Is your pet flu protected?

RALEIGH "They're very excited to come through the door," offered Dogtopia owners Tami Land. "The dogs play for about 11 hours during the day in an open play environment."

But before the day of play can begin, the kennel requires all animals be up-to-date on standard vaccines.

"We require the rabies - a must, the DHPP, which is distemper parvo and influenza and also the boardatella," said Land.

What isn't required just yet is the newly approved dog flu vaccine. The canine influenza virus or CIV has become very prevalent in certain parts of the country. Even though people can't catch this type of flu, the CDC says it's highly contagious among dogs.

That means there's cause for concern in places where dogs gather like kennels and dog parks.

Symptoms of CIV include: cough, runny nose, and fever. It can turn severe in some cases.

Vets in the Triangle say CIV hasn't been a problem yet, but some kennels are now requiring dogs be vaccinated for the flu before they can come inside.

It hasn't gotten to that point yet at Dogtopia, but the open space kennel understands the potential for illness and stands ready to take action if need-be.

"If it got so bad in the area - to keep the dogs safe, not let any new dogs in," said Land.

The canine flu vaccine is administered in two shots. Check with your vet to see if it's available or necessary for your pet.

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