TEMPLE, TX - As flu season continues to get worse in Texas, and across the country, people are scrambling to get their flu shot before it's too late.
But it's not just people. Experts are urging pet owners to get their dogs vaccinated as well.
But is it an effective way to prevent your dog from getting sick?
Dr. Linda Hankins is a veterinarian at the Belton Small Animal Clinic, she said although there have been no reported cases so far in our area, that probably won’t last for long.
“We’ve seen cases throughout Texas in the Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, area so it’s only a matter of time until it comes here with how mobile we are with our pets,” Hankins said.
So what kind of signs do you need to be on the lookout for? Common symptoms include a cough, a runny nose, a fever, and lethargy. And if your dog is a social butterfly, you may want to be extra cautious.
"I think your index for suspicion for influenza or any kind of contagious respiratory disease is going to be higher if your dog goes to boarding facilities or goes to doggy daycare or is just in an environment where they're around lots of dogs, because, just like people, your pet is going to contract it from exposure to an infected pet," Dr. Mohammed, owner Hindatuand veterinarian of Allendale Veterinary Clinic said.
So that brings us back to prevention. Is the dog vaccine effective?
"It’s very effective, these are new viruses so dogs haven’t been exposed to them before so we want to protect as many as we can,” Hankins said.
So we can verify, that the flu shot is an effective method to prevent your pooch from getting sick, and although it doesn't completely protect them, it is the best way to reduce the risk.