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Local Veterinarians Recommend Vaccine After Canine Flu Outbreak

A three-month-old puppy waits for a check-up by a vet. (Photo by Getty Images)

A three-month-old puppy waits for a check-up by a vet. (Photo by Getty Images)

CBS New York (con't)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s not too late to get a flu shot for your dog.

Local veterinarians are reporting an outbreak of canine influenza — a relatively new virus.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports

“It starts off just as a little bit of a cough but unfortunately, just like human influenza, it can be very, very serious and up to about 5 percent of dogs can actually die from it,” Dr. Mark Lerman,of All Creatures Great and Small Animal Hospital in Pomona, told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams.

Veterinarians are recommending dog owners get their pets vaccinated to prevent the disease. It is highly recommended for animals expected to spend any time in close quarters with other dogs.

“We have started to use it because we had quite a few cases over the past couple of months,” Lerman said.

Canine flu is highly contagious and spreads easily in kennels. Symptoms include cough, runny nose and fever.

It is endemic in New York City, lower Hudson Valley and northern New Jersey. The flu first appeared in Florida in 2005 and is related to a virus found in horses.

Last month, a Teterboro, N.J. animal shelter closed for two weeks — temporarily putting adoptions on hold — after several dogs came down with the virus.

Also, several dogs that had boarded at a Rockland County kennel were diagnosed with the flu.

Are you worried about your pet? Will you be getting your dog vaccinated? Let us know below…