FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Dr. Linda Porter has been treating pets at her northwest Fresno office for 26 years.
Bullard Veterinary Clinic also provides training and grooming services, so when the flu made its way to the Valley in January, she made the decision to do what she could to keep her patients safe--even the ones who never leave home.
"As people, we can pick it up, carry it home just petting other dogs or walking around with other dogs," said Dr. Porter.
Her office is one of many locally, making the vaccination mandatory. It is a practice that began in the bay area two months ago after dogs started to get the flu in such huge numbers.
According to a flu vaccine distributor, there are at least 75 canine cases in the Central Valley.
One of them was a dog who received treatment from Dr. Porter. The symptoms are similar to those of the human flu.
"The dogs usually have some kind of a cough--Ocular discharge, elevated temperature if influenza has progressed, could end up with pneumonia," said Dr. Porter.
Local animal shelters, including Valley Animal Center, are doing what they can to protect the dogs at their facilities. Once the first case was reported, the shelter shut down its park to do a thorough cleaning just as a precaution.
Like other shelters, the Animal Compassion Team and Fresno Humane, VAC has given every dog under their care, the vaccine.
"Our mission is to make sure animals in the community are safe and healthy," said Devon Prednergast.
To prevent the spread of the virus, wash your hands, change your clothes and clean off your shoes. If you think you have been around a dog that might have the flu.
In the Central Valley, there are plenty of places to get the two-part shot. Prices range depending on where you get it.
Valley Animal Center
$25 per shot
Hope Animal Foundation
$20 per shot
$20 per shot, limited schedule
Waterhouse Animal Hospital
$39.75 per shot
By appointment only, one time exam fee: $40.75
Pet Medical Spa
$45 per shot, by appointment only, one time exam fee: $59
Local dog shelters and groomers taking precautions due to growing number of canine flu cases
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