Dog flu vaccination underway at Clay Humane

New strain sweeping across the country

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – A new strain of canine influenza has made its way to Florida and Georgia. Veterinarians are encouraging people to protect their dogs by getting them vaccinated.

The flu is not new to dogs, but a strain sweeping across the country is.

"Our dogs have never seen it before which means when animals get exposed almost 100 percent of them will come down with the flu," Dr. Christian Broadhurst, senior. staff veterinarian at Clay Humane.

Broadhurst said the new strain of the virus has made its way from the Midwest to Florida and Georgia.

"They suffer a lot of coughing, some nasal discharge, ocular discharge, often fever," Broadhurst said. "It can progress to pneumonia, which is potentially life-threatening for dogs."

The virus could cause more complications for young, sicker and older dogs. This strain lingers even after the symptoms have passed.

"It will shed from infected animals for up to 24-30 days," Broadhurst said.

That's why Clay Humane is offering a canine influenza clinic encouraging pet owners to get their dogs vaccinated.

"We got up this morning first thing to see what we can do because when you have pets, we believe you should take the best care of them," said dog owner James Jordan, who brought Princess in for the shot. "They become like family."

She'll have to come back for a follow-up and second shot to complete the vaccine.

The canine influenza vaccine clinic continues Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The $50 fee includes both rounds of that vaccine.