Gentle Care Animal Hospital

Gentle Care Animal Hospital

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Veterinarian Offers Advice On Evacuating With A Pet If Disaster Strikes

A veterinarian at Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine has advice for pet owners who want to consider how pets fit into their own household emergency plans -- especially if that includes evacuating.

Dr. Marjory Artzer, professor of clinical sciences, suggests thinking about the supplies you'd ordinarily have on hand at home but may not have access to if forced to evacuate. This includes pet food, which can be bagged in easy to handle amounts, as well as bottled water, a leash, a pet carrier and an adequate amount of any medications your pet regularly takes.

Artzer said heartworm medications and flea/tick preventatives are essential. Pet owners also may want to include bandaging material for wounds.

Pets not of the canine or feline variety require considerations in addition to the basics like food and water. Artzer said owners should think about a safe means of transport and a way for environmental temperature control.

Artzer also suggests bringing along paperwork like health records and registration.

"It may make a difference in how the pet is handled," she said.

Having pets properly identified can make an emergency or evacuation go more smoothly, too.

"An ID tag on a collar is an easy way to see immediately, but they can get lost," she said. "A permanent way is microchipping."

In an emergency, your pet's nerves can be just as frayed as yours. To make animals more comfortable, Artzer suggests doing a pets' favorite activity every day, whether it's walking, playing ball or just brushing its fur.The best time to think about an emergency or evacuation plan for your pet is before disaster strikes. Artzer suggests thinking of alternatives to evacuating with your pet ahead of time.

"Have a backup plan for help, like a friend or boarding facility," she said. "It is important to think ahead."

Source: Kansas State University

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Flu Outbreak: There's More Than One Doctor In The House

Physicians aren't the only ones on the front lines of the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak. Veterinarians play an important role, too.

Whether they're conducting research or serving as "disease detectives" at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, playing a critical role in state and local health departments or ensuring the health of our domestic swine herds by continuing to give regular vaccinations against influenza and increasing biosurveillance and security measures on farms, veterinarians are in the middle of the action when it comes to identifying and helping control the H1N1 flu.

"Veterinary medicine is so much more than giving vaccinations to pets," says Dr. Faye Sorhage, president of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians and the New Jersey state public health veterinarian. "When you look at all the new, emerging diseases, there are so many that are zoonotic in origin that require the expertise of both physicians and veterinarians. That's what's happening today. These experts are working side-by-side on this flu virus."

And that's a good thing for all involved, says Dr. Russell Currier, the executive vice president of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, the professional organization responsible for certifying veterinary specialists who work in food animal health and public health.

"This new outbreak shows that we have emerging infectious diseases that can spread very quickly," he said. "It took Magellan three years to circumnavigate the globe, but you can do it now in a day."

Sorhage echoes those concerns.

"Globalization is adding to our concerns, which makes increased surveillance, detection, testing and research, especially when it comes to these new viruses and zoonotic diseases, so important," she said. "The situation mandates the participation of skilled veterinarians working in these areas."

It's long been known that many diseases affecting people have animal origins. Take, for example, West Nile virus, monkeypox, Ebola -- and some types of influenza. Veterinarians play a critical role in identifying, controlling and helping treat all of them.

"This traditional inter-relationship between disciplines has existed for a long time and continues to grow stronger every day," Currier said. "We have a history of physicians working with animal diseases and veterinarians working on human diseases. We need the physician, the veterinarian, the virologist, the epidemiologist and the environmental scientist to research these diseases. This flu episode brings into sharp focus the importance of one medicine."

Dr. Roger K. Mahr, former president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), has championed the One Health concept since his installation as AVMA president in 2006, when he made it the cornerstone of his term in office.

Mahr continues that effort today in his duties as project director for the One Health Joint Steering Committee, and in light of the challenges the world is facing with the H1N1 outbreak, a spotlight on a united approach to world health couldn't be timelier.

"The newly emerging H1N1 virus clearly underscores the need to embrace the One Health concept, which is the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines, working locally, nationally and globally, to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment," Mahr said. "The basis for understanding and addressing the 2009 H1N1 virus, as well as other emerging and potentially emerging diseases, is that a changing environment populated by interconnected animals and people creates integrated challenges. These challenges require integrated solutions and call for collaborative leadership."

Dr. Peggy Carter, president of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, said the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak once again highlights the role veterinarians play in keeping both animals and people healthy and safe.

"People and animals are aligned in a new health paradigm, just like our banks are linked in a global financial system," Carter said. "This really is one team, one fight."

The AVMA and its more than 78,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal, human and public health.

Source: American Veterinary Medical Association

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New Doctor's Joining the Team At Gentle Care Animal Hospital

We are happy to announce that we have two new doctor's joining the team at Gentle Care Animal Hospital. They both have a combined experience of around 20 years and both bring a unique experience to the practice. I know you will immediately feel comfortable with both of them so without further ado let's start the introductions.

Dr. Diona L. Krahn grew up nearby in Rockingham, NC. She graduated from Meredith College in 1994 with a batchelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Since her graduation from NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1998, Dr Krahn has been providing care for small animals in the Cary/Apex area. During her years in practice, Dr. Krahn has obtained advanced training and experience in veterinary dentistry. She also has a special interest in endocrine disease. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, The North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association, and The American Veterinary Dental Society. Outside of small animal practice, Dr. Krahn enjoys yoga, cycling, hiking, being outdoors and spending time with her family. The Krahn family includes Dr. Krahn and her husband, two young active boys (Xander and Cael), two cats (Bob and Abigail), and a Whippet named Cooper.

Dr. Jennifer Parker is originally from Columbia, SC. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Duke University and then attended the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine. After completing her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2000 she practiced small animal medicine in Statesville, NC for 4 years. Dr. Parker then moved to Houston, Texas where she has worked for the last 5 years. She recently relocated back to North Carolina and joined Gentle Care Animal Hospital in May 2009. She lives in Cary with her husband, Eric, two daughters, Caroline and Lauren, and two dogs, Jack and Georgia.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pork Products Are Safe To Consume, Human Exposure To Pigs Will Not Infect You, Says American Veterinary Medical Association

Human exposure to pigs and the consumption of pork products will not increase your risk of becoming infected with swine flu, says AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association). Pork products are safe to eat, the association stresses.

Dr. Ron DeHaven, CEO, AVMA said "This disease is transmitted from human to human and, as far as we know right now, it does not involve pigs, livestock or pets. That said, the association advises people to follow proper cooking guidelines for all meat products including pork to avoid food borne illnesses such as salmonella."

According to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, no new virus has been found in pigs.

Dr. DeHaven said "The AVMA is working with the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and so far there have been no reports of outbreaks among swine herds, although members of the group are stepping up surveillance for the virus and keeping in close contact with federal and state animal health officials."

Dr. Bret Marsh, the Indiana state veterinarian, explained "It's unfortunate that this flu strain is being called swine flu, because the virus is a combination of viruses including swine, poultry and human influenzas. The reality is that swine flu hasn't been found in swine populations in the USA."

The AVMA believes that this new virus is being transmitted from human-to-human. People who had no contact with pigs are transmitting the virus to other people who had no contact with pigs, says the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The CDC adds that there is no evidence that pigs have been infected with this new virus.

The virus is believed to originate in North America, where cases of infection were first reported. It has caused serious illness and deaths in Mexico, and one death in the USA. However, Mexican authorities say the death rate is falling fast as health services rapidly learn to treat people effectively and the population seeks medical help as soon as symptoms appear.

Symptoms of Swine Flu, or North American Influenza

Ordinary seasonal human flu like symptoms
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Aching body and bones
  • Fatigue
  • An additional symptom can include diarrhea and/or vomiting
American Veterinary Medical Association

Further information on Swine Flu

Written by Christian Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today

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