Outbreaks of canine flu in other states have prompted some veterinarians to encourage New Hampshire pet owners to consider a flu vaccine for their dogs. If you're a pet owner, you may want to consider a flu shot for another member of the family: your dog.
Canine influenza outbreaks have been reported in Vermont and Massachusetts. And Dr. David Stowe, president of the New Hampshire Veterinary Medical Association, predicts it's "only a matter of time" before an outbreak happens here.
The danger is that dogs here have no immunity to the new H3N8 virus, according to veterinarians. And that's why some are recommending flu shots for animals that go to day care, boarding, grooming, dog parks and other locations where dogs congregate.
"Dogs have never had influenza before," explained Stowe, a veterinarian with VCA Lakes Region Veterinary Hospital in Laconia, who recently treated a young dog for what he believes was the flu. "It makes it more likely that they may catch it if they're exposed to it."