The arrival of the summer has many families looking forward to the excitement that this year’s travel season holds. Whether the destination is a beach, the mountains, the big city, or something more exotic, more and more people are bringing their pets along for the ride. The growing acceptance and enjoyment of pets in our modern society makes traveling with pets easier than ever, but there are still plenty of precautions pet owners need to be aware of.
Before you hit the road or skies with your four-legged travelå buddy, check out our ideas for safe and harmonious travel with pets.
Traveling with Pets
Your pet is a part of your family, and it can be hard to imagine leaving them behind while everyone else goes off on an adventure. Not all pets are good candidates for travel companions, however, so take the following into consideration before booking that pet friendly suite: Continue…
At Shelden Veterinary Care, we work tirelessly to provide the gold standard of veterinary care and exceptional service to our furry patients and their families. One of the ways we do this is through our accreditation from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), which sets the benchmark for veterinary medicine and its operations.
We’re proud of our AAHA accreditation, knowing only 15% of all veterinary clinics throughout North America have earned this prestigious honor. Let’s take a closer look at these rigorous standards and how they benefit our pet families.
What is AAHA?
The American Animal Hospital Association is the only organization dedicated to evaluating and setting standards of care for veterinary practices in the United States and Canada. Created in 1993, AAHA has established criteria in over 900 areas of veterinary care for companion animals. Continue…
Canine influenza virus (CIV), or dog flu, has been the talk of the town among pet owners here in Louisville. In fact, the local CIV outbreak has been quite strange and rather aggressive – to the point that this new strain of dog flu is named after our city!
What is canine influenza and where did it come from? And, how can you protect your dog from this ever-changing risk to your pet’s health and well-being? The team at Shelden Veterinary Care can help you understand the risks posed by the recent outbreak.
What Is Canine Influenza?
Canine influenza was first diagnosed in 2004 in a group of greyhounds in Florida. At that time, the strain was isolated to H3N8, and a vaccine was quickly made available. The latest strain in canine flu is H3N2, which was discovered in the greater Chicago area in 2015. While many pets have been exposed to and/or vaccinated against the old strain, this new one spread quickly among unvaccinated dogs.
Like many respiratory illnesses, canine flu is highly contagious and can spread quickly between infected and unvaccinated animals. It also isn’t static to one area. When people and their pets begin traveling this spring and summer, there’s an increased level of risk as the number of infected dogs continues to grow.
Symptoms of the virus range from mild to serious. Dogs with compromised immunity, puppies, and senior pets are at an increased risk.
The following are signs that your pet may have contracted canine influenza:
- Nasal discharge
- Rapid breathing
- Shallow breathing
- Loss of appetite
The Louisville Strain of Dog Flu
Since last autumn, we have experienced a sharp spike in the number of cases of canine influenza and the increased severity of the symptoms. From this, we have determined that the current vaccine against H3N2 does not seem to be effective against this new resurgence in our area.
The current vaccines don’t defend against the Louisville strain, but people should still get their dogs vaccinated, as the vaccine will protect against the normal strain. Additionally, the vaccine manufacturers will pay for treatment on vaccinated dogs that become infected, even if they find the dog has this new strain.
We will continue to provide updates as we learn more.
Ways to Protect Your Pet From the Dog Flu
Education and prevention go a long way in protecting your best fur pal from contracting dog flu, as well as many other infectious diseases. There are good ways to minimize risk, and the team at Shelden Veterinary Care is here to help!
Consider the following tips:
- Avoid places where dogs congregate, like dog parks, kennels, and daycares.
- Wash your hands and change your clothes after interacting with dogs.
- Stay current on your pet’s vaccinations, including the canine influenza vaccine, which is mandatory for most pet-related facilities.
- Stay outside or in the car with your pet when waiting to see the veterinarian.
- Remain knowledgeable about areas where there’s been an outbreak, including travel destinations.
- If your dog shows symptoms, isolate them from other dogs and seek veterinary care.
Please call us with any additional questions about the canine influenza virus or if you want to schedule an appointment for a vaccination.
Parasites might be small, but they can sure cause big problems when it comes to your pet’s health. Some can be seen with the naked eye while others require a microscope. Either way, they can make both you and your pet sick. Luckily, Shelden Veterinary Care has some great tools for parasite prevention in pets.
At Shelden Veterinary Care, we’re embarking on a new and exciting path. We’ve always been conscientious about your pet’s happiness and well being, both at home and at our practice. Recently, however, the Fear Free initiative has come to our attention, and we’re hooked on the idea.
You may have heard of Dr. Marty Becker “America’s Veterinarian,” who’s the founder of this movement. But chances are, the term “fear free practice” is new to you. We’re so excited to begin this endeavor – let’s review!
While the new year provides a unique opportunity to press the reset button on a variety of patterns, behaviors, and questionable habits, it’s never too late to make important changes. To be sure, pet health can be supported year-round, and if there are ways you can better support overall wellness, now is as good a time as any.
Wait; what?!? Wasn’t it just Halloween? The days go by so quickly towards the end of the year; it’s like experiencing a type of seasonal whiplash! If only time moved this fast when you’re standing in line at the DMV or waiting for your food at a restaurant – oh well! All we can do at this point is take a deep breath and pause. Of course, we prepare for the future, but to be truly successful in 2018, we have to take stock of our accomplishments before the year ends.
After reviewing our pet care blog, we have so much for which to be grateful. Our readers let us know what they liked and what they want to see next. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 articles from our pet care blog. Enjoy!
The holidays aren’t just for humans; there are many ways to help pets in need this season. Our local animal shelters are a great place to start. By volunteering, donating, or fostering, you can make it a wonderful life for pets in need this year. Our team at Shelden Veterinary Care has compiled these ideas for how to help your local shelter this holiday season.
At its core, Halloween is a time for carving pumpkins, decorating the yard with witches and ghouls, and figuring out a costume that will win this year’s grand prize. Whether you plan on dressing your pet up for some trick-or-treating or staying indoors and passing out handfuls of sugary treats, your pet’s safety should be at the top of this season’s to-do list.
As your pet’s doctor, we can learn a whole lot about your pet’s overall health status by examining things like blood, urine, and feces. In fact, at Shelden Veterinary Care, we find that pet urinary problems are one of the most common reasons we see pets outside of wellness visits. Keep reading, and you, too, can be a pet pee expert!