, pneumonia – which can be life-threatening.
“Social dogs that frequently interact with other dogs at places like dog parks, doggie daycares, grooming facilities and boarding kennels are at an increased risk for dog flu,” said Dr. Jamie Laity, veterinarian at Animal Medical Hospital in Charlotte. “They should be vaccinated on an annual basis to be protected against both strains. Luckily the vaccine is easily given in two doses, two to four weeks apart, then boosted once a year.”
Pet parents should call their veterinarian to inquire about clinic specials for Dog Flu Vaccination Day and make an appointment for June 20. They can also learn more about dog flu, the signs and symptoms and where to find the vaccine in their neighborhood by visiting dogflu.com.