LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There was an active outbreak of the dog flu in Kentucky in 2017, and even if your dog got the dog flu vaccination last year, it could still get sick this year.

Veterinarians say your pet needs to get the booster vaccine annually so it doesn’t lose its immunity.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” said Dr. Banks Douglass at Chenoweth Animal Hospital. “Since then, things have kind of died down. But we're still seeing several cases throughout Louisville."

Veterinarians don't want another outbreak. So for all the dogs who got the initial set of two shots last year, they need to get their booster one year later.

“You need to booster ... to get to a susceptible level where you're going to be covered,” Douglass said.

Veterinarians said the earlier the shot is administered, the better. You can get your dog the booster one to two months before the one-year mark but no later than six weeks past that mark.

“If you're going longer than a year, or six weeks past a year, you generally don't have any more antibodies built up to it,” Douglass said.

If that happens, you'll have to start all over again with the initial set of two shots to keep your furry friend safe from the dog flu. And it can be spread in a variety of ways between dogs, including through balls or toys, coughing or sneezing and nose-to-nose contact.

The virus can live on your hands for 24 hours, so if you come in contact with a contagious dog, you could inadvertently give your dog with the flu.

Symptoms of the dog flu can include a fever, runny nose, cough, loss of appetite and a sleepy demeanor. While it may just seem like a cold, veterinarians say it can become dangerous.

“If it progresses into pneumonia, it can become deadly," Douglass said. "It can become lethal."

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