On Monday, May 20, an EF5 tornado ripped through the town of Moore, Oklahoma. An EF5 tornado packs winds in excess of 261 miles per hour, and the devastation that results from this type of storm is transcendent. There is virtually nothing left standing that was in the path of that tornado, and the loss of life and personal property is a tragedy on a mind numbing scale.
The storm destroyed two elementary schools and severely damaged the regionâs main hospital. About 2,400 homes were leveled, and the State Medical Examinerâs office says at least 24 people, including nine children, were killed. Numerous dogs, cats, horses and others are loose, injured and frightened. The infrastructure of that area has taken a tremendous beating, and with it the ability to provide basic services to animals such as horses, birds, dogs and cats.
The Oklahoma State University Veterinary Hospital, in Stilwater immediately came to their aid. They are providing both emergency and ongoing care for the animal victims of the tornado at No Cost To Their Owners. The Animal Relief Fund, which will be used to cover the costs of theses services is in need. This program is entirely donation driven and each and every dollar makes a difference. If you are able to help, please contact them directly. [donation]For more information about the fund, visit the website or contact:
Heather Clay, Sr. Director of Development, OSU Foundation
Your donation will make an immediate difference to pets that need our help.
Thanks for your support!
Are Your Pets Protected?
On May 5, 2013, a boy discovered a bat acting strangelyÂ in his garage on theÂ 2300 block ofÂ Vanguard way, Costa Mesa, CA. Â The Health DepartmentÂ laterÂ tested the batÂ and has now confirmed that it died of rabies.
Rabies is a deadly and incurable disease in dogs, cats and humans alike.Â The plane truth is, if an animal that is infected with rabies bites you, or your pet, the result will be fatal.Â According to the California Department of Public Health, there were 434 confirmed cases of rabies in California last year.Â Â The Global Alliance for Rabies Control states that over 55,000 people word-wide died from rabies in 2011.
Rabies can occur in any mammal, and is found in bats, skunks, coyotes, non-human primates and many other wild animals. The disease is not exclusively transmitted by a bite, but also by saliva if it comes in contact with an open wound. That means any open wound, even as small as a scratch.Â Â It is a fatal diseaseÂ for all mammals, even humans.Â Our canine andÂ feline familyÂ members are at riskÂ as well asÂ childrenÂ and adults.
If your pet is exposed to a rabid animal, and is not vaccinated against rabies, Â State Health Department Officers will quarantine him or her for six months.Â â Yes,Â 6 months, if your pet is not vaccinated!Â If your pet contracts the disease, he or she will be euthanized. This is State Law. â You, your veterinarian, or your attorney cannot change this. Additionally, all dogs over four months of age are required by law to be vaccinated against rabies.
Fortunately, the vaccination for dogsÂ andÂ cats is a safe and effective defense to protect your pets and your family.Â The World Health Organization recommends that our pets receive their first rabies vaccination when they are four months old; their second vaccination one year later; and a booster vaccination every three years thereafter.Â All of my pets are protected using this protocol and so should yours be protected!Â If your petâs rabies vaccine has expired, if your furry companion has never had a rabies shot, or if you are just unsure of his or her vaccine status, now is the time to act. â Contact your veterinarian immediately.
For your familyâs safety,Â be certainÂ that your pets are vaccinated!
For more information you contactÂ my office at Â 949-722-7387.Â Â Dr. Bâ¦
Is Your Pool Safe?
If you have a friend who camps or fishes, you may have heard that they had been infected with Giardia. Or your veterinarian may have told you that your cat or dog had Giardia. In either case, you probably wondered, can I catch it as well?
Giardia is a protozoan parasite (one-celled organism) that can infect a variety of species, including our four-legged pets and people too. The human form of Giardia really likes people, the canine form likes dogs, the feline form likes cats, and the ruminant form likes cows and sheep. But it is possible for any of the forms to infect any of the other species.
In all species, whether pet or person, Giardia lives in the intestinal tract. It may cause no symptoms, especially at first, but with time and as the organism becomes more numerous as it propagates, diarrhea commonly occurs. Some people may have more long standing or severe disease; then the symptoms can also include abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and weight loss.Â Pets also get diarrhea when infected, but they tend to get diagnosed faster as it is common to do regular fecal testing in veterinary medicine.
Giardia cysts are passed in the feces of infected animals and people.Â These cysts are resistant to environmental extremes, and thus can live in feces or fecal contaminated soil, surfaces, and especially water, for a long time.
Pets and people are usually exposed from contaminated sources in the environment.Â Giardia is a common cause of recreational water illness, from pools, water parks, water play areas, hot tubs, lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, and oceans. Pets and people swallowing even a small amount of water can become infected. You share the water, and the germs in it, with every person or animal who enters that water. The infective Giardia cysts can also be present on other surfaces contaminated with feces such as bathroom fixtures, changing tables, diaper pails, and toys. Uncooked, fresh produce can be contaminated as well.
With a few simple precautions, our pets can safely share our pools with us.Â Luckily, Giardia is easily diagnosed in veterinary medicine. There are two tests commonly performed: a microscope test called: âova and parasitesâ (O&P) where a technician looks for the presence of the parasite in a solution made from the feces and then centrifuged. The other test also uses a stool sample, but uses a more sophisticated method to check for any DNA of the Giardia parasite.
Treatment is usually very rewarding. Drugs commonly used are metronidazole or fenbendazole, occasionally, they may be used at the same time or in sequence.
What can you do to prevent infection in the first place?Â Have your petsâ stool checked regularly for parasites (at least twice yearly for all pets that go outdoors or eat raw food.). Practice strict hygiene, cleaning surfaces that could become contaminated by stool. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom, and insist your children do as well. Every day, place any dog and cat feces from your property into plastic bags that will go to a landfill. If you have a pool, keep it well maintained, donât allow any person or pet in the pool if they have diarrhea, and have everyone shower (with soap) before entering the pool. Donât allow children to defecate while in the pool. Donât swallow any water when you are in a pool or any other type of recreational water. Wash all produce well before consuming.
Giardia is a common parasite. Your veterinarian can check your pets for Giardia by performing a stool test, and treat if necessary. You can preventÂ your family from being infected by using common sense and good hygiene practices.
I hope this helps.
Helping pet owners help their pets â one paw-print at a time. Dr. Bâ¦