SERVING LONGVIEW & SURROUNDING AREAS
FOR OVER 475 DOG YEARS!

2500 Estes Parkway, Longview, TX
Call Today! 903-807-0887

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Canine influenza, or dog flu, is becoming a threat to dogs throughout the United States.  There are two strains of the virus (CIV H3N8 and CIV H3N2) both of which cause a respiratory infection in dogs.  These relatively new viruses are suspected of coming from mutations of other forms of influenza, such as those affecting horses and birds.  Since these are new viruses, dogs don’t currently have a natural  immunity to it.  It is thought that the Canine influenza viruses can lead to other respiratory infections like Kennel Cough and the symptoms are often similar.  As of May 2017, there are documented cases of Canine influenza in Texas.

This highly contagious virus is passed on through direct contact with infected dogs, as well as through secondary surfaces, clothing and people’s hands.  Cats are also susceptible to the virus (symptoms are runny nose, congestion, general discomfort, lip smacking, and extra salivation) and are able to pass it along to dogs.  At this time, the viruses are not transmissible to humans.

Canine influenza is not usually fatal (less than 10%) and will usually run its course in about 2-3 weeks.  Some dogs don’t display symptoms.  Symptoms in mild cases include a gentle wet or dry cough, lethargy, anorexia, low grade fever, eye and or nose discharge (the latter typically responds to antibiotics indicating a secondary infection resulting from the flu).  Severe cases often present with a high fever (104-106), and symptoms similar to pneumonia including high respiratory rates.

Since these are new viruses, most dogs are vulnerable, with young and older dogs being at greater risk along with dogs that have a lot of contact with other dogs.  Preventive measures include limiting contact with other dogs and staying away from places where flu has been reported.  If you are in the habit of petting other dogs, washing your hands before petting your own dog is a good practice to help prevent spreading the virus.  Good nutrition and strong healthcare practices help make pets less vulnerable.

Treatment for Canine influenza in most cases is supportive and includes cough/respiratory medications, hydration (and antibiotics if a secondary bacterial infection is suspected).  Rest and isolation for the pet are recommended.  For more severe cases, fluid therapy or hospitalization may be required.

Testing is currently available to identify the two strains of the virus (H2N8 and H3N2), and Longview Animal Hospital carries a vaccine to protect against both.  If you have any questions, please contact our team at (903) 807-0887.

For more information, visit www.canineinfluenza.com

 

Make Your Cat’s Next Visit Purrfect! Help reduce or eliminate your cat’s fear and your stress with our Happy Cat Kit.

spay and neuter

Bringing a new puppy or kitten into your home is such an exciting, joyful occasion. There are many decisions awaiting the owners of a new puppy or kitten. One of those is the decision as to whether to spay (females) or neuter (males) your new fur baby. Unless you plan on breeding your new addition, it is highly recommended to perform this procedure. Your loved one will live a longer, healthier life if you make the decision to spay and/or neuter. In addition, you will be making the responsible decision to make sure more unwanted pets do not become a burden on society.

Health Benefits

Spaying or neutering can help prevent common health issues such as uterine infections and breast cancer for females, and testicular cancer and prostate issues for males.

  • Male dogs who are neutered live 18% longer than their unaltered counterparts, and female dogs who are spayed live 23% longer than their counterparts.

  • Animals who are altered do not gain weight because of the procedure. They gain weight because they are fed too much. After being altered, feed your pet 30% less than what you would feed an unaltered pet.

Behavior Benefits

This operation can also reduce some mating-motivated, dominance-related, and aggressive behaviors:

    • Mating-related behaviors that this procedure may reduce or eliminate include escaping and wandering in search of a mate, mounting people and objects, and heat cycles, which cause vocalization and urine marking.

 

    • Dominance- and aggression-related behaviors include barking and peeing to mark territory.

 

    • These behaviors can increase the likelihood that your pet will come into harmful or even fatal encounters with traffic or other animals, and thus sterilization can further protect the life of your pet, and save you a large amount of money.

 

  • Reducing the marking behavior can also protect your property from costly damage, not to mention your health from the ammonia found in concentrated cat urine.
  • The longer an animal goes without getting spayed or neutered, the less likely the behaviors will decrease after surgery.

  • Sterilization is not the sole solution to all unwanted or destructive behaviors.  Some of these may be inherent to your pet’s personality or are habits that have gone uncorrected.

  • Sterilization additionally does not alter a pet’s personality, intelligence, protective instincts, playfulness, or affection.

Greater Benefits

Last of all, this procedure can contribute to the lessening of the pet homelessness crisis and to the lessening of the amount of adoptable animals that end up being euthanized.

  • Every year in the United States, 6-8 million animals enter shelters.

  • Each year, half of these sheltered animals are adopted, but more than 2.7 million of them are euthanized.

Invest in a healthier and happier future by scheduling the surgery any time after your pet reaches 4 months of age. We recommend you arrange for this procedure to be performed at a veterinarian’s office where your fur baby will receive individualized care, high quality anesthesia and take home medication to prevent infection. As always, if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, Contact our Team at Longview Animal Hospital.

Fall is here and so is hunting season!  Keep your pets safe this fall by keeping in mind some general tips.

Knowing when and where hunting might be taking place in your area is a great place to begin.  For residents of Gregg and Harrison Counties, you can check this page at Texas Parks and Wildlife for hunting seasons in each county, and at this page for a location map of public hunting areas in Texas.

dog in hunting vestWhen you are out with your pet, keep an eye out for signs that there may be hunters in the area.  Are there cars or trucks parked on road shoulders near wooded areas? Do you see people wearing ‘hunter orange’ hats, vests?  White-tailed deer are crepuscular animals, which means that they are mostly active in the early morning and late evening hours.  This is when most hunters will be out, so if you are walking near designated hunting locations, make sure to take steps to make sure that you are visible.  You can use brightly colored or reflective gear for both you and your pet – collars, leashes, vests, bandanas, etc.  (See our post on walking your pet during reduced daylight hours here.)

Stay on well-traveled roads or paths and make sure to keep pets on a leash.  In addition to keeping them from chasing a deer or other animal, it will also prevent them from wandering into areas where they might come across old carcasses or hunters actively seeking a target.   If you spot a hunter while walking, make yourself known to him or her.  Surprises during hunting season can be dangerous.  Keep a bell handy or hum a tune while you walk so that you can be identified as being in the area.

Pets are typically afraid of the sound of gunshots (with the exception of hunting dogs), so you might want to avoid areas where you know hunting is taking place nearby.  If you have a pet that gets particularly agitated from the sounds, you can consider giving them a calming medication (give us a call if this is a concern for your pet).

While you don’t want to curtail all outdoor activities during hunting season, you might consider a few indoor games to keep your pets busy during the peak season – things like hiding treats for them to find, obedience and clicker training, a small agility course, or a grooming session.  These can add some extra in-home stimulation and make up for shorter walks.