Fight the Flu

WSVN — Jennifer Rosario's dog Rainbow is a smart animal who's learned a lot of tricks. Even a sharp dog like Rainbow can't outsmart the viruses and sicknesses that many animals can pick up.

Recently, Rainbow got a scary upper respiratory infection.

Jennifer Rosario: "She got really sick. She lost weight. She was sneezing and coughing."

Just like people, dogs can also get a type of flu called canine influenza or CIV.

Dr. Donna Schwartz: "It's species-specific. Our flu is very different, but the symptoms may parallel each other. It's a respiratory version of the flu."

Unlike the flu we get, canine flu is not seasonal and can strike at any time. The vets at Coral Springs Animal Hospital know all too well how fast it can spread among dogs.

Dr. Donna Schwartz: "We had an outbreak in our hospital back in 2006. It went through our entire boarding kennel. One dog got very sick, and he unfortunately passed away."

The animal hospital made it mandatory that every dog boarded there get vaccinated against CIV.

Dr. Donna Schwartz: "They'll get one vaccination, but a second vaccine booster is recommended in a two-four week period."

Veterinarian Donna Schwartz says dogs who mingle with other dogs should get vaccinated too.

Dr. Donna Schwartz: "If you have a dog that goes to the dog park, goes to the groomer where they are exposed to a larger amount of dogs, those dogs should definitely be vaccinated."

Jennifer knows it's the right choice for her friendly dog.

Jennifer Rosario: "I'm finally taking the steps to take her to get that vaccine."

A quick, painless shot and Rainbow is now ready to fight the flu.

Jennifer Rosario: "She was amazing. She didn't even feel the vaccine. I feel good. I feel relieved that now she will be protected."

Alexis Rivera: "Some new studies have shown that cats and dogs might be able to get the H1N1 flu too. To protect your pet, vets say you should get a seasonal flu shot."

FOR MORE INFORMATION:Coral Springs Animal Hospital2160 North University DriveCoral Springs, FL 33071(954) 753-1800