The Clay County Humane Society is trying to get a jump on dog flu before it has a chance to spread.
Ten cases of H3N2 canine influenza have been confirmed in Florida, and Clay County Humane Society veterinarian Chris Broadhurst said he expects many more dogs will get sick — that’s because the new dog flu strain is very contagious.
“It is novel to dogs; they’ve never seen it before which means they have no innate immunity to this virus," he said. "Now, it is a very low mortality disease so everybody’s going to get it but very, very few will pass away from this. Mortality rates are very low.”
Symptoms of dog flu are like those of human flu: coughing, runny nose and eyes, sneezing and a lack of appetite and energy. Dogs that are very young, old or sick are most at risk of dying from the disease.
Clay Humane will hold a vaccine clinic Friday and Saturday for pet owners who want their dogs protected.
“They’re going to get a physical examination and receive the influenza vaccine and come back two weeks later for their booster vaccine,” he said.
No appointment is needed. Broadhurst said the $50 cost covers the visit and both flu shots. He expects to treat around 100 dogs during the two-day clinic.
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Cyd Hoskinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-358-6351 and on Twitter @cydwjctnews