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Minnesota dog owners encouraged to talk to their vet about vaccinating their pet as canine influenza outbreak continues

Jun 21, 2023 08:58AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Karsten Winegeart

From the Minnesota Board of Animal Health - June 21, 2023

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health encourages dog owners to visit their veterinarian and get their pets vaccinated against the highly contagious canine influenza virus. Manufacturers are starting to fulfill orders for Twin Cities veterinary clinics where Minnesota’s outbreak has had the greatest impact. However, some clinics may still not have adequate supply due to vaccine shortages. Owners who send their dogs to daycare, attend community dog events, visit dog parks, or regularly interact with dogs outside their immediate household are highly encouraged to talk to their vet about vaccinating their pet, and other ways to reduce the risk of canine influenza.

“Vaccination is a crucial part of responsible pet ownership. Talk to your veterinarian about your animal’s vaccine needs and make sure they’re being met to keep your companion healthy,” said Senior Veterinarian in charge of Companion Animals, Dr. Veronica Bartsch. “Canine influenza vaccines are safe for dogs of different breeds and ages. Schedule a wellness appointment with your veterinarian today, even if they don't have the canine influenza vaccine in stock. Make sure your dog is up to date on all other immunizations, which can offer protection against other serious diseases including those that cause complications secondary to canine influenza.”

Vaccinating dogs against canine influenza helps safeguard both their individual health and well-being and that of the greater canine community. Puppies, elderly dogs, and those with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to severe complications secondary to canine influenza. Vaccination offers crucial protection for these vulnerable individuals.

Canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease that can spread rapidly. Symptomatic dogs often exhibit a cough, low grade fever, tiredness, disinterest in food, sneezing, runny nose, and shortness of breath. Vaccination helps reduce the severity and duration of these symptoms if a dog becomes infected. Any dog showing signs of canine influenza, vaccinated or not, should be isolated from other dogs for 30 days. Dog owners can find resources and view outbreak case counts on the Board's Canine Influenza webpage.

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