Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Terrors of Spring

My puppies,
Jekyll and Charlie.

We all wait anxiously for the winter grip to release us. To catch a little breathe of Spring, raise our chins to the sun, and feel the soft grass under our feet.

Spring is here and it is GLORIOUS! And for as much as I adore the chirping songs of the birds preparing to build nests for the next generation of winged mezzo-soprano's it is also always intimately coupled with the evil sides of a new cast of players. Where there is abundant burgeoning life there are also the threats of culprits and predators both large and small. All of those new creatures support the complicated and yet fragile web of life with mouths to feed both up and down the food chain.

Ask yourself, what do you think is the most lethal animal on the planet?
Bet, you wouldn't guess right on your first instinctual answer.. It is the mosquito! 

The most feared culprit in my veterinary experience..Well, I have seen the most heartbreaking cases and outcomes from 3 Spring time opportunists;

  1. The flea. Capable of incredible re-population explosions, I have seen whole lives be sucked out of existence. NOTHING is more heartbreaking than losing a kitten to death by preventable vampire.
  2. The tick. One tiny pinpoint tick can transmit diseases that can render the kidney cooked. The effects of Lyme disease are real and the consequences can be dire. Here again another preventable disease. I may not have the research study stats to prove this, but my experience has been; If you keep your pet on a good monthly flea and tick preventative AND IF you keep your dogs vaccinated for Lyme disease the chance of your pet getting Lyme disease is almost negligible. And I have never seen a pet who is either vaccinated OR treated monthly die from Lyme disease. The dogs who die, and YES, they can and do die, are those that get neither.
  3. Parvo. Nothing is more awful than watching a puppy die. Those little bundles of joy, who play, wag, bark, and snuggle become lifeless bony skeletons so sad and pitiful that the sight of them suffering is worse than the act of putting them down. Again, another preventable disease that we should have eradicated by now.
How do you protect your puppy?
  • Start vaccinating at 6-8 weeks old,
  • Keep your newborn away from unvaccinated OR sick puppies and dogs,
  • Keep ALL puppies out f shelters,
  • Get your puppy to the vet the minute they act ill,
  • If they do get sick, keep them in the hospital until they are back to eating, drinking, playing and barking.

Cora, The story of parvovirus and a puppy.

Here is the latest parvovirus outbreak in the news...gosh, I hope that one day soon these aren't stories we still have to report on. 
Adeadly outbreak of parvovirus at Lake County Animal Services this week prompted 16 dogs to be put down and forced officials to temporarily shut down the facility until further notice.
The outbreak began Tuesday afternoon when one dog started showing symptoms of the disease. Several others followed.
On Wednesday, the county's veterinarian recommended shutting down the shelter, dog adoptions were suspended and new animals turned away. By Thursday evening all a

doptions, including those of cats, were suspended.
The 16 dogs euthanized were infected with the disease that affects dogs' intestinal tracts, causing exhaustion, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. The virus is highly contagious. When it attacks puppies, it can damage the heart and cause lifelong problems.

Workers spent Thursday scrubbing down and disinfecting kennels at Lake County's animal shelter located on County Road 561 south of Tavares.
Shelter workers thoroughly disinfected all surfaces in the building, including floors and walls, while dogs were closely monitored, said Brian Sheahan, director of the county's Community Safety and Compliance Department.
"We're in complete disinfection mode right now," Sheahan said. In a prepared statement Sheahan later said by closing the shelter staffers were "erring on the side of caution" to minimize spreading the virus.
Sheahan said dogs are vaccinated against the disease when they get to the shelter but the vaccination does not take effect immediately. Dogs with no symptoms Wednesday night were given booster vaccines. As of Thursday afternoon, Sheahan said, no dogs were showing signs of the infection.
The outbreak is the latest blow for the embattled shelter. The facility this week is losing its second director in a year amid sharp criticism from animal lovers who say the shelter should do more to curb euthanasia. Thursday evening county manager David Heath announced in an email to commissioners he would request an auditor to review Lake's Animal Services intake and vaccination procedures.
During the closure staffers are redirecting dogs to other shelters. Officials say shelter staffers also called those who recently adopted dogs to alert them of the outbreak. They are asking anyone who recently adopted a dog showing parvovirus symptoms to take it immediately to a vet.

For the full article please see; Parvovirus outbreak at Lake County Animal Services.

If you have a pet question of any sort you can find me on Pawbly is all about pets. Dedicated to helping you find information about your pets and free for eveyone to use.

You can also find me on Twitter @FreePetAdvice. Or at the clinic, Jarrettsville Vet. Stop in and say "Hello!"


  1. As someone who is color blind, the red letters on the green background to the left does magical things to my vision.

  2. Thank you for reminding the readers about the dangers of parvo and about getting that flea and tick prevention for our animals. The vet technician at my dog's veterinarian's office does a good job advising me on the best flea and tick prevention in the area.