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When discussing pet behavior, I often use the phrase “It works far better to teach an animal what to do, than what not to do”.
In light of that, I would like to share this fun article about a reindeer who was being a pest at feeding time at the zoo. The trainer gave him something better to do.
Please enjoy “Reinder Games” from Karen Pryor’s clicker training website:
We have received word that a new product has been approved for noise aversion in dogs; SILEO is expected to be available within a few weeks.
Having a label for “noise aversion” is new. This is a distinction from some sedatives which can actually increase noise sensitivity.
I’m currently taking courses in holistic medicine and herbal use in pets. I’m fully committed to always use treatments that are scientifically validated, not using guesswork. I think herbs may have a place in supplemental treatment. Please share your thoughts regarding using herbal medicine as treatment or supplements in your own pets, or what questions you have on certain uses.
As most of you are aware, there has been a severe canine influenza outbreak occurring sporadically in the US in 2015. I have promised you that I would notify my clients if I became aware of a confirmed case in Indianapolis.
I am not aware of a confirmed case. However, we are aware of a suspicious case in the area. This may turn out just to be an upper respiratory infection, which are always present. The cough is more severe than usual, but it is too soon to know the cause.
If you do not have a need to take your dog around other dogs this weekend, it may be a good time to leave them home. Also, if your dog or cat shows upper respiratory symptoms, please let us know.
We will follow up as soon as we have a better idea if this is actually a case of influenza or turns out to be a more mild (and less contagious) respiratory infection.
from Indiana University:
discusses the increasing Lyme disease in south central Indiana (which is already more common in northern and central Indiana) and increasing bloodborne disease from Lone star ticks (now common in southern Indiana)
This is why the type of tick control on dogs is so much more important than it was 10 years ago.
We are paying attention to confirmed cases of influenza. I am hopeful that as more people are aware of this virus and minimize the contact with other dogs, that the virus transmission might come to an end before it becomes common in Indianapolis area. Some flu viruses also do poorly in warmer weather, another change to hope for.
Meanwhile, Purdue has unfortunately confirmed more cases this week:
I have heard rumors of canine influenza in Indianapolis, but have not seen confirmation. Any upper respiratory infection could look similar in symptoms, but are not always as severe or as contagious.
Our key recommendations for dog and cat owners:
If possible, avoid taking your dogs to places where other dogs gather such as dog daycare, boarding, pet stores etc. This is especially true if you have an older dog or a young puppy, or a dog with other underlying illness. The virus is shed by an infected dog before they show any signs of illness.
Call us if your pet shows flu-like symptoms (often starting with lethargy or nasal discharge). We may first check your pet in the car and if necessary bring them in through a side entrance. While this is primarily a disease of dogs, there is significant evidence that cats are also affected.
We have a limited supply of canine influenza vaccine and recommend it for dogs who will be boarding, congregating near other dogs, or travelling. If you have a highly-susceptible pet (age or other illness) you may want to get the vaccine due to potential exposure in the neighborhood. Flu viruses can live on your clothing, shoes, car, etc. Unfortunately, we do not know how well the current vaccine will protect from the Chicago-based outbreak as they are not exactly the same strain of virus. Virologists indicate they simply cannot determine the answer at this time. Vaccine does NOT completely prevent infection with a flu virus; it does usually reduce symptoms. There is no vaccine available for cats.
There is no evidence that this canine influenza strain can infect humans. However, please exercise caution in handling sick dogs, especially if you are immunosuppressed.
This article from the Indianapolis Star is fairly accurate, except for their understatement of the fatality rate. Veterinary labs tracking the disease are indicating a 5% fatality rate, fatalities occurring primarily in the older and the very young dogs. The infection rate of exposed dogs is 100% and the percent needing treatment is about 80%.