Asheville animal hospital fights back against deadly dog flu

Canine influenza hasn’t made its way to the mountains yet, but Dr. David Thompson, with Animal Hospital of North Asheville, isn’t taking any chances. His hospital just wrapped up a week-long clinic, providing the vaccine to his patients for about $80. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

A local animal hospital is fighting back against the deadly canine flu outbreak getting closer and closer to the mountains.

Canine influenza hasn’t made its way to the mountains yet, but Dr. David Thompson, with Animal Hospital of North Asheville, isn’t taking any chances.

His hospital just wrapped up a week-long clinic, providing the vaccine to his patients for about $80.

“Our whole idea is to try to prevent the disease rather than try to treat it, because this disease can actually cause death,” Thompson said.

According to the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association, two dogs in the Tar Heel state have already died, one in Moorehead City and one in the Raleigh area.

That’s why hundreds of Thompson’s patients came for the vaccination.

“So far, so good. I'm not worried now, especially now that we have the vaccine,” said Jim Canavan.

Thompson said after the original shot, his patients will need to return in a couple weeks for the booster shot.

With the dog days of summer approaching, vacation getaways could be prime spots for pets to come into contact with infected dogs.

“It's wise to avoid dog parks, congregations of dogs like grooming salons, boarding facilities, things such as that. If they're immunized, they're pretty much protected. If they're not immunized, we really don't know what the future holds for this virus. Is it going to ramp up and be worse or is this as bad as it's going to get this year? We just don't know,” said Thompson.

Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, low energy, fever and lack of appetite.

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