Recently, we’ve been receiving questions from pet owners about a new dog virus called canine influenza. They were concerned about stories they had seen or read in the news about “dog flu” outbreaks. In answering their questions, we realized that all of our dog owners may have similar questions and concerns. So, we’re writing to tell you about canine influenza, what puts dogs at risk and what can be done to protect them.
Canine influenza is a relatively new disease and can be caused by two different canine influenza virus strains, H3N8 and H3N2. Both strains of canine influenza virus cause respiratory disease in dogs. Affected dogs may develop coughing, nasal discharge, fever, lethargy and loss of appetite. The signs of infection are similar to those of other respiratory diseases in dogs. With proper medical attention, most dogs will recover but if you have a puppy, elderly dog, pregnant dog or a dog that is immunocompromised you should take extra precaution. In some cases, canine influenza can progress to a more severe or even life-threatening condition, such as pneumonia.
Canine influenza is highly contagious, so visiting places where dogs socialize or congregate, such as doggie day cares, dog parks, boarding facilities and urban locations, places dogs at higher risk for becoming infected. Making the situation even more difficult to control is that dogs can spread the virus before signs of illness appear
The best way to protect your dog from canine influenza is through avoidance of contact and vaccination. Fortunately, there are vaccines now available for each canine influenza strain, H3N8 and H3N2. The initial vaccination requires two doses of each vaccine, given 2 to 4 weeks apart. Thereafter, an annual booster for each influenza strain is recommended for continued protection.
We recommend vaccinating dogs against both canine influenza H3N8 and H3N2 and have vaccines available. Please call us to discuss any questions you might have and to set up an appointment.
The Doctors and Staff at Greenhaven Animal Clinic
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Pet Adoption- Being Properly Prepared
You’ve finally decided to make a furry addition to your family and you can’t wait! Playtime, warm cuddles, and lots of kisses are being looked forward to as they should be. You can’t wait to get started with your new pet, but are you properly prepared? Adopting a pet is more than just wanting a pet; it is about committing to a forever companion. Before jumping into the furry ownership role, it is extremely important to be ready to face many challenges along with the joys that accompany pet ownership.
Many individuals are aware of the upfront costs, but ignore the thought of future expenditures. Pets are not cheap and it is important that your financial situation can handle the expense of a pet. According to ASPCA, you should expect to pay around $1,300-$1,500 in your pet’s first year alone. Each year thereafter you should expect to pay at least $1,500, totaling about $20,000 in a pet’s lifetime. These costs cover the minimum cost of humane care including: food, water, routine vaccinations and exams, as well as other minor expenses. You should ask yourself some imperative questions before making a furry commitment.
Why do you want the pet? This is the first question you should ask yourself and this will help you determine what species and breed fits your lifestyle. Are you ready for a long-term commitment? Dogs, on average, live to be 10-15 years old and cats live to be around 20 years of age. It is like a marriage, if circumstances change you need to be willing and able to care for your pet.
Do you know what kind of pet is right for you? Your personality and lifestyle, along with the amount of space and time at home you have, will play a huge role. If you are not home often, perhaps a cat would be a better choice than a dog. Will you be able to spend quality time together? Being left alone for long periods of time is often accompanied by behavioral problems. Pets thrive with exercise and companionship, especially dogs.
Can you afford to care for your pet’s health and safety? Regular vaccinations greatly reduce risk of costly diseases. Are you prepared to deal with any health challenges your pet may have? Animals are prone to many of the same diseases we have, including cancer, allergies, diabetes, and many other medical issues. Are you willing to train your pet? Training your pet takes patience and time, but is well worth it. Proper basic training helps with communication between pet and owner.
Are you prepared to pet-proof your home? Hiding toxic foods and plants, purchasing tight-sealing garbage cans, and avoiding dangerous decorations are just a few household threats to your pet. Most importantly, is your family ready for a pet? If you have toddlers roaming the house, perhaps investing in a high-energy puppy is not in your best interest until your child ages more. Also, perhaps your other pets are not quite ready for another addition. You’ve completed the questioning process and have made your decision, now is the perfect time to prepare your home properly.
Get yourself off to a great start by placing multiple cozy beds throughout the house. This, along with not leaving your pet unsupervised, will ensure that your pet will be more likely to keep off of furniture. If keeping off furniture continues to be a problem, try double-sided tape or upside-down carpet runner on furniture. Dog crates are great for confining while gone; you can eventually ween your dog off the crate as their house manners improve. As you slowly let your dog take free range of the house, make sure to leave lots of permissible chew-toys around. Make sure to exercise your dog at least 30 minutes a day as well. For cats, place scratching posts & perches about to discourage scratching furniture.
Make sure to purchase place mats for food and water bowls to avoid messes. Do not use ammonia-based cleaners when cleaning up pet accidents. Although this gets rid of the smell for humans, pets can still smell the scent and can often be attracted to urinate in the same area again. Instead, use special enzymatic cleaner. You can find such cleaners at all major pet stores, a great product is Nature’s Miracle©. Grooming is an important way to keep your home clean as well. You will want to trim and file nails regularly to keep them from scratching furniture. Brushing your pet regularly removes dead skin and hair that would otherwise end up on your furniture and floors. Be sure to wipe your pet’s paws after returning inside and their mouth after eating as well. Now that you’re all ready to go get your pet, know that you are doing a great thing.
Adopting a pet is one of the best feelings in the world, you’re saving a life! According to ASPCA, approximately 7.6 million animals go into shelters each year and only 2.7 million of them (35%) are actually adopted. Around 649,000 are returne
Recently, our doctors have seen a concerning trend of canine parvovirus cases. At this time, there have been 10 positives tests in the Lincoln area during the week of October 7- October 14. Canine parvovirus is an extremely contagious viral disease in dogs that most often manifests as vomiting and diarrhea. It is transmitted between unvaccinated dogs in fluids and feces. For unvaccinated dogs, the resulting infection can be life threatening. Conversely, dogs w/ up-to-date vaccines almost never show signs of the disease. Some breeds including Rottweiler, Doberman pinscher, pit bull, German shepherd and Labradors have been reported to be more susceptible.
Recommendations for owners vary based on the pet’s situation.
Vaccination – This is the best way to fight the disease. Generally, vaccinations should begin at 6-9 weeks of age. They should have a series of 3-4 booster vaccines during this time. Vaccines should then be administered annually. The parvovirus vaccine is certainly a case where” an ounce of prevention is would a pound of cure” as the cost of treating an infected dog can exceed $1000. It is important to remember that a vaccine won’t be protective for at least 3 weeks.
If your dog is unvaccinated or the vaccines are not up to date, then we can help develop a plan for each case. A thorough physical exam should be performed. If the dog is deemed healthy and there is no recent exposure to an infected dog, then a vaccine should be administered. However, if there is recent exposure or the patient has an elevated temperature, then a discussion of risks and an individualized plan should be developed. Dogs with weakened immune systems or other medical concerns should also have an individualized plan made to determine the safest plan.
If you have a dog that has been infected, there are some procedures to follow which can help minimize infection to other dogs. Parvovirus infection peaks in the first week of infection and is shed into the environment at this time, however, it can be shed in large amounts for up to 2 weeks. During this time, strict isolation is recommended. Reports indicated that parvovirus can survive in the environment for up to a year.
Cleaning is best done using bleach. A 1:30 ratio of bleach is recommended for the cleaning of any objects or surfaces that the infected dog contacted. Don’t forget to clean your shoes!!
Generally, no new puppies should be brought into an infected environment for at least 6 months.
If you are concerned that your dog may be infected, please call and we can help guide you through this disease. Often times, beginning with a simple test of the feces can give us an early answer.
We provide comprehensive dental care for most equine needs, from basic cleaning and floating to corrective dental interventions. All horses, from weanling to senior, benefit from annual dental examinations. This simple routine care can reduce the amount of tooth loss, diagnose other medical conditions such as choke and colic, and may ultimately prolong a horse’s lifespan.
Power equipment is used in our dental work, increasing accuracy, promoting efficiency, and aiding in precise and complete correction of dental problems. These services are offered at either our clinic or your farm for your convenience and the comfort of your animals.