Posts Tagged ‘Rabies’

If it has teeth, it can bite.

If it has teeth, it can bite.

Every year, thousands of people seek emergency medical treatment for dog bites. How can you avoid being one of them? Follow these tips from State Farm Insurance and the American Veterinary Medical Association:

“Be cautious around strange dogs and treat your own pet with respect. Because children are the most frequent victims of dog bites, parents and caregivers should:

  • NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
  • Be on the lookout for potentially dangerous situations.
  • Start teaching young children — including toddlers — to be careful around pets.
     “Children must be taught NOT to approach strange dogs. Children should be taught to ask permission from a dog’s owner before petting the dog.”
     “Other tips that may prevent or stop a dog attack:
  • Don’t run past a dog. Dogs naturally love to chase and catch things. Don’t give them a reason to become excited or aggressive.
  • Never disturb a dog that’s caring for puppies, sleeping or eating.
  • If a dog approaches to sniff you — stay still. In most cases, the dog will go away when it determines you are not a threat.
  • If you’re threatened by a dog, remain calm. Don’t scream. If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly. Avoid eye contact. Try to stay still until the dog leaves, or back away slowly until the dog is out of sight. Don’t turn and run.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck. Protect your face.”
     These tips and more are available in a brochure at our office.
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This article originally appeared on our blog on June 21, 2011.

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TagsIs your dog or cat 4 months of age or older? If so, it should have a current Rabies vaccination, which will be issued along with a Rabies tag. When placed on your pet’s collar, the tag provides valuable information to help people return your pet if he or she runs away.


But did you know there is another tag your pet should be wearing?
It’s the city pet license tag. 

All dogs are required to be licensed by the city in which they live.  Some cities, such as Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, issue cat licenses, as well.  Pet licenses must be renewed each year and are granted to pets that have a current Rabies vaccination.

There is a small cost involved, and pet owners typically receive a discount on licensing fees for each spayed or neutered pet.  Senior citizens may receive an additional discount on fees for spayed or neutered pets.

     Click on your city’s name for information on license fees, due dates, and issuing agencies.

The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all dogs and cats over four months old to be vaccinated against Rabies

Virginia has also instituted a law requiring veterinarians to forward Rabies vaccination information to local city treasurers.  The treasurer compares information received from the veterinarians with its roster of licensed animals.  If an owner has not purchased a license, the treasurer will mail a notice to the owner requesting compliance.

Veterinarians are not required to report unlicensed animals to city agencies.  Our concern is the public health aspect of ensuring that pets and their owners are protected against Rabies, since Rabies is present in Hampton Roads.  Pet owners are responsible for complying with pet license rules in their city of residence.

A final note: a microchip ID is not a substitute for a Rabies or city license tag, nor are the tags a substitute for a microchip ID. Each form of identification has its own merits. To protect your pet with permanent identification that will not wear off, get lost, or be removed by a stranger, ask us for the HomeAgain microchip on your pet’s next visit.

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This post appeared on January 22, 2013.

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How popular are cats in our culture?

*Google reports that “cats” are searched more than 30 million times a month.

*”Keyboard Cat” has been viewed on You Tube more than 34 million times.
(The oldest cat video on You Tube is boxing cats from 1894: youtu.be/r6faUd2fV4U)

*”Funny cats” are searched on Google over 360,000 times a month.

*The Humane Society calculates that there are over 95 million cats living in American homes.

There is no doubt that cats are popular and beloved in America — yet cats visit the vet only half as often as dogs, including for routine care and wellness visits.

A recent study by Bayer revealed that, while 83% of cat owners brought their pet to the vet in its “kitten year,” the number dropped precipitously after that. Only 37% of respondents reported bringing their cat to the vet for a wellness checkup within the last year.

Some cat owners prefer to visit the vet only when their cat shows obvious signs of illness or injury. But it is important to remember that cats possess the survival trait of masking signs of weakness, until it is too sick to continue this behavior.

An annual check-up can help uncover clues to a larger problem.

For instance, has your kitty stopped eating her dry food because she’s picky — or has she developed painful dental disease?

Is your cat vomiting every day due to hairballs — or might he have an undiagnosed intestinal disorder?

Does your elderly cat have a new favorite place to sleep — or is arthritis pain keeping him from jumping up to his regular spot?

At home, do you regularly lift your cat’s tail to check for Tapeworm segments? Not everyone does, but the doctor checks this area during the cat’s exam. We’ve caught many a Tapeworm by suprise this way.

During check-ups, we’ve also found fleas with our trusty flea comb, discovered ingrown claws and uncovered hidden puncture wounds. Cats are masters of disguise, but your vet can help you root out their secrets.

Regarding Rabies — let’s look at the law:

ALL cats identified as having an owner must have a current Rabies vaccine, even if the cat never goes outdoors or has contact with animals that go outdoors

and

Norfolk requires that all cats over 4 months of age have a Rabies vaccine and pet license. Licensing requirements vary by city, so check with your city treasurer or click here.

Cats may have gotten a reputation as solitary, self-sufficient creatures — but they do need your help.

If your cat hasn’t had a wellness checkup in over a year, call us to schedule her appointment.

And if you need help getting a fiesty feline into a cat carrier, check out this video for tips on loading your kitty for a trip to the vet.

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This guy is super-fly (and super fat.)

This guy is super-fly (and super fat.)

Today’s Feline Fast Facts are all about Super Cats:

  • The loudest purr by a domestic cat is 67.7 decibels and was achieved by Smokey, owned by Lucinda Ruth Adams of Northampton, UK in 2011.
  • Colonel Meow, a Himalayan-Persian cross who died earlier this year, held the world record for longest fur on a cat — 9 inches.
  • In Talkeetna, Alaska, a cat named Stubbs has been the mayor since July 1997.
  • A French female cat named Felicette became the first cat to fly on the fringes of space in 1963. She was launched in the nose cone of a Veronique AG1 rocket and parachuted back to earth, safe and sound.
  • In 2009, a 3-year-old cat named Lucky fell 26 stories from a Manhattan apartment and survived the fall.
  • The CIA’s Acoustic Kitty operation in the 1960s tried to use cats to obtain secret recordings at the Kremlin and Soviet embassies.

Even the average cat is super, compared to humans:

  • Cats can see in light 8 times dimmer than what people need for vision.
  • Domestic cats can jump up to five times their own height.
  • A cat’s field of vision is 285 degrees, compared to 210 degrees in people.
  • Collarbones in cats are free-flowing, enabling them to squeeze through small places.

 

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May 18th through 24th is National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

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On Tuesday, we discussed how to prevent dog bites at home, including how to read canine body language. Avoiding dog bites at home is only half the equation, though. Understanding your own dog’s moods and idiosyncrasies is one thing — but what of the unfamiliar dog?

These tips may prevent or stop an attack by other dogs:

  • Never leave children unsupervised around dogs. Children are the most frequent victims of dog bites.
  • Teach your children not to approach strange dogs. 
  • Children should be taught to ask permission from the dog’s owner before petting it. Some dogs do not like being petted, so remind kids that sometimes the answer will be “NO.” 
  • Don’t run past a dog. Dogs love to chase and catch things. Don’t give them a reason to become excited or aggressive.
  • If a dog approaches to sniff you — stay still. In most cases, the dog will go away when it determines you’re not a threat.
  • If you’re threatened by a dog, remain calm. (We know — this can be tough!) Speak calmly and firmly, if you must talk. Avoid eye contact with the dog. Stay still until he leaves, or back away slowly until he is out of sight. Don’t turn and run.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck, and protect your face.
  • Dogs that travel in pairs or packs can become dangerous when they spot a target. If you see stray* dogs traveling together in your neighborhood, stay indoors and contact your local animal control officers.

*In this context, “stray” refers to dogs that are homeless or have escaped their yard.

If you are bitten:

  • Seek medical care.
  • Contact authorities and tell them everything you can about the dog, including its owner’s name, color/breed/size of the dog, and where you saw the dog (if animal control officers need to locate it.)
  • You have the right to know the dog’s Rabies vaccination status. The owner will be asked to provide this information to animal control officers who will then inform you of the pet’s status. Depending on this information, you may need to receive Rabies post-exposure vaccines as a precaution.

Information for this article was adapted from “Don’t worry, they won’t bite,” a brochure provided by the AVMA, Insurance Information Institute, and State Farm, and is available at our office.

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TagsAll dogs are required to be licensed by the city in which they live.  Some cities, such as Norfolk and Virginia Beach, issue cat licenses, as well.  Pet licenses must be renewed each year and are granted to pets that have a current Rabies vaccination.

Pet owners typically receive a discount on licensing fees for each spayed or neutered pet.  Senior citizens may receive an additional discount on fees for spayed or neutered pets.

     Click on your city’s name for information on license fees, due dates, and issuing agencies.

The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all dogs and cats over four months old to be vaccinated against Rabies

     Virginia has also instituted a law requiring veterinarians to forward Rabies vaccination information to local city treasurers.  The treasurer compares information received from the veterinarians with its roster of licensed animals.  If an owner has not purchased a license, the treasurer will mail a notice to the owner requesting compliance.

     Veterinarians do not report unlicensed animals to city agencies.  Our concern is the public health aspect of ensuring that pets and their owners are protected against Rabies, since the disease is present in Hampton Roads.  Pet owners are responsible for complying with pet license rules in their city of residence.

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This post originally appeared on February 24, 2011.

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     The Virginian-Pilot reported today that a fox in Norfolk tested positive for Rabies, after it had bitten four dogs.  The dogs were current on Rabies vaccines and are being quarantined and observed for illness.

     The newspaper reported that the fox attacked dogs in the Meadow Lake neighborhood (off North Military Highway), which includes Tulane Road, Bridle Way, and Coinbrook Avenue.  Residents there have already been notified of the attack.

     So why should we care, especially if the fox is dead?  Because Rabies does not arise spontaneously.  In other words, the fox contracted the disease from a source that may or may not still be alive, posing a danger to others.  Rabies is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily through the wild animal population.

     At this time of year, as food sources become less readily available for wildlife, animals may get bolder in foraging, forcing them further into neighborhoods.  Do not approach wild animals, especially foxes and raccoons, even if they seem to be tame. 

     In fact, a change in a wild animal’s behavior or attitude [such as appearing tame; approaching people and animals; nocturnal animals foraging during daylight] can be a sign of Rabies due to its effect on the brain.

     If your pet is bitten or scratched by a wild animal, contact your veterinarian for instructions and to verify your pet’s Rabies vaccine status.  Also call Animal Control so they can trap and test the wild animal.  

     Above all, take the time now to verify your pet’s Rabies vaccine status.  If it is not current, schedule a trip to the vet.  It can mean the difference between life and death for your dog or cat.

     For information on what to do if you are bitten, refer to my earlier blog post here.

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     Because Rabies is present and active in Virginia, public health authorities take the possibility of its transmission very seriously.  

     Unvaccinated pets that bite people or are bitten by a wild animal can be subject to euthanasia.  Euthanasia is necessary to test the animal’s brain tissue for the presence of disease.  

     Pets that have an up-to-date Rabies vaccination are often merely quarantined, by contrast.  To preserve your pet’s life, whether it bites a person or is bitten by an animal, preventative Rabies vaccination is its best hope.

     Follow these guidelines if your pet has bitten someone:

  • Tell the person bitten to see a doctor immediately.  Report the bite to the local health department.  If your pet is a dog, cat, or ferret, they will probably have you confine the animal and watch it closely for 10 days.  Report any illness or unusual behavior to your local health department and veterinarian immediately.
  • Don’t let the animal stray, and don’t give the animal away. It must be available for observation by public health authorities.
  • Don’t kill your pet or allow it to be killed unless you have been instructed to do so by the public health authorities.
  • After the recommended observation period, have your pet vaccinated for Rabies if it does not have a current vaccination.
(Resource:  Virginia Department of Health)
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This article was originally slated to appear Thursday, Sept. 29th.  I apologize for its delay. 

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