Veterinary practice requires canine influenza vaccination before - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Veterinary practice requires canine influenza vaccination before boarding

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

Canine influenza isn't in the Billings area just yet but according to local veterinarians, there have been cases reported across the state.

One Billings animal hospital is asking dog owners to be proactive about the disease.

Best Friends Animal Hospital is requiring all dogs to be vaccinated before being boarded with them this holiday season.  

Veterinarian Lisa Galvin at Best Friends Animal Hospital says the influenza presents itself like kennel cough but also features a fever.

The canine influenza is spread through the air by close contact, such as dogs coughing.

Any dogs that go to the groomers, dog parks, dog shows, or live with or in close contact to dogs are at risk.

Dr. Galvin said the vaccination is a requirement because " it's getting closer and closer to our town. It was in Helena two years ago...Bozeman there were three cases last summer so it's only a matter of time before it gets here. So we're trying to be proactive. It's a much more serious respiratory disease than the previous ones we've dealt with. 20 percent of these animals can die from getting influenza and 80 percent of them get it if they get exposed and they get pretty sick. So we want to make sure that every animal that's boarded here is taken care of as best as possible."

Dr. Galvin stresses that pet owners should not be afraid to keep their dogs active, just be cautious and aware when they're around other dogs. 

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