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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.

  • Fall Into Some Safety Tips For Your Pets

    FALL PET SAFETY TIPS

    1.      SCHOOL SUPPLIES: With kids going back to school, we sometimes overlook potential danger their supplies maybe for our pets. Some can be toxic, others may pose a risk of gastrointestinal upset, or blockages.

    2.      ALLERGIES: The cooler weather can bring out allergies, most common are ragweed, mold, along with dust. Some signs to look for are scratching, biting and chewing, sneezing, and hives or rashes.

    3.     ARTHRITIS: Colder temperatures can cause joints to become inflamed. If your pet starts limping, and having trouble moving, or starts to cry out when moving they may be showing signs of arthritis. Speak to you vet about medication that may help.

    4.     COMPOSTING: Your compost pile may be good for the environment, but can be toxic to pets.  The organic material that is decomposing can contain Mycotoxins which can cause hyperthermia, excessive panting, or seizures.

    5.     RAT/MICE POISON: When temperatures turn cooler rats/mice come looking for warmer places to be. The rodenticides we use can be fatal to beloved pets. So make sure they are put where pets are Not going to be able to reach them.

    6.     SHEDDING: Remember indoor pets do not get warm under coats that outdoor pets get, and cannot be outside for long periods of time. If you are planning to be outdoors with your pet you may want to purchase a doggy coat for your furry friend.

    7.     HEATING DEVICES: Outdoor fire pits, and indoor fireplaces can be a danger for beloved pets. Please make sure they are blocked off to prevent pets from getting into trouble. Also electric heaters are dangerous as pets may try to rub up against them and get burned, or they may try to chew on the cords and get shocked. Please make sure you turn them off, and unplug them when not in use.

    8.     HUNTING: Planning on taking a trail walk through the woods, remember fall starts the hunting season. Make sure you keep your dog is leashed at all times during the walk, and stay on marked trails.

    9.     POTPOURRI/OILS: We use both to help our homes smell good during the fall/winter months. Both can be dangerous for our pets- the oils used to scent potpourri can be toxic especially to cats (causing liver damage). Some examples are Peppermint oil, Lavender oil, Tea Tree oil, Cinnamon Bark oil, And Wintergreen oil.

    10.                        SAFETY GEAR FOR PETS: Darkness comes on quicker in the fall and winter months- having reflective collars/leashes on walks can help keep you and your beloved pet more visible (they even make pet vests).

    11.                        FLEAS/TICKS/ MOSQUITOES: Those little pests can make homes in leaf piles and live out the colder months. So continue to use flea and tick medication year round to protect pets, and your home from infestations. Also mosquitoes can make their way into our homes, so make sure to keep up on your pets Heartworm medication (year round).

    12.                         PLANTS: Some plants and flower bulbs can be toxic to pets. Here are some plants and bulbs to be cautious around. Death cap mushrooms, Autumn Crocus, Chrysanthemum, Tulip/Hyacinth/Daffodil bulbs.

  • Safety Tips to be Thankful for

    Thanksgiving Tidbits

     

    1.       Table scraps – are a danger for your pets, the fatty foods we eat at Thanksgiving 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.

    2.       Having holiday guests over can provide a chance for pets to escape thru an open door. Be sure that pets have on current ID tags, or are microchipped.

    3.       When setting the table with a holiday feast to prevent burns, make sure hot containers are placed where little paws cannot knock them over.

    4.       When hosting a holiday party to make it less stressful on you and your pets try placing them in a separate room, or kenneling them at a boarding facility.

    5.       Remember when serving deserts that some chemicals found in sweets are toxic to pets, (i.e.) Chocolate, Xylitol.

    6.       When placing decorations around the house make sure they are placed where pets cannot chew or knock over, (i.e.) Candles, Table settings, Paper or plastic decorations.

    7.       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.

    8.       Did you know Herbs and their essential oils/resins can cause gastrointestinal upset, even central nervous system depression to pets (especially cats).

    9.       If you are planning to make homemade bread for the holiday such as rolls, muffins, or loaf bread. Please be aware that if pets ingest the raw dough that their body heat can cause the dough to rise in the stomach. Expanding dough may make pets experience vomiting/diarrhea, or abdominal pain and bloating, and  these  symptoms can become life threatening, and may require emergency surgery.  

    10.   If you are considering going to a holiday parade we recommend leaving your pets at home. The large crowds parades can draw can be stressful for pets, and they may become frighten and break away.