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  • Canine Influenza Outbreak 2015-2017

    Canine Influenza Outbreak 2015-2017

    Update 2017-

    As of May 2017 H3N2 canine influenza has been confirmed in the following states. Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana, and Illinois. There is a new vaccine that helps to lower the risk of contracting H3N2, H3N8.

    There has been a recent outbreak of Canine Influenza in the Midwest. Researchers have linked it to a new strain of the H3N8 virus for which we are currently vaccinating. The new strain is called H3N2. It is not known if the current vaccine will provide any protection from this new virus. The Maryland Department of Agriculture first notified the public in August of 2013 of the virus being identified in six dogs from a dog park in Montgomery County of which two died. As of August 29, there were twenty cases of H3N8 in Montgomery County. Canine influenza has been found in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Symptoms of both viruses include persistent coughing, runny nose, fever, and lethargy. The H3N2 virus can also cause illness in cats. The virus is spread through respiratory secretions, and can remain alive on surfaces for 48hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on human hands for 12 hours. Some dogs may not show any symptoms and can still be infected. In the latest outbreak, there have been 6 reported deaths, and thousands of illnesses. If your pet goes to boarding or grooming facilities, or dog parks, and you have any concerns, please contact our office at (301) 598-7300.

  • Holiday/Winter heath and Safety Tips

    Holiday/Winter Tips

    1.       Make sure holiday decorations are kept away from little paws. Pets can knock down Christmas ornaments/tinsel/hooks then ingest them causing a serious medical emergency. Also artificial snow contains chemicals that can be harmful to pets if inhaled or ingested. Holiday lights (electrical cords) if chewed on may cause burns, cardiac rest. Homemade Play dough, and salt dough ornaments can also be dangerous (causing life threatening electrolytes imbalances).

    2.       Be careful where you place holiday plants, pretty as they are if ingested can be toxic to pets. (i.e.  Ivy, Holly, Christmas greens, Mistletoe, Poinsettia, and Lilies, Kalanchoe.)

    3.       Holiday guests coming over can provide an open door for escape. Please make sure pets are micro chipped and have current ID tags.  Or to make it less stressful on you and your pet try placing them in a separate room, or kenneling them at a boarding facility. Holiday guests can also bring other dangers (Medications). Pets can explore suitcases and possibly get into pill vials guest have in them. Having a list of their medication (names, milligram strength) can be helpful if pets should get ahold of dropped pills.

    4.        Table scraps – are a danger for your pets, the fatty foods we eat at the holidays can cause stomach problems such as gastrointestinal upsets. Also the onions/onion powder found in stuffing or used to season food can destroy red blood cells in your dog or cat which can lead to anemia. Grapes and raisins contain a toxin that can cause kidney damage in both dogs and cats if ingested. Did you also know Herbs and their essential oils/resins can cause gastrointestinal upset, even central nervous system depression to pets (especially cats).  Garlic and Avocados may cause pets to become lethargic, and vomiting.

    5.       Bones can cause choking, or possible other obstructions that may need to be removed by an emergency surgical procedure. To be safe discard any unused bones in a secure bag and place in a garage can outside that locks closed.

    6.       Remember when serving deserts, or stuffing stocking for children that some chemicals found in sweets are toxic to pets, (i.e.) Chocolate, Xylitol.

    7.       In the cold weather beware of de-icing products! Salt used to melt ice/snow can get into paws, causing skin irritation or more serious medical conditions. Please be sure to wipe your pet’s paws and tummy when they come in from the cold.

    8.       Another cold weather tip is to make sure antifreeze is kept where your pets cannot knock over and ingest them. The sweet tasting liquid can be deadly.

    9.       When celebrating the holidays, if you plan on using candles make sure they are placed where little paws cannot knock them over (i.e.  Advent, Menorah).

    10.    If you are planning on having a living tree in your home make sure pets cannot get into the water in the base, as the chemicals we add to the water are toxic if ingested by pets.

    11.    When hosting a holiday party please remember alcoholic beverages are never ok to give to your pets. Make sure guests place drinks where pets cannot reach them. The alcohol in drinks can cause seizures, difficulty breathing, vomiting, etc.

    12.    If you are planning to do some holiday baking please remember cookies, and baked goods may contain nuts that can be harmful to pets. Walnuts and Macadamia are two kinds that may cause severe lethargy, joint pain.

    13.   Snow Globes are pretty to look at but some can be a danger to pets- some globes contain a highly toxic substance called ethylene glycol. If broken pet can ingest liquid causing Seizures, excessive thirst and urination, panting, vomiting, lethargy, acute kidney failure, death.  

    14.    If you are planning to ring in the New Year with balloons/confetti please remember the strings on balloons, and the small pieces of confetti   can be harmful to your beloved pets if ingested.