When I adopted my dog Moby from a Denver, CO, shelter in 2006, I quickly knew that something was wrong with his health. The veterinarian diagnosed him with not only kennel cough but also canine influenza. Who knew dogs could get the flu? Had a vaccination been available for the shelter to administer, Moby would have come into his forever home as the strong dog he is today.
Now, the Petfinder.com Foundation and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, makers of the Nobivac® Canine Flu H3N8 vaccine, are making that healthy outlook possible for up to 1 MILLION shelter dogs with the Building Community Immunity grant.
Through this partnership, grants totaling up to one million free doses of Nobivac® Canine Flu H3N8 vaccine are being offered to Petfinder shelters and rescue groups to help protect homeless dogs against the very contagious canine flu. Grant recipients will receive up to a four-month, two-dose supply of canine influenza vaccine. (The vaccines will be sent to and must be administered by a licensed veterinarian.)
Here, we answer some common questions about the disease and the vaccine.
What is canine influenza?
Canine influenza is a respiratory disease that causes coughing, nasal discharge, and loss of energy and appetite. The signs of infection are similar to those of other respiratory diseases in dogs, but the coughing caused by canine influenza can last for several weeks. I can tell you from firsthand experience, it’s serious!
Why should it matter to me?
Highly contagious, canine influenza has been confirmed in 34 states to date. It spreads readily from dog to dog, so outbreaks usually occur in multi-dog settings such as shelters and rescues, boarding facilities, doggie daycares, dog parks, and groomers’ facilities. And that’s why canine influenza is really a community disease, not a shelter/rescue disease: Dogs are mobile, and a sick dog can infect unvaccinated pets anywhere they come in contact.
Through the Building Community Immunity grant, Petfinder shelters and rescue groups have an opportunity to take a leadership role by spearheading an effective community vaccination program. Organizations can apply for grants on a first come, first served basis. (Petfinder-member shelters and rescue groups, apply here.)
How can I learn more?
If you are a pet parent, ask your veterinarian about the Intervet/Schering-Plough Nobivac® Canine Flu H3N8 vaccine.
Donate today to support the Petfinder.com Foundation and the work we do to help thousands of homeless pets every year.
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