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Parasite Preventatives & Dog Vaccinations

Cat and Dog Vaccinations and Parasite Prevention for Your Pets

Spring is here! Now is the time to start parasite preventatives and dog vaccinations in preparation for the warmer months ahead. Year-round use of heartworm, as well as, flea and tick prevention is recommended for pets that travel outside of central Oregon during the winter. For those who use seasonal preventatives, we have already seen cases of fleas, lice, and intestinal parasites this spring- apparently, this winter was not as tough on bugs as it was on us! Talk with our staff to discuss the safest and most effective options to protect your pet.

Last summer Central Oregon had an outbreak of Kennel Cough. This affected large numbers of dogs living in and visiting the area. Kennel Cough is a syndrome that causes a dry hacking cough in dogs. It is generally transmitted by close contact between dogs but don’t let the name fool you! Your dog can be exposed at the dog park, the groomers, daycare and even on play dates. The vaccine we administer is an intra-nasal vaccine that will help protect against two of the organisms that have been known to cause this syndrome. Rarely, Kennel Cough can progress to pneumonia so we recommend that all of our patients be vaccinated. Please call if you have any questions about the safety or efficacy of this vaccine. For a full list of recommended vaccinations for Central Oregon pets follow this link, Central Oregon Pet Vaccinations.

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Riverside Animal Hospital Landscape Photography

Riverside Animal Hospital’s Landscape Photography

Mike Putnam’s Landscape Photography at Riverside Animal Hospital

Here at Riverside, we periodically field questions about our recent remodel of the inside of our animal hospital.  One of the most commonly asked about subjects is the landscape photographs that reside in the clinic.  Our landscape photographs were all captured and created by  Oregon Landscape Photographer, Mike Putnam.  Mike is a retired equine veterinarian and a full-time professional landscape photographer who, not coincidentally, is married to our very own, Dr. Debbie Putnam. We have several of Mike’s framed Landscape photographs displayed, including this big beautiful print, Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area which can be behind the front desk in our reception area.  

Riverside Animal Hospital, Front Desk

Riverside Animal Hospital, Front Desk

Mike captures all of his fine art Landscape photography with a large format 4×5 film camera.  His camera is part of what allows him to make huge landscape photographs with exceptional detail( the framed Mt. Jefferson print behind our reception desk is over 5 feet tall!).  We also have photos of Mt. Rainier, the Metolius River and  “Summit Sunrise”, an image that Mike captured from the summit of South Sister in the Three Sisters Wilderness Area at our hospital.  To view more of Mike’s beautiful fine art landscape Photographs, visit his website, Mike Putnam Photography.

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Heat Stroke in Dogs & Cats

Heat Stoke in Dogs & Cats

As we slip into the cooler weather of the fall, I find myself wanting to log more miles in my running shoes. Even more, game than I am, Walter, my lab, sees my running shoes and knows that this is the moment he has been waiting for all of his life (or at least since our last run together).  As he jumps and spins by our front door, begging to come along, the guilt of not taking him outweighs the worry I have about the run being too long or too hot.  Now I must adjust my plan to accommodate his needs- the length of run, access to shade during the run, availability of water to drink and cool off in to name a few to help avoid heat stroke for my dog.   

Heat stroke in dogs and cats can occur when an animal’s body temperature exceeds 105 degrees Fahrenheit. This most often occurs when animals are left in cars without adequate ventilation.  A study by Stanford University showed that the temperature within a vehicle can increase by up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit in a one hour time period regardless of the outside temperature.  So let’s do the math.  Let’s pretend I put Walter in the car and go for a run at 8:00 am.  It is a lovely 60 degrees out and we run for 1 hour on the river trail.  On the way back to town, I decide to stop at Safeway to get some grocery shopping done- only now it is 65 degrees out.  Still cool enough, right?  I am in the store for an hour and when I get back to the car, Walter is a wobbly, panting, droopy puddle of a dog and it is 105 degrees in the car!  

What should you do about heat stroke?

If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heat stroke, immediately remove him from the environment he is in and put him in a cooler one.  A direct fan on him/ her is a good idea.  Wet the ears and paws with cool water and place cool wet towels on the armpits, belly, and neck.  The water should be cool but not cold and do not use ice packs too cool.  Allow access to cool, fresh drinking water if your pet is not vomiting.  If you are able to take your pet’s temperature, cool until the body temperature reaches 103 degrees Fahrenheit.  Once this is achieved, it is time to get your pet back in the car to head to your veterinarian as heat stroke is a condition that affects many body systems and cooling is not enough. Animals that suffer from heat stroke can develop life-threatening blood clotting disorders, kidney issues, gastrointestinal problems and more.  It is imperative that they are evaluated by a veterinarian.  

Who is at risk?

During my veterinary career, I have seen all makes and models of dogs and cats develop heat stroke. Some dogs are more prone than others: Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, overweight dogs, Labrador Retrievers (Labs can have a genetic condition that makes them more prone to heat intolerance and exercise induced collapse), to name a few.  I have seen dogs that are quite fit and seemingly accustomed to running in the heat collapse, as well.  The cats I have treated were almost always mistakenly locked in a garage or attic without water for several days.  As you can imagine, none of these incidents were intentionally malicious, and all were tragic for the pet and owner.  Even with a good outcome, the guilt the family member suffered was heart-wrenching on its own.

The take home message is- any animal is susceptible to heat stroke.  It is up to us to prevent it.  When the weather turns cooler, it is easy to forget that they are wearing a fur coat and cool their whole body by panting – which in turn makes the car they might be locked in even hotter.  

Sometimes, it is better for them to be left at home!

 

 

 

 

 

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Last One in the Pool…..

WATER SAFETY

Many of us live in central Oregon because we love water- the lakes and rivers provide ample opportunities for swimming, fishing, camping and paddling. And to be a dog here? Heaven! But just as with people, there are a number of ways dogs can get into trouble

First off, dogs do drown. Some don’t swim very well (or at all) and get into trouble. Others are good swimmers, but get in bad situations. Life vests are an excellent idea if your dog is around fast moving or deep water (out on a lake). Avoid having your pet off-leash in areas of rivers with fast moving water, waterfalls, or cliffs. Keep your dog on a leash in these areas to prevent accidents from happening. You just never know when “SQUIRREL!” might happen.

Second, dogs are susceptible to toxic algae and water parasites just like we are. If there are alerts for humans not to swim in a body of water, do not allow your dog to swim there either. Blue green algae is the most well-known toxic algae in this area and levels are tested in certain lakes. The following website Algae Bloom Advisories  posts alerts and has additional information on what to look for as not all lakes are monitored. In addition to algae, dogs can contract Giardia which is an infection that causes diarrhea and occasionally vomiting. This can be transmitted to other members of your family so seek veterinary care if your pet develops diarrhea after swimming in the lakes or rivers around here. Salmon poisoning is actually an infection that your dog can contract after eating infected raw fish. The most common symptoms of this disease are high fever and diarrhea. This is seen more commonly in the Willamette Valley but some of the local lakes are stocked with fish that have been exposed to the infectious agent.

p>Third, dogs can actually drink too much water and get water toxicity. Go figure! If your dog loves playing in the water and swallows water as they frolic, pull them out every 30 minutes and have them take a break. Water toxicity is rare, but we do see cases in this area because of the popularity of visiting lakes and playing at the rivers. Symptoms usually occur within 1-3 hours of consuming way too much water and are a result of severe electrolyte imbalances- death can result. Symptoms can include ataxia (wobbliness), seizures, inability to walk, and coma.

Central Oregonians love the outdoors and love to enjoy it with their four legged family members. Remember, if you would not let your child do something, it is probably not safe for your dog!

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Is Your Dog Afraid of Fireworks & Thunderstorms?

Is Your Dog Afraid of Fireworks & Thunderstorms?

Our roller coaster approach to summer is in full swing, with thunderstorms and hail keeping us on our toes! For many dogs in central Oregon, thunder is no fun at all.  But perhaps worse for many dogs is the 4thof July and…. dare we say it, fireworks. Between lighting our yards on fire, burning our clothes, chasing kids with sparklers who are chasing kids, and figuring out a vantage point to watch Pilot Butte light up…the 4th of July can be quite a chaotic time for pets and people!
 
Here are some tips on how to help make these frightening times a little less frightening (and safer!) for your 4-legged friends:
  1.  Make sure your pet has ID on them. Collar and microchip. It’s important. Our local humane societies reach max capacity EVERY YEAR over 4th of July with all the dogs that panic during fireworks and run away. EVERY YEAR this happens. Please have identification on your pet.
  2. During the week of 4th of July, when your enthusiastic neighbors are testing their fireworks for the big day, do not leave your dog outside unattended. The same goes for days when thunderstorms are forecasted. Don’t leave them the backyard while you go to work or run to the store. They are going to panic and jump (or dig) and run. And not be there when you get home. A happy ending is they end up safely at the humane society or with a neighbor.  A sad ending is they get injured or lost.
  3. Put your pet in a quiet place- ideally, the most sound-proof part of the house, and close the doors.
  4. If they are crate-trained, have them in their crate. We want them in a place they feel safe and secure.
  5. Provide some kind of white noise- a fan works great. Music, radio and TV generally don’t work well because they all have sound fluctuations. You want something that generates a steady sound.
  6. Sedatives to help calm your pet are available from your veterinarian. For many pets they must be given hours before the thunderstorm or fireworks in order to work. Give the sedative, and make sure your pet is then kept quiet and calm so they get the best effect. This is very important. If your pet is exercised or otherwise stimulated after giving the sedative, it is not going to work as well.
Dogs that display mild signs of anxiety can often be distracted by treats, new toys, playing a game of fetch, or engaging them in some favorite activity. These are all great things to do with your pet to help them associate scary loud noises with good things. 
 
If you have further questions, please feel free to give us a call!
Here’s to a happy and healthy summer!
Sarah Cummings
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"Bishop" Green.

Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes in Oregon

 Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes in Oregon (Specifically Bend, OR and Surrounding Areas)

When I arrived in Central Oregon (many) years ago, I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes were things of the past.  I bragged to friends back in the eastern United States that we did not have mosquitos in Oregon and, therefore, we did not have heartworms.  When I left Alabama, we were treating 5 to 7 cases of adult heartworms per week and every dog that left our clinic was placed on heartworm preventative.  I also remember spending time every night picking ticks off of Muncie, my black lab that I had while in Veterinary School.  And fleas….. I do not even want to think about the flea infestations.  A number of chemicals that were poured, sprayed and aerosolized in my presence during that time could not have been good for anyone!  

Fast forward to 2015.  Mild winters and warm summers in Central Oregon have resulted in an increase prevalence of these blood sucking creatures. We are seeing more fleas and ticks so far this year than in previous years.  With an increase in a number of ticks, comes in an increase in the possibility of tick-borne diseases.  The following tick-borne diseases have been reported in Oregon: 

  • Lyme disease: transmitted by the Western Black Legged Tick (Deer Tick) is characterized by fever, joint pain, rash and joint swelling.
  • Ehrlichiosis: transmitted by the Western Black Legged Tick (Deer Tick) is characterized fever, malaise, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cough.
  • Babesiosis: transmitted by the Western Black Legged Tick (Deer Tick) is characterized by fever, chills, sweating, muscle aches and fatigue.

Mosquitos transmit Heartworm Disease  (HWD) which has not historically been an issue in Central Oregon.  As nights get warmer and the ambient temperature rises, we will start to see more cases of Heartworm disease.  Additionally, if you travel with your pet to warmer climates (Willamette Valley, California, etc) they are at higher risk to develop Heartworms.  To date, all of the cases of HWD in Central Oregon that I have seen, have a travel history that suggests exposure elsewhere.

Fleas are not only a nuisance but can occasionally transmit disease.  In 2012, Prineville had a  case of the Plague which is caused by a type of bacteria called Yersinia Pestis. This organism is transmitted by fleas to mammals.  Oregon has had 5 incidents of the Plague since 1995. The Plague is characterized by fever, malaise, and enlarged lymph nodes. Current recommendation to prevent the spread of this disease revolves around flea prevention in animals.

There are many new products on the market that work well to either repel or kill these critters.  We are currently carrying the following products:

  • Bravecto: This is an oral chew that lasts 3 months. It kills fleas within hours and ticks within a day.  It is safe for your dog but it is not approved for cats.  It is currently not labeled for use in treating lice but the early data is promising.
  • Parastar Plus: Topical flea and tick product that kills lice, as well.  It works for 30 days.  It is not safe for use in cats and caution should be used if using it on a dog that has close contact with cats.
  • Trifexis: A monthly tablet that kills fleas and prevents heartworm disease and intestinal parasites.  Trifexis is not labeled for lice and does not control ticks.
  • Interceptor is a monthly heartworm preventative.  It is also efficacious in treating intestinal parasites.

There are many over the counter topical products and collars that have been met with varying success.  Please feel free to call us if you have any questions about flea, tick, and heartworm products.  Here’s to a bug-free summer!

 

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Riverside Animal Hospital Grand Opening

Happy Spring to our old and new clients! We are so excited to be back in your life! 

If 2014 had a rocky and confusing closure for all of us, 2015 has offered it’s share of lessons (both funny and painful).  We have had a crash course in starting a business and thankfully, have run into a lot of kind, knowledgeable and supportive people out in our community that have talked with us, encouraged us, laughed with (and sometimes at) us.  For them we are eternally grateful and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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