Dog Flu - Other Interesting Things

Dog Flu Season: A new virus was discovered in 1999 at a greyhound track in Florida when several greyhounds became sick with cold like symptoms.

The disease as it turns out was more severe than kennel cough and extremely contagious.

According to Dr. Cynda Crawford of the University of Florida’s School of Veterinary Medicine and some other scientists, after a close examination determined, that this virus called canine influenza is closely related to that of horses.

The mystery is how did it jump from horses to dogs. The possible solution is that the raw horsemeat fed to the greyhounds carried the virus, which cannot be killed by freezing. It has been found in 24 states with the most cases appearing in Florida and New York. The virus seems to hit dogs in most cases between the ages of one to six years of age.

If your dog shows any signs of cold like symptoms, a quick trip to the vet is suggested, as the disease can be fatal to some dogs.

Also, do not allow your dog around any dog that seems to have a cold or take your pet out to be among other dogs, if it shows signs of a cold, as it is a very contagious disease.

Sugar Free Treats there are now on the market “sugar free” products containing xylitol a sugar substance that can be highly toxic to some dogs, but fine for humans.

It looks and tastes like sugar and can be found in sugar free chewing gum, cookies, candies, baked goods and even in some toothpaste. It can cause liver failure in dogs. Why it causes liver failure is not yet known, but to be on the safe side do not feed your dog any sugar free products.

Dogs and winter weather Some dogs like huskies and St. Bernards have been bred to withstand the cold and do not have many problems when faced with low temperatures, however they can suffer from hypothermia.

Hypothermia is caused by a drop in body temperature caused by prolong exposure to cold

Most other dogs such as puppies, older dogs, dogs with short hair or dogs with sparse hair can suffer fatally from a drop in body temperature.

Dogs should not be left outside during severe cold weather without some source of heat and shelter to keep warm.

Signs of hypothermia are lethargy, shivering, trouble breathing, or muscle stiffness. If your dog has been outside for a long period of time and shows any of these signs, a quick trip to the vet is suggested.

Frostbite is another cold weather condition that dogs can suffer from. A dog can easily get frostbite on its ears, tip of its tail and of course, its paws.

Frostbite is caused by prolonged exposure to extreme cold weather. Ice crystal’s form on the dog’s body parts, and the end result is dead tissue. The skin will become brittle and discolored – turning colors and may peel off. Veterinary care is suggested at once.

It is also suggested, if taking your dog out in inclement weather to spray the paw pads with a commercial cooking spray to help resist water from collecting on the paws and then freezing.

Antifreeze is another product to be careful of both in the winter and in the summer. Make certain all spilled antifreeze is cleaned up. It is very toxic to both cats and dogs. Both cats and dogs find antifreeze very tasty. A small amount can be fatal.

Have you ever wanted to help pets during a disaster, but did not know how to go about doing so. Starting in March a California animal emergency organization called Noah’s Wish will be holding several volunteer training sessions throughout the United States and Canada. A three day on-site training session will be given and volunteers are required to take the training before they can join the National Animals Disaster Response team. For more information log on to:

Grooming your dog can sometimes be more of a pain for you than it is for your dog, as some dogs just do not like all that combing and brushing.

Since grooming should be fun and a bonding experience here are a few hints that may make grooming time a bit more relaxing.

First of all, relax, if you are tense, your dog will pick it up and become tense, too. The first thing is to decide on a grooming schedule that you can follow on a consistent basis. Dogs like routine. Massage your dog before your start the combing and brushing session. Massage relaxes the dog, feels good and loosens hair and dead skin. Then start the combing and brushing.

Try to have a special area for grooming, a table is great, as it will be the right height for you and saves your back and the couch. Get a set of good grooming tools. If your dog suffers from mats and tangles that are almost impossible to get out, invest in a “mat splitter,” a unique tool that can be found where pet supplies are sold.

Floppy ears are so neat on dogs, but they have a tendency to smell, get dirty and encourage bacteria. By investing in an ear wash made for dogs and establishing a monthly routine you can eliminate many problems. Spray the ear wash into your dog’s ear, let the dog shake its head to distribute the liquid and then using cotton balls (no swabs) clean out the residue.

Training Tips if you are in the market for a new puppy or have one already, here are a few tips to help in the training process:

  • Training should start the moment you bring the little gal/guy home. It is never too early to start in spite of what some people say.
  • Do not use “no” as your favorite word. Yelling “no” is giving your dog attention it wants and does not correct the behavior.
  • Make certain all members of the family know the proper and consistent way to correct a particular behavior.
  • Socialize, socialize and socialize your puppy some more. This is so important. Your dog needs to be exposed to people and things.
  • Teach your dog what you want it to do. If you do not want it to jump on people, teach it to sit.
  • Praise your dog for good behavior, if it comes when called, praise it and give him/her a treat. Emphasizing good behavior is important.
  • Get to know your dog. Observe its behavior around people and things. Know what your dog likes or dislikes.
  • Be consistent in your training, do not allow one thing one day and then decide the next day you do not want the dog to do it. Like getting on the couch one day and it is “no” the next day.
  • Use a happy voice and manner when training. Do not use force or hitting to make a dog behave. Patience and a positive attitude will work much better.
  • A dog need exercise and metal stimulation. Dogs are not meant to sit and look pretty 24/7. A tired dog is a happy dog.

    If you are new at training a puppy, there are many good books available that will give you all the help you need.

    Enjoy your pet, whether it be a dog or cat, give it the love and attention it deserves, the rewards back to us are endless.