Kern County Animal Services today announced that they will begin offering all pet owners in Kern County the Canine Influenza vaccination for the most recent H3N2 strain of the highly contagious viral infection for a cost of $10. The vaccine can be obtained at any of the Departments low-cost vaccination clinics.
It is believed that the first recognized cases in the U.S. were in Chicago in March of 2015.
The virus has since been detected as recently as May of 2017 in dogs in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana, and Illinois. Earlier this month, Los Angeles County Veterinary Public Health advised that a dog in the Los Angeles vicinity did test positive for the virus.
Kern County Animal Services knows of no cases currently in the Kern County area. Random testing of shelter animals has occurred in recent weeks as a precautionary measure, resulting in no cases in those animals.
Director of Kern County Animal Services Nick Cullen stated, “With the relative close proximity of the most recent case of this virus, we thought it our responsibility to begin testing shelter animals, in addition to making this vaccine available at an affordable cost to allow Kern County pet owners to do what they do best. Protect their animals”.
The Canine Influenza vaccine can be obtained at any of Kern County Animal Services low-cost vaccination clinics beginning Wednesday, September 6th, for a cost of $10. KCAS typically holds a vaccine clinic every Wednesday evening between the hours of 5pm and 6:30pm at its 3951 Fruitvale Ave location in Bakersfield.
For pets’ safety, the Wednesday evening clinics are subject to cancellation when the outside temperatures exceed 105 degrees. Additionally, the Department holds monthly low-cost vaccination clinics at park locations throughout Kern County.
The Department would like to notify animal owners that this vaccine does require one booster vaccination. It is recommended that the booster be administered 3 weeks after the initial vaccination for maximum immunity.
The cost for the booster vaccine is also $10.