You may have heard news reports about the Canine Influenza Virus (CIV). While it is not currently a major problem in California or the U.S., we want to address news of the virus to inform and quell some of our clients’ concerns.
The first strain of CIV diagnosed in the world, H3N8, was identified in 2004 in racing Greyhounds at a track in Florida. A vaccine was developed for this strain in 2009.
Another CIV strain, H3N2, which affects dogs, and rarely cats, was diagnosed first in South Korea in 2007, and in the United States in the Chicago area in March 2015.
(H3N2 is NOT the same strain as H3N2v, the swine flu, which effects pigs and humans.)
It is not currently known whether the H3N8 vaccine works to prevent or lessen the symptoms of the H3N2 virus.
There have been no reports of dog flu spreading from dogs to any humans, so do not fear.
We currently have the H3N8 vaccine available at the hospital, but we do not recommend it to our clients, unless it is needed for your pets to travel (some states and countries require it). The dog flu currently does not pose a threat large enough in California to necessitate routine vaccination.
The DHPP vaccine, Bordetella vaccine, Rabies vaccine, and if you’re a hiker or desert resident, the Rattlesnake vaccine, are the inoculations currently recommended to keep your pup healthy and protected.
The doctors at the hospital are monitoring the situation with updates from the CDC and the American Veterinary Medical Association, and we will change our recommendations if the virus ever shows signs of becoming a larger threat.
SYMPTOMS of CIV
High fever, trouble breathing, loss of appetite, consistent dry or wet coughing, running nose, running eyes, lethargy.
Some dogs with CIV show no symptoms, but some can develop pneumonia and severe respiratory infections.
DOGS AT RISK
Dog who go to dog parks, stay in boarding facilities, or have daily visits in a dog-friendly office are more likely to contract CIV then dogs who are mostly indoors. This is especially true if you live in a state that has had a CIV outbreak, such as Illinois or Indiana.
Older dogs, sick dogs, brachycephalic dogs (Boxers, Pugs, Bulldogs, etc.), and dogs with a history of respiratory infections will be more susceptible to developing severe respiratory illness and/or bacterial infection as a result of contracting CIV.
The percentage rate of dogs who die as a result of contracting CIV is very low. Some estimates put it as low as 1%, some go as high as 10%.
HOW DOGS GET CIV
H3N8 and H3N2 are very contagious ! It spreads easily from surfaces, air, clothing, and shoe contamination, and dogs can spread the virus for up to 24 days, even if they do not show any symptoms. From the AVMA:
Canine influenza is spread via aerosolized respiratory secretions (via coughing, barking and sneezing) and contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes) and people moving between infected and uninfected dogs. The virus can remain viable (alive and able to infect) on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on hands for 12 hours.
The incubation period is usually two to four days from exposure to onset of clinical signs. The highest amounts of viral shedding occur during this time; therefore, dogs are most contagious during this 2-4 day incubation period when they are not exhibiting signs of illness. Virus shedding decreases dramatically during the first 4 days of illness but may continue up to 7 days in most dogs and up to 10 days in some dogs with H3N8 canine influenza. Intermittent H3N2 shedding for up to 24 days can occur.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
If your furry baby is showing signs and symptoms of CIV and you think your dog might have canine influenza, bring your dog to the hospital – before you bring your pet in, tell the staff if your dog has been coughing so we can determine if your dog needs to be brought in through another entrance and isolated.
There are two main types of tests, the PCR test, which involves simply swabbing your pets’ oral cavity (throat), as well as the serum test, which requires drawing blood. Currently, the PCR test is more reliable and is the hospital’s first choice when diagnosing CIV.
Treatment depends on the severity of your dog’s infection. Most dogs will not have severe symptoms, and keeping your dog hydrated with fluids and a long period of rest will be all your pup requires. Some dogs have more severe symptoms and develop secondary infections, in which case antibiotics and other medication may be used.
Currently, in California, you do not need to worry about CIV. We do not even recommend vaccinating for canine influenza at the current time. The best prevention is to stay informed, and be on top of your dog’s vaccinations and general health.
Below is a list of breed-specific rescues in California, organized alphabetically by breed name.
Preference towards a breed or desire for a designer dog should never be a deciding factor when trying to decide between adopting or buying.
Adopting a pet, instead of buying one, ensures that an animal who’s already out there, waiting in a shelter or rescue for a loving home, finally gets the best thing she could ever ask for – a loving and happy life.
Adopting a rescue dog also helps the rescue or shelter organization you adopt from continue its work rescuing and caring for animals in need.
BREED SPECIFIC RESCUES IN CALIFORNIA, Listed by breed name
This is by no means a comprehensive list, so if there is another organization you know of or work for, please email us to let us know, and we will add it !
American Brussels Griffon Rescue Alliance and American Affenpinscher Rescue
As a follow up to our post from last year about the terribly cruel and environmentally devastating practice of shark finning for Shark Fin Soup, we’d like to share this great campaign that was spearheaded last year by former NBA super star Yao Ming.
After retiring from the Houston Rockets in 2011, Yao Ming returned to China and began a career of advocating for animal rights as a celebrity ambassador for WildAid; in particular, Yao has focused on the traditional Chinese practice of shark finning for Shark Fin Soup, which entails catching sharks, axing off their fins while they are still alive, and dumping them back into the water, where they ultimately die from starvation and suffocation, or are eaten by other animals.
Here is one of the videos Yao Ming made with WildAid to raise awareness about the cruelty of shark fin soup.
Sharks, vital creatures at the top of the marine food chain, are suffering tremendously under this practice, with over 55% of shark species now close to extinction due to excessive hunting by shark fishermen. Currently, approximately 73 million sharks are killed for shark fin soup each year. The enormous growth of shark hunting is partially due to the growth of China’s affluent middle class. As the affluent middle class in China has increased exponentially in the last few decades, the demand for shark fin soup, a dish that is traditionally a symbol of wealth and status, has increased as well.
Several U.S. states and territories have banned the sale and possession of shark fins, including California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Illinois, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands – but there is still a dire need for legislation in the U.S., China, and around the world where the practice of shark finning continues to be prevalent.
Organizations such as WildAid,Stop Shark Finning, and Shark Truth are committed to saving our sharks from an inhumane death and preventing our marine ecosystems from suffering a devastating loss. Join them in their campaigns or just spread the awareness to your friends and family !
Hanukkah may be over, but we still have Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve left in 2015! And no matter what you celebrate, the love we have for our pets is a universally celebrated tradition.
Keeping your pets safe over the holidays is easy !
Just being careful with unsafe items and leaving them out of the reach of curious paws can make all the difference.
Here are a few tips to make sure this holiday season is a happy AND safe one for your pets.
Menorah lights, Kinara candles, and Christmas votives are beautiful traditions, but keep them away from the tails and paws of cats and dogs.
Do not put lit candles in the way of roaming curious pets, and make sure to blow out any candles before leaving a room or the house.
The fringe-like fur of a tail can easily burn when swept alongside a lit candle, and a rambunctious dog can easily knock into a candle that is sitting on a low coffee table, causing a tablecloth or rug to catch on fire.
2) Holiday Plants
Poinsettias are toxic for pets. So are mistletoe, holly, holly berries, rosemary, and lilies. Lilies can also cause irreversible kidney failure in cats (lily nephrotoxicity).
Almost all holiday-themed plants should be kept far far away from your pets’ mouths.
The degree of toxicity depends on the weight of your pet and the amount of the plant your pet has eaten. If you suspect your pet has ingested an unsafe amount of a holiday plant, take your pet to your veterinarian right away.
Signs of toxic poisoning include vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, seizure, collapse, and unconsciousness.
3) The Tree
The tree ! Whether it’s real or fake, the tree is anything but safe for your pets. Especially for kitties. Kitties looooove to make trouble with the tree.
Keep lights high! Don’t let dogs and cats chew on low-hanging lights and give themselves an electric shock.
Use safe decorations – go for plastic instead of glass, in case the ornaments get knocked off the tree or end up between jaws – Plastic ornaments won’t shatter as easily.
Keep ornaments with string and whispy angel hair out of the reach of your pets as well, to prevent any chance of dangerous string ingestion. Read more about linear foreign body dangers in our previous blog post here.
If your kitties love to climb the tree, make sure to anchor your tree to the wall, or give it a heavy, sturdy base, to prevent the tree from tipping over and hurting your pets or possibly causing damage to your home.
If your tree is REAL – keep cats and dogs away from tree water!
The tree water can contain insecticide, pine resin, and chemicals, everything your cat or dog should not ingest. The pine needles themselves are very dangerous for cats and dogs to digest – they can cause perforations or obstructions in the G.I. tract if ingested, and are toxic.
A couple of tips for keeping pets away from the tree:
Put aluminum foil around the base of your tree. The noise will alert you when pets are too close, and the noise itself may scare pets away.
Use a tree skirt to cover up tree water and the bottom portion of your tree.
Use strong citrus scents around the tree. Cats and dogs may not like these smells and may leave the tree alone because of them.
4) Holiday Foods
Chocolate and cocoa contain theobromine, which is toxic to both dogs AND cats.
Grapes and raisins are toxic for cats, dogs, and ferrets as well. Ingestion of grapes and/or raisins can cause acute (immediate) kidney failure in pets.
Excessively fatty foods (such as fat scraps from meats), foods with onions, foods with garlic, and foods with bones should not be given to your pets.
Foods with lots of fats and oils can upset your pets’ digestive systems. Onions and garlic, fresh and in powder form, can cause anemia in cats as well as dogs. Onion and garlic poisoning can have a delayed onset, so if you suspect your pet has ingested them, contact a veterinarian immediately.
Be mindful over the holidays of what leftovers and what treats you give to your pets. We all want our beloved animals to join in on the festivities and to make them feel like they are part of the fun, but let’s do so in a way that will not make them sick or compromise their health.
5) Alcohol and Caffeine
Toxic for your pets! Keep away!
6) Sugarless Gum and Candy containing Xylitol
Toxic for your pets! Keep away! Most sugarless gum and candy include xylitol as an ingredient.
If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic or poisonous, don’t wait ! Contact a a qualified pet poison hotline immediately, such as the ASPCA animal poison center at 1-888-426-4435.
Know the symptoms of toxic poisoning: vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, seizure, collapse, and unconsciousness.
Happy Holidays from the Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital! We hope that no matter what tradition you hold dear, that you celebrate it with loved ones, good fun, good cheer, and lots of warm snuggles.
Photo credits :
Mountain Dog looking guilty in front of the tree photo:
As a follow-up to our last blog post about preparing your pets for a newborn, we want to raise awareness about Dog Bite Prevention to make sure that your children are prepared for pets!
About 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the U.S., and children are by far the most commonly injured group. Senior citizens, home service providers, mail carriers, and utility meter readers are also frequent dog bite victims.
There are approximately 70 million dogs living as household pets in the United States – and most of them are angels. But whether you have a good dog, a naughty dog, a difficult dog, or an excitable dog, it’s important to remember that ANY dog can bite. Most children, if bitten, are bitten by a dog the child knows, meaning a pet in the home, or the pet of a familiar person.
Media reports and cultural prejudices will give the impression that certain breeds are more prone to attacking than other breeds, such as Pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Dobermans, but there is little scientific evidence to support these claims. Little white fluffy dogs bite just as much as big square-jawed guard dogs, and any dog can do damage to a child.
Here are some great tips on preventing dog bites from the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), plus some other guidance from the staff at the Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital:
Tips for parents to help prevent children from being bitten by dogs:
– NEVER leave an infant or a young child alone with ANY breed of dog.
– Teach your children not to approach unfamiliar dogs or stick their hands or fingers through fences and gates in an attempt to pet dogs.
– Have your children always ask permission from the dog owner before petting any dog – and make sure the dog looks happy and calm before letting your child approach, even if the owner says it’s okay.
– Educate your children on dog body language – remember, most dogs bite out of FEAR, not aggression. Show your children videos and pictures online of dog body language – growling, curled lips, teeth showing, hair standing up on the neck and back, tail curled under the body, and trying to hide underneath objects- these are all signs that mean “stay away!”
– Don’t let your children run past dogs – dogs naturally love to chase and catch things, so don’t give them a reason to become excited or chase.
– Never let your children disturb dogs that are sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
Tips for dog owners to prevent your dog from biting:
– If you’re considering welcoming a dog into your home, don’t do it on impulse. Dogs take medical care, training, and love and attention. Improperly trained dogs, unsocialized dogs, neglected dogs, and dogs in pain are more likely to bite.
– If you get a puppy, play with him and socialize him early. Make sure to pet him and talk to him while he’s eating, so he gets used to physical attention while feeding.
– At ANY age, make sure your dog is properly trained – the old adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is absolutely incorrect. A dog who is properly cared for and trained at ANY age can become calmer, less anxious, and more submissive. Make sure your dog understands basic commands like “Sit,” “Stay,” “No,” and “Come.” If you need recommendations for trainers, please ask us here at the hospital – we’d be happy to give you names and information.
– Keep your dog healthy! Vaccinate your dog against rabies. Check your dogs’ teeth and ears regularly – these are places painful infections can hide, and dogs can’t use words to tell us they’re not feeling well! Dogs in pain are much more likely to bite then healthy dogs.
– Have your dogs neutered and spayed! According to current studies, neutered and spayed dogs are less likely to bite, as they are calmer and less aggressive. And as an added bonus, neutered and spayed dogs are less likely to run away from home.
– Be a responsible dog owner: Make sure your gates and fences are properly secured so that your dog cannot get out. Spend time with your dog and make sure she has plenty of exercise, and is mentally stimulated and tired by the end of the day. Dogs that are left in yards to fend for themselves all day and all night have a much higher chance of developing behavioral problems that can lead to biting.
– Watch your dog in all situations, and recognize her body language. The best way to prevent your dog from biting is to understand her behavior, when she is scared, and when she is in pain.
What to do if your dog bites someone:
– Get control of your dog immediately and restrain him. Take him away from the person who just was bitten and confine your dog if possible.
– Check on the victim’s condition, and if necessary call 911.
– Provide the victim with your personal information and information about your dog’s most recent rabies vaccination. If your dog has not had a rabies vaccination, tell the victim immediately because he/she may have to undergo post-exposure rabies prophylaxis.
– Consult your vet for advice on how to prevent your dog from biting in the future. Trainers, behaviorists, and, if necessary, medications, are all tools available for overly anxious or aggressive dogs.
What to do if you are bitten by your own dog:
– If your own dog bit you, confine your dog immediately and call your veterinarian to check on your dog’s vaccination records. Seek medical attention, especially if your dog has not had a rabies vaccination. If your dog has not been vaccinated for rabies, ask your doctor if post-exposure rabies prophylaxis is necessary.
– Take your dog to the vet to be examined. If your dog is in pain, or if your dog is sick, that may be the reason your dog lashed out. If physically your dog is healthy, but your dog still seems anxious and aggressive, talk to your vet about behaviorists, trainers, and medications available to help calm the dog.
What to do if you are bitten by someone else’s dog:
– Seek medical attention immediately. If the owner is there, ask for the owner’s personal contact information and their veterinarian’s contact information to check on the dog’s vaccination records. Ask your doctor if post-exposure rabies prophylaxis is necessary.
– If the dog is alone, or if the owner ran away without giving you any information, it is important to contact authorities to help prevent this from happening to another person, possibly a child or a senior citizen. Tell the police/animal control department everything you can remember about the dog – size, appearance, location, and whether you’ve seen the dog previously.
Here are some links for more information and resources about Dog Bite Prevention:
In the spirit of our own Melanie Bellomo Shifflett having a baby, we wanted to share some tips from professionals on how to prepare your pets for a newborn.
If you are expecting a baby, it is a good idea to start thinking about ways to make the adjustment from your fur babies being the center of attention, to your human baby being the center of attention, a little easier on your pets.
Animals are emotional creatures, and can react with distrust, jealousy, and attempts at dominance, especially if they are not accustomed to being around infants.
These are all suggestions, and any new training methods will of course effect individual animals differently. If you are concerned with your pets reacting to your newborn in any aggressive ways, please consult an animal behaviorist for one-on-one training.
All sources slightly differ in approaches expectant pet owners should take – and we encourage you to read through as many sources as necessary, and to decide on the right methods for your pet.
Below are some general guidelines, as well as first-person recommendations from two recent mothers and gold star pet owners, Melanie and Liz, both of whom worked or are currently working at the Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital.
If your dog doesn’t respond to the commands “Sit,” “Stay,” “Lay Down,” and “Off,” it is time to sign up for an obedience class. Many are available in the Los Angeles area, from dog training centers like Zoom Room, to private trainers that will work out of your own home. We work with a few behaviorists and trainers at the hospital, and would be happy to give our clients recommendations. Your dog jumping on you or pulling on his leash may not be anything more than an annoyance right now, but with a baby in your arms, that sort of behavior can be downright dangerous.
Bring the new cleansing and care products that you will be using for your baby into the house early, and let your dog smell them. Sprinkle yourself with baby powder and baby lotion and let your dog smell these new products on you.
Leave baby blankets, carriers, strollers, and other baby items around your home so your pet gets used to how they look and smell, and is not threatened by them when the baby comes home and starts using them. Take your dogs for walks with the empty stroller, so she gets used to walking a little slower, and not pulling on you when you’re with the stroller. Also, the introduction of these new items will teach your pet that these are not for their playtime, and should be left alone. Make sure that your pet knows these new items are off-limits through repetitive, consistent commands like “Off” or “Down,” and of course using positive reinforcement for good behaviors.
Set psychological boundaries.
If your pet is used to being with you 24-7, sitting on your keyboard, lying on your feet, and snuggling in your bed, and you know that this will have to change once the baby arrives, start separating yourself from your pet slowly for short periods each day, and build up to more and more time. Put her in a separate room or outside. This is a good thing for your pet and she WILL get used to this separation. More importantly, getting your pet accustomed to time away from you BEFORE the baby arrives will mean that your pet will not focus on the baby as the cause of this separation and develop jealousy, like she might if the separation happens SUDDENLY when the baby comes home. This way, you can focus on your newborn without having to worry that your pet is not used to being away from you.
Set physical boundaries.
Before the baby arrives, designate a room or a section of a room as the “baby-zone,” where pets are not allowed. This way, you will already have a safe zone for your newborn when you bring your baby home. Once the baby is settled in, you should start letting your pet in that room only with direct supervision.
Make a plan for pet care during delivery.
Ahead of the delivery date, have a family member or friend commit to caring for your pets while you are in delivery. Have your pets’ food instructions, beds, toys, and veterinarian information ready to go, in case there is an unexpected event or emergency. If you set all this up ahead of time, you won’t have to worry about what will happen with your pets at the last minute.
Once your baby is home.
Make sure your pet is sitting and in a calm state before being introduced to your newborn. This may require that you greet your pets by yourself at first, because they will undoubtedly be anxious and excited to see you when you first come home, especially if it’s been a few days. If possible, have someone else hold the baby while you greet your pets first.
Never let your pet put his paws or teeth on your baby. Your baby should be the dominant one in the baby-pet relationship. Reward calm, submissive behavior with treats and praise. If your pet will not calm down, remove your pet from your immediate area until she calms down, or can be taken on a long walk. Hopefully that will not be necessary, as you want the baby to be a positive in the lives of your pets.
Always be present when your pet is interacting with your newborn. Never leave your baby alone with an animal, even a small one. Your pet may not be aggressive, but she may snuggle up to your baby for warmth or love, which could possibly suffocate an infant.
Have extra toys and playthings around to distract your pet from becoming too rambunctious around the baby. Rather than constantly reprimanding an energetic animal with “No,” “No,” “No,” entertaining toys can divert their attention in positive ways.
Once your baby is older and wants to start playing with your pets, protect your pets! Always teach young children to be gentle with animals and pet them nicely. Any rough jerks, tail pulling, or pinching could upset even a gentle animal, and lead to a dangerous situation.
Melanie’s Baby Story & Tips !
Before Melanie and her husband Michael brought home baby George, the pair already had their Shepherd mix Scout, their terrier mix Marsha, and a clan of 4-5 cats at home to take care of. Quite a group! And Melanie prepped all her pets with aplomb. She is a true pro. In Melanie’s words:
We started doing more walks and hikes than normal a couple months out. This just helped them feel more content in general and we knew that once the baby arrived and we were going to both be off of work that the walks and hikes were going to be possibly the only activity we would be able to participate in, aside from changing diapers. I know this is advised against usually because they say that once the baby arrives you have less time for your pups, but we knew the opposite would be true for us. So this was a special time to reconnect with our dogs and remind them that they’re special and help the transition when the babe arrived. The more secure they felt the better they’d do. That was our logic. And it seems to have really helped.
We started to make a couple areas of the house off limits. Normally they have the run of the roost, so we started getting them used to not being able to go everywhere they wanted at any time for any reason. So now the baby’s room is a “No-fly zone” and we keep the cats out of our bedroom, as well. This has helped keep things a little more sane and definitely more clean.
Speaking of cats, a couple weeks prior to our due date, we put them into boarding at the hospital. The reason for this was two-fold. ONE: we didn’t want to have to worry about coordinating their care once “D-Day” arrived and TWO: our cats are friggin’ angels when they come home from boarding. Super well-behaved, don’t pee on anything, extra loving, etc. We were trying to set up a situation where they would be so thrilled to be home that they wouldn’t even think twice about the kid. Which they didn’t. We blissed them out on catnip as soon as they got home and it’s been a love fest ever since. Maybe this method will be frowned upon, but guess what? It’s genius so get on board.
Pre-planning Pet Care:
We did not board the dogs and had family members on call to care for them when the big day arrived. THIS WAS SO IMPORTANT. Our labor and delivery became really complicated and George ended up in the NICU, leaving us gone from home and the dogs for an entire week. Having my mom and sister available to stay with them and walk them made a huge difference (for them and us!).
Help from Robots:
Lastly, and this has been one of the best decisions we have made as dog owners slash new clueless parents: WE BOUGHT A ROOMBA. Holy wonderful gift of joy. Not having pet hair covering our floors has been amazing. And not having to sweep twice day? Come on. That little robot has already paid for itself. Now we can feel good about putting George on his floor gym, etc., knowing that he won’t need to be pet hair-rollered within an inch of his life every time we pick him up.
I must say that the dogs were pretty skeptical of George the first few weeks. Didn’t really want to engage or come near him. But we continued to remind them (in doggy language) that they were still our babies and that they were loved). They now have become George’s little buddies and protectors. Just recently over the 4th of July holiday when my neighborhood became a loud scary boom-boom-room reminiscent of Lebanon circa 1983, our shepherd, Scout, glued herself to wherever George happened to be whenever the fireworks went wild. Usually she’s trying to hide in the cat’s covered litter box for shelter, so to see her be brave for her new pal was incredibly heartwarming.
Liz’s Baby Story & Tips !
Liz Rose, a consummate dog lover and experienced dog owner, former tech at BHSAH, and all-around magical human being, had her very young bully/Staffy/Catahoula Leopard Dog, Joon, at home before she and her husband brought home baby Rose. Her pre-planning skills, intelligence, and foresight into the needs of her pet, as well as what her own needs would be, are enviable and admirable. From Liz! :
We tried very hard to make the space for the baby before she came home. You really want to work on preparing them for the new dynamic and new social hierarchy. I made it a priority to have all the energy calm and clean, with good vibrations for all. Juggling is really hard, but doable. Get your dog exercised and loved and he/she will not feel jealousy.
Getting your Dog used to Babies:
We played newborn crying sounds on YouTube to get Joon less spooked and more acclimated. I also had friends bring their babies over to get Joon used to being around them. And we also tried to carry a doll around and give it attention.
Before the baby arrived, we spent time in the nursery, rocking in the chair and not letting Joon sit on our laps in there. We worked on making some general boundaries everywhere.
I also trained her really intensely while walking her on a leash, encouraging her to stay calm and close to me, and not letting her pull. Keep training the dog and encouraging them to sit and keep their manners.
Pet care Preparations:
Once the baby comes, a new Mom isn’t going to be out and about the first 1-6 weeks. Have a dog walker on call and a doggy daycare situation set up, and even fun boarding care set up to use if necessary.
Make sure your dog’s had all the necessary interviews and paper work submitted before the baby arrives. We sent Joon to doggy daycare 3-4 days a week initially, so she could come home feeling really great (she loves it there). We wanted a healthy transition for her from only child to new sister!
Stock your House with Necessities:
Make sure you have a lot of extra treats and dog food at home, because it’s hard to get to the market with the new baby.
I really worked hard on the transition. I trust Joon with the baby 100%, but it’s always still a good idea not to leave a pet alone with the baby, until your child is a little older.
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and your tips, Melanie and Liz! And congrats on your lovely new bundles of joy.
Here are a few links that will give you advice on how to prepare for your baby. Some of the tips may seem extreme, like carrying around a toy baby, or playing tapes of baby sounds on repeat for your pets, but they can work ! And nothing is too “over the top” or silly when it comes to protecting your newborn and making the lives of your animals happier. When the babies are happy, Mom and Dad can relax more as well.
Independence Day is this Saturday! And while we all cannot wait for cold brews, warm tofudogs, and watermelon slices, we should also consider the most important 4th of July tradition – Fireworks !
Fireworks are beautiful, wondrous magic, but our pets absolutely hate them. Cats and dogs are scared of the loud bangs and pops, even if they are in the distance. And the flashes of light can seem scary and foreign.
Dogs may drool excessively, bark, urinate and defecate without control, shake or tremble, and try to hide in response to the noise. Cats will run, hide, and refuse to eat. Some pets will even chew through screens or break through windows in an attempt to escape the scary noises ! Even if the fears seem excessive, our pets cannot help having noise phobias. It is completely instinctive. And scolding does not help a frightened animal, it will make their fears worse.
Let’s try to help our babies out in nice ways and make this a less scary holiday for them <3
If you have an outside cat, bring him/her in to the house for the night. If she’s scared, she may run far away, or into the street. Bringing her inside for the night will insure that she is safe.
Take your dog(s) on a longer-than-usual walk early in the day, before fireworks start. This will tire them out and help reduce anxiety levels.
If you have a skiddish dog, or even a non-skiddish dog, as any dog can be scared of fireworks, try keeping him in the bedroom with a comfy bed and a toy that he likes. This will prevent him from running outside if the door is opened, and lessen the tendency to bark or howl excessively.
If you’re going out, leave your pet with a toy she is familiar with, and a shirt that smells like you, safely in a closed room. The more safe and secure an animal feels, the less stress and anxiety she will experience as a result of fireworks.
Try wrapping your pet in a Thundershirt, or other soft t-shirt or fabric – some dogs feel very comforted being wrapped up in a Thundershirt and they can make a world of difference. There is also a Thundershirt for cats !
If your pet has an unusually high level of anxiety, and sequestering him in a room with toys and a comfy bed will not do, you can talk to your veterinarian about medicating with a mild sedative. One of the medications we use for this kind of behavior is Acepromazine, a sedative often used for pets when they have to travel by airplane.
If further action is needed to help combat your pet’s severe noise phobias, we can recommend wonderful behaviorists that specialize in tackling these anxieties.
Have a great time on Saturday, and Happy 4th of July to all our clients and friends from the Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital !
(Fireworks pic by Ian Kluft/Wikimedia Commons)
(All dog pics of patient Dahlia Underhill by her dad Jason)
So we are re-posting our warnings about hyperthermia in doggies. It is so important to be careful of hyperthermia in your furries during the summer months ! And never, ever, leave a dog in a car during a hot day, even if the windows are cracked and the car is in the shade. Summer activities with your dog are the absolute best, as long as they are done in a safe way.
The most important thing to know about heat prostration, or hyperthermia, is that it is an emergency.
Dogs can die within minutes when their bodies start going into hyperthermia. This happens when panting, a dog’s main way of cooling herself down, no longer works. When a dog can no longer cool herself down, her internal temperature rises, and once she reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, she will start to go into shock.
Immediate measures must be taken to cool your dog down and transfer her to a hospital for intravenous fluids if she is showing signs of heat stroke.
If you cannot get your dog to a hospital right away, take steps to cool her down: Transfer your dog to a cool environment and use a cool wet towel to moisten and cool down her neck, armpits, stomach, and paws. Place a direct fan on the moistened areas to cool down her core more rapidly. Do not use cold water or ice on your dog because that will constrict the blood vessels, inhibiting blood flow which is essential to cooling down your dog’s core. Do not force feed water, because that can be dangerous.
Symptoms of hyperthermia include:
Rapid heavy panting
Dry mucous membranes (dry nose)
Diarrhea (may be bloody)
The scenario that we all think of when we hear about dogs suffering from heat stroke is the dreaded CAR. Dogs being left in the car and consequently collapsing and dying is all too common. Even with the windows open, and in the shade, on a hot day, leaving your dog in the car is not an option. Studies have shown that cracking a window just does not work.
On a day that is a lovely 85 degrees outside, after only 10 minutes it will be 114 degrees inside your car!
Even 70 degrees after 10 minutes can become 90 degrees in a closed car.
Do not leave your dogs in your car, and encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same. If you see a dog left in a car in the heat of summer and the dog has collapsed, call 911 immediately!
If it is not an emergency but you are confident that the dog has been left in a dangerous situation, call your individual police station. Here are some numbers for your reference:
Beverly Hills Police Station: (310) 550-4951
West Hollywood Sheriff Station: (310) 855-8850
Los Angeles / Hollywood Police Station: (213) 485-4302
BE SMART AND HAVE FUN
Play with your pooch early in the morning or late in the day during the summer to avoid those blazing hot hours! Leave your furry at home with lots of fresh water if you have to run errands. Be sure to bring along plenty of water for both your dog and yourself if you go hiking. Encourage your dog to love water, the sprinkler, and the hose 🙂 Also, if your pooch has a thicker coat, give her some relief by getting her a short summer cut. She will thank you for it with her cool, doggy smiles.
There is so much fun to have with your dog in the hotter months, just make sure to keep her cool and happy, so you will enjoy your hot days and warms nights together happily! Woof woof.
OTHER CAUSES OF HYPERTHERMIA
Aside from the car, dogs can suffer hyperthermia for a variety of different reasons and in a variety of different scenarios. Here are some common situations that should be avoided.
Leaving dogs for long periods of time in the sun without shade or fresh water.
Leaving dogs on asphalt with no shade.
Exercising excessively (or even regular amounts) in hot or humid weather.
Dogs that have a history of heat stroke, dogs that have respiratory conditions, and dogs with upper airway diseases, such as laryngeal paralysis and collapsing trachea, will be more sensitive to heat and humidity.
Also, short-nosed (brachycephalic) dogs, such as Pugs, French bulldogs, English bulldogs, American bulldogs, King Charles Spaniels, Lhasa Apsos, Chow Chows, and the Pekingese, among many others, are more susceptible to heat stroke, because they are not able to pant effectively enough to cool themselves down.
You made have heard about the unusual amounts of starving and exhausted sea lion pups that have been washing up on California’s beaches. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared the situation an “Unusual Mortality Event.”
If you see a sea lion pup on the beach, please do not attempt to touch, move, or approach the baby ! They are in distress and their care should be left to professional marine mammal rescue workers.
Please call one of these rescue numbers and report the sea lion pup with them:
California Wildlife Center: 310-458-WILD (310-458-9453)
Marine Care Center: 800-39-WHALE (800-399-4253)
Marine Mammal Care Center: 310-548-5677
In only the first three months of this year, 2,250 sea lion pups and yearlings ended up sick and dying on the beach, compared to 35 in a regular year. The count continues to grow.
The situation is the worst here in Southern California, where sea lions breed in the Channel Islands, off the coast of Santa Barbara.
Even though some people have been callously disturbing these animals, poking and prodding them, throwing things at them, and taking selfies with the dying pups, even more good people have been trying to help.
The veterinary staff and environmental researchers at the eight marine mammal rehabilitation facilities across California have been busy trying to save the sea lion pups, as well as trying to figure out what is causing this extraordinary situation.
The basic situation is this: Mother sea lions typically nurse their pups for 1-2 days, and then leave their pups to look for food for a few days. This year, food has been scarce, so mother sea lions have been away from their pups for longer periods of time. When the sea lion pups become hungry and can no longer wait for their mothers, they try to look for food themselves – but they are too young and inexperienced to provide for themselves, and they quickly become exhausted and starve, and end up washing ashore.
Why is there less food available for sea lions?
Researchers think the problem lies with a few different factors. First of all, the Pacific Ocean is currently in an El Nino climate event, which raises the temperature of ocean water considerably. When there is a change of temperature in ocean water, the populations of high-quality desirable fish like sardines and anchovies, as well as other prey that the sea lions prefer, are greatly reduced. Desirable prey move up north to escape the warm waters or die off due to inhospitable temperatures.
Another contributing factor to the lack of nutritious food may be due to the fact that the sea lion population overall is very high. According to NOAA spokesman Jim Milbury, there are currently about 300,000 California sea lions living along the Pacific, which is 10 times what the population was before the Marine Mammal Protection Act was passed in 1972.
Either one of these factors, or both factors combined, can be causing this considerable deficit in available food sources for nursing sea lion mothers. Researchers are still trying to decode the exact science of this sea lion pup emergency.
They are having a free “Seal Day” event on June 28th to raise awareness about the sea lion pups and to help raise funds for their care.
Admission is free, and there will be live music, movie screenings, crafts and games, and food to enjoy.
One of our vet techs, Alyssa Tamayo, has been volunteering at MMCC for years, and she shared some words with us about what it’s been like during this unusual event:
BHSAH: What has is been like to work with the sea lion pups? How does the rehabilitation usually take place?
AT: As an experienced animal care volunteer, I am involved from the very beginning of the rehabilitation process. For the new animals that arrive at the center, I perform physical exams, tube feed, and give subcutaneous fluids. I also assist the husbandry manager and veterinarian if the animal needs further treatment upon arrival. During an animal’s stay, the goal is to get the pup eating whole fish competitively with other pups in the same pool. The rehabilitation process for a patient can take weeks, and sometimes even months. The most rewarding part of volunteering is when I help release our successfully rehabilitated patients back into the ocean.
BHSAH: What you would tell the average person to do if they saw a pup?
AT: If people see an emaciated sea lion pup that isn’t going back into the ocean, they should call an animal rescue company. California Wildlife Center and Marine Animal Rescue are two animal rescue companies that will pick up injured/sick marine mammal from any Los Angeles County beach and bring them to the Marine Mammal Care Center for rehabilitation. Only animal rescue personnel, who have been trained to handle wildlife, should touch these pups. Sea lion pups are very cute and furry, but the public should not pet or carry them to provide aid. Even sick sea lions pups will bite if they feel threatened.
BHSAH: What have people at the MMCC been saying about the sea lion pup situation?
AT: The influx of sea lion pups during the Winter and Spring months have been overwhelming. More than 800 pounds of fish are thawed a day to help feed these animals. The Marine Mammal Care Center has received over 500 marine mammal intakes this year, and the majority of them are malnourished sea lion pups. Most of the volunteers are saddened by this unusual mortality event (UME) occurring for sea lion pups. Staff, volunteers, and interns have been working hard rehabilitating the sea lions that they can save.
( All photos by the Marine Mammal Care Center unless otherwise noted.)
It’s that time of year again – Rattlesnake Season!
We had a client come in to the BHSAH last week with their beautiful dog Cassie, who was bitten several times on the muzzle. Above left is Cassie’s normal appearance, and above right is Cassie with swelling around her face and muzzle due to snake bites.
Thankfully, the owner had been vaccinating Cassie for rattlesnake venom for many years, and she recovered fine after only 1 and a half days in the hospital.
If you live in Southern California and you like to walk around in natural environments with your dog, it is so important to get your dog the rattlesnake vaccine. The rattlesnake vaccine is not a magical cloak of immunity, and any time a dog is bitten she should be immediately RUSHED to the hospital; BUT the vaccine will give you more time to get to the hospital, and will slow the effects of the rattlesnake venom in your pet.
Please see our blog post about the rattlesnake vaccine here – you will find details about the type of snakes the vaccine guards against, symptoms of a rattlesnake bite to look out for in your pet, and tips on what to do if you see a snake while walking your pet.
(Rattlesnake pic by Dawson from Wikimedia Commons)