What Is Canine Influenza Virus?

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There are many causes of kennel cough, both bacterial and viral. Canine influenza virus (CIV) is one of the viral causes of kennel cough. This highly contagious respiratory disease has affected thousands of dogs in the United States. Because CIV is a relatively new virus, most dogs have not been exposed to it before. Dogs of any age, breed, and vaccine status are susceptible to this infection.

How Could My Dog Catch Canine Influenza Virus?
CIV is easily transmitted between dogs through a combination of aerosols, droplets, and direct contact with respiratory secretions. The virus does not survive for a long time in the environment, so dogs usually get CIV when they are in close proximity to other infectious dogs.

Which Dogs Are Prone to Canine Influenza Virus? 
Any dog who interacts with large numbers of dogs is at increased risk for exposure. Pet owners should consult their veterinarian for information about the canine influenza vaccine.

What Are the General Signs of Canine Influenza Virus? 
While most dogs will show typical signs of kennel cough, but a small percentage of dogs will develop a more severe illness. Signs of canine influenza virus include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Variable fever
  • Clear nasal discharge that progresses to thick, yellowish-green mucus
  • Rapid/difficult breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

Can Dogs Die From Canine Influenza Virus?
If CIV is quickly diagnosed and treated, the fatality rate is quite low. Deaths are usually caused by secondary complications, such as pneumonia. It is important that dogs with CIV receive proper veterinary care.

How Is Canine Influenza Virus Diagnosed?
Veterinarians will typically conduct a thorough physical examination and run a series of tests to diagnose the illness.

How Is Canine Influenza Treated?
Because CIV is a virus similar to the flu in humans, there is no specific antiviral medication available. However, supportive care and appropriate treatment of secondary infections are important. Your veterinarian may advise the following to soothe your dog while the condition runs its course:

  • Good nutrition and supplements to raise immunity
  • A warm, quiet, and comfortable spot to rest
  • Medications to treat secondary bacterial infections
  • Intravenous fluids to maintain hydration
  • Workup and treatment for pneumonia

Be advised, while most dogs will fight the infection within 10 to 30 days, secondary infections require antibiotics and, in the case of pneumonia, sometimes even hospitalization.

What Should I Do if I Think My Dog Has Canine Influenza Virus? 
If you think your dog has canine influenza virus, immediately isolate him or her from all other dogs and call your veterinarian.

Can I Catch Canine Influenza From My Dog?
So far there has been no evidence to indicate that dogs can transmit CIV to humans.

How Can I Help Prevent My Dog From Spreading the Disease? 
Any dog infected with CIV should be kept isolated from other dogs for 10 to 14 days from the onset of signs. Dogs are most infectious before signs are apparent, and can continue shedding the virus for approximately 10 days. This means that by the time signs of the illness are seen, other dogs may have already been exposed.

Source: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/canine-influenza-viruscanine-flu

Easter Pet Poisons

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The veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline receive hundreds of calls this time of year from pet owners and veterinarians concerning cats that have ingested Easter lilies.

“Unbeknownst to many pet owners, Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “All parts of the Easter lily plant are poisonous – the petals, the leaves, the stem and even the pollen. Cats that ingest as few as one or two leaves, or even a small amount of pollen while grooming their fur, can suffer severe kidney failure.”

In most situations, symptoms of poisoning will develop within six to 12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Symptoms worsen as kidney failure develops. Some cats will experience disorientation, staggering and seizures.

“There is no effective antidote to counteract lily poisoning, so the sooner you can get your cat to the veterinarian, the better his chances of survival will be,” said Brutlag. “If you see your cat licking or eating any part of an Easter lily, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately. If left untreated, his chances of survival are low.”

Treatment includes inducing vomiting, administering drugs like activated charcoal (to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines), intravenous fluid therapy to flush out the kidneys, and monitoring of kidney function through blood testing. The prognosis and the cost – both financially and physically – to the pet owner and cat, are best when treated immediately.

There are several other types of lilies that are toxic to cats as well. They are of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species and commonly referred to as Tiger lilies, Day lilies and Asiatic lilies. Popular in many gardens and yards, they can also result in severe acute kidney failure. These lilies are commonly found in florist bouquets, so it is imperative to check for poisonous flowers before bringing bouquets into the household. Other types of lilies – such as the Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies – are usually not a problem for cats and may cause only minor drooling.

Thankfully, lily poisoning does not occur in dogs or people. However, if a large amount is ingested, it can result in mild gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Other Dangers to Pets at Easter Time

Pet Poison Helpline also receives calls concerning pets that have ingested Easter grass and chocolate.

Usually green or yellow in color, Easter grass is the fake grass that often accompanies Easter baskets. When your cat or dog ingests something “stringy” like Easter grass, it can become anchored around the base of the tongue or stomach, rendering it unable to pass through the intestines. It can result in a linear foreign body and cause severe damage to the intestinal tract, often requiring expensive abdominal surgery.

Lastly, during the week of Easter, calls to Pet Poison Helpline concerning dogs that have been poisoned by chocolate increase by nearly 200 percent. While the occasional chocolate chip in one cookie may not be an issue, certain types of chocolate are very toxic to dogs. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. The chemical toxicity is due to methylxanthines (a relative of caffeine) and results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and possibly death. Other sources include chewable chocolate flavored multi-vitamins, baked goods, or chocolate-covered espresso beans. If you suspect that your dog ate chocolate, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

Spring is in the air and Easter is a wonderful holiday. Remember that your pets will be curious about new items you bring into your household like Easter lilies, Easter grass and chocolate. Keep them a safe distance away from your pets’ reach and enjoy the holiday and the season.

 

SOURCE: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/seasons/easter/

Why Your Pet Needs Dental Care

Pet Dental Care in Colorado Springs

Dogs and cats obviously can’t brush their own teeth, so it’s up to their owners to maintain their oral health for them. Did you know that over time, the tartar that accumulates on your pet’s teeth can eventually lead to gum disease? In fact, more than 60% of all dogs and cats show signs of gum disease when they’re just 3 years of age. Left untreated, this disease can leave a pet in a great deal of pain or even worse. Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs wants to be proactive about dental health to help lower the number of pets that are affected by gum disease every year. We offer comprehensive dental services to help prevent dental disease, so your four-legged friend can be around to keep you company for as long as possible.

What Exactly Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease in pets is very similar to that in humans, both in how it starts and how it progresses. In pets, it includes four stages of progression, which are detailed below:

Stage 1 Gingivitis: At this stage, there is light plaque accumulation on the teeth and minor gum inflammation. These conditions are reversible with professional dental treatment at Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs.

Stage 2 Early Periodontitis: This is when a pet is likely to start feeling pain, due to the inflammation of the entire gum area. Another common symptom at this stage is bad breath. Luckily, professional dental treatment and at-home dental care can still reverse these effects.

Stage 3 Moderate Periodontitis: This is the first phase of gum disease. When early periodontitis is allowed to progress to this stage, the bacterial infection and tartar start to destroy the gums, resulting in bone loss, sore mouth, and persistent bad breath. Typically, the mouth soreness affects a pet’s eating habits. Stage 3 may or may not be reversible.

Stage 4 Advanced Periodontitis: At this stage, the infection continues to break down the gum and bone tissue as well as the tooth itself. This is the most severe case because the bacterial infection can now enter the blood stream, potentially leading to liver, heart, and kidney disease.

How to Prevent Pet Gum Disease

Remember, we at Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs are pet owners, too, so we want your pet to be disease-free, just as much as you do. One of the easiest ways to prevent gum disease is by bringing your pet in at least once a year for a wellness exam. During these exams, we examine your pet’s mouth to look for any signs of gum disease, such as those mentioned above. If we think a dental cleaning is necessary, we schedule a separate appointment so we can perform a full cleaning and dental exam under general anesthesia. We can also give you our recommendations for at-home dental care, including tooth brushing techniques. Our pet dental services are both safe and effective, and they can help eliminate the risk of gum disease, so schedule an appointment today by calling 719-579-9488.

3 Fun Winter Activities to Do with Your Pet This Season

Fun Winter Activities to Do with Your Pet This Season

During the winter months, it’s easy to get a little cabin fever. And you know what? Our pet’s aren’t immune to that same feeling! That’s one of the reasons it’s important to try and stay active and energized. The Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs would like to help keep your pet healthy and happy, which usually means active and entertained! Check out some of the fun pet-friendly activities we suggest:

  1. Take a hike. Going out one a park trail, whether paved or not, can be a fun wintertime activity for you and your pet! Even if it’s just a half hour hike, it gets the blood flowing and muscles moving.
  2. Play a game inside. It can be fun to play games inside with your pet. When your pet is inside the house, you have the benefit of being able to practice training with them without all kinds of distractions. After all, out in the yard passing cars, pedestrians, and animals can be very distracting! A fun game can be hiding treats around the house like an Easter egg hunt for your pet!
  3. Strengthen your pet’s brain. Cognitive games for pets are very popular right now and can really benefit your pet. Plus, they can be quite fun! You can pick up some interesting cognitive games at your local pet supply store or online. It can be fun to see what your pet is capable of!

No matter what life stage your pet is in, they can benefit from physical activity, bonding with you, and cognitive exercise. It’s easy to squeeze these activities into our day during the summer, but in the winter it can be a lot easier to let things slip. Add daily pet time to your to-do list this winter and watch your pet get healthier and happier. Who knows, it might benefit your health too!

Stop Fleas and Ticks, and Earn Cash Back!

As we welcome summer back, unfortunately, we have to also deal with the return of fleas and ticks. These parasites are more than just pesky; they can cause a number of health problems for your pet. Fleas can cause allergy dermatitis while ticks can cause Lyme disease—both of which can you leave your dog with some serious discomfort. In extreme cases, these conditions can even be fatal if left untreated.

 

Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs is pleased to offer Bravecto, a revolutionary product to combat fleas and ticks, and for a limited time, we’re offering two rebate specials. If you purchase two doses (tablets) of Bravecto, you can earn $15 cash back. If you purchase four doses, you can earn $35, so the more you buy, the more you save!

 

What Is Bravecto?

 

Bravecto is the only chewable tablet for dogs that provides up to 12 weeks of flea and tick prevention. With just one dose, fleas are killed within hours, preventing any future infestations. One dose also kills lone star ticks for up to eight weeks. These tablets are easy to administer, are safe for dogs of all sizes, and of course…they’re tasty, so your dog will love them!

 

Once your dog get a dose of Bravecto, the active insecticide ingredient immediately reaching their skin, and you know what that means for fleas and ticks. If any of these critters try to feed on your dog, they’ll also ingest the insecticide and die.

 

Take Advantage of Our Bravecto Rebate

 

Animal Hospital of Colorado Spring’s “buy one, get $15 back or buy two, earn $35 back” Bravecto rebate offer is available for a limited time, so give us a call at (719) 579-9488 to purchase your box(es). Your dog will love the taste, and you’ll love the extra cash in your pocket!

 

Pest Prevention: Ongoing Care for Pets

As the seasons change, ensuring that your pets are protected from pests becomes a primary concern! We recommend that all pets be protected from pests as they are more than just annoyances—they can also be the carriers of deadly diseases! Fleas can cause allergic reactions in pets, ticks can be the carriers of Lyme and other diseases, and mosquito bites can lead to heartworm infestations which are difficult to treat in dogs and incurable in cats.

Special Deals for Preventative Products

During the month of May, the Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs team wants to see every pet protected against fleas, ticks, and heartworm. For this reason, we are offering a few preventative specials:

Iverhart Max

Prevents Heartworm

6 month supply: $5.00 rebate

12 month supply: $12.00 rebate

Bravecto

Prevents Fleas and Ticks

2 doses that last 6 months: $15.00 rebate.

4 doses that last 12 months: $35.00 rebate.

Schedule Your Next Visit With Us

The veterinary team at the Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs recommends that all pets be brought in for screening annually. Heartworm tests should be performed to ensure that your pet has not contracted the parasite as preventatives are only effective on healthy pets. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with our team so that we can talk with you about the importance of your pet’s pest protection. Remember, purchasing your preventative products directly from our facility is also the best way to ensure that the products you buy are of the highest quality and are guaranteed safe and effective for your pet.

Top Ten Winter Skin & Paw Care Tips

Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws.

Says Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital, “During the winter, products used as de-icers on sidewalks and other areas can lead to trouble for our animal companions, potentially causing problems ranging from sore feet to internal toxicity. Pet parents should take precautions to minimize their furry friends’ exposure to such agents.”

To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your pet’s paws and skin, please heed the following advice from our experts:

  • Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in between the toes.

  • Trim long-haired dogs to minimize the clinging of ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry on the skin. (Don’t neglect the hair between the toes!)

  • Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.

  • Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.

  • Dressing your pet in a sweater or coat will help to retain body heat and prevent skin from getting dry.

  • Booties help minimize contact with painful salt crystals, poisonous anti-freeze and chemical ice-melting agents. They can also help prevent sand and salt from getting lodged in between bare toes, causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts whenever possible.

  • Massaging petroleum jelly into paw pads before going outside helps to protect from salt and chemical agents. And moisturizing after a good toweling off helps to heal chapped paws.

  • Brushing your pet regularly not only gets rid of dead hair, but also stimulates blood circulation, improving the skin’s overall condition.

  • Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime, sometimes causing dehydration. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help to keep her well-hydrated, and her skin less dry.

  • Remember, if the weather’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet. Animal companions should remain indoors as much as possible during the winter months and never be left alone in vehicles when the mercury drops.

 

SOURCE: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/top-ten-winter-skin-paw-care-tips

Army soldier combats loneliness with “the perfect dog”

As a young Army soldier, Frank was not prepared for the loneliness he faced when he and his wife were relocated by the military to a place where the pair had no family or friends. In true Army strong spirit, he battled the blues by adopting a homeless hound who would become “the perfect dog.

A passion to serve

In 2012, Frank joined the United States Army as a Watercraft Engineer. After attending basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, he and his wife relocated to Newport News, Virginia, where Frank is stationed at the sprawling Joint Base Langley-Eustis. It was pure heart that inspired him to join the armed forces.

“It has always been a dream and passion of mine,” he says. “I believe if you ever really want something in life you do it, and I am glad I joined and am able to live this experience.”

Although still early into his Army career, Frank recalls one of the most memorable experiences he has had as a soldier: twice being part of the Fort Eustis funeral detail.

“It was a very humbling experience to be able to render military honors to our fallen soldiers.”

Giving a second chance to last chance pets

Frank soon confronted one of the challenging realities of military life: moving somewhere new and having no family or friends nearby. To make matters worse his wife was traveling for work, which meant more often than not Frank faced an empty home when he left work each day.

It didn’t take long for a bad case of the blues to set in.

“I was feeling down and lonely due to my wife traveling for work and having no family in Virginia,” Frank says. “I knew adopting a pup would be the perfect solution to my loneliness. I could give it a loving home and attention.”

While browsing adoptable pets available through shelters in his community, Frank learned about Pets for Patriots, a nationally operating charity that creates life-saving opportunities for veterans to adopt homeless dogs and cats. Its local adoption partner, Portsmouth Humane Society, offers the charity’s members a 20% adoption fee discount. Pets for Patriots provides a range of other benefitsthat help make pet adoption more affordable for veterans and military personnel who adopt the most overlooked shelter dogs and cats.

That sealed the deal for Frank, who was inspired by the charity’s mission and message.

“The reason I chose adopt through Pets for Patriots,” he says, “is because they help military members such as myself and give an opportunity to last chance pets.”

Beagle mix helps Army soldier beat the blues

When Frank visited the Portsmouth Humane Society he met a then three year-old Beagle/Labrador mix. Named Gilliam at the time, she has since been renamed Samantha – Sammy or Sam for short.

It was love at first sight for both man and dog.

“Ever since the first day I met my pup Sam and she came right to me, I knew I was meant to bring her home with me,” says Frank.

Gone are the days of leaving work for an empty home, and the Army soldier’s feelings of loneliness are a thing of the past.

“She has made me very happy; I couldn’t have asked for a better dog,” Frank beams. “I look forward to coming home because I know she is excited to see me.”

While Sam gives her veteran countless reasons to smile, Frank most enjoys how “she wags her little tail” when he comes home from work. True to her breeds, Sam is obedient, lovable – even silly. As a bonus, she “loves to cuddle.”

For Frank, Sam is the total package. The perfect dog.

“I am glad I chose to adopt because I found the perfect dog anyone could ever have. I feel so lucky to have my pup Sam,” he says, and encourages other veterans to adopt through Pets for Patriots as well. “Do it! You won’t regret it. They are really so helpful, I’m sure they will find a pup as amazing as my Sam.”

By choosing pet adoption, this Army veteran rid his life of loneliness and – at the same time – saved the life of an animal that gives him untold joy. Now with Sam in his life, Frank can better cope with the inevitable ups and downs that are typical of military life.

“I can’t imagine my life without her; I love my Sammy,” says Frank. “It is true when they say a dog is a man’s best friend.”

For more details about this article visit: http://blog.petsforpatriots.org/army-soldier-combats-loneliness-with-the-perfect-dog/

Source: http://blog.petsforpatriots.org/army-soldier-combats-loneliness-with-the-perfect-dog/