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What you need to know about Canine Vaccinations

Canine Distemper:

  • Affects the respiratory, GI, and central nervous systems
  • Signs: Fever, runny nose, watery eyes, muscle twitching, seizures, and paralysis.
  • Canine Distemper can be potentially fatal!!
  • Transmitted by air borne droplets from infected dogs. Highly contagious.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis (Canine Adenovirus)

  • Viral disease that may damage organs such as: liver, kidney, spleen, and lungs
  • Dogs may continue shedding the virus in the urine for up to 6 months after recovery.
  • Signs: fever, thirst, runny nose and eyes, vomiting, bleeding, and respiratory disease.
  • Mortality rate is highest in young dogs.
  • Transmitted by ingestion of urine, feces, or saliva of infected dogs

Canine Parvovirus

  • Disease that affects the GI tract
  • Puppies mostly at risk
  • Signs: bloody diarrhea, fever, and lethargy
  • Potentially fatal. Puppies can respond well to the appropriate care.
  • Transmitted by contact with an infected dog or their feces

Canine Para Influenza

  •  Often is the virus that contributes to the cause of kennel cough
  • Signs: harsh and dry coughs, often times dry retching and gagging follow
  • Can be potentially fatal in immune-compromised dogs
  • When combined with bordetella bacteria it often results in kennel cough
  • Transmitted by airborne droplets by infected dogs


  • A bacteria that can cause disease in the liver, kidneys, and other organs.
  • Signs: Fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, joint and muscle pain
  • Transmittted through contact with another dog's urine


  • Virus that attacks the brain
  • Always fatal after signs appear
  • Signs: fever, vomiting, dehydration, loss of appetite, aggression, and paralysis
  • Transmitted by saliva, mucous or other secretions by an infected animal

What you need to know about Feline Vaccinations

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (feline herpesvirus)

  • Cause of nearly overhalf of upper respiratory infections in cats
  • Outcome is favorable for healthy adult cats
  • Signs: runny nose, sneezing, fever, and watery eyes
  • Transmitted by coughing or sneezing from an infected cat or by a handler

Feline Calicivirus

  • Major cause of upper respiratory infections in cats
  • Often is hand in hand with the feline herpesvirus
  • Outcome is favorable for healthy adult cats
  • Signs: oral ulcers, sneezing, coughing, drooling, and fever
  • Transmitted by droplets sneezed or coughed by an infected cat or by the handler.

Feline Panleukopenia (feline parvovirus or distemper)

  • Contagious virus that has a potential to kill cells in the bone marrow, intestines, and brain.
  • Prognosis is unfavorable for very young kittens or immune- compromised cats.
  • Signs: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite
  • Transmitted by saliva, mucous or other secretions from a sick cat.

Feline Leukemia Virus

  • A virus that can suppress the immune system making the cat highly vulnerable to disease.
  • Cats can appear healthy while still being infected with the virus.
  • Cats can survive with this virus as long as there is no secondary disease
  • Signs: are rarely seen in the early stages of the virus
  • Transmitted in saliva


  • Cats are the most common domestic animal infected with rabies
  • The virus attacks the brain
  • Always fatal after signs appear
  • Signs: fever, vomiting,dehydration, loss of appetite, aggression, paralysis
  • Transmitted by saliva, mucous or other secretions by an infected animal.

Pets and your plants

10 Household Plants That Are Dangerous to Dogs and Cats


Over 700 indoor/outdoor plants contain toxic substances that may harm dogs and cats.
If these plants are ingested, signs of poisoning can be mild to severe, sometimes even causing death.
Most houseplants have multiple names, so it is important to confirm that the houseplants you currently own or may purchase are not toxic to your pet.

Asparagus Fern

Asparagus fern (also called emerald feather, emerald fern, sprengeri fern, plumosa fern, and lace fern) is toxic to dogs and cats. The toxic agent in this plant is sapogenin?a steroid found in a variety of plants. If a dog or cat ingests the berries of this plant, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or abdominal pain can occur. Allergic dermatitis (skin inflammation) can occur if an animal is repeatedly exposed to this plant.

Corn Plant

Corn plant (also known as cornstalk plant, dracaena, dragon tree, and ribbon plant) is toxic to dogs and cats. Saponin is the toxic chemical compound in this plant. If this plant is ingested, vomiting (with or without blood), appetite loss, depression, and/or increased salivation can occur. Affected cats may also have dilated pupils.


Dieffenbachia (commonly known as dumb cane, tropic snow, and exotica) is toxic to dogs and cats. Dieffenbachia contains a chemical that is a poisonous deterrent to animals. If this plant is ingested, oral irritation can occur, especially on the tongue and lips. This irritation can lead to increased salivation, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting.

Elephant Ear

Elephant ear (also known as caladium, taro, pai, ape, cape, via, via sori, and malanga) contains a chemical similar to the one in dieffenbachia, so an animal?s toxic reaction to elephant ear is similar: oral irritation, increased salivation, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting.


Many plants of the lily family are considered toxic to cats, and some are considered toxic to dogs. Cats are the only animals in which the Easter and stargazer lilies are known to be toxic. Generally, a cat?s first toxic reaction to this plant includes vomiting, lethargy, and a lack of appetite, but severe kidney failure, and even death, can quickly follow if a cat is untreated. The peace lily (also known as Mauna Loa) is toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion of the peace lily or calla lily can cause irritation of the tongue and lips, increased salivation, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting.


Cyclamen (also known as sowbread) is a pretty, flowering plant that is toxic to dogs and cats. If ingested, this plant can cause increased salivation, vomiting and diarrhea. If an animal ingests a large amount of the plant?s tubers?which are found at the root, generally below the soil?heart rhythm abnormalities, seizures, and even death can occur.

Heartleaf Philodendron

Heartleaf philodendron (also known as horsehead philodendron, cordatum, fiddle-leaf, panda plant, split-leaf philodendron, fruit salad plant, red emerald, red princess, and saddle leaf) is a common, easy-to-grow houseplant that is toxic to dogs and cats. This philodendron contains a chemical that  can irritate the mouth, tongue, and lips of animals. An affected pet may also experience increased salivation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

Jade Plant

Jade plant (also known as baby jade, dwarf rubber plant, jade tree, Chinese rubber plant, Japanese rubber plant, and friendship tree) is toxic to cats and dogs. The toxic property in this plant is unknown, but ingestion of it can cause vomiting, depression, ataxia (incoordination), and bradycardia (slow heart rate; this is rare).

Aloe Plant

Aloe plant (also known as medicine plant and Barbados aloe) is a common, succulent plant that is toxic to dogs and cats. Aloin is considered the toxic agent in this plant. This bitter, yellow substance is found in most aloe species and may cause vomiting and/or the urine to become reddish.

Satin Pothos

Satin pothos (also known as silk pothos) is toxic to dogs and cats. If ingested by a cat or dog, this plant may irritate the mouth, lips, and tongue. The pet may also experience an increase in salivation, vomiting, and/or difficulty swallowing.

Learn More

For a full list of toxic and non-toxic indoor and outdoor plants, visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) website at or The Humane Society of the United States website at


First Aid and your pet

First Aid and Your Pet

One: Remain calm and try to keep your pet calm. Approach your pet with caution. An animal in pain may bite or scratch.
Two: If some sort of stabilization is possible (for example, direct pressure to slow down bleeding), try it?ideally while on the way to the veterinarian. If this is not possible, just get to the veterinarian as quickly as possible.
Three: Even if your pet seems all right after an injury, take him or her to the veterinarian. Injuries involving an eye, the head, a large wound, breathing difficulty, sudden or severe swelling, pain, significant blood loss, or trauma (such as a car accident) should be seen immediately.

Dealing with an injured pet can be scary and frustrating. In many cases, you don?t know how bad the injury is, and your pet may not be acting normally. If your pet is injured, the first thing you need to do is try to remain calm. If possible, try to determine how severe the injury is, but remember that caution is extremely important when approaching an injured animal. Any pet, no matter how calm or friendly he or she may usually be, can bite or scratch when in pain.

While all injuries should be seen by your veterinarian as soon as possible, injuries involving an eye, the head, a large wound, difficulty breathing, sudden or severe swelling, pain, significant blood loss, or trauma (such as a car accident) should be seen immediately. Even if your pet appears to be normal after an accident, it?s possible for him or her to have internal injuries that you can?t see, so it?s important to go to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

What to Do Before Transporting Your Pet

In some cases, it?s obvious that your pet needs immediate transportation to your veterinarian for treatment. To reduce the risk of greater injury, however, you first need to stabilize your pet for transport.

If you think your dog may snap or try to bite because of pain, make a makeshift muzzle by wrapping something around the snout to hold the mouth closed. Be sure not to obstruct the nostrils! A necktie, stocking, belt, or long sock may work well. Wrap the muzzle, but don?t tie a knot?you may need to get it off in a hurry. If your pet is panting heavily or having problems breathing, don?t try to muzzle. Cats should not be muzzled.

If your pet is unable to move, you should handle him or her as little as possible to avoid further injury. Gently slide the pet onto a flat board, such as a piece of plywood covered with a blanket, and loosely strap him or her in place with tape or rope for transportation. For less serious injuries, try to scoop the pet up into a large blanket or towel and head for the car. If your cat becomes aggressive, use a towel or blanket (and thick leather gloves, if possible) to scoop him or her into a box or other sturdy container that restricts movement but has plenty of airflow.


If there is no apparent bleeding, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately. If there is quite a bit of bleeding, apply direct pressure to the wound. Sterile gauze is the best option, but a clean cotton T-shirt will also work.

Hold the material firmly in place until the blood clots. If the bleeding is on a limb or paw and it does not slow down after direct pressure, make a makeshift tourniquet and tie it between the wound and the heart. A tourniquet is simply something that wraps or ties around an area. It should be snug enough to compress the vessels and slow down blood flow, but not so tight that it is painful or can damage muscles or nerves in the area. You can use some of the same things you might use for a makeshift muzzle?a stocking, necktie, belt, or long sock will work. Be sure to loosen the tourniquet for 20 seconds every 5 minutes. Only use a tourniquet if absolutely necessary. A misapplied tourniquet can result in permanent disability or even the need for amputation. Never apply a tourniquet to your pet?s neck or tail.

Signs of internal bleeding aren?t always obvious, but they can include blood running from the nose, mouth, or rectum; coughing blood; blood in the urine; pale gums; or a rapid or weak pulse. In this case, minimize handling to prevent further damage, and keep your pet as warm, still, and quiet as possible on the way to the veterinary clinic.


Without radiographs (x-rays), it may not be possible to tell if your pet has a fracture (a broken bone). If a limb is hanging or dangling, a fracture is likely. If your pet has a fracture, rest him or her on a flat, transportable surface, such as a piece of wood or tarpaulin, padded with blankets. You should not try to set a fracture. If you don?t know exactly where the break is (and how bad), you can make things worse. If a leg is clearly broken and the fracture is below the knee or wrist, you can try to wrap the area, first with cotton padding, then with something long and flexible, such as a magazine. This makeshift splint should extend one joint above and below the fracture. Secure it with tape and ensure that it is loose enough to maintain blood flow. If the fracture is above the knee or elbow, it will be very difficult to immobilize without making things worse, so just try to position the leg close to the body and get the pet to a veterinarian as quickly as possible. In most cases, it is best to handle the limb as little as possible and focus instead on getting your pet to the veterinary hospital.

If the injury is to an area that isn?t a limb, such as the spine, ribs, or hip, immobilize your pet as much as possible, carrying him or her on the transport that you created until he or she can be examined by your veterinarian.

Any injured animal, no matter how calm or friendly he or she may usually be, can bite or scratch when in pain, so use caution in handling an injured pet.


If your pet is burned with chemicals, flush the area immediately with large quantities of cool water. For burns from a heat source (fire, stovetop, etc.), gently flush with cool water or gently apply an ice pack wrapped in a soft towel.


Often, injuries can cause your pet to go into shock. The signs of shock can vary and may include a weak or forceful pulse, shallow or deep breathing, nervousness, and a dazed appearance. If your pet is in shock, keep him or her still, quiet, and warm and get to a veterinarian right away. If your pet is unconscious, keep his or her head level with the rest of the body and watch for signs of vomiting. If vomiting occurs, be prepared to tilt the head slightly below the rest of the body to prevent inhalation of the vomit, then return the head to the level position.

An Ounce of Prevention

To avoid panicking during a pet injury, prepare yourself ahead of time. Assemble a first aid kit that includes essential items like sterile gauze and bandage material, towels, and a thick blanket. In addition, know when your veterinarian?s office is open and the location of the nearest emergency clinic that is open after hours. Keep this information, including phone number and address, available where it?s easy to find.