Month: January 2016

Prevention Can Save Your Horses from EIAV

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If you are one of the two million people who owns a horse in the United States, you may be familiar with the equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV). The illness can be fatal and as there is no real treatment for it, prevention is your best bet to protect your animal.

The illness is often referred to as “Swamp Fever” and can infect donkeys, zebras and otters equine animals. Horses can serve as carriers of the disease, showing no symptoms but remaining able to transmit the deadly disease to other animals via a vector such as a mosquito (or other insect) or through the placenta. Horses that carry the disease but remain asymptomatic (do not look sick) are much less likely to transmit the illness to other animals. For instance, a horse fly that bites a carrier horse and a six million to one chance of transmitted EIAV to another animal. Unfortunately, animals who do show equine infectious anemia virus expression are likely to die within a short period of time (no more than two to three weeks). The illness can be confirmed with an equine infectious anemia virus antibody test also called the Coggins’ test.

Prevention Tips:

  • Test horses for the disease at least once a year. When and if you get new horses, make sure you test them when you buy them. Do not let them spend any time around your horses util you get the results. To be completely sure your horses are safe, isolate new horses from the others for at least 45 days.
  • Do not reuse needles. Use disposable needles only once.
  • Stables that serve shows need to make sure all horses that use their facility test have negative Coggins’ tests. Animals who are at risk for infection need to be retested often.
  • Keep stable areas clean. This helps cut down on the number of pests that can carry the virus to new animals. It is especially important to keep the amount of manure to a minimum.
  • Know the symptoms of the equine infectious anemia virus. Acute cases will cause a fever and hemorrhaging. Chronic episodes will include diarrhea, weakness, eye discharge, loss of coordination and appetite, spontaneous abortion and paralysis of the hindquarters. If you see any of these symptoms in your animals, have them tested as soon as you can.

Animals who have tested positive for the equine infectious anemia virus need to be reported to federal and state agencies who normally recommend the infected animal be euthanized to protect other horses. If you choose to quarantine an animal who has tested positive, you must put signs up alerting others to the animal’s status so they can take whatever precautions they can. If you suspect your animal has the equine infectious anemia virus, make sure you have the horse tested. Most animal clinics have the appropriate veterinary diagnostics tests to help. Vigilance against the illness is everyone’s best weapon against its spread.

Caring For Our Furry Friends Why Veterinary Care Is So Important

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America loves pets! The APAA says there are as many as 80 million dogs and 96 million cats in the United States; more than 30% of homeowners have a cat, while almost 40% have a dog. Our pets quite often dictate our choices, from where to live to what to buy, and our behaviors. They are part of the family. We adopt over 2.5 million pets from shelters each year, according to the ASPCA. Caring for our precious canine and feline friends — and the myriad other pet options Americans choose — means accepting that at some time in their lives our pets will become ill or injured. From pet cancer to arthritis, coping with pet diagnoses can be very difficult.

A veterinary care center is always the first port of call when an animal is ill or injured. Older pets should visit the vet every six months, while younger (under 10 years) dogs and cats should see a vet at least yearly. Regular check-ups can result in early detection of pet cancer, for example. Almost 50% of deaths in older animals is due to some sort of pet cancer. Cats tend to have a lower incidence of cancer than dogs or humans, according to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, but feline cancers tend to be more aggressive.

Almost a quarter of all dogs will develop a tumor at some point in their lives, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Common cancers in dogs include skin and abdominal cancers. The risk of breast cancer in dogs can be reduced by spaying the dog at six to 12 months of age. Treatment options vary, with some forms of cancer being more treatable than others.

Veterinary hospitals can provide testing and treatment services for a variety of ailments, including teeth inspection and dental cleaning, tumor removal (often the best option for cancer diagnoses), and even pet food suggestions. Keeping your pet healthy involves ensuring regular vet check-ups, monitoring your pet for symptoms, and ensuring a healthy diet and exercise.