DALLAS (CBS11) – Humans aren’t the only ones getting sick this flu season. Dogs are also at risk.
A North Texas veterinarian, Dr. Danny Cox, says he’s seen about half a dozen cases so far this season.
The vet recommends keeping them indoors during the freezing cold weather. A dog park is one of the places they can catch the flu.
It’s called canine influenza, or dog flu. Some of the symptoms are similar to what humans get, but vets say it’s not the same virus.
People and cats can’t be infected unless the virus mutates.
Getting a vaccine doesn’t completely protect your dog, but it can reduce how sick they get.
Symptoms include coughing, sneezing and a discharge from their eyes or nose.
The dog flu is highly contagious, and dogs that go to dog parks, competitions and boarding kennels are at a higher risk of getting it.
“The conditions are ripe for flu. Animals travel a lot. It can be transmitted in the air, but it’s primarily direct contact with pets in confined environments for the most part,” said Dr. Cox of The Pet Vet at Petco.
Dr. Cox says the flu vaccine won’t treat the flu, but it should help prevent it. Dogs will need a couple of vaccines for it to be effective.