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)

 

 

 

 

Veterinary Pet Insurance – Is it right for you?

 

Have you considered pet insurance for your dog? Is it right for you? What do you need to consider?

The word “insurance” often evokes feelings of stress in many of us. Insurance companies seem to have confusing policies with a variety of rates and sometimes it is difficult to determine whether we need it, what we need, and if it is a good value. I’ll try to help you determine if pet insurance is right for you.

 

 

First, let’s step back and consider…”what is insurance?” Insurance is a form of risk management used to minimize the risk of financial loss. Pet insurance pays costs if your dog needs veterinary care.

The purpose of pet insurance is to ensure you can properly care for and treat your dog when an unexpected medical problem occurs. Pet insurance offers you the security of knowing that you can do the best you can for your dog without the burden of financial considerations. Financial concerns often cause dog owners to make a decision to euthanize their dogs when unexpected and unaffordable expenses take place.

So…how do you decide if pet insurance is right for you and your dog?

It really comes down to a financial decision. If your dog was unexpectedly hit by a car and required emergency veterinary care estimated at, say…$2000.00, could you do it? If you could without a problem, then you probably don’t need pet insurance.

If the $2000.00 (or more) expense would be a big burden or you would need to consider euthanasia because you could not afford the care, then I’d strongly consider pet insurance.

I find dog owners with pet insurance often feel relieved when something does happen. They don’t have to make a tough life-or-death decision about what happens to their dog.

They can try to do the best thing by treating their dog without the pressure of financial considerations. I actually find it a relief as well because I know I can do the best for their dog without compromising care.

There are different types of policies. What are some of the differences in policies?

Some policies pay only for medical problems or accidents; others will also pay for preventative health care such as spays, neuters, parasite control, and vaccinations. The amount of benefits you receive will affect the premium.

Some policies will cap the total sum they pay out in a year or have a cap on a particular disease or accident/event.

Most companies will require that you pay the bill and then they reimburse you.

The number of dog owners with pet insurance is growing. The number of companies offering insurance is also growing. In the U.S., approximately 2 to 3 % of pets now have health insurance, which is up from just 1% a few years ago. Pet insurance is very popular in other countries such as the U.K. where more than half of all pets have pet insurance.

Pet insurance companies will give you basic information as well as estimates of your premiums for what you want and your specific pet. Policies are generally less expensive for puppies; conversely, premiums may increase for older dogs.

I hope this gives you a little more information about pet insurance and help you determine if it is right for you. Being able to afford medical care when they need it is critical to maintaining a healthy dog.

(Article from petplace.com)

At our clinic, we have a few clients that use insurance; the vast majority don’t. It is genuinely helpful in some cases. Like the article says, it can relieve a lot of stress when a big procedure is needed. The company that we’ve been most familiar with is called VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance), their website is http://www.petinsurance.com

They are completely independent of us, if you have questions we are happy to answer what we can – but best to call them or check out their website.

 

Newsletter – 5 Ways Pets Reduce Stress

We hope that everyone has been having a Happy Holidays!!!! We wish everyone the best as we head into the NEW YEAR! 2016 has been a politically charged year, media seems to be constantly reminding us of every problem in the world. It is has been nice to focus on the holidays, wishing each other Peace and Joy. I am so glad that we have our pets, they seem to wish us Peace and Joy no matter what. Their lives are a bit simpler and they inspire us, what matters to them is shelter, food, love, maybe a nice walk, maybe some cat nip, a good cuddle. We could learn a few lessons from them. In FACT, there are studies and it is well accepted that pets help reduce our stress. . . .

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Arden Moore is an animal expert and author,”There’s something about the animal kingdom that possesses the ability for us to enjoy life a little better” she says. Spending time around animals can be beneficial to your well-being. Here are 5 reasons to include some animal time in your day.

1) They relax you. Petting your cat or dog may be noticeably enjoyable for them, but the act can relax you, as well. Your touch relaxes the animal and releases “feel-good” endorphins in you too, reducing your heart rate.

2) They may reduce blood pressure. Communicating with animals may lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Moor suggests that engaging animals in “happy talk”, or speaking in an upbeat tone is soothing. Thinking happy thoughts when talking to your pet or speaking to birds and squirrels in your backyard may seem silly, but the conversation can put you at ease (even if it’s one-sided).

3) They’re therapeutic. Animals from dogs to rabbits are often used for therapy in hospitals and nursing homes. There’s something rejuvenating, renewing about coming home to a friendly animal that greets you like a rock star. Moore suggests that the strong human-to-animal bond could be related to fond childhood memories. People often feel more comfortable being themselves around animals.

4) They can improve human nutrition. Eating in the company of an animal may improve your eating habits. In some cases, the companionship of animals has helped the nutritional habits of their humans. For example, says Moore, research has shown that recipients of the Meals on Wheels program who were allowed to eat near their pets improved some of their eating patterns.

5) They improve your relationships. A good relationship with your animal friends may spill over into better relations with humans. An animal doesn’t care who you are or what outfit you’re wearing; they want to play and be around you, says Moore. This carefree, playful attitude, she says, has made many animal-lovers more prone to live in the moment. Taking care of an animal can also teach responsibility and stimulate feelings of trust, openness, and companionship. Psychology-Man-Dog-Cat-27980490_ml-21

On a more direct note. We want to remind everyone that DENTAL MONTH(s) are approaching. It is a great opportunity to provide proactive health care for your pet. Dental disease not only can cause oral discomfort, but the bacteria associated with dental disease can affect the health of the entire body. We offer 10% off on the dental procedure, including (if needed) dental radio-graphs, extractions, etc. This has been a popular promotion in the past, in fact we simply plan on Dental month extending through February and March, and possibly longer if demand warrants. Visit our website for more information on dental (qstreetanimalhospital.com).