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— April 21, 2015 —
Mobile Influenza Shot Clinic
by Daniel McElroy Jr.

This Thursday, Bark Avenue Playcare, Inc will host Partners and Paws, a local mobile vet service for an influenza vaccination clinic. We want to discuss why we are hosting this and help you decide if you should get your dog vaccinated.

First, we have to point out that we are strictly offering our location for Dr. Neumann as a place to have dogs come for the vaccine. Bark Avenue is not providing the vaccinations or charging for the service. Dr. Neumann is handling all of that.

We have had a few folks ask if A) Should they get their dog vaccinated and B) Is there a way to get the shot without going to a vet’s office and possibly getting their dog exposed to the flu.

The answer to A is, “It depends.” We believe the current outbreak is an Asian flu strain that has never been seen here, therefore we don’t have a vaccine that is specifically designed for it. The current vaccine is being tested to determine if it has any benefit on the flu virus, but according to this article, the current vaccination does seem to offer some protection from pneumonia. Since the possibility of pneumonia is the greatest risk from this virus, that alone may make the vaccination worthwhile for dogs that have not already contracted the virus.

If a dog has contracted the virus and still has symptoms, they are not a good candidate for the vaccination. The vet won’t give the shot to sick dogs at this clinic.

If your dog has already recovered from the flu, there may be a benefit to getting the vaccination because some vets are saying that we may be dealing with two different strains at the same time. A dog that had one strain may be at risk for the other, but again, testing is being done to determine what kind of cross-immunity is happening. I am personally not vaccinating my dogs this year, since they have recovered. They will be tested for immunity at their next annual vet visit.

The answer to B really depends on where you live. If you can make it to the clinic, it would be a great way to get your dog vaccinated without going to the vet. If your area has been hit, but you can’t make it on Thursday, give a call to your vet’s office and ask they how they are handling isolation procedures. Many vets were having coughing dogs come in through a dedicated side entrance and not sit in their lobby coughing.

The flu seems to be moving out of the area and unfortunately is now hitting suburban areas and even other states. We have seen first hand how contagious this has been and we will be following the news to see when a vaccine is developed. We educated ourselves early on the importance of aggressive treatment and every sick dog was put on antibiotics as soon as they showed symptoms. We believe this has played a role in preventing any fatalities in our population of dogs. When it becomes available, we strongly recommend having your dog vaccinated for the Asian flu, especially if you live in an area where there are not yet cases. Chances are, it will show up in your area.

Details and how to participate in Thursday’s Mobile Influenza Shot Clinic here.

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