THE GHOSTS OF ‘POSSUM RIDGE

 

The Moon rose at 9:48 tonight, a dirty-bright yellow, only 96% of her face shining, being several days past full. The light was filtered by thin, ragged clouds, making everything look a pale yellow. For the next couple of hours, the moonlight came sideways across the landscape, lighting it dimly and leaving deep shadows. It’s on nights like this that I can almost see Sampson up on ‘Possum Ridge…

bogue ghosts of possum ridgeThe western edge of our property here at Prairie Paradise has always been a good place to find opossums foraging for food around the many trees along the creek. During all those years that I walked Sampson the Golden late at night, he would often get excited as we crossed the creek and started uphill, in this area I call ‘Possum Ridge. He could smell the ‘possum trails, and if he was lucky, he would pick up the scent of one of those nasty-looking critters and engage in pursuit.

Sometimes Sampson would catch a ‘possum, snatching it off the ground and joyously flipping it in the air before throwing it on the ground. He would then stand in astonishment as the darn thing would seem to be dead. Unmoving, not resisting a bit, it was no longer fun to play with…I would lead him away, and when we’d return later, Sammie would frantically sniff around for his prize, only to find just a ghost of a smell of it, as the ‘possum had scampered away to safety.

Many nights, though, Big Sam would catch the scent of a ‘possum in the distance, and the chase would be on. Dragging me along, Sampson would close in on his prey, only to find that –hey, it’s not here!  “But I smell it…it’s so close…it’s gotta be here!!” I could hear him think. He’d look all around for the critter, finally raising his big Golden head to see — ‘POSSUM IN THE TREE!!

That would begin a dance that might last 40 minutes; longer if I didn’t eventually drag my Big Guy back into the house. Our glorious 80 pounds of Golden Retriever would stand on his two back legs and stretch as far as he could to get at the ‘possum. He would prance and dance and twirl around and stretch upwards and…bark. For someone who lived out a vow of silence most of the time, he would sure bark! That’s what mostly prompted me to get him away from there, as the neighbors are just 250 feet beyond the Ridge, and Sam’s basso profondo bark was an attention-getter. All the while, that nasty ‘possum would just sit up there, clinging to a limb, and glare at the both of us with disdainful annoyance. Man, those critters did NOT like being treed by Sam!

Eventually, I would convince Sampson that the fun was over, and it was time to go inside. We would come out the next day, and Sam would lead me over to check for his quarry, only to find the tree empty. I could feel Sampson thinking that the previous night had sure been fun. Those nights spent watching Sam dance beneath trees were the best of times.

Now, nine months after he died, I walk these moonlit woods, and in the dim light, I can see him out there. I’ve got different Dogs in tow now (or do they have me in tow?), and together we walk ‘Possum Ridge…but I can almost see another Dog under the trees. I seem to be looking through a mist in the corners of my eyes…this is the shadowy light I saw Sampson in so many times, in so many good times… I don’t want to leave. So long as I’m here, I can almost see Sam dance under those trees again. When I finally take our Dogs back inside, I feel like I’m leaving a piece of myself out here, out on ‘Possum Ridge. Perhaps it’s the piece of me that died with Sam.

If you should ever come and quietly walk around Prairie Paradise on a yellowy moonlit night, you might just catch sight of a man and his Dog up on ‘Possum Ridge….a man and Dog who are both one with the misty moonlight.  If you see them, please, say a little prayer that they will always be together.

By: Jim Merrick

What Is Canine Influenza Virus?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Easter Pet Poisons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Dangers to Pets at Easter Time

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Importance of Dental Cleaning for Pets

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Pets obviously can’t brush their own teeth, so it’s up to owners and veterinarians to clean their teeth for them. Just as with a human’s teeth, tartar can accumulate on a pet’s teeth over time, which can eventually progress into dental disease if left untreated. There are four stages of gum disease in pets, with the fourth being the most severe. At this stage, there is a risk for liver, heart, and kidney disease as a result of the bacteria associated with gum disease. More than 60% of all dogs and cats show signs of dental disease by 3 years of age, but with professional veterinary care and at-home care, this disease is completely preventable.

The team at Bogue Animal Hospital in Wichita wants to help prevent pet gum disease and the other health risks associated it. That’s why we recommend that you bring your dog or cat in for a wellness exam at least once a year. During these exams, we can determine if a dental cleaning or any other dental treatment is necessary. Our comprehensive services are intended to not only stop dental disease in its tracks, but to treat it as well.

Before Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning

For the safety of our patients, we perform all dental procedures at Bogue Animal Hospital under general anesthesia, which is preceded by a thorough dental exam and pre-anesthetic blood work. These tests allow us to ensure that your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia and the dental procedure. If the results don’t indicate any underlying disorders, we can schedule a separate appointment for the cleaning. We recommend pets not have any food or water after midnight on the night before your scheduled dental appointment.

During Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning

We begin each pet dental cleaning by administering the anesthesia while monitoring their vital functions. We rely on digital dental X-ray technology to view below the gum line and make note of any abnormalities. To remove the tartar and plaque buildup—above and below the gum line—we use hand and ultrasonic scalers. Then, we polish the teeth to remove any residual tartar.

At-Home Pet Dental Care

Having your pet’s professionally teeth cleaned and examined is only part of keeping your dog’s or cat’s mouth healthy. It’s also important to maintain your pet’s oral health from home between visits to Bogue Animal Hospital. Our team can give you brushing tips and recommendations on the best at-home pet dental products to help prevent tartar buildup. By establishing a home dental regimen with a pet toothbrush and pet toothpaste, you can help lower or even eliminate the risk for gum disease.

If it’s been a while since your pet’s had a wellness exam, or you think it’s time for a pet dental cleaning, schedule an appointment at Bogue Animal Hospital today by calling 316-722-1085.

5 Tips for Traveling with a Pet

Tips for Traveling with a Pet

Planning a trip somewhere with your pet to escape the cold this winter? Traveling with a pet can be fun, but it can also be stressful if you’re not prepared. As pet owners ourselves, the team at Bogue Animal Hospital wants your pet to be safe and happy during your trip, just as much as you do. That’s why we’ve provided the following tips for traveling with a pet. Whether you’ll be driving or flying to your destination, consider these tips so you both can have a safe, relaxing journey.

 

Choose Your Pet Carrier Wisely

If your pet will be traveling in a carrier, make sure you choose one that’s comfortable and spacious. Keep in mind that all airlines have dimension limits for pet carriers in the cabin, so if you’ll be taking your furry friend as your carryon, make sure the carrier does not exceed these limits. Although there are soft-sided and hard-shell carriers available, for air travel, a soft-sided one is best if your pet will be in the cabin, since it allows for more flexibility under the seat.

 

Make Sure Your Pet Has ID

Whether in the form of a microchip or ID tag—or both—your dog or cat should have sufficient identification, in case they become separated from you. Make sure the microchip and ID tag have your current address and contact information as well. Having a recent photo handy in your phone is also a great idea.

 

Make Sure Your Pet’s Vaccinations Are Updated

There’s no way to plan for what your pet may encounter at your final destination. They might come in contact with another animal, parasites, or something else that could harm them. That’s why it’s so important for your pet to be current on their vaccinations. Some airlines even require proof of vaccinations (in the form of a health certificate) before allowing your pet on their plane. This is usually the case for international travel. Check your airline for their policy before booking your flight to avoid any surprises. If your pet’s vaccinations aren’t updated, or if a health certificate is required, schedule an appointment at Bogue Animal Hospital.

 

Know the Fees

Most airlines charge an additional fee to fly with a pet, which is usually around $100 each way. You can find this information on your airline’s website or by calling them. Most airlines require that you book your pet’s flight when you book your own, so keep this in mind as you do your planning. Ask about the cancellation policy, too, in case you decide not to take your pet along at the last minute.

 

Expect the Unexpected

From acts of God to accidents, anything can happen during your trip that can put your four-legged friend in danger. Always pack an emergency kit that includes basic first aid items when you travel with your pet. It’s also a great idea to get familiar with the emergency veterinarians near your destination. If necessary, you can use your smartphone’s location setting and do a search for “Emergency Vet Near Me.”

And of course, if you determine that traveling with your pet is NOT the best decision, for whatever reason, Bogue Animal Hospital offers boarding services for dogs and cats. If you have questions about these travel tips or would like to book a boarding stay, give us a call at 316-722-1085.

Have a Safe Holiday Season with Your Pet

Holiday Pet Safety Tips in Wichita, KS

During the holiday season, there are so many dangers our pets may encounter, but if a few extra precautions are taken, you can keep your best friend safe. The team at Bogue Animal Hospital wants to help you make sure that everyone in your family is safe and happy all season long.

Top 5 Most Common Holiday Dangers for Pets

These are some of the most common dangers that the Bogue Animal Hospital team often sees at our animal hospital during the holiday season:

  • While we can handle having a few drinks in celebration of the season, our pets cannot. It’s important to always keep alcoholic beverages out your of your pet’s reach to ensure that they’re safe from the danger of alcohol poisoning.
  • Christmas trees. It isn’t the holiday season without a festive tree! However, these lovely decorations can also cause a few hazards in the home. Christmas trees can be knocked over by overly adventurous and curious pets, causing damage to the home and injury to the animals!
  • Electrical cords. Does your best friend like to chew? The sight of all those new cords under the tree may be too appealing for your pet, so we recommend disguising and hiding electrical cords to prevent your pet’s curiosity. It’s also important that they never be left unattended around the decorations!
  • Holiday meals and sweets. You hear all year round that there are foods your pet should never consume, but during the holiday season we have so much more of those dangerous foods around the house! Traditional holiday meals contain so many of those dangers, like poultry bones, onions, garlic, grapes, and more. In addition, we often do a lot of baking during the holidays, introducing our pets to even more potential dangers with chocolate, sugar, macadamia nuts, raisins, and more. Keep those foods and treats out of your pet’s reach at all times!
  • Poinsettias and other holiday plants. For some odd reason, the most popular plants to bring inside the home at the holidays are toxic to your pet! Poinsettias, amaryllis, and lilies of all kinds are dangerous and we recommend keeping them out of your pet’s reach at all times so that your pet doesn’t have access to the leaves or berries that may fall off. You may also want to consider purchasing silk flowers for the look of the festive plant without the dangers.

If you have any questions about your pet’s safety and well-being this holiday season, please contact us at Bogue Animal Hospital. That’s what we’re here for! Have a happy and safe holiday with your pet this year.

Holiday Safety Tips

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The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities. As you gear up for the holidays, it is important to try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. Also, please be sure to steer pets clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.

Be Careful with Seasonal Plants and Decorations

  • Oh, Christmas Tree: Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.
  • Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
  • Tinsel-less Town: Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It’s best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.
  • That Holiday Glow: Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!
  • Wired Up: Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract.

Avoid Holiday Food Dangers

  • Skip the Sweets: By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising pet will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
  • Leave the Leftovers: Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won’t lead to costly medical bills.
  • Careful with Cocktails: If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
  • Selecting Special Treats: Looking to stuff your pet’s stockings? Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible. Long, stringy things are a feline’s dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that’s too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer.

Please visit our People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets page for more information.

Plan a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering

  • House Rules: If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you’re busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.
  • Put the Meds Away: Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.
  • A Room of Their Own: Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.
  • New Year’s Noise: As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. And remember that many pets are also scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.

 

SOURCE: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/holiday-safety-tips

5 Halloween Pet Safety Tips in Wichita, Kansas

Time for Halloween tricks and treats again! Halloween has become an enjoyable holiday for children, adults, and yes, even pets. If you’re including your pet in the fun this year, consider their safety, as this time of year can actually dangerous for your dog or cat if you’re not prepared. Consider the following five pet safety tips from Bogue Animal Hospital in Wichita, KS so your feline and canine companions can have a safe and happy Halloween!

Halloween Pet Safety Tips in Wichita, KS

1. Choose Your Pet Costume Wisely

With the increasing popularity of Halloween, there are now hundreds of costume options for pets, but not all costumes are safe, so choose yours wisely. Thoroughly inspect every pet costume before you buy it to make sure there aren’t any loose or dangling pieces that can be easily chewed off or cause a tangle hazard. Also feel around for parts that could poke or scratch your dog or cat. Once you decide on a costume, try it on your pet for size to make sure it’s not too tight or too big. If time allows, have your pet practice wearing the costume a couple days before Halloween so they’ll have time to adjust to it before the big day.

2. Don’t Give Your Pet Candy

Many sweet foods, especially chocolate, can cause pets to become sick. Chocolate contains an alkaloid called theobromine that’s poisonous to pets, and the darker the chocolate, the higher the toxicity level. Some of the symptoms of chocolate toxicosis include diarrhea, vomiting, accelerated heart rate, and even seizures. The sugar substitute xylitol, which is common in candy and gum, is also toxic and can result in hypoglycemia if ingested. You may think that feeding your pet just a small amount of candy will be safe, but different pets react to these foods in different ways, so it’s best to just keep all the Halloween sweets away from your four-legged friend.

3. Make Sure Your Pet Has ID

Although this is important for all holidays, Halloween is the time of year when there tends to be an increase in lost pets, and sadly, many lost pets are never returned home, due to lack of identification. Make sure your pet’s ID tag is securely attached to their collar and that it’s up-to-date. You may also want to consider a microchip, which is a permanent device (about the size of a grain of rice) that can be encoded with your contact information and scanned by most animal shelters in Wichita, KS and all over the country.

4. Keep Your Pet Away From the Front Door

Although this Halloween pet safety tip typically applies to dogs, it can apply to cats, too, if your feline friend is the social type. Every time your front door opens for those costumed trick-or-treaters is an opportunity for your pet to escape if you don’t keep an eye on them. For your pet’s safety and for that of your visitors, keep your dog or cat away from the front door in a confined area during trick-or-treat hours.

5. Limit Your Pet’s Time Outdoors

With all the people who will be walking around outside at night on Halloween, this holiday can be a dangerous time for outdoor pets. Limit your pet’s time outdoors during this time of year and keep a close eye on them until it’s time for them to come inside. If you normally keep your pet outside, we recommend that you keep them inside until a couple days after Halloween for their safety.

If you have questions about these Halloween pet safety tips, or if you would like to schedule an appointment for your dog or cat, feel free to contact us at (316) 722-1085.

 

Zoonotic Diseases

In 64 million American household’s pets are a source of joy and perhaps even the key to longer, healthier lives. However, pet-owning households with young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems need to be aware that their animals can play host to disease-causing microorganisms.

Humans are not likely to catch a disease through their pets, but in very rare cases it can happen. Fortunately, most of these diseases rarely occur in healthy individuals, are mild and can be easily treated. Others, like toxoplasmosis, can be far more serious. Diseases transmitted from animals to humans are called zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases usually live out their complex life cycles in animals, but sometimes cross into human bodies. Usually contracting a pet-borne disease requires very close contact with animals or their excretions, so zoonotic diseases can be avoided with common sense, cleanliness and regular pet examinations and vaccinations.

Children often put their hands in their mouths, providing an easy route for bacteria to travel into their bodies. For example, children who eat dirt are more susceptible to contracting zoonotic diseases. Children also are more susceptible to pet-borne illness because they carry fewer antibodies than adults do. The same holds true for puppies and kittens, making them more likely to carry disease than older dogs and cats.

Although the chances of getting a zoonotic disease from your pet are slim, these are some common pet-borne illnesses that can make people sick:

Salmonellosis

This bacteria generally makes its way into human bodies through contaminated food. The bacteria can be passed through animal feces and may cause symptoms like fever, vomiting, diarrhea and exhaustion.

Roundworms

Roundworm eggs and microscopic adult worms can be excreted in the feces of dogs and cats infected by the worms. Children may be at a higher risk for contracting roundworms because they play near pets or touch infected feces and put their hands into their mouths. Because of the risk to children, all cats and dogs should be taken to their veterinarians for regular fecal examinations. Also remember to cover all sandboxes when not in use to prevent children from contacting contaminated feces. Symptoms can include fever, cough, loss of appetite, weakness and lung congestion.

 

Cat Scratch Fever

This bacteria is usually transmitted from cats to humans through scratches. The bacteria is found on nails or claws and can cause high fever, loss of appetite, weakness and swollen lymph nodes. In otherwise healthy people, Cat Scratch Fever is usually mild and resolves itself. However, the bacteria caused by Cat Scratch Fever can be extremely dangerous or even fatal if left untreated in immune-compromised individuals. It’s important for these pet owners to tell their doctors they own a cat. Young children should be sure to wash scratches thoroughly with soap and water.

Strep Throat

Though your pet is probably not the culprit bringing strep into your household each year, the possibility does exist. Recently, researchers have found that it’s more likely that people are infecting their pets. In any case, keep your children from kissing, licking or exchanging food by mouth with their pets.

Ringworm

A fungal infection of the skin, hair or nails, ringworm starts as a rapidly spreading hairless, circular lesion. Humans can be infected through use of contaminated objects like hair brushes, towels or clothing or by contact with infected animals like cats, dogs, mice, rats and guinea pigs.

Scabies

Also called sarcoptic mange, scabies is a skin disease caused by itch mites which burrow under the skin. Scabies cause intense itching and scratching that can result in severe eczema. Humans can be infected through contact with infected animals.

The most effective way to prevent zoonotic diseases and ensure your good health is to ensure good health for your pets. This means taking your pet to the veterinarian for regular exams and vaccinations. Most pet owners find that by following their veterinarian’s nutritional and health recommendations, their pets will lead happy, healthy lives with little risk of zoonotic infections.

SOURCE: https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/general_health_care/diseases_transmitted_by_pets.aspx

Make Sure They Can Get Home: Check Your Pet’s Microchip

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Is your pet’s microchip up-to-date? If your pet were lost, would an animal hospital or shelter be able to contact you once your pet was found?

 

It’s important to get your pet microchipped; but it’s just as important to make sure that microchip contains the correct information in order for your four-legged friend to get home.

How does a microchip work?
The microchip, which is about the size of a grain of rice, is injected by a veterinarian or veterinary technician just beneath your pet’s skin in the area between the shoulder blades. This is usually done without anesthesia, and the experience can be compared to getting a vaccination.

Each microchip has a unique registration number that is entered into a database or registry, and is associated with your name and contact information. If your lost dog or cat is found by an animal hospital, shelter or humane society, they will use a microchip scanner to read the number and contact the registry to get your information.

Make sure you can be found, too
While it may be comforting to know the microchip won’t get lost or damaged, and that it will probably last the pet’s lifetime, the microchip is useless if you’re not updating your contact information with the registry. If your pet has been microchipped, keep the documentation paperwork so you can find the contact information for the registry. If you don’t have the documentation paperwork, contact the veterinarian or shelter where the chip was implanted.

Keep in mind there are more than a dozen companies that maintain databases of chip ID numbers in the U.S. By using AAHA’s Universal Pet Microchip Lookup at petmicrochiplookup.org, you can locate the registry for your chip by entering the microchip ID number. If you don’t have your pet’s microchip ID number, have a veterinarian scan it and give it to you.

Only about 17% of lost dogs and 2% of lost cats ever find their way back to their owners. Prevent the heartache and ensure your pet has an up-to-date microchip.

 

Originally published by Healthy Pet.