Dog flu vaccine now available in Santa Barbara County

Dog flu vaccine now available in...

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - The dog park is full of fun and activity for our furry friends but it can also be a breeding ground for numerous illnesses like canine influenza.

Dog owner Janet Nord frequents the Woof-Pac Park in Orcutt with her Shih-Tzu mix.

Nord's dog was recently vaccinated for the dog flu. "I like to take her to dog parks and out on walks. We live in Nipomo and sometimes we're out in the country - I don't know what she might be exposed to so I feel good that she'd be protected. I think it's definitely worth getting the shot," Nord explained.

Veterinarian Tammy Mendez, Owner of Animal Care Hospital in Lompoc says other dog owners should take this virus just as seriously.

"One of the scarier things is that a dog can have the virus and be shedding before that dog is showing clinical signs," Dr. Mendez said. 

Symptoms of canine influenza include runny nose, eye discharge, coughing and fatigue.

"It's so contagious so once it gets introduced into an area it's almost like a little outbreak so you may not have it but then when you have it, it kind of goes through the population pretty quickly," Dr. Mendez explained. 

The shot is done in two rounds and Dr. Mendez says without the vaccine, dogs don't have any antibodies against the strains of flu that have been confirmed here in California.

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