Friday, October 30, 2009

Canine Influenza or H3N8

Canine Influenza is a highly contagious disease caused by a flu virus in dogs, which spreads by direct contact with infected dogs to other dogs and by coughing or sneezing. It has been reported here in the US since 2003 and is currently in 30 states including all the east coast states except Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island. Outbreaks have been reported in kennels, shelters, vet clinics and dog events. All dogs are susceptible to it and those that show no signs of the flu can easily be carriers.

Humans can also spread the disease to dogs by handling infected dogs, not only by their hands, but on their clothes. This is why all those who deal with dogs in any manner; groomers, vets, assistants, pet sitters, trainers, handlers, rescue groups, shelters, breeders, etc. should be aware of handling dogs and dogs with symptoms of the flu. Humans will not contract Canine Influenza.

There is a series of two vaccinations taken two to four weeks apart that will help in protecting your dog. Of course, there is nothing like keeping your dog healthy by providing good food, water, plenty of rest and exercise. A trip to your vet for more information is strongly suggested. If you must board your pet, make sure the facility is clean and well maintained. Also ask if they have an influenza outbreak management plan.

To learn even more:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pet Sitting Story continues

Can we play some games on your computer? Danny and Eric almost asked at one time.

Put your clothes and things up in your room. I need to save and quit my finished


Rushing, noisy footsteps hit the wooden floors as the boys went upstairs to throw their

knapsacks on the beds to get to use the computer. Aunt Sharon got supper ready while

the boys played a war game. It took a bit of persuasion, but the boys finally got off the

computer to eat and then get ready for a day of pet sitting.

Tomorrow will be very busy, started Aunt Sharon. We not only have the pet sits to do,

but also these notices to hand out that I’ve written about Hurricane preparedness; what to

do and where to take your pets. I don’t want any pet to be left behind. So that you boys

can help me out, I have spoken with my clients for this weekend. Everyone has given me

permission for you to be on their property and care for their pets.

Aunt Sharon then laid out the schedule for the morning. General needs to be fed, watered

and exercised first.

A Chesapeake Bay Retriever mix, General didn’t really like the water, but he loved the

boys. A big brown dog , General would run around the house and whine when he couldn’t

go with Eric or Danny to play basketball or hang out with them and their friends.

Sometimes, when mom insisted that General be walked, the boys would put on their inline

skates and with General on a long leash, would allow him to run and pull them down the

street. Being a young retriever, General needed to do some “work” to keep him happy

and healthy. Also it tired him out.

Continuing, Aunt Sharon finished the list. Jake needs his walk and some treats.

Mountaineer and Geee need to be brushed, given a hay bail and a few Llama treats.

Phoenix needs her breakfast and litter pan cleaned, and Spencer also needs his breakfast

and stall cleaned. We need to give everyone water.

This all needs to be done again in the evening, except for Mountaineer and Geee, They

will be OK until tomorrow, as long as we make sure they have enough water.

After breakfast the next day, Aunt Sharon placed all the client folders for the day in her file

carrier and checked to make sure she had all the keys that were needed. She then placed a

pile of Hurricane Preparedness brochures with a rubber band around them on top of her file

carrier as a reminder to give them to clients stores and shops around the area.

Let’s go boys, Aunt Sharon called as she slowly came up the stairs from the den to the

hallway. General is waiting.

General was ready to go for his morning run when Eric and Danny got to their house. The

sky was clear and the day promised to be sunny. After the boys put on their inline skates,

General was fitted with a leather harness and a six foot long rope was attached to its ring on

the top.

I’ll go first, said Eric. Away went General and like a water skier, Eric held onto the end of the

rope. Speeding around the circle, Danny skated as fast as he could behind them. Then it

was Danny’s turn.

Usually about the second time around, it happened. From behind the house with a private

fence with a locked gate, came a flash of tan and a playful bark. It was Harley and his owner

was sure to follow............