RABIES – Don’t be Complacent

RABIES! We are not joking, it is HERE!

Truthfully, it has been here all along. Nothing has changed, except that we’ve become more aware of it. We love Bats, they are an important part of our ecosystem and I love that they eat Mosquitoes.         BUT, a certain percentage of Bats do have Rabies. 10% of Bats that are tested, are positive for Rabies.     That does NOT mean that 10% of the Bat population has Rabies, it means that 10% of the Bats THAT ARE TESTED are positive. (usually no one would test a Bat unless something seemed unusual, for example = Bats are not usually out in the day and if someone found a sickly one on the ground they might carefully catch it and have it tested)

We had first hand experience with a Rabid Cat recently.  It was an indoor and outdoor cat that we believe came into contact with a Rabid bat. When they tested it for Rabies, they were able to identify that it had a strain of Rabies that is found in Bats. (There are other strains found in Foxes, Raccoons, etc – that would be new to our area).

The sad part is that this cat had to be euthanized. The owner had a second cat from the same household and had the difficult choice of either putting that cat into isolation for an extended time or euthanasia. Due to limited resources, the owner had to have the second cat euthanized.

The owner brought the first cat to us because it was just acting abnormal. In our exam, it was evident that the cat had neurological abnormalities. We hospitalized it for lab work and further monitoring. Unfortunately, the cat bit one of our technicians. It wasn’t a typical grouchy/ reactive bite. This cat went from being fairly calm to suddenly very aggressively attacking and tenaciously hanging on with it’s fangs and all 4 claws. It was genuinely scary! Because our technician was bitten, and because the cat had never been vaccinated for Rabies – – we had to report the bite, have our technician get Rabies post-exposure prophylaxis injections, euthanize the cat, and have the cat tested for Rabies.

Cat’s testing positive for Rabies are very rare in Oregon, so we thought that the testing was just a formality. But the lab got back to us quickly and alerted us that the test was positive. We were very glad that our technician had received Rabies post-exposure prophylaxis injections. One other team member and the owner of the cat had questionable scratches, so to be on the safe side, they went through Rabies post-exposure prophylaxis injections too.

Fortunately, all the humans involved have fully recovered. Sadly, the two cats had to be euthanized. We are relaying this event because we are adamant that your pet have its Rabies vaccine updated. It is very sad to see the pet’s have to go through illness and end up euthanized, but there is also a very real and very scary risk to humans as well.

Again, we cherish that Bats are an important part of our ecosystem – but a certain percentage do have Rabies. Once those Bats are affected by Rabies, they become neurologic and sickly – becoming easy prey for roaming cats or dogs.  Cats especially cannot resist a mouse sized creature moving around on the ground and any cat “worth its weight” is going to attack (or play) with that bat. At that point, they can contract Rabies. Best to prevent Rabies in your Cat (or Dog), by vaccinating. The vaccines are not ‘benign’, there is always a chance of reaction, etc – but it is rare. Protecting your pet by keeping their Rabies vaccine up to date is a priority.

Dental and Surgery Check-In Procedures

We do many dental cleanings and surgical procedures that require anesthesia. This article is written to help you (as the pet owner) have a better understanding about the whole process. We want you to feel comfortable with our procedures. The following simply goes through our steps so that you know what to expect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Hold your pet off of food as of 9 PM the night before; water is fine.

 

2) Come in between 7:30 and 8:00 AM on the day of the scheduled procedure.

 

3) When you come in, a technician will go over a checklist with you. It is an important step because we are making sure of what you want done. In some instances we are doing a dental, removing a growth, and placing a microchip. We simply want to make sure we are “on the same page” and have the same expectations.

 

4) During the checklist procedure we will also go over an estimate of the cost for the procedure. Payment for the procedure is required at pickup.

 

5) We will also get some phone numbers with which we can reach you. These are important in case we need to contact you, usually just to ask a question or give an update.

 

6) During the checklist procedure we will also go over a series of questions;

  • Do you want us to perform pre-anesthetic bloodwork?  Or have you already had it done recently?  Pets over 7 are required to have bloodwork as a safety precaution prior to anesthesia. In pets under 7 we recommend bloodwork, but don’t require it.
  • Has your cat previously been tested for Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus? If not, we recommend doing that as well.
  • Has your pet ever had seizures? If so, we need to know in order to appropriately modify the anesthetics used.
  • Is your pet on any medications? Again, if so, we need to know so that we can modify the anesthetics used.
  • Do you want a microchip placed? This can actually be done at any time, but is most convenient while a pet is anesthetized.

 

6) The final thing on our check-in procedure is your signature giving your consent for us to perform the procedure, acknowledging that you understand risk factors with the procedure and the potential for complications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the initial check in procedure we will set up a comfy spot for your pet. If we are performing pre-anesthetic bloodwork, that is done first. Then we will give a sedative to help them relax and smooth the transition into general anesthesia. Once we are ready, we will administer a short acting injectable anesthesia, and once their level of anesthesia is appropriate, we will intubate your pet and maintain them on inhalant anesthesia. During the procedure they will have anesthetic monitors on them as well as be monitored by a technician. Typically, the doctor will call you around lunch time to give you an update.

 

After the procedure is done a technician continues to monitor them until they are extubated and stable. The pet then stays with us until we feel they are stable and alert enough to go home.

 

The typical procedure when you come to pick up your pet is that you’ll come in and let the receptionist know you are ready to pick up your pet; they will assist you in settling your bill and then a technician will talk you through some go-home instructions.

 

Pets are often groggy after they go home. They may also feel disoriented and need reassurance. In some cases they are painful; we will send pain medication home with you and that can be administered as needed.

Please don’t hesitate to ask us questions. We want to communicate and educate as much as possible.

Salmon Poison

Salmon Poisoning
Salmon Poisoning can be a life-threatening disease to dogs, coyotes, and foxes. The classic symptoms are enlarged lymph nodes, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. However, they do not always follow this classic pattern and cases are sometimes tricky. The disease is diagnosed by visualizing fluke eggs in a stool sample. In some cases, the stool is so watery that even getting a stool sample is difficult and the diagnostic procedure can be prone to false negatives. Having a history of the dog having eaten raw salmon or trout within the last 1-2 weeks also helps make the diagnosis.
The disease process is interesting because the fish itself doesn’t cause the disease. There is a parasite within the fish known as a fluke (specifically Nanophyetus salmincola), BUT the fluke itself also doesn’t cause the disease, rather bacteria (Neorickettsia helminthoeca) within the fluke THAT CAUSE the DISEASE. Once the larval flukes reach the dog’s intestinal tract, they embed in the dog’s duodenal mucosa, and release the rickettsiae. The rickettsial organisms then spread through the bloodstream to the liver, lungs, brain, and lymphoid tissue.
If it is caught at a reasonable stage it can be treated. Most cases require hospitalization, intravenous fluid support, and intravenous antibiotics. Dogs that survive salmon poisoning will be immune to re-infection with the same strain. However, infection with an alternate strain can occur because there is no cross-protection.

Toxic Algae Advisories: Dexter Reservoir!!

Toxic Algae Advisories: Dexter Reservoir, Willow Creek Reservoir

Health advisories for toxic algae levels have been issued for the following bodies of water in Oregon:

  • Dexter Reservoir, located 20 miles southeast of Eugene on Oregon Highway 58 in Lane County7.3.13
  • Willow Creek Reservoir, located just east of the town of Heppner in Morrow County 6.18.13
  • Lost Creek Lake, located 30 miles northeast of Medford on the Rogue River in Jackson CountyLIFTED 7.5.13

Be on the lookout for waters that look suspicious, foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green, or brownish red. Only a fraction of Oregon’s water bodies are monitored, so when in doubt, stay out!

Children and pets are particularly susceptible to this toxin

Exposure to toxins can produce symptoms of numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps, and fainting should also receive medical attention if they persist or worsen. Children and pets are particularly susceptible.

Swallowing or inhaling water droplets should be avoided, as well as skin contact with water by humans or animals. Drinking water from these bodies of water is especially dangerous. Oregon Public Health officials advise campers and other visitors that toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating the water with camping-style filters.

Oregon Public Health recommends that people who choose to eat fish from waters where algae blooms are present should remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking since toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues. Additionally, public health officials advise that people should not eat crayfish or freshwater shellfish harvested from these bodies of water while this advisory is in effect.

A hazard for dogs

Dogs have become very sick and even died after swimming in and swallowing water affected by toxic algae. If you find thick, brightly colored foam or scum at a lake, pond, or river, don’t let your pet drink or swim in the water.

If your dog goes into the water:

  • Don’t let your pet lick its fur
  • Wash your pet with clean water as soon as possible
  • If your dog has symptoms such as drooling, weakness, vomiting, staggering, or convulsions after being in bloom-affected water, call your veterinarian immediately.

Blue-Green Algae: Hazard for Dogs

Blue-green algae toxin poisoning, also known as cyanobacterial poisoning, is an acute, sometimes fatal condition caused by the ingestion of water containing high concentrations of cyanobacteria.

In Oregon, dogs have become very sick-and some have died-after swimming in and swallowing water affected by toxic algae.

Poisonings are most likely to occur during warm, sunny weather when algae blooms are more intense and dense surface scums are present. If you find thick, brightly colored foam or scum at a lake, pond, or river, don’t let your pet drink or swim in the water.

Symptoms

Children and pets are particularly susceptible to blue-green algae. Exposure to blue-green algae can result in:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin irritation
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea, nausea, and cramps
  • Fainting
  • Heart problems

If Your Dog Does Go in the Water

  • Don’t let your pet lick its fur.
  • Wash your pet with clean water as soon as possible.
  • If your dog shows symptoms such as drooling, weakness, vomiting, staggering, or convulsions after being in bloom-affected water, call your veterinarian immediately. Acute, life-threatening symptoms from cyanobacterial toxins often develop rapidly. Death can occur within 4 to 24 hours after exposure.

Treatment

Treatment is primarily supportive in nature. Your veterinarian may administer activated charcoal slurries to absorb the cyanobacterial toxins from the gastrointestinal tract. Because the toxins are excreted rapidly from the body within a few days, animals that survive the initial tissue damage have a good chance for recovery.

Reporting Illness

Pet owners are encouraged to report suspected toxic algae illness in their dogs to Oregon DHS at (971) 673-0440. Illness reports are an important tool for public health to assess the severity of environmental problems.

Know Before You Go

Oregon’s Harmful Algae Bloom Surveillance program provides updates to the public regarding bodies of water that are experiencing blue-green algae blooms. We (OVMA) also post advisories on this Web site and our social networking feeds: Twitter and Facebook.

 

(Article from Oregon Veterinary Medical Association website)