Clinic News and Blog
August eNewsletter: Beating the Summer Heat
Summer may be almost over, but we still have some hot days and nights to endure before temperatures go down. Like us, dogs, cats, and livestock can all experience heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Here are some symptoms to look for and tips to helping your pets stay cool these last few hot weeks of summer:
Signs of Heat Exhaustion/Stroke in Dogs & Cats
What can you do?
Preventing heat stroke is a lot better and easier than treating/responding to it. Reduce your pets’ risk of overheating by:
- Leaving them home on hotter days
- Making sure they have access to water (throw a few ice cubes in there for fun)
- Keeping pets brushed/groomed to get rid of excess fur (imagine having to wear a sweater when it’s 95 and humid!)
- Providing shade from the sun if your pets are outdoors
Your pet’s general health and breed may contribute to its body’s ability to cool itself. The following have an increased risk of overheating:
- Pets that are overweight.
- Flat-nosed/Flat-faced dog breeds like Pugs and Bulldogs and Persian cats.
- Very young pets.
- Elderly pets.
- Pets with existing respiratory conditions.
It’s that time of the year again! As you can imagine, Fair week can become pretty busy for us.
If your animal is staying at the fairgrounds and needs care, please have the following information ready when you call:
- Owner’s name
- Animal’s name
- Barn and stall location (exact)
- Detailed description of what is going on — the more information we have, the better we can help you.
- Phone number that will reach you at the fair (cell phone).
So… About the Dog Flu
Although our clinic has not had any confirmed cases of canine influenza, there have been 70+ confirmed cases across the state of Michigan as of mid-July.
Here are some facts on the dog flu:
- Dog flu is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the canine influenza virus.
- There are two strains in the United States: H3N8 and H3N2
- Dog flu is spread the same way as a human cold: Direct contact (licking/sniffing/nuzzling); the air (coughing/sneezing); and contaminated surfaces (shared food/water bowls/toys, etc.).
- The more your dog socializes with other dogs, the higher his risk for infection:
- Dg parks
- Training classes
- Visiting friend and family dgs
- Most cases of dog flu are mild — however, there is a chance of a moderate to severe form of the illness. Common signs are:
- Nasal/cular discharge
- Decreased appetite
- Sme dogs may run a fever
- Signs can last a few days t several weeks, depending on severity of the disease.
If you believe your dog is at risk for contracting dog flu, we are now offering the canine influenza vaccine at our clinic. It is a two-shot series: an initial injection and a follow-up booster in three to four weeks. The cost for both shots is $72.
Ruff Run 5k Fun Run/Walk with your Dog Day!
When: Saturday, September 22. Sign-in begins at 8am; race/run starts at 10am.
Where: Armada Fair Grounds — sign in and pick up packets in the Grange Hall.
Cost: $25 to benefit our Angel Fund, which provides financial assistance to people with pets in need of medical care. Registration fee includes T-shirt, snacks, leash and water bowl.
If you are bringing your dog, please make sure he/she is up to date on vaccines and is good with other dogs! Registration must be completed by August 15 and can be done in person at the clinic, or by phone at 586-784-9111 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Does your dog chew, scratch, whine or bark when left alone? Or does your cat urinate in your bed or meow loudly? While more common in dogs than cats, you may be tempted to conclude your pet has separation anxiety. It's important to properly evaluate the behavior to avoid a misdiagnosis and delay in proper training or treatment to correct the issue as many of the behaviors and cues associated with separation anxiety can also be attributed to other medical or behavioral concerns.
Recently, we’ve been receiving questions about dog flu. Pet owners are concerned about stories they had seen or read in the news about outbreaks. In answering their questions, we realized that you may have similar questions and concerns. So, we’re writing to tell you about dog flu, what puts dogs at risk, and what can be done to protect them.
Dog flu is a relatively new disease and can be caused by two different canine influenza virus strains, H3N8 and H3N2. Both strains of dog flu virus cause respiratory disease in dogs. One or both strains have been found in 46 States. Affected dogs may develop coughing, nasal discharge, fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite. The signs of infection are similar to those of other respiratory diseases in dogs. With proper medical attention, most dogs will recover. However, in some cases, dog flu can progress to a more severe or even life-threatening condition, such as pneumonia.
Dog flu is highly contagious, so visiting places where dogs socialize or congregate, such as doggie day cares, dog parks, groomers, boarding facilities, dog shows, place dogs at higher risk. Making the situation even more difficult to control is that dogs can spread the virus before obvious signs of illness appear.
The best way to protect your dog from dog flu is through vaccination. Fortunately, there is a vaccine now available for both dog flu strains. The initial vaccination requires two doses, given 2 to 4 weeks apart. Thereafter, an annual booster is recommended for continued protection.
We encourage all dog owners to unite in the effort to stop the spread of this infectious disease. Please contact us at 586-784-9111 to make an appointment for your pet today.
Phone: (586) 784-9111
Fax: (586) 522-4232