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Seasonal Health Tips for Your Pet

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Capitol Illini Newsletter
In the Summer 2015 Issue ...


Pet Safety Tips for Summer

It's Summer Time!

Summer is here and is a time enjoyed by pet owners and even their pets. Here are a few tips to help keep your furry friend safe, while still having fun in the sun.

Kitty Feeding Time
  1. Keep Cool. Dogs and cats can become dehydrated quickly. Ensure they have plenty of cool, fresh water. Also, make sure your pet has a shady spot to escape the sun.
  2. Spot the symptoms. The symptoms of overheating in pets can include increased heart rate, drooling, excessive panting or difficult breathing, mild weakness, seizures, and elevated body temperature (over 104 degrees). Any concerns, please contact the veterinary clinic.
  3. Visit the Vet. Bring your dog or cat in for a check up and make sure they are up-to-date on vaccinations. Remember to give your pet its monthly preventatives to protect against heartworms, fleas, ticks, and other parasites.
  4. Splash Safely. Do not leave dogs unsupervised around a pool, as not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pet to water gradually, and place a floatation device on your pet while aboard a boat. After swimming, rinse your dog off to remove chlorine and salt.
  5. Party Smarts. Although summer is ideal for backyard get-togethers, keep food and drinks away from your pet. Any change of diet could cause your pet digestive ailments. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, strawberry tops, and products containing the sweetener xylitol, since these can be poisonous to your furry friend.
  6. Fireworks are not friendly. Leave pets at home when heading out for fireworks. Don’t ignite fireworks around pets. Aside from being scary, exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma to your pet. Unused fireworks can be hazardous, as well.

Canine Influenza ("Dog Flu")

Canine Flu

Dog flu is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs. There are two strains of the canine flu: influenza A H3N8 and influenza A H3N2. According to the Cornell University, it is the H3N2 virus that is responsible for the outbreak of dog flu in the Chicago area, last April.

Signs of dog flu infection include cough, runny nose, and fever. However, not all dogs will show signs of illness.

Both strains of the influenza virus can cause high fever, loss of appetite, coughing, green or yellow nasal discharge, and lethargy. Some infected dogs may not show symptoms at all. The severity of the illness associated with the dog flu in dogs can range from no signs to severe illness resulting in pneumonia and in 8-10 percent of dogs, death.

Almost all dogs are susceptible to the infection with the influenza viruses. Illnesses tend to spread quickly among dogs housed in kennels or shelters.

Zylkene Image

Currently, there is a vaccine available to protect dogs against the influenza A H3N8 virus. It is unknown if this vaccine will provide any protection from the new H3N2 virus. In areas where the virus is active, dog owners should avoid areas where dogs congregate, such as dog parks or groomers.

Any pet owners with questions or concerns regarding canine influenza please feel free to consult your veterinarian. Pet owners of symptomatic dogs should be kept away from other dogs and seen for treatment.

Introducing: Zylkene

Zylkene Image

Zylkene helps restore balance in a pet’s life. Zylkene is derived from a natural product, casein, which is a protein in milk. In both dogs and cats, Zylkene can be used as a nutritional supplement to help calm a pet and increase ability to cope with mild stress.

Zylkene is a once daily medication in the form of a capsule. This medication can be given orally or sprinkled and mixed with food or liquid. Ideally, Zylkene should be started a few days before a stressful event, such as fireworks or being at a kennel. Ask your veterinarian if Zylkene would benefit your pet.

Getting your Cat to the Veterinarian

Tips on Getting your Cat to the Veterinarian

Cat owners want to have their kitties live a long and healthy life. This can happen by providing good health care, especially preventative health care. However, this cannot happen unless the cat is seen regularly by the veterinarian for preventative care.

Many cats dislike going to the vet’s office. The first step to this is getting the cat into the carrier, which stresses out many cat owners. However, there are some ways to make this less stressful for the cat and the owner to make the cat carrier a “Home Away From Home.”

What types of carriers work best?

Choose carriers that are sturdy, secure, and stable, as well as easy for you to carry. The best carriers are inexpensive hard-sided carriers that open from the top and front, and can also be taken apart in the middle. An easily removable top allows a cat which may be fearful, anxious, or in pain to stay in the bottom half of the carrier for the exam.

We are a Certified Cat Friendly Practice

Avoid carriers that require a cat to be pulled from or dumped out for an exam.

Meet the Staff...Amber

Amber Veterinary Assistant

Amber joined the Capitol Illini team in July 2014. She enjoys working in customer service and interacting with the clients. Amber has no pets of her own at this time, but she would love to have a golden retriever in the near future. In her free time Amber enjoys spending time with her energetic 3 year old son and boyfriend, being outdoors, and cheering on the Cardinals and Steelers.


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  • Two Convenient Locations

    Capitol Illini Veterinary Services

    1711 Wabash Avenue
    Springfield, IL 62704
    Ph (217) 546-1541
    Fx (217) 546-9020

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    Capitol Illini Chatham Veterinary Services

    1020 Jason Place
    Chatham, IL 62629
    Ph (217) 483-6830
    Fx (217) 483-6831

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