Pets, like people, are vulnerable to seasonal diseases. Recently, an outbreak of dog flu has been reported in Austin and Central Texas. Here’s what Austin dog owners need to know:
- Symptoms include fatigue, respiratory issues, nasal discharge and loss of appetite
- The flu strain is H3N2 and is derived from avian flu
- H3N2 does NOT transmit to humans
- H3N2 is not normally fatal, but if you notice symptoms, talk to your vet
- H3N2 is transmitted through close contact with other dogs, so if you boarded your pet over the holidays, be extra vigilant
- H3N2 vaccines are available
If you have any questions about canine influenza, want to get your dog a vaccination, or have noticed your dog displaying symptoms, come visit our ZippiVet pet hospital in Austin, TX.
‘Tis the season to be jolly, invite all your loved ones over for festivities, and to stuff yourself silly with a myriad of tasty treats, pies and hearty dishes. Of course at this time of the year you’ll want to include the most important (at least they see it that way) members of your family in the festivities: the furry ones. While it may be tempting to want to include your pets in all your holiday traditions there are some seasonal treats that it’s best to avoid. We understand accidents happen and sometimes, your furry friend could get a hold of something they’re not supposed to have so if that happens, come see us at ZippiVet for any of your animal hospital needs in Austin, TX!
At the Dinner Table
Turkey and the trimmings: While that plump, juicy turkey emerging from the oven may cause more than one guest’s eyes to widen in delight, it’s important not to let your furry friends sample that tasty bird. Cooked turkey has brittle bones which splinter easily and can cause choking, tears in the digestive tract and blockages. Additionally, gravies and fat trimmings are high in fat and sodium and can upset stomachs.
Nuts: The chestnuts may be roasting on the open fire, but they should be nowhere near your pet. Many holiday desserts and stuffings contain nuts that can prove hazardous to pets. Macadamia nuts and walnuts are particularly toxic and can result in vomiting, tremors, lethargy and seizures.
Candies and Chocolate: Feel free to laden your table with chocolatey sweets and trim the tree with candy canes but keep them out of reach of cats and dogs. Chocolate contains both caffeine and methylxanthine, while candy often has corn syrup and xylitol which can cause vomiting and seizures. Just like humans, feeding your pets excessive sweets can also result in diabetes and tooth decay. Watch out for wrappers as well which can be a holiday hazard.
Cranberry Sauces, Fruitcakes, and Stuffings: Some of our favorite traditional holiday dishes are often the most dangerous for pets. All three are usually high in sugars and can contain raisins, onions, garlic and sage which can be extremely toxic to pets.
Rocking Around the Christmas Tree
Decorations: While you’re decking your halls and adorning your Christmas tree, make sure to keep the furry members of your family in mind. Dangling ornaments and tinsel can make tantalizing toys for your pets as they swing about with their bright, shiny colors. However, if they should happen to swallow one of these ornamentations the pieces could cause an obstruction in their stomach, tear their organs and result in sickness and possible surgery.
Oh, Mistletoe: Holiday themed plants including holly, mistletoe, pine trees, and poinsettia are beautiful natural decorations for your home, but they can be particularly dangerous for your pets. Holly and mistletoe in are highly toxic, and ingestion can cause a severe drop in blood pressure, breathing problems, seizures, and even death. While poinsettia and pine are not toxic, consuming large amounts can result in illness and the pine needles can puncture intestines.
Gift Wrapping: As you open up presents from loved ones, make sure to discard of wrapping paper and ribbons properly. Ribbons, strings, and seasonal bows make for a fun toy and decoration for your pet, but accidental ingestion can result in intestinal blockage or choking – which will require immediate vet attention. We love our patients, but we’d prefer to spend the holidays with our own families!
Tips for Holiday Celebrations Safe for Your Pets
- Ask guests not to feed table food or leftovers to your pets
- Decorate with your pet in mind: keep ornaments and tinsel out of reach and keep lights and cords tucked away
- Discard sharp plastic wrappings and gift wrappings immediately
- Make sure the trash is secure from late night rummagers
- If your pet is getting a visit from Santa make sure to get vet approved treats and toys such as chew toys, treat dispensing toys, balls too large to swallow, or catnip stuffed toys.
We wish you and your pets a happy and safe holiday season. If you have any questions about keeping your pets healthy over the holidays, give ZippiVet a call!
With the holidays fast approaching, there’s no denying the magic in the air and the fuzzy warm feeling you get when you reunite with your family. For a lot of us the holidays are an opportunity to see loved ones who are serving overseas – something that brings joy to every member of the family, including pets. So, put on a little cocoa and prepare to bask in the heartwarming glow of these delighted doggies welcoming their family members back from their military duties.
This precious pup couldn’t stop crying when her mom returned from Afghanistan. But don’t worry, they’re tears of joy.
Chuck didn’t even let mom finish her sentence before he jumped out of the car and kept jumping on top of his dad, who was finally home.
A surprise visit from his owner AND playtime with Green Monster — it was just too much for this emotionally overwhelmed German Shepherd to handle.
Proving that slippery hardwood floors can’t defeat the power of love, this elated golden retriever couldn’t contain her happiness during this homecoming.
With bandanas on and tails a-wagging, Ford and Otto were more than ready to see their pop come back from his deployment.
Jasmine was so excited about dad coming home that she didn’t even realize he was there. Once she did, though, she wouldn’t let him go.
Between the diabolical laughing and the ecstatic barking, these tiny dachshunds gave their dad a BIG hello.
Cotton calmly waited 2 days (which is about 14 dog months) for his National Guard Dad to come home from drill weekend. After being so patient, can you blame him for freaking out?
The majestic Emmitt Thunderpaws found it really hard to keep his composure when Dad came to greet him. Looks like we now know who’s the tallest in the family.
Gracie went a little crazy when her owner came home because she knew it was time for unlimited belly rubs.
Winter has finally arrived in Austin! While our city is better known for its dangerously hot summers, cold weather can also be a problem for dogs and cats. If it’s too cold for you to spend much time outside, it’s too cold for your pet! We’ve put together some helpful tips for keeping your pets safe as the temperatures drop.
Keep Pets Inside
As we approach freezing temperatures, you need to make sure you bring outside dogs and cats indoors. All pets are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite, even cold weather breeds like Huskies and St. Bernards. Consider it a chance to spend more time with your pet!
Check Under the Hood
If your neighbors don’t love their cats as much as you do, they may not bring them inside during the winter. Before you start your engine on a cold morning, knock on your hood and check under your car to make sure there aren’t any cats stowed away in a dangerous place seeking warmth.
Know Your Pet’s Limits
If you were on a walk with a human friend who was shivering and miserable, you’d probably go inside, right? Pets should be treated the same way. If you notice your pet shivering, whining or looking exhausted, it’s time to head home. Dogs with short coats aren’t going to be as cold weather hearty as dogs with longer coats. Likewise, short-legged dogs that scrape their bellies on the snow and cold ground are going to lose temperature more quickly than larger dogs. If you’ve got a Dachshund, it’s not a good idea to go on a long, snowy walk.
Pet sweaters aren’t just adorable, they’re also functional. If your pet is particularly susceptible to cold weather, be sure wrap him or her up in a coat or sweater. When you’re inside, make sure your pet has a cozy place to sleep with plenty of blankets.
Don’t Leave Your Pet in the Car
The dangers of leaving a pet in a hot car are well documented, but a cold car can be equally life-threatening. Unless your pet has to come with you, leave your furry friend at home.
Watch for Chemicals
We don’t get too much ice here in Austin, but deicers, antifreeze and other cold weather chemicals can pose a serious risk to pets. Be sure to store all of your chemicals carefully and clean up any spills. If you encounter something you don’t recognize on a walk, clean it off of your pet.
Get a Check Up!
We recommend comprehensive exams twice a year, and there’s no time like the present. Your ZippiVet veterinarian may identify problems with circulation, hormones or joints that could be exacerbated by cold weather if not treated correctly. Always remember that pet wellness is a year-round endeavor so come see your favorite pet hospital in Austin, TX!