Thursday, November 30, 2017

Dental Special Months at Niles Animal Hospital 

Every year we offer a special discount off the price of a regular dental cleaning for dogs and cats during the months of December, January. and February, As February is National Pet Dental Health Month we would have the special during that month, but due to the overwhelming response we decided to extend our special for three months (and have done so for the past several years).

The dental special is a  $50.00 discount off the price of a regular dental cleaning. Extractions and more extensive dental procedures are not discounted. The procedure is performed with the pet being placed under general anesthesia. One of our technicians monitors the anesthesia while the veterinarian performs the dental cleaning. Dental radiographs are also taken to be certain there is no underlying disease in the roots of the teeth. Following the cleaning the teeth are polished.

Contact the hospital at 847-647-9325 or through our website at nilesanimalhospital.com so we can set up presurgical bloodwork/evaluation and dental procedure.

Does Your Pet Have Dental Disease?

Does Your Pet Have Dental Disease?
During our dental health months (December, January, and February), bring your pet in for an evaluation of their dental condition, as dental disease can lead to serious problems, as outlined in the article from the AVMA Animal Health SmartBrief below.  

Exploring dental care for pets (Dr. K Dye from AVMA Pet Health SmartBrief)

Q: Why does my dog's breath stink?
A: Most odors from a dog's mouth come from periodontal disease and bacteria in the mouth.  Plaque and tartar build up along with inflammation cause periodontal disease (the periodontium includes the bone, connective tissue, and gingiva which surrounds and supports a tooth). 

Please have your pet examined by a veterinarian to determine the cause of bad breath, but often it is some form of dental disease.  Since most dogs do not get their teeth brushed daily, plaque and tartar accumulate quickly.  Unhealthy gums (gingivitis) can also result from lack of brushing.  Once the gums are inflamed, it is often appropriate to perform a dental prophylactic cleaning under anesthesia. 

There are several stages of periodontal disease, from Stage 1 (the most mild) to Stage 4 (the most severe).  Dental disease affects more than just the teeth and gums.  Over time, bacteria accumulate in the mouth along the gum-line, where they enter the bloodstream. 

Once enough bacteria are present in the bloodstream they begin to cause systemic damage, affecting the liver, kidneys and heart. 

Bacteria in the bloodstream can also cause sepsis (generalized invasion of the body by pathogenic microorganisms).  Obviously, an additional concern is tooth loss and pain associated with dental disease.  These conditions can take years off your pet's life.  Most studies show that 80% or more of all adult dogs have periodontal disease and at least 70% of all cats have some form of dental disease.

Dental disease is easily treated if done at the appropriate time. 

A dental prophylaxis performed at periodontal disease stage 1 or 2 can help ensure that your pet will not suffer any of the aforementioned conditions.  Once your pet has reached periodontal disease stage 3 or 4, irreversible damage may have already occurred and extracting teeth may be the only option to maintain your pet's oral health. 

Dental extractions are uncomfortable for the patient and can be financially costly for their owners. 

Therefore, detecting periodontal disease early and treating early with a prophylactic cleaning are important.

Q: What happens during a dental cleaning?
A: We recommend pre-anesthetic blood work to detect any underlying disease that may affect our anesthetic protocol. Your pet will be under full anesthesia, while being monitored by a trained technician as well as monitored by pulse oximetry machines and Doppler blood pressure.  Core body temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate are also monitored. 

Our patients all receive IV fluid support during the dental prophylaxis. The oral cavity will be examined closely for any unusual discolorations or masses. The teeth and gums will be evaluated to determine the degree of dental disease.  Digital dental radiographs will be taken to better evaluate the condition of the teeth and the roots. The teeth will be checked for fractures, pulp exposure, irreversible gum recession, cavities and abnormal wear.  The tartar will be removed using an ultrasonic scaler as well as hand scaling instruments by a licensed veterinary technician. 

Using special curettes, the plaque, tartar and bacteria will be removed from the tooth surfaces as well as under the gum line. 

At this stage of the procedure, the doctor will determine if the patient would benefit from additional therapy such as extractions or special antibiotics applied directly under the gum line. 

Finally, the teeth will be polished and fluoride applied to help prevent re-accumulation of tartar and bacteria. 

If necessary, the patient will go home with pain medication and/or antibiotics. After a dental prophylaxis, it is important to follow up with home care. There are several options including brushing (the best), oral rinses or water additives, and special dental chews.

(NOTE: We also follow the same protocol at Niles Animal Hospital, presurgical bloodwork, surgical monitoring by a certified veterinary technician, dental radiographs, and thorough cleaning/prophylaxis.)

It is also quite possible that your pet may need an additional dental prophylaxis in the future.

Hopefully with diligent home care we can increase the time between professional cleanings.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving Pet Safety

Thanksgiving Pet Safety
Thanksgiving is a special holiday that brings together family and friends, but it also can carry some hazards for pets. Holiday food needs to be kept away from pets, and pet owners who travel need to either transport their pets safely or find safe accommodations for them at home. Follow these tips to keep your pets healthy and safe during the holiday.
Poison Risks
Overindulging in the family feast can be unhealthy for humans, but even worse for pets: Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest. Poultry bones can damage your pet’s digestive tract. And holiday sweets can contain ingredients that are poisonous to pets.
Keep the feast on the table—not under it. Eating turkey or turkey skin – sometimes even a small amount – can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis. Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest, and many foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets – including onions, raisins and grapes. If you want to share a Thanksgiving treat with your pet, make or buy a treat that is made just for them.
No pie or other desserts for your pooch. Chocolate can be harmful for pets, even though many dogs find it tempting and will sniff it out and eat it. The artificial sweetener called xylitol – commonly used in gum and sugar-free baked goods – also can be deadly if consumed by dogs or cats.
Yeast dough can cause problems for pets, including painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating.
Put the trash away where your pets can’t find it. A turkey carcass sitting out on the carving table, or left in a trash container that is open or easily opened, could be deadly to your family pet. Dispose of turkey carcasses and bones – and anything used to wrap or tie the meat, such as strings, bags and packaging – in a covered, tightly secured trash bag placed in a closed trash container outdoors (or behind a closed, locked door).
Be careful with decorative plants. Don’t forget that some flowers and festive plants can be toxic to pets. These include amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William, some ferns, hydrangeas and more. The ASPCA offers lists of plants that are toxic to both dogs and cats, but the safest route is simply to keep your pets away from all plants and table decorations.
Quick action can save lives. If you believe your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately. You may also want to call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: 888-426-4435. Signs of pet distress include: sudden changes in behavior, depression, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. Contact your veterinarian immediately.
Precautions for Parties
If you’re hosting a party or overnight visitors, plan ahead to keep your pets safe and make the experience less stressful for everyone.
Visitors can upset your pets. Some pets are shy or excitable around new people or in crowds, and Thanksgiving often means many visitors at once and higher-than-usual noise and activity levels. If you know your dog or cat is nervous when people visit your home, put him/her in another room or a crate with a favorite toy. This will reduce the emotional stress on your pet and protect your guests from possible injury. If your pet is particularly upset by houseguests, talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions to this common problem.
Learn about dog bite prevention.
If any of your guests have compromised immune systems (due to pregnancy, some diseases, or medications or treatments that suppress the immune system), make sure they’re aware of the pets (especially exotic pets) in your home so they can take extra precautions to protect themselves.
If you have exotic pets, remember that some people are uncomfortable around them and that these pets may be more easily stressed by the festivities. Keep exotic pets safely away from the hubbub of the holiday.
Watch the exits. Even if your pets are comfortable around guests, make sure you watch them closely, especially when people are entering or leaving your home. While you’re welcoming hungry guests and collecting coats, a four-legged family member may make a break for it out the door and become lost.
Identification tags and microchips reunite families. Make sure your pet has proper identification with your current contact information – particularly a microchip with up-to-date, registered information. That way, if they do sneak out, they’re more likely to be returned to you. If your pet isn’t already microchipped, talk to your veterinarian about the benefits of this simple procedure.
Learn more about microchips.
Watch your pets around festive decorations. Special holiday displays or candles are attractive to pets as well as people. Never leave a pet alone in an area with a lit candle; it could result in a fire. And pine cones, needles and other decorations can cause intestinal blockages or even perforate an animal’s intestine if eaten.
Travel Concerns
Whether you take your pets with you or leave them behind, take these precautions to safeguard them when traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday or at any other time of the year.
Your pet needs a health certificate from your veterinarian if you’re traveling across state lines or international borders, whether by air or car. Learn the requirements for any states you will visit or pass through, and schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to get the needed certificate within the timeframes required by those states.
Learn more about health certificates.
Never leave pets alone in vehicles, even for a short time, regardless of the weather.
Pets should always be safely restrained in vehicles. This means using a secure harness or a carrier, placed in a location clear of airbags. This helps protect your pets if you brake or swerve suddenly, or get in an accident; keeps them away from potentially poisonous food or other items you are transporting; prevents them from causing dangerous distractions for the driver; and can prevent small animals from getting trapped in small spaces. Never transport your pet in the bed of a truck.
Learn more about properly restraining pets in vehicles.
Talk with your veterinarian if you’re traveling by air and considering bringing your pet with you. Air travel can put pets at risk, especially short-nosed dogs. Your veterinarian is the best person to advise you regarding your own pet’s ability to travel.
Pack for your pet as well as yourself if you’re going to travel together. In addition to your pet’s food and medications, this includes bringing medical records, information to help identify your pet if it becomes lost, first aid supplies, and other items. Refer to our Traveling with Your Pet FAQ for a more complete list.
Are you considering boarding your dog while you travel? Talk with your veterinarian to find out how best to protect your pet from canine flu and other contagious diseases, and to make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccines.
Food Safety
Don’t forget to protect your family and loved ones from foodborne illnesses while cooking your Thanksgiving meal. Hand washing, and safe food handling and preparation, are important to make sure your holiday is a happy one. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers tips for handling, thawing and cooking turkey, as well as saving your leftovers.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Money Tips for Caring Pet Owners

(This article is available as a free download from Smashwords in a number of formats compatible with e-readers.)
 
Everyone is trying to save money these days, including pet owners. But in an effort to cut back on costs, you may hear advice that could end up compromising your pet’s health. Regardless of what you read, providing your pet with regular preventive care is the key to a healthy and long life for your pet. And an investment in preventive healthcare can reduce your long-term pet healthcare costs. How? Preventive care does just what its name suggests – it can prevent diseases that can put your pet’s life in jeopardy and be costly to treat. Regular exams also often catch budding health issues that can become bigger problems if left untreated, saving you hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars as a result and possibly even saving the life of your pet.

First Things First 

We recognize that cost is a major concern for pet owners, but selecting a veterinarian involves more than just price-shopping. There are several factors to consider when you choose a veterinarian, such as convenient office hours, how the veterinarian and staff treat you and your pet, and what type of payment options and plans they offer. Cost is often a factor, but it may not be the most important factor to consider. While some veterinary medical services may be offered at very low rates, remember that they also may not include comprehensive services. Make sure you compare “apples to apples,” so you know that the cost estimates you’re getting are for the same services. For example, one estimate might be for surgery alone, while another higher-cost estimate also includes some pre-operative bloodwork and post-operative pain relief; and when you add these services to the lower-cost estimate, the prices are more comparable than you originally thought.

And what about “Dr. Google?” More and more, people are resorting to the Internet to find information and guidance on health issues – for both themselves and their pets. Sorting out reliable from unreliable information online can be challenging, and the Internet is certainly not a reliable substitute for hands-on evaluation by your veterinarian or physician. Don’t get us wrong. Not all information on the Internet is wrong or misguided. But the AVMA urges you to be very cautious when relying on online information for decisions regarding your own health or your pet’s health. And steer clear of anyone offering online diagnoses or treatment recommendations, either for free or for a fee. They may be bogus, not to mention illegal. 
 

A Penny Now or a Pound Later?

All of the veterinarians interviewed for this article emphasized that annual preventive healthcare exams and regular preventive care – such as vaccinations, heartworm testing, fecal parasite exams, dental evaluation and more – save pets’ lives by ensuring they’re healthy.  They can also save pet owners money by reducing or eliminating the risk of health problems that can be more expensive to treat. The cost of preventive care usually pales in comparison to the cost of treating the disease or problem that would have been prevented. Regular exams can also detect problems early, before they become more serious…and probably more expensive to treat. In a nutshell, spending the money upfront on preventive care can save you a lot more in the long run. “Routine monitoring for tick-borne diseases and parasites (including heartworm), as well as keeping your pets up-to-date on medications, can save their lives,” said Dr. Meghan McGrath of Radnor Veterinary Hospital in Wayne, Pa.

Pets should have annual wellness exams, and some pets may need more frequent exams, said Dr. Michael Cavanaugh, DABVP, American Animal Hospital Association executive director.

“Many people ask me, ‘How often should my pet see their veterinarian?’ My typical answer is at least annually, and it depends. Depending on the pet’s lifestage, lifestyle, and overall health status, they may need to be seen more frequently. The individual pet’s veterinarian is best positioned to determine how many visits per year are in order,” Dr. Cavanaugh said.
Veterinarian with client and dog
Annual preventive healthcare exams can often reveal problems that, if left undiagnosed and untreated, could have bigger consequences later on. Dr. Nan Boss, who owns the Best Friends Veterinary Center in Grafton, Wis., shared a story about a cat named Gabby that hadn’t been to the veterinarian in years and came into her clinic with neurological problems. Gabby was so weak she couldn’t even walk.

“She’d had a stroke because of high blood pressure caused by hyperthyroidism, which can lead to a number of other health problems including weight loss, and heart and kidney disease. If we had been checking her thyroid level regularly, we would have caught the disease earlier and had her on medication, plus we would have been monitoring her blood pressure. She would never have had the stroke,” Dr. Boss said.

Gabby lived about four to five more years on thyroid medication, but Dr. Boss said that she was never the same cat and suffered from hind leg weakness until her death.

That wasn’t the only story Dr. Boss had about a patient whose quality of life would have been better with preventive care. She also shared a story about a dog that came in for a routine dental exam and was diagnosed with atrial tachycardia, a potentially life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm. Dr. Boss’ clinic offers ECG screens before administering anesthesia to pets, because, she says, “Most unexpected deaths under anesthesia are due to an undiagnosed heart problem.” The dog was rushed to an emergency clinic, where he had an echocardiogram and received medication. A routine dental exam ended up saving his life.
 

Doing the Right Thing

Vaccinations, along with spaying and neutering your pets, will also cut down on medical bills and keep your pet healthy by likely reducing long-term costs. One thing to remember, however, is that pet owners shouldn’t try to vaccinate their pets at home. That job should be left to a veterinary healthcare team.
Dr

A Hard Pill to Swallow?

Maybe not. One area where you may be able to save money is on your pet’s medications. Pet owners always have the option of purchasing their pet’s medications from a variety of sources, including large grocery or pharmacy chains, online pharmacies or your own veterinarian. But you should be careful when buying medications from any source other than the veterinarian you trust with your pet’s well-being. If you choose to purchase your pet’s medications from an online pet pharmacy, purchase only from reputable pharmacies with a valid license in your state. You can check license status with your state pharmacy board.

Never purchase prescription medications from a pharmacy that tells you that you don’t need a prescription. Don’t purchase medications from pharmacies outside the U.S., because they may be selling medications that are not FDA-approved, which is illegal in the U.S. and could pose a health risk for your pet. They may also be selling counterfeit medications or marketing pills that don’t contain any medication at all. For more information on safely obtaining pet medications from online pharmacies, visit the FDA’s “Buyer Beware” page.

And never give your pet any human medications without first consulting your veterinarian. Although it may seem a quick way to save money, human medications can be very harmful, even fatal, to your pet.

If you purchase your pet’s medications from your local pharmacy, don’t accept any substitutions or alterations without your veterinarian’s approval. Although pharmacists are exceptionally well-trained when it comes to human medications, they may not be aware of the unique aspects of veterinary medicine and veterinary medications. If you have any questions about your pet’s prescription, always consult your veterinarian.

When it comes to purchasing pet medications, it could pay to check with your veterinary clinic first.  Your veterinarian might provide the medication at a cost that’s very similar to the price charged by local or online pharmacies. So don’t be afraid to ask about the cost; you might be pleasantly surprised.
“When you purchase your pet’s medications from your veterinarian, you will usually get manufacturer’s rebates, coupons or even free products that can cut your costs down to those low online prices while ensuring you’re receiving a quality product,” Dr. Boss said.
Also keep in mind that some manufacturers will only guarantee their products if they are purchased from a veterinarian. Add in the convenience factor of taking the medications with you, and you may find that eliminating additional stops to get prescriptions filled saves you time as well as money

Sophisticated Healthcare Costs More

When it comes to specialty care, it can be harder to cut costs without compromising your pet’s health. Being proactive and getting your pet treatment as soon as possible can often help you avoid costly surgeries and other procedures.
 
Dr. Chris Hill, a surgical specialist in Charleston, S.C., who is board certified in surgery by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, said he generally only sees patients after something has either gone wrong or was simply ignored by the pet owner. He said he thinks the most important thing owners can do is to have small tumors and lumps removed from their pets early, during routine physicals.
Veterinarian with dog
“Too many times an owner will ignore a small tumor that isn’t bothering the pet and watch it grow to become nearly inoperable before they decide to take their pet in to have it removed,” he said. “What could have been a relatively easy, inexpensive surgery performed at a general practitioner’s office now becomes a referral to a board-certified surgeon for a much more complicated and expensive procedure that may involve skin flaps, skin grafts or even multiple surgeries. On top of that, if it’s cancerous you’re more likely to get positive results if you begin treatment immediately. And even if it’s benign, it should be removed as soon as possible.” 

A Simple Solutions Is Sometimes Cheaper

Dr. Hill also spoke about the importance of preventing obesity in pets, saying the condition often leads to a multitude of health problems.

“We see obese pets that have broken a leg or become paralyzed from a ruptured disc just by jumping off the couch,” Dr. Hill said. “Oftentimes, just by losing weight a pet can avoid having joint replacement surgery or having to take lifelong pain medications.”
Obesity also increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and joint disease, including arthritis, so keeping your pet at a healthy weight is a great preventive measure that keeps costs down throughout your pet’s entire life. 

Dr. Tony Buffington, a professor at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, said he often sees inactive, indoor pets that are obese. By giving your pet the right amount of physical activity in an enriched environment and keeping their weight at a healthy level, he said, you may be saving yourself a walletful of trouble. In addition to keeping your pet at a healthy weight, the type of food you buy can also help you cut costs.

Doing some homework about the type of food you are buying for your pet may also lead to money saved. Dr. Buffington explains that if you’re paying for “premium” food, there may not be much difference between it and other, regular pet foods. Good nutrition can be achieved by a range of pet foods, in a range of prices. Product marketing terminology can be confusing. Consult with your veterinarian about the best nutritional options for your pet.

Making a homemade diet for your pets is possible, but it’s critical that you meet your pet’s nutritional needs. Dr. Buffington said he doubts homemade diets are cheaper. Before stocking up on all the foods and nutrients required for a nutritionally balanced home-cooked diet, he recommends that clients discuss their pet’s diet with their veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist, which is a veterinarian who has received additional graduate training and certification in animal nutrition. 
 

Help! 

Even though you make sure your pet receives exercise, proper nutrition, vaccinations and regular veterinary exams, it can still get sick. And in an emergency situation, it’s best to remember that cost-cutting measures could mean the difference between life and death. The best ways to save money on emergency care are to 1) provide good preventive care, so that problems are caught early, before they become more difficult and expensive to treat; 2) prevent emergencies by being cautious and minimizing your pet’s risk of injuries, poisonings or other situations that can be avoided with some forethought; and 3) recognize true emergencies and don’t delay treatment.

If you end up at a clinic or emergency facility with a sick or injured pet and you can’t afford treatment, ask the veterinarian about financial options. Dr. Boss said veterinarians are often willing to help clients find solutions.

“For most serious problems there is a spectrum of care, and we need to have a discussion with the client as to what their financial status will allow them to do and what they are comfortable with,” she said. “It’s wonderful how much specialty care we have available these days, but we also are fully aware that not everyone can afford an MRI for their dog’s injured shoulder or endoscopy to look for inflammatory bowel disease. We are all very used to coming up with a solution that works.”Veterinarian with puppy
“I do think it’s sensible to tell your veterinarian when you truly can’t afford something,” explained Dr. Hill. “Oftentimes they can come up with a less expensive ‘Plan B’ that may not be quite as good but is still better than taking your pet home and doing nothing.”

Dr. Edward Payne, whose practice is limited to emergency and critical care at Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove, Ill., said there are different levels of care and treatment options that veterinarians can offer to pet owners.

“We do realize finances are an important consideration. There’s never just one option. First, we’ll offer what’s medically best, and after that there are different levels of what we do and options we can offer,” he said.

Dr. Payne also mentioned that many clinics offer financing programs that allow owners to pay over time. Pet insurance is also an option; the AVMA “endorses the concept of pet health insurance that provides coverage to help defray the cost of veterinary medical care,” according to our Guidelines on Pet Health Insurance and Other Third Party Animal Health Plans.
Dr. Boss advised that, in the event your pet gets sick, it’s a good idea to have some savings put away for that rainy day and perhaps even consider buying pet insurance. Insurance, she said, can come in handy in a time of crisis or when a pet owner wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford an expensive surgery or other treatment. It’s important to purchase pet insurance before a problem arises, however, and not to wait until your pet is sick.

Still, she said, being proactive about your pet’s health is the best solution to keeping your pet healthy.

Bottom Line 

“Even if you feed your pet the best food, provide the best preventive care and are alert to any problems early on, you still may end up with a sick or injured pet,” Dr. Boss said. “But you lower the odds if you are proactive about preventive healthcare and set aside some money or invest in pet insurance. That way, should the occasion arise, you can afford the technically advanced care that is available to your pet today.”

Thanks to the following people for their help with this article:
Dr. Nan Boss, Best Friends Veterinary Center, Grafton, Wis., bestfriendsvet.com
Robin Brogdon, President, BluePrints Veterinary Group, blueprintsvmg.com
Dr. Tony Buffington, The Ohio State University and American College of Veterinary Nutrition, acvn.org
Dr. Amanda Burris, Salmon Falls Veterinary Hospital, South Berwick, Maine, salmonfallsvet.com
Dr. Michael Cavanaugh, DABVP, AAHA executive director, aahanet.org
Bobbie Marie Palsa

Dr. Dean Gebroe, Culver City Animal Hospital, Culver City, Calif., thepetsvet.com
Dr. David Highsmith, Highsmith Animal Hospital, Wilmington, N.C., highsmithanimalhospital.vetsuite.com
 
Dr. Chris Hill, surgical specialist, American College of Veterinary Surgeons, acvs.org
Dr. Meghan McGrath, Radnor Veterinary Hospital, Wayne, Pa., radnorvet.com
Dr. Edward Payne, Veterinary Specialty Center, Buffalo Grove, Ill., vetspecialty.com
 Patrick Sklenar

Sarajenie Smith, Marketing Communications Specialist, Veterinary Specialty Center, Buffalo Grove, Ill., vetspecialty.com
 
Dr. Christina Stagner, recent graduate member of AVMA

Members of the AVMA Communications Division also contributed to this report.
 
This article is available as a free download from Smashwords in a number of formats compatible with e-readers.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Dr. Sakas will be speaking at the Michiana Elite Bird Fair this weekend. There will be all sorts of birds, vendors, and other speakers at the fair. It is well worth attending.

Michiana Elite Bird Fair (Michiana Bird Fair)!


Royal Wings Aviary Contact :  (574) 273-1767

The Spring MICHIANA ELITE BIRD FAIR, the ONLY trademarked MICHIANA BIRD FAIR, will be held MARCH 18, 2017, at BETHEL COLLEGE10-4.
You won’t want to miss the OWLS and BALD EAGLEKESTRELPEREGRINE FALCON, AND RED-TAILED HAWK
Updated Schedule for Noted Guest Speakers at the Michiana Elite Bird Fair at Bethel College Saturday, March 18, 2017:
10:30-11:15
Shellie Hochstetler– “4 Negatives of Owning Companion Parrots” and “7 Ways to Handle Spring Hormones Correctly”
Shannon Dingee-Kramer-“Positive Reinforcement Training, Target and Station Training”
11:15-12:00 Dr. Peter Sakas, DVM– “Recognizing Illness in Pet Birds”
12:00-12:45 Owls (Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rescue/Dr. Dennis Michels)
12:45-1:15 Dr. Peter Sakas, DVM– “Household Hazards for Pet Birds”
1:15-2:00 Bald Eagle, Kestrel, Peregrin Falcon, Red-Tailed Hawk
                 (Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rescue/Dr. Dennis Michels)
2:00-3:00
Shellie Hochstetler– “7 Ways to Handle Spring Hormones Correctly”
Shannon Dingee-Kramer– “Rescue and Experiences in Rescue”
BIRDS! BIRDS! BIRDS!  Quality vendors.  Birds for sale, bird toys, bird seed and supplementscagesartwork, and much more!  Great SILENT AUCTION!
Something for everyone–bird owners, bird lovers, bird fanciers….!

Admission $4 adults; children 10 and under free.  Group rates for seniors.


Bethel CollegeWeikamp Athletic Center
1001 Bethel Circle
Mishawaka, IN 46545
Visit and friend us at https://www.facebook.com/michianaelitebirdfair/.

Questions? Contact  Pam at 574-273-1767 or email pam@royalwingsaviary.com.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Information about dog influenza from the AVMA

Canine Influenza FAQ

Questions, Answers, and Interim Guidelines



 
Q: What is canine influenza?
A: Canine influenza (CI), or dog flu, is a highly contagious respiratory infection of dogs that is caused by an influenza A virus. In the U.S., canine influenza has been caused by two influenza strains. The first strain reported in the United States, beginning in 2004, was an H3N8 influenza A virus. This strain is closely related to the virus that causes equine influenza, and it is thought that the equine influenza virus mutated to produce the canine strain. In 2015, an outbreak that started in Chicago was caused by a separate canine influenza virus, H3N2. The strain causing the 2015 outbreak was almost genetically identical to an H3N2 strain previously reported only in Asia – specifically, Korea, China and Thailand. In Asia. This H3N2 strain is believed to have resulted from the direct transfer of an avian influenza virus  – possibly from among viruses circulating in live bird markets – to dogs. Since March 2015, thousands of dogs have been confirmed positive for H3N2 canine influenza across the U.S. 
Greyhound resting on a blanketTwo clinical syndromes have been seen in dogs infected with the canine influenza virus—a mild form of the disease and a more severe form that is accompanied by pneumonia.
  • Mild form — Dogs suffering with the mild form of canine influenza develop a soft, moist cough that persists for 10 to 30 days. They may also be lethargic and have reduced appetite and a fever. Sneezing and discharge from the eyes and/or nose may also be observed. Some dogs have a dry cough similar to the traditional "kennel cough" caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica/parainfluenza virus complex. Dogs with the mild form of influenza may also have a thick nasal discharge, which is usually caused by a secondary bacterial infection.
  • Severe form — Dogs with the severe form of canine influenza develop high fevers (104ºF to 106ºF) and have clinical signs of pneumonia, such as increased respiratory rates and effort. Pneumonia may be due to a secondary bacterial infection.

Q: Are all dogs at risk of getting canine influenza?
A: Because this is still an emerging disease and dogs in the U.S. have not been exposed to it before, almost all dogs, regardless of breed or age, lack immunity to it and are susceptible to infection if exposed to the active virus. Virtually all dogs exposed to the virus become infected, and nearly 80% show clinical signs of disease, though most exhibit the mild form described above.
However, the risk of any dog being exposed to the canine influenza virus depends on that dog’s lifestyle. Dogs that are frequently or regularly exposed to other dogs – for example at boarding or day care facilities, dog parks, grooming salons, or social events with other dogs present – are at greater risk of coming into contact with the virus. Also, as with other infectious diseases, extra precautions may be needed with puppies, elderly or pregnant dogs, and dogs that are immunocompromised. Dog owners should talk with their own veterinarian to assess their dog’s risk.
Q: Do dogs die from canine influenza?
A: Fatal cases of pneumonia resulting from infection with canine influenza virus have been reported in dogs, but the fatality rate is low (less than 10%). Most dogs recover in 2-3 weeks.
Q: How widespread is the disease?
A: The first recognized outbreak of canine influenza in the world is believed to have occurred in racing greyhounds in January 2004 at a track in Florida. From June to August of 2004, outbreaks of respiratory disease were reported at 14 tracks in 6 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Texas, and West Virginia). Between January and May of 2005, outbreaks occurred at 20 tracks in 11 states (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin). The canine influenza virus has been reported in at least 40 states and Washington, DC.
The H3N2 strain of canine influenza virus had been reported in Korea, China and Thailand, but had not been detected outside of those countries until 2015. In April 2015, an outbreak that started in Chicago was determined to be caused by an H3N2 strain that was genetically almost identical to the one one in Asia. Since May 2015, thousands of dogs have been confirmed positive for H3N2 canine influenza across the U.S. 
Q: Is there a vaccine?
A: The first canine vaccine for H3N8 canine influenza was approved in 2009, and there are several H3N8 canine influenza vaccines available. It is not known whether the H3N8 vaccine will offer any protection against the H3N2 strain. Canine influenza vaccines are considered "lifestyle" vaccines, meaning the decision to vaccinate is based on a dog’s risk of exposure. Dog owners should consult their veterinarian to determine whether vaccination is needed.
In November 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture granted a conditional license to Zoetis for the first commercially available H3N2 canine influenza vaccine​. Later that month, Merck Animal Health announced​ the availability of an H3N2 canine influenza vaccine, also conditionally licensed by USDA. 
Q: How is a dog with canine influenza treated?
A: As with any disease caused by a virus, treatment is largely supportive. Good animal care practices and nutrition assist dogs in mounting an effective immune response. 
The course of treatment depends on the pet's condition, including the presence or absence of a secondary bacterial infection, pneumonia, dehydration, or other medical issues (e.g., pregnancy, pre-existing respiratory disease, compromised immune system, etc.). The veterinarian might prescribe medications, such as an antibiotic (to fight secondary infections) and/or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (to reduce fever, swelling and pain). Dehydrated pets may need fluid therapy to restore and maintain hydration.  Other medications, or even hospitalization, may also be necessary for more severe cases. 
Q: Is canine influenza virus transmissible from dogs to humans?
A: To date, there is no evidence of transmission of canine influenza virus from dogs to people.
Q: Is canine influenza virus transmissible from dogs to cats, horses or other animal species?
A: At this time, there is no evidence of transmission of H3N8 canine influenza from dogs to horses, cats, ferrets, or other animal species. The H3N2 strain, however, has been reported in Asia to infect cats, and there’s also some evidence that guinea pigs and ferrets can become infected.
Precautions to prevent spread of the virus are outlined below, in the answer to "I work in a kennel/animal care facility. What should I do to prevent transmission of influenza virus from infected dogs to susceptible dogs?" 
Q: Do I need to be concerned about putting my dog in day care or boarding it at a kennel?
A: Dog owners should be aware that any situation that brings dogs together increases the risk of spread of communicable illnesses. Good infection control practices can reduce that risk, so dog owners involved in shows, sports, or other activities with their dogs or who board their dogs at kennels should ask whether respiratory disease has been a problem there, and whether the facility has a plan for isolating dogs that develop respiratory disease and for notifying owners if their dogs have been exposed to dogs with respiratory disease.
As long as good infection control practices are in place, pet owners should not be overly concerned about putting dogs in training facilities, dog parks, kennels, or other areas frequented by dogs.
Q: My dog has a cough...what should I do?
A: Consult your veterinarian. Coughing can be caused by many different medical problems, and your veterinarian can examine and evaluate your dog and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. If canine influenza is suspected, treatment will usually focus on maximizing the ability of your dog's immune system to combat the virus. A typical approach might include administration of fluids if your dog is becoming dehydrated and prescribing an antimicrobial if a secondary bacterial infection is suspected.

Canine influenza virus can be spread via direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs (via barking, coughing or sneezing), and by contact with contaminated inanimate objects. Therefore, dog owners whose dogs are coughing or exhibiting other signs of respiratory disease should not participate in activities or bring their dogs to facilities where other dogs can be exposed to them. Clothing (including shoes), equipment, surfaces, and hands should be cleaned and disinfected after exposure to dogs showing signs of respiratory disease to prevent transmission of infection to susceptible dogs. Clothing can be adequately cleaned by using a detergent at normal laundry temperatures.
Q: I manage a kennel/veterinary clinic/animal shelter/dog day care center. How do I keep canine influenza out of my facility, and if it does enter my facility, what should I do?
A: Viral disease is usually best prevented through vaccination. A vaccine against H3N8 canine influenza has been available since 2009, and H3N2 vaccines were conditionally approved in late 2015. It is considered a "lifestyle" vaccine, which means that the decision to vaccinate a dog against CIV is based on the risk of exposure. A veterinarian should determine whether vaccination is needed based on related risks and benefits, and should administer these vaccinations at least 2 weeks prior to planned visits to dog activity and care facilities (e.g., kennels, veterinary clinics, dog day care centers, training facilities, dog parks). This differs from "core" vaccines - such as distemper, parvo and rabies - that are required for all dogs, regardless of lifestyle.
Vaccination against other pathogens causing respiratory disease (such as  Bordetella, adenovirus and parainfluenza) may help prevent more common respiratory pathogens from becoming secondary infections in a respiratory tract already compromised by influenza infection.
Routine infection control precautions are key to preventing spread of viral disease within facilities. The canine influenza virus appears to be easily killed by disinfectants (e.g., quaternary ammonium compounds, potassium peroxymonosulfate and bleach solutions at a 1 to 30 dilution) in common use in veterinary clinics, boarding facilities, and animal shelters. Protocols should be established for thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting cages, bowls, and other surfaces between uses. Employees should wash their hands with soap and water (or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are unavailable) before and after handling each dog; after coming into contact with a dog's saliva, urine, feces, or blood; after cleaning cages; and upon arriving at and before leaving the facility. (See "I work in a kennel/animal care facility. What should I do to prevent transmission of influenza virus from infected dogs to susceptible dogs?")
Animal care facility staff should be alerted to the possibility that a dog with a respiratory infection could be presented for care or boarding. If a dog with respiratory signs is presented, staff members should inquire whether the dog has recently been boarded or adopted from a shelter, has recently participated in dog-related group activities, or has been exposed to other dogs known to have canine influenza or kennel cough. The dog should be brought directly into a separate examination/triage area that is reserved for dogs with respiratory signs and should not be allowed to enter the waiting room or other areas where susceptible dogs may be present.
Dogs with suspected canine influenza virus infection discovered after entry into the facility should be evaluated and treated by a veterinarian. Isolation protocols should be rigorously applied for dogs showing signs of respiratory disease, including the wearing of disposable gloves by persons handling infected dogs or cleaning contaminated cages. Respiratory disease beyond what is considered typical for a particular facility should be investigated, and the investigation should include submission of appropriate diagnostic samples. (See "What diagnostic tests will tell me whether a dog has canine influenza?")
Q: What diagnostic tests will tell me whether a dog has canine influenza? What samples do I send? Where do I send the samples? How do I distinguish between canine influenza and kennel cough?
A: There is no rapid test for the specific diagnosis of acute canine influenza virus infection. Nasal or throat swabs from dogs that have been ill for less than 3 days may be sent to a diagnostic laboratory for testing. Your veterinarian may also offer other testing, such as an in-house test to detect influenza types A and B.
Antibodies to canine influenza virus may be detected as early as seven days after onset of clinical signs. Convalescent-phase samples should be collected at least two weeks after collection of the acute-phase sample. If an acute-phase sample is not available, testing a convalescent-phase sample can reveal whether a dog has been infected with or exposed to CIV at some point in the past.
For dogs that have died from pneumonia or other conditions in which CIV is suspected, additional diagnostic tests are available to your veterinarian through reference laboratories. 
Q: I work in a kennel/animal care facility. What should I do to prevent transmission of influenza virus from infected dogs to susceptible dogs?
A: Canine influenza is not known to be transmissible from dogs to people. However, caretakers can inadvertently transmit canine influenza virus from infected dogs to susceptible dogs by not following good hygiene and infection control practices. To prevent spread of canine influenza virus, caretakers should take the following precautions:
  • Wash hands with soap and water (if soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner):
    • Upon arriving at the facility
    • Before and after handling each animal
    • After coming into contact with animal saliva, urine, feces or blood
    • After cleaning cages
    • Before eating meals, taking breaks, smoking or leaving the facility
    • Before and after using the restroom
  • Wear a barrier gown over your clothes and wear gloves when handling sick animals or cleaning cages. Discard gown and gloves before working with other animals.
  • Consider use of goggles or face protection if splashes from contaminated surfaces may occur.
  • Bring a change of clothes to wear home at the end of the day.
  • Thoroughly clean clothes worn at the animal facility.
  • Do not allow animals to "kiss" you or lick your face.
  • Do not eat in the animal care area.
  • Separate newly arriving animals from animals that have been housed one week or longer.
  • Routinely monitor animals for signs of illness. Separate sick animals from healthy animals, especially animals with signs of respiratory disease.
  • There is no evidence of transmission of canine influenza virus from dogs to people. However, because of concerns about diseases that are transmissible from dogs to people, in general, it may be prudent for young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and immunocompromised persons to limit or avoid contact with animals that are ill.