What Is Canine Influenza Virus?

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There are many causes of kennel cough, both bacterial and viral. Canine influenza virus (CIV) is one of the viral causes of kennel cough. This highly contagious respiratory disease has affected thousands of dogs in the United States. Because CIV is a relatively new virus, most dogs have not been exposed to it before. Dogs of any age, breed, and vaccine status are susceptible to this infection.

How Could My Dog Catch Canine Influenza Virus?
CIV is easily transmitted between dogs through a combination of aerosols, droplets, and direct contact with respiratory secretions. The virus does not survive for a long time in the environment, so dogs usually get CIV when they are in close proximity to other infectious dogs.

Which Dogs Are Prone to Canine Influenza Virus? 
Any dog who interacts with large numbers of dogs is at increased risk for exposure. Pet owners should consult their veterinarian for information about the canine influenza vaccine.

What Are the General Signs of Canine Influenza Virus? 
While most dogs will show typical signs of kennel cough, but a small percentage of dogs will develop a more severe illness. Signs of canine influenza virus include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Variable fever
  • Clear nasal discharge that progresses to thick, yellowish-green mucus
  • Rapid/difficult breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

Can Dogs Die From Canine Influenza Virus?
If CIV is quickly diagnosed and treated, the fatality rate is quite low. Deaths are usually caused by secondary complications, such as pneumonia. It is important that dogs with CIV receive proper veterinary care.

How Is Canine Influenza Virus Diagnosed?
Veterinarians will typically conduct a thorough physical examination and run a series of tests to diagnose the illness.

How Is Canine Influenza Treated?
Because CIV is a virus similar to the flu in humans, there is no specific antiviral medication available. However, supportive care and appropriate treatment of secondary infections are important. Your veterinarian may advise the following to soothe your dog while the condition runs its course:

  • Good nutrition and supplements to raise immunity
  • A warm, quiet, and comfortable spot to rest
  • Medications to treat secondary bacterial infections
  • Intravenous fluids to maintain hydration
  • Workup and treatment for pneumonia

Be advised, while most dogs will fight the infection within 10 to 30 days, secondary infections require antibiotics and, in the case of pneumonia, sometimes even hospitalization.

What Should I Do if I Think My Dog Has Canine Influenza Virus? 
If you think your dog has canine influenza virus, immediately isolate him or her from all other dogs and call your veterinarian.

Can I Catch Canine Influenza From My Dog?
So far there has been no evidence to indicate that dogs can transmit CIV to humans.

How Can I Help Prevent My Dog From Spreading the Disease? 
Any dog infected with CIV should be kept isolated from other dogs for 10 to 14 days from the onset of signs. Dogs are most infectious before signs are apparent, and can continue shedding the virus for approximately 10 days. This means that by the time signs of the illness are seen, other dogs may have already been exposed.

Source: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/canine-influenza-viruscanine-flu

Easter Pet Poisons

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The veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline receive hundreds of calls this time of year from pet owners and veterinarians concerning cats that have ingested Easter lilies.

“Unbeknownst to many pet owners, Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “All parts of the Easter lily plant are poisonous – the petals, the leaves, the stem and even the pollen. Cats that ingest as few as one or two leaves, or even a small amount of pollen while grooming their fur, can suffer severe kidney failure.”

In most situations, symptoms of poisoning will develop within six to 12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Symptoms worsen as kidney failure develops. Some cats will experience disorientation, staggering and seizures.

“There is no effective antidote to counteract lily poisoning, so the sooner you can get your cat to the veterinarian, the better his chances of survival will be,” said Brutlag. “If you see your cat licking or eating any part of an Easter lily, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately. If left untreated, his chances of survival are low.”

Treatment includes inducing vomiting, administering drugs like activated charcoal (to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines), intravenous fluid therapy to flush out the kidneys, and monitoring of kidney function through blood testing. The prognosis and the cost – both financially and physically – to the pet owner and cat, are best when treated immediately.

There are several other types of lilies that are toxic to cats as well. They are of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species and commonly referred to as Tiger lilies, Day lilies and Asiatic lilies. Popular in many gardens and yards, they can also result in severe acute kidney failure. These lilies are commonly found in florist bouquets, so it is imperative to check for poisonous flowers before bringing bouquets into the household. Other types of lilies – such as the Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies – are usually not a problem for cats and may cause only minor drooling.

Thankfully, lily poisoning does not occur in dogs or people. However, if a large amount is ingested, it can result in mild gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Other Dangers to Pets at Easter Time

Pet Poison Helpline also receives calls concerning pets that have ingested Easter grass and chocolate.

Usually green or yellow in color, Easter grass is the fake grass that often accompanies Easter baskets. When your cat or dog ingests something “stringy” like Easter grass, it can become anchored around the base of the tongue or stomach, rendering it unable to pass through the intestines. It can result in a linear foreign body and cause severe damage to the intestinal tract, often requiring expensive abdominal surgery.

Lastly, during the week of Easter, calls to Pet Poison Helpline concerning dogs that have been poisoned by chocolate increase by nearly 200 percent. While the occasional chocolate chip in one cookie may not be an issue, certain types of chocolate are very toxic to dogs. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. The chemical toxicity is due to methylxanthines (a relative of caffeine) and results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and possibly death. Other sources include chewable chocolate flavored multi-vitamins, baked goods, or chocolate-covered espresso beans. If you suspect that your dog ate chocolate, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

Spring is in the air and Easter is a wonderful holiday. Remember that your pets will be curious about new items you bring into your household like Easter lilies, Easter grass and chocolate. Keep them a safe distance away from your pets’ reach and enjoy the holiday and the season.

 

SOURCE: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/seasons/easter/

The Importance of Pet Dental Care

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Animal Clinic of Milford stresses the importance of ongoing pet dental care for the health of your best friend. We advocate ongoing preventive care to help provide longer, healthier, and happier lives for our companion animals. Dental disease is a very common concern for pets and it often goes untreated for far too long. We believe in proactive dentistry to help our veterinarians identify signs of oral health concerns.

A pet’s complete dental will include the following treatments:

  • Scaling
  • Polishing
  • Tartar and plaque removal
  • Extraction of diseased teeth, if necessary

During your pet’s complete dental care, we’ll strive to eliminate bad breath through the scaling off of tartar and the removal of bacteria from below the gumline. Bacteria beneath the gumline is especially dangerous as it can get into the bloodstream and affect other organs such as the liver and kidneys!

Help keep your pet healthier and safer, with ongoing dental care.

5 Ways to Have Fun with Your Pet This Winter

Having Fun with Your Pet This Winter

Brr! It’s chilly out, but that doesn’t mean your pet has to mope around the house, waiting for a warm day to play outside. In fact, keeping your pet active and stimulated is important in every season so they can stay healthy. Consider Animal Clinic of Milfords’ list of five ways you can have fun with your pet in the winter, and give us a call if you have any questions.

Take a Walk with Your Pet

As long as it’s not TOO cold out, you can still take your dog for a brisk walk. This will provide some great cardiovascular benefits for both of you and even help you bond with your canine companion. Just be sure to wipe off any salt from your dog’s paws when you come inside.

Go for a Jog

If your dog is the active type, and you want to get a better winter workout for yourself, why not turn that walk into a jog? Of course, increasing your speed will help you both stay warm, too. You may also want to try intervals for a more intensive routine.

Play Tag

Who said tag is just for people? Yes, dogs can enjoy it, too! If you have a large yard or plan to visit a park, you can play tag with your dog. After you tag your dog, let them run around and chase you. Then, let your dog chase you! You may be surprised how much fun you’ll both have.

Teach Your Pet a New Trick

Dogs, cats, rabbits, and other pocket pets can learn tricks, so instead of sitting around inside, why not teach your furry friend a new trick? Training your pet can strengthen your bond with them and improve their overall behavior, so it’s certainly worth the effort. Of course, always reward your pet for doing the trick, and limit the training sessions to about 15 minutes a day.

Play Hide and Seek

Who doesn’t like a good game of hide and seek? You can play this game with your dog, cat, and even your pocket pets. Simply hide your pet’s favorite toy or treat in a place where your pet can see. Then, let them have fun retrieving it. And if your pet will cooperate and is well trained, YOU can be the one to hide and let your pet find you. This game works great for herding dogs.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment at Animal Clinic of Milford, give us a call at 230-882-8311, and have a happy, safe winter with your pet!