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Check out our little nuggets of goodness and pet education here. Sometimes serious, usually humorous with a side of sarcasm. We laugh at ourselves regularly and are talented at eye-rolls when necessary!

Bordetella vaccinations – are they necessary?

Time for some vet talk.  Bordetella vaccinations – are they necessary?  We get this question frequently when we private board dogs in our homes.

 

Bordetella vaccinations are to protect against several different bacteria and virus, the most common being the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica (named after, of course). The true name for the resulting contagious virus is Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (CIRD). Unfortunately for the dog boarding industry, the resulting illness is referred to as “Kennel Cough”. SO UNTRUE. Your dog can literally pick this up anywhere. Why don’t we just relabel a child’s cold “DAYCARE DISEASE”? CIRD is environmental and can be picked up anywhere dogs cross paths (visit to the vet, walking your dog in Home Depot, the local pet store, the groomer, a playdate with your neighbor’s dog). It can be passed from dog to dog like a cold with Kindergarteners.

 

The Symptoms of CIRD
  • A harsh and persistent barking cough that sounds a little like a sick seal
  • Fits of coughing that can cause them to retch (maybe spitting up a bit of fluid, but not vomiting)
  • Nasal discharge

 

Most dogs get a mild case within 3-10 days of exposure and can clear it on their own given some time. You don’t notice any significant changes in their activity level or eating. Severe cases can progress to a bacterial infection in the respiratory system that develops into pneumonia. Your veterinarian will likely prescribe a cough suppressant and an antibiotic to prevent a bacterial infection.

 

Bordetella vaccinations are similar to the flu vaccine – they certainly aren’t 100% effective and your dog may still develop CIRD, but it will likely be less severe than if they had not been vaccinated.

 

MOST of all – isolate your dog to prevent any spread until all symptoms are gone! Notify the potential source so they can review their sanitation protocols. Be kind. No one wants a CIRD outbreak. The majority of facilities have excellent protocols that there are careful to follow, but this is one of the inconvenient risks to dog socialization.

 

It is a required vaccine at all dog facilities in the state of Missouri and commonly required throughout the US. So yes, to answer the initial question, it is necessary for the health of your dog!

 

For more information you can review Kennel Cough in Dogs

Lessons we can learn from our canine friends

Any Pet Parent knows we can learn so much from our 4-Legged Kids.  This week, we thought we’d look at some of the lessons we can learn from our canine friends (of course sourced from the Big G – I am not this creative!):

 

  1. Embrace diversity…dogs will play with anyone and any dog, no matter their size, shape, color, or breed.
  2. There is nothing more important than food to eat, shelter from the weather and being with those who love you.
  3. Protect and guard your loved ones at all costs.
  4. When you need a nap, take one.
  5. There is nothing more comforting than sleeping next to someone you love.
  6. When a loved one comes home, even if only at the end of the day, it is cause for celebration.
  7. Enjoy the little things…a pat on the head, a car ride, or a surprise treat can make your day.
  8. Smile (and wag your tail)…when you great someone like that, how can they not smile.
  9. Pleasing others is good motivation for anything.
  10. Life is amazing…enjoy every minute.  Don’t worry about what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow…just live in the moment.

Lessons we can learn from our feline friends

As Pet Parents, we all know that our 4-Legged Kids can teach us so much about life.  Here are a few lessons sourced from the big G (Google) we can learn from our feline friends:

 

1…When life gets hard, take a nap.

2…Curiosity never killed anything except maybe a few hours.

3…Variety is the spice of life–one day ignore people, the next day annoy them.

4…Climb your way to the top–that’s why the drapes are there.

5…Never sleep alone when you can snuggle with someone.

6…Make your mark on the world–or at least spray in each corner.

7…Always give generously–a small bird or rodent left on the bed tells them, “I’m thinking of you.”

8…Speak up when you want something, or anytime you just feel like speaking up.l

9…Use your claws when you need them, but put them away when you don’t.

10…Choose wisely who you let get close to you, let alone put their hands on you.  You don’t have to let somebody touch you if you don’t want them to.

Dear Dogs – an open letter from your human

Dear Dogs,

 

-The dishes with the paw prints painted on them are yours and contain your food.  The other dishes are mine and contain my food.  Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

 

-The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack.  Racing me to the bottom is not the objective.  Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you can run.

 

-I cannot buy anything bigger than a king-sized bed.  I am very sorry about this.  Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort.  Dogs can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep.  It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible.  I also know that sticking tails straight out, and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space, is nothing but sarcasm.

 

-For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom!  If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, bark, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door.  I must exit through the same door I entered.  Also, I have been using the bathroom for years – canine attendance is not required.

 

-The proper order for kissing is:  kiss me first, then go smell the other dog’s butt.  I cannot stress this enough.

 

 

Finally, in all fairness to dogs, I have posted the following message on the front door:

 

To All Non – Dog Owners Who Visit and Like to Complain About our Pets:

 

1)  They live here.  You Don’t.

 

2)  If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.  That’s why they call it “fur” niture.

 

3)  I like my dog a lot better than I like most people.

 

4)  To you, they are animals.  To me, they are adopted sons and daughters, who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don’t speak clearly.

 

(borrowed from all over the internet and shared here for your amusement LOL)

Winterize your dog with these safety tips

How to properly winterize your dog…makes me laugh, like we are talking about an engine. Of course both need to operate at their prime!

 

We have to be prepared for winter not only for ourselves, but for our pets.  There are many safety concerns during the winter in the care of our pets that might not be present during other seasons.  See if any of these are new for you:

 

General Pet Care Tips

  • You might need to feed your pets a bit more, depending on the length of time they spend outside.  They can burn more calories in the cold, both to keep warm and because running and playtime can be more strenuous in the snow.
  • If your pet has long fur you need to keep them groomed and free of mats.  Matted fur will create areas of exposure and decrease the insulating ability of long fur and undercoats.
  • I always giggle at a dog with a sweater on, but we put on layers, don’t we?  Short haired dogs don’t have fur to keep them insulated so an extra layer in the cold will make them a much happier pup….and they can pee faster if they aren’t shaking all over the place.
  • Dogs can’t get enough water from eating snow or licking the ice cube in their water bowl.  They need to have access to fresh water even during cold times and snow.  Plastic bowls are the best during the winter months…heard the term “I triple-dog-dare you!”?  Imagine your dog’s warm, wet tongue and a frozen stainless steel bowl…..hmmm, might be a thought.  Even better, for those dogs that love the cold weather make sure they have a heated water bowl…but make sure there is always an adequate level of fresh, clean water in it.

 

 Specific Outdoor Tips

  • POISON POISON POISON  Do you take the dangers of antifreeze seriously?  Ever had a leak and not really pay attention to it…just keep adding more as needed?  Did you know that for dogs and cats it is like an open Hershey’s bar to a chocoholic?   A cat walking through the drips and then licking its’ paws clean could possibly die?  A medium-sized dog can die from just 5 tablespoons?  It completely destroys the kidneys and there can be a narrow window for successful treatment.  Call the vet, Call the vet, CALL THE VET!  This is not one to just sit around and see if the dog gets sick.  The dog has to be induced to vomit and needs medication to prevent damage.  Did I say call the vet?  Or better yet, keep the driveway and garage floor clean and keep containers out of the reach of curious noses.
  • SO, unless you are one of those people that has purchased doggie snow boots (I giggle at those also) your dog’s PAW-dicure needs to be paid special attention after snowy playtime (or even walking).  When they are out they can pick up little icy balls, packed snow, rock salt, calcium chloride, etc., which can chap and crack their paws and some of the chemicals can even make them sick if they lick.  Make sure you wipe their paws clean when they come in.  There are even products on the market now that you insert each foot into for a bit of a “foot bath” to make sure all the nasties are out. There is a product called Musher’s Secret Dog Paw Wax that can keep them protected and relieve any soreness.
  • And yes, your pet can get frostbite….with long or short fur.  The most susceptible areas are the nose, tail, and toes because of exposure.  Signs would be discoloration of the skin….it might be pale or even bluish in color.  The area might have a lack of sensation initially, but as it warms up it can begin to be painful…frequently a sign something is wrong is during this time of warming.  Apply a warm compress (warm only).  Do not rub or you can cause additional damage.  The vet is the best to assess damage and determine treatment.

 

MOST of all….if you see any animal left out in the cold with out adequate shelter, please speak to its owner or notify your local animal welfare agency! KSDK graciously provided this list for the St. Louis area.

 

 

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