Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic

1214 Hwy 25 N

Buffalo, MN 55313

Phone: (763) 682-2181

OFFICE HOURS

Mon, Tues, Thurs: 7 am - 8 pm

Wed & Friday: 7 am - 6 pm

Saturday: 8 am - 12 pm

Appointment Request

Carlos’ Corner

Don't Lose Your Dog to Canine Parvovirus

 
They say that dogs and cats don't get along, but that isn't always true. I hate to see my dog friends get sick, especially with something as serious as parvovirus. Please read below to learn how you can keep your dog happy and healthy.
 
All my best,
Carlos
 
 
Canine parvovirus is a serious and sometimes deadly disease in dogs, but it’s also highly preventable. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), any dog can acquire parvovirus but puppies under four months and unvaccinated dogs face the biggest risk. The virus is spread through direct contact with the feces of another infected dog, other dog-to-dog contact such as sharing food bowls, through the environment, and through people. The virus, which attacks a dog’s gastrointestinal tract, can withstand heat, humidity, cold, and dry conditions. This allows it to survive much longer than other types of viruses.

Common Symptoms of Parvovirus
Please contact Buffalo Companion Animal Hospital for an immediate appointment if your dog or puppy shows any of these symptoms:
  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Diarrhea, which may or may not be bloody
  • Lack of appetite or refusal to eat
  • Low body temperature or fever
  • Vomiting
Unrelenting diarrhea or vomiting can cause your dog to become dehydrated quickly. It may also lead to septic shock due to serious damage to the immune system and intestines. When a dog or puppy dies from parvovirus, it’s usually within 48 to 72 hours after contracting it. That is why you need to seek evaluation and treatment without delay.

Diagnosing and Treating Parvovirus
Our veterinarians can normally diagnose the virus with a physical exam and fecal test. Treatment focuses on support of your dog’s immune system until it becomes healthy enough to fight off the viral infection. Controlling vomiting and diarrhea and combating dehydration by replacing fluids, electrolytes, and protein is essential. We also aim to prevent secondary infections. It’s important to keep your dog warm and make sure her environment is as stress-free as possible. The AMVA states that 90 percent of dogs can survive parvovirus with prompt diagnosis and aggressive treatment.

Strategies to Prevent Parvovirus
Puppies are most at risk after the natural protection from their mother’s milk wears off and before their immune system has become fully mature. We recommend that you avoid bringing your puppy to places such as dog parks, grooming facilities, daycare, boarding, and obedience classes until he has had his full series of parvovirus vaccines. Be sure to keep your dog away from the feces of other dogs and avoid exposure to dogs who have been ill or whose vaccination history you don’t know. If you handle or encounter a sick dog, be sure to wash your hands and change your clothes as soon as possible.

Puppies should receive a series of parvovirus vaccines between 14 and 16 weeks. Your pet’s veterinarian will provide the recommended vaccine schedule for your puppy or adult dog at her next wellness exam.
 
Photo credit: Damedeeso / Getty Images

 

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Pet Poison Prevention Week is March 19 to 26

Life is an endless curiosity for cats and dogs. We simply must explore that vase full of flowers, the contents of your purse, or that bottle of candy you brought home from the doctor. Just like a toddler, you need to stay one step ahead of us to prevent an accident. Here are some tips to help you pet-proof every room in your house.

As always,

Carlos

 

The Minnesota-based Pet Poison Helpline established Pet Poison Prevention Week in 1962, the same year the organization started. Now in its 56th year, the awareness campaign always takes place the third week in March. Dogs and cats are curious creatures who love to investigate anything new to them. They do this by tasting, touching, and smelling things in their home and yard. 

Unfortunately, a pet’s curiosity isn’t tempered with understanding that certain things aren’t safe to explore. This room-by-room guide from the Pet Poison Helpline will help keep your beloved pets as safe as possible.

Bathroom
Be sure to keep all medications in a secure container and keep them out of your pet’s reach in a closed cabinet. Your dog or cat could easily jump on the counter and get into medication. It’s also important to store veterinary medication away from human medication to avoid anyone taking the wrong thing. Keep the lid of your toilet closed to prevent pets from drinking out of it or possibly falling in. If you store cleaning supplies in the bathroom, make sure they’re well out of your pet’s reach.

Garage
Anti-freeze, brake fluid, and windshield wiper fluid are common items found in a garage that can be dangerous to pets. Pets can easily mistake anti-freeze for water due to its clear color. If it does spill in the garage or on the driveway, add water to dilute it and wipe it up immediately. All chemicals, along with nails, leaf bag ties, and other small items your pet could swallow, should be placed on a high shelf. It’s best to keep your pet out of the garage altogether.

Kitchen
If your dog or cat tends to get into the garbage, make sure you close all bags tightly and keep in an inaccessible area until you take the trash outside. This prevents your pet from ingesting food waste or choking on bones. The following foods and beverages are especially toxic to your pet:
  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onions
  • Raisins
  • Unbaked yeast
To avoid an emergency, keep these items refrigerated or in the appropriate cupboard. Since pets are always on the lookout for dropped food, be sure to sweep up spills immediately.

Laundry Room
Mice and other rodents tend to enter homes through the laundry room. If you choose to place insecticides or rodenticides there, use caution and select a brand safe for companion animals. Your curious pet could jump inside an open wash machine or clothes dryer, so be certain to close the doors to avoid a tragedy. Lastly, make sure to keep laundry soap out of your pet’s reach.

Living Room
Several types of plants are toxic to pets. You can click here to see a list put together by the American Humane Society. Common overlooked dangers for pets in this room include:
  • Batteries
  • Cigarette butts left in ashtrays
  • Electrical cords
  • Potpourri
  • Remote controls 
Another source of curiosity for pets is a woman’s purse. Chewing gum and make-up can be harmful for cats and dogs if ingested.

Yard
Some types of mulch and fertilizers contain chemicals that could damage the intestinal system of your pet. Be certain to keep your pet off a recently treated lawn and out of the garden. Additionally, plan to keep your dog or cat inside when you mow the lawn or use electrical equipment outdoors.

If your pet begins displaying unusual symptoms and you suspect poisoning, contact us at Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic immediately at 763-682-2181 or call the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-764-7661.

Photo Credit: Nataliamarc / Getty Images

 
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