Active cases of the dog flu are only one state away from Tennessee.

Eight active cases of the dog flu have been confirmed in northern Kentucky.

That's based on reported cases only and collected by Cornell’s Animal Health Diagnostic Center.

You can view the active cases on this map.

Those Kentucky cases are a little too close for comfort for East Tennessee veterinarians.

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Dr. Kristi Lively, owner of Village Veterinary Medical Center in Farragut, said if you have a social dog who's often at the dog park or boarded, the dog flu vaccine is the way to go.

"It's a hot one. It is so contagious," she said.

This medical center began administering the dog flu vaccine well before last summer's outbreak, and is one of many places in East Tennessee that requires dogs get that vaccine before boarding at the facility.

"I think that's a good idea if you're going to be in a group situation," Lively said. "The mortality rate is low, but it's there."

Dr. Kristi Lively examines Denver, who is vaccinated against the dog flu.
Dr. Kristi Lively examines Denver, who is vaccinated against the dog flu.

While the dog flu vaccine won't completely prevent your dog from disease, it will highly decrease the chance that a dog will need intense medical care.

"It is definitely less severe and they won't shed it as much to dogs around them," Lively said.

The virus can spread rapidly from dog to dog, or through leashes, clothing and grooming equipment.

"A coughing dog can actually transmit this virus 25 feet," Lively said.

Places like dog parks can be an easy place for your pet to pick up the flu, even if it has all its normal shots.

One Knoxville dog, 10-month-old pitbull Boca, has all her shots.

Her owner Zach Leon is a protective parent.

"I mean I took her to the vet because she sounded like she had a sore throat," he said. "Like she barked and it sounded a little funny so I took her."

But he didn't know a dog flu vaccine was an option.

While he's interested in vaccinating Boca, he said it won't stop him from letting her socialize.

"Just like with people, I haven't had a flu shot and I'm still going out," he said.

Unlike the human flu, there are only two strains of dog flu in the U.S.

If a dog gets the dog flu vaccination annually, it will cover both strains.

"If my dog were at a boarding or a group situation, I would vaccinate my own dog, but everyone has to make their own personal choice about that," Lively said.