MedWatch Today: Why it’s important dogs get the flu shot too

Med Watch Today

It’s encouraged that everyone get their flu shot this season, even our four legged friends. That’s right, dogs are susceptible to getting the flu too, and they can also get a vaccine to prevent getting sick.

All employees and volunteers at Community Medical Centers wear a pink badge to signify that they have received the flu shot this year.

Mike Baltis and his three-year old Great Dane dog Duke are both volunteers with the W.A.G.S program.

“The W.A.G.S program here at the hospital, Wonderful Animals Giving Support, it’s all about enlightening people and helping get smiles on their face, make their days better,” said Mike.

At least twice a week, you can find Mike and Duke brightening up patients faces at Community Regional, Clovis Community, and Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital.

Mike received his flu vaccine for the season, and so did Duke.

“Duke got a flu shot because canine flu is quite prevalent here in the Valley,” Mike added.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, canine influenza, or dog flu, is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by specific “Type A” influenza viruses known to infect them dogs. Though humans and dogs cannot infect one another, canine influenza is equally as dangerous to our four legged friends, as human influenza is to us.

Mike said, “They can die from the flu if it turns into pneumonia.”

Your veterinarian can provide additional information about these vaccines, and whether you should consider vaccinating your dog.

“Everybody get out there and get your flu shot. If me and Duke can do it, you can do it too!” ended Mike.

A reminder to get out there and get your flu shot this season. Unlike a cold, the flu can come on suddenly. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some symptoms of the flu include: fever, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, and fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, follow up with your doctor.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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