We are so happy you are part of our hospital community. This year has been a crazy year with families growing and changing and our hospital growing and changing. We are blessed!
In this issue read all about holiday hazards that your pets might run into. Be sure to participate in the monthly promotions to help pets and kids in our community. Together we can work to make the holiday season great for everyone!
This year Dr. Schad will be out of town visiting family over Christmas. Unfortunately, this means we will not be taking emergencies over Christmas. We are very sorry for this inconvenience. Great Lakes Pet Emergencies will be open and available for any emergencies you may have. We will be available over Thanksgiving for emergencies.
From everyone at River Rock to all of our clients we wish you a fabulous holiday season.
Sincerely, The River Rock Staff
Outbreak of Parainfluenza & Canine Flu
There are three very common respiratory infections in dogs. Occasionally you will hear about them in the news, at your groomer, but most often from your veterinarian here at the hospital. They are Canine Influenza, Canine Parainfluenza, and Bordetella. All of these can cause signs of illness often called “kennel cough.” Recently we have had outbreaks of two of these respiratory viruses. There are outbreaks of Canine Influenza going on in Toledo, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan. Dozens of dogs are sick in Toledo and all the sick dogs have come into contact with people or dogs present at one of two boarding and daycare facilities in the area. The CI virus is very infectious. It causes disease in greater than 80% of dogs exposed. This virus has a mortality rate of 8-10%. This means that 8-10% of the dogs affected may die. The symptoms of illness include cough, runny nose, fever, loss of appetite, and lethargy. There is a great vaccine available that works on both of the strains of the Canine Influenza Virus and should be used in all dogs who go to boarding facilities, daycares, groomers, or other areas where dogs congregate.
The Saginaw Animal Care Center has been shut down for a few days this month due to an outbreak of Canine Parainfluenza Virus (CPIV). This virus causes similar signs of disease as the Canine Influenza virus. An outbreak can be quit severe and will affect 10-20% of a population that is exposed. In a shelter situation this is a huge problem since they see so many dogs every day. When an outbreak occurs the best option for any shelter or facility, is to close for a few days up to a few weeks to clean thoroughly. During this time they should also test all of the dogs in the facility and watch for any signs of disease spread. The intranasal Bordetella combo vaccine here at River Rock includes the virus Parainfluenza and, if given at least two weeks ahead of a visit to a boarding facility or groomer, it will help to protect you dog for getting sick with the virus.
Bordetella is the most common form of upper respiratory infection and has many of the same sigs as the above viruses. This is also easily prevented by using the intranasal or oral vaccines which are available here at River Rock. The injectable Bordetella vaccine has been proven to give very little protection to any dog and so we don’t offer this version. All pets who go to groomers, dog shows and boarding facilities need to be vaccinated against these viruses. Hopefully you are planning ahead with your pet’s health. A vaccine may just keep your holiday happy and witout disease.
Holiday Hazards If your pet has come into contact with these, please call immediately!
Toxins in the Kitchen
Toxin in the House
Toxic Holiday Plants
Dogs at the Airport?
If you are traveling through the Los Angeles airport this holiday season you may be in luck. In a fantastic stroke of genius the LAX airport has begun a program called Pets Unstressing Passengers or PUP. This program is helping passengers relax during their travels by bringing dogs into the terminal with vests that read “Pet Me” to comfort passengers. The more than 72 dogs who have been trained and registered with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs take shifts getting petted for up to two hours. They all have individual trading cards with their pictures and stats, like “Favorite Treat : Liver,” clearly listed. Children seem to really love the cards but I’m sure more than a few adults have a collection as well. What a great program to bring therapy dogs to a place where they are greatly needed!