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.
Children and pets are particularly susceptible to blue-green algae. Exposure to blue-green algae can result in:
- Difficulty breathing
- Skin irritation
- Diarrhea, nausea, and cramps
- 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 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.
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)
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.
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. . . .
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.
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).
As the weather improves, many people take there dogs to the dog park more often. DVM Magazine ran an article recently noting the most common maladies that occur associated with dog-park visits. Sprains and soft tissue injuries are the most common conditions. Not hard to imagine the dogs joyously running with reckless abandon and either running into something or straining themselves. Lacerations and bite wounds are second – also not hard to imagine that some people don’t realize their dog may not be appropriate for the dog park (and it ends up biting another dog). Hyperthermia, parasite infection, infectious disease are also on the list.
There are some general rules worth following to reduce illness and injury.
- Obey posted park rules
- Pay attention to your dog at all times. BE aware of other pets too.
- Make sure the dog is up to date on vaccines and has a valid license.
- Keep collar on dog
- On very warm days, avoid pard during peak temperature hours
- Look for sign of overheating (profuse panting, bright red tongue, thich drooling, lack of coordination).
They did a study of the top 10 cities for Dog Parks. I’m proud to say that Portland was rated #1 with 5.7 dog parks per 100,000 residents. San Francisco was a worthy 4th with 3.3 dog parks per 100,000 residents.Â Though they didn’t include communities the size of Springfield/ Eugene, I’d like to think we are doing quite well too!
Be a Cool Owner: Don’t Let Your Dog Overheat
Working up a good sweat in the hot summer months may be good for you, but it can lead
to heat stroke in your dog and kill him in a matter of minutes. Heat stroke is a dangerous condition that takes the lives of many animals every year. Your dog’s normal body temperature is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If it rises to 105 or 106 degrees, the dog is at risk for developing heat exhaustion. If the body temperature rises to 107 degrees, your dog has entered the dangerous zone of heat stroke. With heat stroke, irreversible damage and death can occur.
Here are some cold summer facts: The temperature in a parked car can reach 160
degrees in a matter of minutes, even with partially opened windows. And any dog
exercising on a hot, humid day, even with plenty of water, can become
overheated. Overheating often leads to heat stroke. As a pet owner, you should
know the dangers of overheating and what to do to prevent it. You should also
know the signs of heat stroke and what to do if your dog exhibits those signs.
When humans overheat we are able to sweat in order to cool down. However, your
dog cannot sweat as easily; he must rely on panting to cool down. Dogs breathe
in through the nose and out through the mouth, directing the air over the
mucous membranes of the tongue, throat and trachea to facilitate cooling by
evaporation of fluid. Your dog also dissipates heat by dilation of the blood
vessels in the surface of the skin in the face, ears and feet. When these
mechanisms are overwhelmed, hyperthermia and heat stroke usually develop.
Dogs who have a thick coat, heart and lung problems or a short muzzle are at
greater risk for heat stroke. Others at risk include
up to 6 months of age
- Large dogs over 7 years
of age and small dogs over 14 years
- Overweight dogs
- Dogs who are overexerted
- Ill dogs or those on
- Brachycephalic dogs
(short, wide heads) like pugs, English bulldogs and Boston terriers
- Dogs with cardiovascular
disease and/or poor circulation
What To Watch For
If your dog is overheating, he will appear sluggish and unresponsive. He may
appear disorientated. The gums, tongue and conjunctiva of the eyes may be
bright red and he will probably be panting hard. He may even start vomiting.
Eventually he will collapse, seizure and may go into a coma.
If your dog exhibits any of these signs, treat it as an emergency and call your
veterinarian immediately. On the way to your veterinary hospital, you can cool
your pet with wet towels, spray with cool water from a hose or by providing ice
chips for your dog to chew (providing he is conscious).
Heat related illness is typically diagnosed based on physical exam findings and
a recent history that could result in overheating. Your veterinarian may
perform various blood tests to assess the extent of vital organ dysfunction
caused by overheating.
Intensity of treatment depends upon the cause and severity of the heat illness.
- Mildly increased
temperature (less than 105°F) may only require rest, a fan to increase air
circulation, fresh water to drink and careful observation.
- Markedly increased
temperature (greater than 106°F) must be treated more aggressively. Cooling can
be promoted externally by immersion in cool water or internally by
administering a cool water enema.
- Underlying aggravating
conditions, such as upper airway obstructive diseases, heart disease, lung
disease and dehydration may be treated with appropriate medications,
supplemental oxygen or fluid therapy.
Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency. Check your dog’s temperature
rectally if you suspect heat stroke. If it is over 105°F, remove your
dog from the heat source immediately and call your veterinarian.
Meanwhile, place a cool, wet towel over your dog or place him in a cool bath.
Do not use ice because it may cause skin injury. Spraying with water from a
garden hose also works well.
This article is from petplace.com
Article Compliments of Oregon Veterinary Medical Association
Fourth of July Safety for Pets
4th of July celebrations might be a lot of fun for people, but they can be downright scary for our animals, especially cats, dogs and horses. The sights, sounds and commotion of Independence Day can confuse animals and make them nervous, which can cause them to run away or place themselves in harmful situations.
Keep your animals safe with these tips
To help keep your animals from becoming overly stressed this 4th of July, consider the following tips:
- Do not take your pets to fireworks displays.
- Keep pets indoors and away from crowds so that they feel more protected. Due to the noise, dogs may try to dig out of yards, so keeping them inside is a good choice.
- Animals that are already crate trained may feel safest in their crate.
- A fan or other “white noise” can help mask the sound of fireworks.
- Consider boarding your animals in a safe place that is farther away from the holiday action. If you plan to travel during this time, boarding your animal might be a better option than leaving it at home.
- Early behavior training can desensitize your animal to holiday commotion. It is important to teach your puppy (ideally) or dog how to handle loud noises through positive conditioning. Do not punish your dog for being scared by thunderstorms or fireworks.
- Your veterinarian may choose to prescribe a sedative for your animal if it tends to become easily spooked by the fireworks. Remember that your animal must be seen by a veterinarian in order to receive any prescribed medications.
- The 4th of July is also a good time to make sure that your pet is wearingÂ an ID collar and is microchipped.
- Keep pets away from fireworks, matches, lighter fluid, as well as the food and drinks (including alcohol) that may accompany 4th of July celebrations.
- If you have horses, be sure to keep them indoors and away from the sound of fireworks.
If your pet does become lost
- Check the neighborhood (or area where the pet became lost), as pets have been known to be found close to home even several days later.
- Put up signs with your pet’s photo and your phone number. It is recommended to use only your first name and not include your home phone number on the notice. A cell phone number is preferrable, as it cannot easily be traced to your home address via online searches.
- If your pet is microchipped (and we recommend that it should be), contact your microchip registration company. Once notified, they may activate a lost pet recovery network and/or place your lost pet on a “hot sheet” or on their social media networks.
- Contact your veterinarian. If your pet is wearing a collar withÂ rabies tag (also recommended), the number can be traced to your veterinarian and then back to you if the pet is found or taken to a shelter.
- Contact animal control, shelters and humane organizationsÂ in your area. If possible, visit them daily to see if your pet has been brought in. July 5th is usually a very busy day at these agencies.
- Place a lost pet ad in your local newspaper and/or online, such as on Facebook or Craigslist.
- Check the paper and online sources daily for “found pet” ads.
If you have any concerns or questions about helping your animal stay calm and safe during the 4th of July holiday, please talk toÂ your veterinarian.