PHOENIX - Here in the Valley, our four-legged friends are battling their own flu-like symptoms.
Veterinarians are saying it is one of the worst seasons for respiratory infections for both cats and dogs.
Symptoms start the same as the flu does for people, with a cough and a runny nose. As it gets worse, it turns into vomiting, and if it goes untreated it can turn into pneumonia.
Veterinarians said the more socialized your animal is, the more likely it is to catch a strain of the virus.
“When the weather gets cooler here in Arizona, people are more active. People have been on vacation during the holidays so they've had pet sitters, they've taken their dogs to kennels. Even dog parks your pet can easily catch it,” said Veterinarian Katie Andre.
The best way to avoid having your cat or dog catch a strain of the virus is to get them vaccinated, but it doesn’t always protect them.
“Many times when you have a young puppy or a really old dog, you can never fully protect them with the vaccine, but you should always get in the habit of doing it once a year,” said Andre.
Although the virus cannot be spread to people, Andre says people can spread it to other dogs through their clothing.
“You need to be very cautious about what animals you expose yourself to if your pet has contracted it,” said Andre.
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