An Iowa cat and two Nebraska ferrets had Americans sweating last month after the animals’ owners and veterinarians reported that the pets had contracted the H1N1 virus. A stir of concern and activity pertaining to pet health recently resulted in debate over the use of a vaccine for H3N8, a new virus that has caused influenza in dogs.
Though the vaccine proved successful in 2004, when diseased horse meat was fed to a few greyhounds in Florida, some veterinarians are not recommending the preventative treatment, the North Platte Telegraph reports.
"We are simply not seeing this virus at all in the Midwest," Dr Craig Kelly, a veterinarian from the Westfield Small Animal Clinic told the news source.
"There have only been isolated breakouts in a few states, so we are not recommending something that is unnecessary at this time," he added.
However, Dr Ron Green from Heartland Animal Center in Nebraska believes that the canine flu is more widespread than just a few isolated cases. Green, who has already begun vaccinating dogs, told the news provider that 80 percent of all dogs in the Nebraska area are susceptible to the virus, which carries about a five percent mortality rate.