Capitol Illini Newsletter
In the Summer 2012 Issue ...
Summer Hazards and Your Pet
The four-legged family friend can enjoy summer too with a few pre-cautions.
Summer is a great time of year enjoyed by yourself and family. It can be enjoyed by the four-legged family member as well as long as some precautions are made. Dogs and cats who spend majority of their time indoors are protected from many warm weather hazards, but only if the temperature inside the home is at a comfortable range. Some pet owners, in an effort to reduce costs and conserve energy, shut off fans and air conditioning in the morning and turn on later when they return home. When temperatures outside increase to extreme high levels, temperatures inside the house can increase as well. Instead of turning off the A/C, leave it on at a conservative level and consider closing the curtains. Most importantly, keep fresh water available at all times.
Pets who spend most of their time outdoors need more protection from hot weather. It is important outdoor cats and dogs have access to clean drinking water and a cool, shady area available. It is not recommended to have pets outside for long periods of time during hot, humid weather. Outdoor pets should have an option of being able to come indoors. During heat advisories or severe weather, bring your pet indoors.
Locked cars, even with windows cracked, can be deadly for dogs. On a 91 degree, partly cloudy day, a car can heat up to 120 degrees in just 15 minutes.
Heatstroke is a significant problem for dogs and can occur in cats, though less common. Heatstroke most commonly occurs when a dog is locked inside of a car. On a hot day (even with windows cracked), a few minutes in a locked car can be deadly for your dog. Research has shown on a partly cloudy 93 degree day, a car can heat up to 120 degrees in just 15 minutes! Slightly cooler days are still dangerous. A similar test conducted on a 71 degree day showed temperatures to reach 116 degrees in just 1 hour in a car parked in the sun. NEVER leave your pet locked in a car when weather is warm.
Heatstroke can also occur when dogs exercise in hot weather. Consider walking your dog in the morning or evening when temperatures are slightly cooler. You may even consider shorter walks. If exercise is necessary, take frequent breaks and carry water.
In addition to hot weather, dogs and cats can be exposed to summer related toxic chemicals. A few of these include the following: lawn chemicals and fertilizers, insect repellents and sprays, weed control products, rat poison, and pool chemicals. To learn more, visit the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals) Animal Poison Control Center http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/
Additionally, summer months increase exposure of parasites such as fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and intestinal parasites. Remember to give your dog or cat its monthly flea/tick/heartworm preventative. Any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to ask your veterinary staff.
This summer, don't forget to take extra precautions for your furry friends.
Cat Scratch Fever - "Some reports state 12-50 % or more of cats have been infected with Bartonella." ~Vet*Learn
Did you know Cat Scratch Fever is more than a Ted Nugent song? Cat Scratch disease, its actual name, involves an infection caused by Bartonella henselae, which is transmitted by fleas. Cats transmit this organism when there is infected flea dirt under their claws. Bartonella is then transmitted to a person or another cat when scratched by infected claws.
What happens to a person with Bartonella? Bartonella infection in a healthy, immunocompetent person develops to cat scratch disease. Small red bumps develop at the scratch site. The nearby lymph nodes will swell and become painful accompanied by a fever.
These conditions are generally mild and resolve on their own. More serious syndromes can result in an immunocompromised person. For more information:
Now available at Capitol Illini is another choice in heartworm disease prevention-Trifexis. Trifexis is a monthly chewable tablet that does more than prevent heartworm disease. Trifexis combines two trusted active ingredients (spinosad and milbemycin oxime) to protect your dog against fleas, heartworm disease, and intestinal parasites (roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms).
This preventative can provide fast relief and elimination of fleas. Trifexis starts killing fleas within 30 minutes and lasts a full month to prevent flea infestations.
This product is safe for all dogs 8 weeks of age and older and dogs weighing more than 5 pounds. It is recommended to have an intestinal parasite test every 6 months and heartworm test annually.
Intervertebral Disk Disease -
Did you know?
If never spayed or neutered, a female dog, her mate, and their puppies could produce over 66,000 dogs in 6 years!
The vertebrae (bones of the spine) are cushioned by either end by disks of cartilage. Intervertebral disk disease or IVDD is a condition where these disks rupture into the vertebral canal. Spinal cord compression is painful and can effect nerve supply to legs and other parts of the body.
IVDD occurs most commonly in dogs and less often in cats. This can occur in any dog. However, long torso breeds are predisposed to IVDD, which includes dachshunds, basset hounds, beagles, Welsh corgi, and cocker spaniels.
Wear and tear can cause the disks to degenerate and eventually rupture. Arthritis can contribute to IVDD as well. Trauma, such as hit by a car, may also cause these disks to herniate.
Depending on the location and degree of spinal cord compression, signs of Intervertebral Disk Disease may vary:
- Severe pain & reluctance to move
- Difficulty walking or abnormal walking
- Dragging of rear limbs, paralysis
- Urination and/or fecal incontinence or retention
Veterinarians use spinal x-rays to diagnose IVDD. However, this does not always provide the needed detail. Sometimes a CT or MRI may be recommended. Depending on the severity, treatment will vary. Strict rest and confinement of 4-8 weeks or more may be needed. Steroids and muscle relaxants may be prescribed. Supportive nursing care is the most important if your pet is unable to walk. Many pets can recover with medicine or surgery and tincture of time.
New Pet Food Choice: Science Diet Healthy Advantage
Now available at Capitol Illini is a new non-prescription pet food. Science Diet has launched Healthy Advantage. This is available in Kitten, Adult Cat, Puppy, and Adult Dog formulas and is exclusively at veterinary clinics.
There are several benefits of Healthy Advantage:
- Oral Health: Helps to keep teeth & gums healthy with the clinically proven kibble technology which naturally scrubs teeth clean.
- Weight Management: The fiber enriched formula is enhanced with L-Carnitine that helps maintain optimal body weight, build lean muscle and turn fat into energy.
- Healthy Digestion: Contains high quality, digestible ingredients that helps maximize absorption of key nutrients.
- Healthy Skin & Coat: Omega fatty acids nourish skin cells and hair follicles to rejuvenate the skin promoting healthy skin and a luxurious coat.
- Bladder Health (Cats): Contains appropriate mineral balance to maintain a healthy bladder.
- Healthy Mobility (Dogs): Enhanced with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate providing the building blocks for healthy joints and cartilage.
- Immunity (Puppy & Kitten): Supports the immune system between vaccinations and helps build a healthy
Science Diet Healthy Advantage is a new non-prescription food available for kittens, adult cats, puppies, and adult dogs.
Staff Corner: Molly
Molly joined the Capitol Illini team in August, 2011 after moving from Star Prairie, a small town in Wisconsin. She is a 2010 veterinary technology graduate from Globe University in Woodbury, Minnesota. Prior to Capitol Illini, Molly gained experience with both large and small animals, through a private veterinary practice and at the University of MN Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Outside of work Molly enjoys cooking, reading, and watching dirt track racing. She is also looking to adopt a dog in the future.