Raleigh veterianarians urge pet owners to protect dogs against dog flu

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- As pet owners get ready to board their dog this holiday season, veterinarians are warning them about canine influenza.

Leesville Animal Hospital in north Raleigh sent an email update to its clients, informing them of a dog flu outbreak at a local animal rescue shelter.

While many board facilities already require boarded pets to be vaccinated, the hospital is now urging all of its boarding, grooming, and day camp pets to receive the two-dose canine influenza vaccine.

The hospital's doctors and staff said the outbreak at the rescue, which was not named, was "serious enough they had to close down their facility for a period of time while they did all they could to eradicate the virus."

Dr. Sandra Strong, Wake County's chief veterinarian, said the warning was likely in reference to this past summer when one dog in Raleigh died after contracting dog flu.

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"Influenza is a disease or a virus that goes along with a lifestyle of a very active, social dog," said Strong. "So, it makes sense that area veterinarians would be reminding their clients that if they're traveling, if they're boarding, if their dog's gonna come in contact with a lot of other dogs then they may want to think about getting it."

Strong said if you're concerned about whether your dog should get vaccinated, contact your veterinarian.

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