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Kennel Cough

The Facts 

  •   Kennel cough (infectious tracheobronchitis) is a contagious upper-respiratory disease.

  •   It is transmitted by an airborne virus, and often complicated by secondary bacterial infection.

  •   Kennel cough occurs more commonly in puppies and young adult dogs.

  •   It is often caught at kennels or shelters where dogs are exposed to many other dogs.

  •   Because the virus is airborne, normal cleaning and disinfecting of kennel surfaces cannot eliminate it.

Symptoms 

  •   Dogs are usually bright and alert, and are usually eating well.

  •   They have a dry, hacking cough or bouts of deep, harsh coughing often followed by gagging motions.

  •   The gagging sometimes produces foamy mucus.

  •   Most dogs with kennel cough do not have a fever.

Solutions 

  •   If your dog has these symptoms, consult your veterinarian for treatment.

  •   Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent or cure a secondary infection.

  •   Keep dog in a relatively warm environment and make sure she is rested to help prevent the development of pneumonia.

  •   Prevent the spread of this disease by keep him away from other dogs.

Important

Not every cough is "kennel cough." Most dogs bark almost continuously while sheltered, which can lead to a sore throat or many other upper-respiratory diseases.

If there is fever, if your dog is less active than normal, has a decreased appetite, has discharge from the eyes or nose, or has difficulty breathing, or if your dog is older than three years, a more serious problem may be present.

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Caring For An Old Friend

As your pets approach their senior years, you may notice subtle changes in their behavioróa slower gait, less desire to play, and a gradual decrease in energy.

Getting Older

  •   Age can weaken the immune system and increase an animalís vulnerability to many of the same health problems that plague older people.

  •   Pets often suffer ailments such as arthritis, diabetes, dental problems, cancer; and loss of hearing and vision.

Visits to the Vet

  •   Today, most diseases associated with old age can be treated or controlled.

  •   Take your senior pet for an annual check-up.

  •   Your veterinarian may even suggest taking a blood and urine sample to check various physical functions, like the kidneys or thyroid.

An Apple A Day

  •   Youíll also need to be more attentive to your old friend.

  •   Be sure thereís always a warm spot for your pet to lie on.

  •   Move food bowls and bedding where she can reach them.

  •   Make sure to continue proper exercise and diet.

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No Table Scraps Please!

Resist the urge to clear the dinner plate into your petís food dish. The meal you cooked may be nutritionally sound for you and your family, but not for your family pet.

Harmful and Even Lethal Foods

  •   Milk-most adult animals cannot digest milk and will develop diarrhea.

  •    Bones- are very dangerous as they can lodge in passageways or cut the intestines.

  •   Chocolate-can be lethal and should be avoided at all times.

So provide your pets with a consistent diet of name-brand pet food, and keep some dog biscuits or cat treats on hand for when you want to reward them with a special morsel.

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Growing A Garden for Your Kitty

Do your houseplants look as if someone took a lawn mower to one side? Or do they have little puncture wounds on their leaves? Then chances are you have a cat.

Fatal Beauty

Cats may chew on plants as a form of entertainment, but chewing on plants can be dangerous. There are hundreds of plants that can produce toxic reactions in your feline.

Mini-lawns

A safe alternative is to grown an indoor mini-lawn for your cats to nibble on. While outside grass can be loaded with deadly fertilizers and pesticides, an indoor mini-lawn provides your cat with a safe, edible source of greenery. Special feline gardens are available commercially or you can start your own kitty garden using a bowl, soil and some grass seed.

You can grow catnip too, but monitor how much your cat chews. While catnip isnít generally toxic to cats, too much of the fresh plant can over stimulate the central nervous system and may cause a cat to actually injure herself.

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Donít Let the Cat Out

Itís a fact that an inside cat lives a longer, healthier life than the kitty that puts pawns on the pavement.

Scary Things and Monsters!

  • Outdoor cats face dozens of dangers including cars, other cats ready to fight for love or territory, exposure to fleas, ticks, worms, and sickness or death from eating spoiled food or household poisons.

  • More visits to the veterinarian. The outdoor cat will need to see the veterinarian a lot more often than an indoor cat, and that means higher vet bills. Fleas, ticks, worms, abscesses, cuts, diarrhea, a dull coat, or weight loss are all signs of trouble and are most often seen in outdoor cats.

  • Outdoor cats are more prone to get lost. Not all outdoor cats can find their way home. It just takes one time to get lost.

Cats raised indoors are perfectly content in their world. They may meow to go outside, but you know that "Scary Things and Monsters" lurk outside!

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A Neutering Quiz

Isnít it wrong to deprive an animal of the natural right to reproduce?

NO, itís wrong to allow these animals to reproduce millions of unwanted offspring who are eventually killed because there arenít enough responsible homes.

If I find homes for my petsí litters then Iím not contributing to the problem, am I?

YES. Only a certain number of people want pets. So every home you found for your petís offspring took a home away from a loving animal already at a shelter.

Shouldnít every female pet have at least one litter before being spayed?

NO. In fact, your pet will be healthier if she never sexually matures. Her personality will not improve either. She is just as likely to become less social and more aggressive after having a litter as she is to become calmer and gentler.

Shouldnít children experience the miracle of birth?

NO. A more important lesson to teach your child would be responsible pet ownership and concern for life by explaining why their pet should not have babies.

Doesnít neutering alter an animalís personality?

NO. Personality changes that may result from neutering are for the better. Not being distracted by the instinctual need to find a mate helps stop roaming and be calmer; though not less protective of their territory.

Only females add to the overpopulation problem, right?

NO. A male may father far more offspring in his lifetime than a female can mother.

Wonít animal shelters take care of the surplus animals?

NO. Shelters try the best they can to place animals in loving homes, but the number of homeless animals far exceeds the number of available homes. This leaves many loving and healthy animals in our community who must be euthanized as the only humane solution to this tragic dilemma.
Only spaying and neutering can end the overpopulation problem.

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Why Neuter Rover?

Most people can see the obvious benefit of spaying a female dogóavoiding unwanted liftersóbut donít know the many medical and behavioral benefits of having their male dog neutered:

Neutered dogs are healthier. Neutered dogs are less likely to develop prostate problems and testicular tumors. By eliminating most roaming and fighting, neutering reduces the risk of injury and infection, saving you expensive veterinary bills.

Neutered dogs are more content and better behaved. Neutering reduces the annoying and embarrassing urge of male dogs to "mount" furniture or peopleís legs. Neutering reduces aggression against other animals. A male sensing a female in heat nearby may break down doors and jump fences, and will roam the neighborhood searching for her. Neutering relieves this sexual frustration and lets the dog relax and enjoy being part of the family. Dogs have no psychological sex drive. They feel no need to reproduce, and are happier when theyíre neutered.

Neutering is a relatively safe and painless operation done by a licensed veterinarian. In some areas, neutered dogs are eligible for reduced license fees that soon make up the cost of the operation.

By neutering your dog, you enhance his chances of living a long healthy life, save yourself a great deal of potential trouble and cost, and make your pet a more content family member.

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Last modified: August 21, 2012