New strains on the flu come out just about every year for humans. Now veterinarians are concerned about flu epidemic in dogs.
This new strain of canine influenza started in Chicago last spring. Now the virus is nationwide. More than 1,500 dogs have become ill in a few months, and at least eight have died from secondary infections.
Veterinarians say dogs don't have a protective cross reaction with any other antibodies that they've formed in the past. So the virus can progress quickly and can eventually move into the dogs' lungs, causing severe pneumonia.
What you can do is if your dog is often in close contact with other dogs, take it to the vet to get the common dog flu vaccine.
Officials warn in some cases two vaccinations might be necessary. The old shot can cost up to $90 for two rounds.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has conditionally approved a new vaccine to address the new epidemic. It's being shipped to veterinarians right now.