COLUMBUS (WCMH) — More cases of canine flu are being reported in our area, prompting some dog owners to get their pets vaccinated.
NBC4 told you earlier this week about businesses like boarding, grooming and daycare centers that have had to shut down to sanitize their facilities.
Camp Bow Wow Columbus-Grandview Heights and Willow Wood Pet Resort & Training Center have both closed their doors after learning about dog flu cases in the area. Here is a statement Camp Bow Wow provided to NBC4:
“Our customers have been very supportive over the past few days as we’ve closed our doors to ensure we are doing what is necessary to protect the dogs and remedy the canine influenza outbreak in the area. We strongly urge all owners to have their dogs receive the new Canine Influenza Vaccine, which Camp Bow Wow Columbus Grandview-Heights will be mandating for all its customers in the near future. Camp Bow Wow is looking forward to reopening tomorrow and providing a safe place for dogs.” – Camp Bow Wow Spokesperson
Northstar Animal Care said it’s seen five dogs with confirmed cases of dog flu. They’ve set up an outdoor clinic to treat the animals and help prevent spreading the virus to others.
Meanwhile, some dog owners are taking preventative action by getting their pets vaccinated.
“This is the first time, that they’ve had the flu shot,” said dog owner Judy Turner.
Turner said she didn’t want to take any chances with her two dogs, Sunny and Champ. That’s why she’s taking them to get the dog flu vaccine at the Animal Care Center of Polaris.
“Sunny is a therapy dog and she’s out and about and plus she’s older, so I wanted to make sure she’s well protected,” she said. “We do a lot of fostering in home, so I just wanted to make sure that both of my dogs are well protected.”
Dr. Michelle Gonzalez from Rascal Animal Hospital said dog flu has symptoms similar to kennel cough, including cough, fever and lethargy. She said if your dog has any of these symptoms, it’s important to get them examined by a veterinarian.
“We worry a lot about influenza in the really young and the really old, just the same as influenza in people affects the people that are immunosuppressed,” said Dr. Gonzalez.
She said pets at a high risk for the flu should consider getting the vaccine including dogs that are boarded, groomed or go to parks.
“People that work with animals they can potentially take the virus back home with them in their clothes and such, so their pets should be vaccinated as well,” said Dr. Gonzalez.
The virus is contagious and can be spread through the air or attach to materials. She suggests if you come in contact with a dog who might be sick to wash your clothes before interacting with your other pets.
She said not all vets carry the vaccine, so it’s important to call beforehand.
“It is a vaccine that does need boostered, so if your pet has never been vaccinated for influenza three weeks later they will need another vaccine and then they will be good for a year,” said Dr. Gonzalez.
Both Rascal Animal Hospital and Animal Care Center of Polaris offer the dog flu vaccine and booster.