Shortage of vaccine after local dog comes down with dog flu

Posted: Friday, April 10, 2015 -- 5:41 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. -- Local veterinarians are experiencing a canine influenza vaccine shortage after an area dog reportedly came down with the illness on Thursday creating a higher demand for vaccinations.

A case of the canine flu was confirmed in the Madison area in a dog that had traveled to Chicago, according to the UW School of Veterinary Medicine. The incident has caused many owners to seek out the vaccine, which the school says has created a shortage at the UWSVM.

The SVM said it is currently trying to obtain more vaccines and may need to limit vaccinations to elderly dogs and puppies, who are more susceptible to the illness.

Canine influenza isn't transmitted through humans, but rather from dog to dog. Also, it cannot be transmitted to other household pets, such as cats. It can cause dogs to become severely sick and can even lead to death in extreme cases.

Currently, there are at least 1,000 dogs in Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana with the illness. The dog flu causes persistent cough, runny nose and fever.

Veterinarians advise pet owners to consider vaccinating their dogs in an effort to curb the outbreak. The vaccine decreases the incidence and severity of canine influenza in 90 percent of dogs.