Euthanized U.S. Animals

Euthanized U.S. Animals

It's horrible to think, but over 1.5 million companion animals are euthanized each year in animal shelters because they are either too old; deemed unloved or behaviorally unsound. 

There are more wandering cats than dogs in the United States; and thus, cats are at a higher risk of being put down. In U.S. shelters, roughly 860,000 cats are euthanized and 670,000 dogs. 

To reduce these numbers, prospective pet owners should consider pet adoption at local animal rescues.

The annual Clear the Shelters event is this Saturday, August 17, 2019. 

Buy Cat Conversion Kits

Buy Cat Conversion Kits

Cat owners that want to allow cats to play in the backyard with other animals may be interested in buying a cat fence; but what happens when homeowners already have an existing wall or structure on their property? It would be silly to get another structure on-site, right? That's why cat owners turn to conversion kits for fencing in cats. 

These conversion kits easily attach to walls that are at least 5 feet high, offering additional security for cats that may try to jump over the already existing structure. Cat Conversion Kits include fence mesh, overhand extenders and hardware to easily mount the fence to the home structure. 

Cat Conversion Kits are available in 100', 200' and 300' lengths.

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Algae Dog Dangers

Algae Dog Dangers

EAST HAMPTON, CT (WFSB) -- There’s a warning for pet owners right now to be careful about where they let their pets swim.

Dogs in at least three states have died in the past week after swimming in water contaminated with toxic blue green algae.

The blue green algae can impact waters in Connecticut, like Lake Pocotopaug in East Hampton.

Just last month, the swimming area was shut down after the algae was detected.

In North Carolina last week, a woman named Melissa Martin and a friend brought their three dogs to swim in a pond.

Within 15 minutes of the swim, one of the dogs had a seizure.

They rushed all three dogs to an emergency animal hospital, but all three died.

"People need to know about this. Like I said, if we had any clue this was ever a thing they would have never come. I had no idea. And once we got to the emergency vet last night, they also weren't sure,” Martin said in an interview.

Officials are blaming the toxic form of blue green algae.

In Austin, Tx., officials closed a lake earlier in the week after a dog died following a swim there.

This past Saturday, another dog died after swimming in Georgia.

All of the incidents involve the toxic blue green algae.

James Tipton, a specialty intern with Pieper Veterinary Emergency and Specialty in Middletown, said pets can succumb to toxins very quickly. Noticing symptoms immediately is crucial.

“It's usually really quickly and, you know, early identification is key for these cases,” Tipton said.

Along with the seizures, other common symptoms can include vomiting or diarrhea, excessive salivating or other secretions, and muscle weakness.

Humans can experience many of the same symptoms when swimming in contaminated water, but Tipton said the symptoms will appear faster in dogs, sometimes in a matter of minutes.

“With pets they definitely react a lot quicker, but for people it's the same thing,” Tipton said.

Not all algae blooms are toxic, but Tipton said pet owners should be cautious.

“If you find yourself in a body of water, you're not exactly sure is this one of those toxic algae blooms or not, it's just best to play it safe,” Tipton said.

Some warning signs of water that's unsafe for swimming include foul orders or water that is blue, green, or brown.

Of course, if you're not sure if water is safe, Tipton says it's best not to go in.

Story re-posted from Eye Witness News 3. Written by Mike Savino.


Rabid Fox Bites Girl

Rabid Fox Bites Girl

BATH, Maine (AP) — Police say a 6-year-old girl in Maine was bitten in the leg by a rabid fox.

Julia Davis, of Bath, was playing outside a friend’s house when a fox ran at the girls and chased them inside. The fox bit Davis on the back of her leg.

Police Chief Michael Field says the male homeowner kicked the fox until it ran outside.

The friend’s family dog, Socks, killed the fox.

Police say it was confirmed Thursday that the fox had rabies.

Julia has been receiving the necessary shots.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture spread more than 300,000 rabies vaccine baits in northeast Maine earlier this month to stem the spread of the disease. The baits are designed for raccoons but are also effective at targeting foxes and coyotes.

Story re-posted from Boston CNN.

International Cat Day!

International Cat Day!

August 8, 2019 is declared to be International Cat Day to celebrate all things cats. There is no better reason to discuss why cats make great pets. 

 Out of 7.6 million companion animals entering shelters, 1.3 million cats are adopted each year. And, it's no surprise why! Cats make wonderful pets for families and couples on-the-go. Cats are independent and do not require full boarding like dogs. They can self potty train and do not require outdoor trips to the bathroom. They are kid-friendly and play well with other animals. 

Cats can play with other domestic animals outside and bond with pet owners. This International Cat Day, consider cat adoption at local animal shelters and cat rescues. 

Pets and Lyme Disease

Pets and Lyme Disease

Ticks are easy to spot on your body. You can feel them move sometimes, and though their bites aren't often felt, you can see ticks and remove them.

But on your pets? Not so much. 

Kevin McIntosh, a veterinarian, recently told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning that finding ticks on dogs and cats becomes more difficult when they have longer fur. 

But there are a couple of areas owners should focus on when they're checking their pet. 

People should look around their head, under their earflaps, armpits and leg pits, and between their toes.

"All places that ticks like to hide that they're not easily knocked off, and it's nice and warm for them," he said. 

McIntosh, who owns the Algonquin Animal Hospital and Prince of Wales Animal Hospital, said they see more pets coming in with bites during the spring and fall, when ticks tend to be more widespread. 

His hospitals keep track of how many dogs test positive for Lyme disease. 

"It's plateaued a little bit but that's just because I think a lot more people are educated about it and they're putting more of their dogs and even cats on prevention as well." 

Kill the ticks, kill the Lyme 

McIntosh said while pets can be treated with antibiotics when they get Lyme disease, their goal at the hospital is to prevent tick bites in the first place.

"Because the problem is it's not just Lyme anymore," he said. 

About a month ago, McIntosh treated a dog with a tick-borne disease that attacked the dog's platelets, which are cells in the blood that clump together to form clots. 

"If we kill the ticks, we're also killing off not only the ticks that carry the Lyme, but also these newer emerging diseases as well." 

McIntosh said there are topical treatments that go on the back of the neck that stop the tick before it bites the pet. 

But, he said it's more messy with dogs and cats with longer fur, and can be washed off if a dog goes swimming immediately after application. 

Instead, pet owners are now opting for a treatment that the pet takes orally that stays in the bloodstream for a month. 

"As soon as the ticks taste blood, they die and fall off, long before they can transmit Lyme," McIntosh said.

Rare display of symptoms 

With antibiotic resistance becoming a growing concern among health-care professionals, McIntosh said not every dog is treated with antibiotics if they contract Lyme disease. 

In most cases, he said, dogs don't show any symptoms. 

McIntosh said 1 in 10 dogs might show swollen joints and lymph nodes, as well as limp — and those ones are given antibiotics. 

"In veterinary medicine, we have to be careful as well that we don't accidently create super bugs because all of a sudden that makes it [that] much harder for our human colleagues to treat human Lyme cases." 

Use tick tweezers 

McIntosh cautioned against people using regular tweezers to remove ticks off their pets. Instead, he recommended using tick tweezers or twisters. 

"They're a lot easier to use than an old pair of tweezers because we find when people use tweezers, once they're attached, they tend to rip off the heads." 

He said this causes a major localized reaction, but one that is treatable. If people are concerned about removing ticks themselves, McIntosh said it's best to take them to the vet. 

Story re-posted from CBC News.

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