Vets urge vaccines as dog flu spreads in Stamford

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STAMFORD -

Veterinarians in Stamford are pushing for vaccinations after several canines have tested positive for the dog flu.

The virus is highly contagious, and it could be days before symptoms start to show.

"The really only way to avoid it is to be vaccinated, and even then it takes a couple weeks for their immunity to build up," says Philip Putter, of Spot On Veterinary Hospital & Hotel.

Putter says two strains of the flu are going around the city, so he's recommending both vaccines. He's also advising owners to limit exposure by keeping their dogs away from others.

Elisa's Lucky Dogs, and other doggy day cares across the city, have had to temporarily shut their doors to clean and scrub away any germs. But it comes at an unfortunate time, as many people are planning on taking vacations.

"People are losing I think a lot of money on vacations, they have nowhere to put their dogs," says Elisa Alexander. "So everyone is trying to be overly conservative with how we're handling it so that it doesn't become an epidemic."

The illness can be more severe in very young puppies and older dogs. But vets say if it's diagnosed and treated quickly, the death rate is low.

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