Canine Flu Update – Vaccines and More
Dr. Jennifer Coates/petMD
In the human world, it is the time of flu season. I actually watched a great video explaining how and why late Fall and Winter conditions make people more likely to get sick. Pretty interesting stuff.
Do similar principles apply to dogs? Canine flu doesn't seem to be nearly as seasonal as ours is. There are some other things to be aware of as far as canine flu is concerned. There are two different types of flu out there now. The original strains that's been first diagnosed in 2004 and the newly imported one which was behind the recent outbreak.
Symptoms alone don't provide enough information about what you're dealing with. It is better to test than play the guessing game.
Vaccine for the old flu has been out there for some time now. A conditional license for vaccine against the newly imported strain had been granted. Whether or not to vaccinate against either one is a question. Read Dr. Coates' thoughts.
Holiday Pet Emergencies: How to Handle a Trip to the ER
Dr. Patty Khuly/VetStreet
Emergency hospitals are busier during the holidays more than any other time of the year. There are two reasons for that. Firstly, most regular veterinary hospitals are closed so things you'd go see your regular vet with often end up at the emergency room instead. And secondly, the holidays bring their own special health risks starting from the holiday feast, holiday decorations, treasures from visitors' hand bags and so on.
Dr. Khuly has some great tips on how to handle a holiday trip to the veterinary ER.
First and foremost, always know where the local veterinary ER is. Whether it's where you live, where you go visit your family and friends, or where you go on vacation. Trust me, trying to look for it when you already need it is the worst of plans.
Dr. Khuly also recommends calling your own veterinarian first. You never know, they just might happen to be there. She has a lot of other great advice, check it out.
How to Give Your Dog a Massage
Dr. Narda Robinson/AAHA
PT Sue wrote an awesome article on dog massage which I recommend you read. This video shows hands-on massage techniques everybody can try on their dog. Watching the video makes me want one too.
Prepare for medical emergencies when animal health is normal
Dr. Timothy B. Hackett/Colorado State University
One cannot plan for an emergency. If we could plan for it, we could as well prevent it too, couldn't we? Though it is a fairly safe bet that emergencies happen when you least need it. That much you can probably count on.
So if you cannot plan for it, how can you prepare for it? Some of the tips were already touched on in Dr. Khuly's article above, such as knowing where the nearest emergency hospital is in the first place, or, if you have options, which one do you want to use.
The other important thing to know is when to seek emergency care. Trust me, it's not as common sense as you'd think. Besides things that SHOULD be common sense, such as when your dog gets hit by a car, bitten by a snake or ingest a poison, there are things that could leave one wonder, "should I stay or should I go?"
Understanding what is normal behavior and what are your dog's normal vital signs can provide important clues to help you make your decision. And remember - a sick puppy is always an emergency.