Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) and the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS) are teaming up to offer local dog owners $10 vaccines against canine influenza, or dog flu, on Thursday, Sept. 7, from 4-7 p.m. at My Dog Eats First headquarters, 2509 Portland Avenue in Louisville.
This is the second low-cost dog flu vaccine clinic that the agencies have offered. Two vaccines spaced 2-4 weeks apart are needed to reach full effectiveness. Dog owners who came to the Aug. 24 clinic are advised to return on Sept. 7 for the second vaccine. But all dogs are welcome: owners can follow up with their own veterinarian for their second vaccine. And the KHS Healthy Pets Clinic, which is open five days a week at 241 Steedly Drive, regularly offers this vaccine for $25 per dog.
The Portland vaccine clinic is made possible by support from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
Canine influenza in the Louisville area was first detected in June. Since then, a number of local veterinarians, dog owners, boarding facilities and shelters have reported confirmed cases. The virus that causes canine influenza is very contagious to dogs, but it is not contagious to people. LMAS and KHS strongly recommend that all dog owners consider vaccinating their dogs.
“Vaccinating is the best way to protect your own animals and other dogs in our community from dog flu,” said Ozzy Gibson, LMAS Director.
“We hope to vaccinate hundreds of dogs,” says Karen Koenig, KHS Vice President for Animal Welfare. “Our goal is to ensure that every owner can afford to vaccinate and protect their pets.”
Almost all dogs exposed to the virus become infected and the majority – 80% of infected dogs – develop flu-like illnesses. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and include persistent coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge, lethargy, reduced appetite and fever.