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The veterinarians and staff at the Shawnee Animal Clinic are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter. This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis.

Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on our animal hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine.

Please enjoy the newsletter!

Current Newsletter Topics

Bird Flu Outbreak Spreads To 16 States

A recent bird flu outbreak has sickened millions of birds, but officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that the risk to humans and other animals is minimal. The outbreak began in December 2014 and has continued to spread. Health officials in Iowa, the top egg-producing state in the US, say that more than 5 million chickens would need to be euthanized after the virus was detected at a large commercial poultry facility.

While some humans have been sickened by another strain of the virus in the past, there are no cases of the strain responsible for this outbreak infecting humans, and the CDC says the risk for humans is low. This virus does not spread through consumption of poultry products.

Although the risk is minimal, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Avoid wild birds and avoid contact with domestic birds that appear ill or have died
  • If you have had contact with infected birds, monitor your own health for conjunctivitis or flu-like symptoms, and see a doctor if these symptoms appear

If you would like more information about bird flu, talk to your veterinarian.

VIDEO: Warming Weather May Bring Pesky Parasites

Most pet owners know that the return of springtime temperatures will also hasten the return of itching and scratching due to fleas. What many owners don't know is that besides the irritation, fleas can also spread numerous serious diseases and parasites such as tapeworms. Although fleas seem to hold an upper hand, your veterinarian can help you win the battle against these pests. Watch this video to learn more.

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Fourth Of July Pet Safety Tips

Fireworks and the Fourth of July go together like ... well, fireworks and the Fourth of July. While you may already have safeguards in place for people and children, there are additional things to consider for pet owners. Here are a few tips on helping your pets remain safe and happy while dealing with fireworks.

Always keep fireworks out of reach of your pet. While this may seem obvious for lit fireworks, it’s important to keep unlit fireworks away from your pets as well. Ingesting fireworks could be lethal for your pet. If your pet does get into your fireworks, contact your veterinarian right away.

Be aware of projectiles. Roman candles, for example, have projectile capabilities. If used incorrectly, an ejected shell can hit a pet, causing burning. If your pet gets burned, contact your veterinarian right away.

Keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier. Never let your pets run free in an area where fireworks are going off.

Know what do to in case of a seizure. For some animals, being in the presence of fireworks can trigger a seizure. If your pet is prone to seizures, he or she should never be around fireworks – but most pet owners won’t know if their dog is prone to seizures until he or she experiences one. If this happens, stay calm and remove any objects in the area that might hurt your pet. Do not attempt to move your pet, as they may bite without knowing it. When the seizure is over, move him or her into an area clear of the firework’s sights and sounds. Call your veterinarian right away.

Ease your pet’s fear. Many pets are frightened of fireworks, and may exhibit fear by whimpering, crying, or otherwise displaying uneasiness. Create a safe space for these animals before the event. During the fireworks, use the radio, television, fan or air conditioner to create white noise that will drown out the sound of the fireworks.

By planning ahead and keeping key information in mind, your pet can have a happy, stress-free Fourth of July – and so can you!

Canine Influenza Update – June 2015

The Canine Influenza outbreak that started in Chicago has now spread to 13 states. The strain of the virus, H3N2, originated in Asia in 2007 and has sickened over 1000 dogs in the Chicago area alone. Eight dogs have died from either the virus itself or secondary infections. Alabama, California, Georgia, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Jersey, Iowa and Indiana have all reported instances of Canine Influenza.

Canine Influenza’s symptoms are similar to the flu that humans get, and include cough, runny nose, and fever. However, the disease cannot be spread to humans. Because the virus is highly contagious between dogs, pet owners in affected areas should avoid dog parks. Vaccinations are also available for dogs in high-risk areas. Please call us today if you like more information about Canine Influenza.

The Most Dog-Friendly Cities in the US: From Paucity to Paw City

As dog owners, we’ve all been there: You head for the door and even before you reach for your coat your dog is staring at you expectantly, tail wagging wildly. “C’mon let’s go! Where are we going?! C’mon!” the eyes and wiggling body seem to say. It’s always a little heartbreaking when you have to leave him behind. In a growing number of places across the country, however, you don’t have to leave your beloved pal to pine for you, or worse, to eat your favorite shoes.

Local governments and businesses are making it easy to grab the leash more often, which has important benefits for not just your enthusiastic companion’s overall quality of life, but for the bond you share as well.

These Cities Have Gone to the Dogs

So which cities rank at the top?

Richie Bernardo at Wallet Hub ranked cities based on metrics such as ownership and maintenance costs, health care and pet friendly outdoor spaces. The following made his top ten:

  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Irvine, CA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Tampa, FL
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Orlando, FL
  • Glendale, AZ

Forbes weighs in with a slightly different list based on pet-friendly home rentals, dog parks, dog-friendly businesses, pet care costs, dog-centric events and walkability:

  • San Diego, CA
  • Portland, OR
  • Seattle, WA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Orlando, FL
  • Austin, TX
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Milwaukee, WS
  • Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota

Dogs on the beach in San Diego, CA

Some other cities that have made the cut according to PawNation and The Huffington Post are Boston, MA, Albuquerque, NM, and Tucson and Phoenix, AZ.

Taking a Trip? Don’t Forget Your Dog!

Don’t see your home city on these lists? If you don’t live in one of these top dog-friendly locales, you and Fido can still visit one. One Green Planet suggests the following 10 vacation destinations for you and your furry, tail-wagging companion:

  • Austin, TX
  • Bar Harbor, ME
  • Cape Cod, MA
  • Carmel, CA
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Chicago, IL
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Key West, FL
  • Portland, OR
  • Sonoma Valley and Napa, CA

San Francisco is considered one of the most dog-friendly cities by Forbes.

Make Every Day a Dog Day

Dogs are loyal, loving companions who are happiest when they’re with their humans. Whenever you can, keep your eye out for events and activities you and your dog can enjoy together. It will help you both be happier and healthier!

Choosing the Right Cat

One reason cats are such popular pets is that they are extremely adaptable. Cats are self-sufficient and thrive just about anywhere people do with very little additional care. Nevertheless, a cat's age, sex and breed should be considered if you want the most suitable pet for your lifestyle.

American Shorthair

A rural family with children running in and out of the house all day might be best suited for a sturdy, low maintenance American short-hair cat. A cat connoisseur might choose the unique look of the Ocicat, which, besides its spotted wild looking beauty, is known as one of the best companion cats. A long-haired cat or a high-strung, elegant Siamese might not be an ideal choice for an elderly person. The best companion for an older person or invalid might be an older, quiet cat who stays out from underfoot and is not too energetic. A Siamese cat, whose claws are sure to scratch expensive furniture, or a Persian, whose shedding might send a fastidious housekeeper into a broom swinging rage, might work well for an easygoing, young, childless couple.


The local library and local book store are probably good locations for acquiring information about cats. Attending cat shows and speaking with cat owners are excellent ways for obtaining information about specific breeds and temperaments. This article alone may provide you with most of the information you need for selecting your feline companion. Any pet professional; however, is going to tell you the same thing. The more you are informed, the better you are going to be satisfied with your decision.


Decide what type of cat you want (pet, breeder or show quality). If you cannot commit to the money or time, do not buy a show cat. If you are not going to breed your cat, it is not necessary to buy breeding stock.

Adult or Kitten

Both an adult cat and a kitten have their virtues. An adult cat is a ready-made companion. He (or she) is trained, self-sufficient, and ready to go. What's more, he may already be neutered and he knows how to take care of himself. When he's tired of playing, he may hide. If you need a mouser, he can probably learn the job within hours. Assuming he's healthy and comes from a good breeder or loving home, he should make an excellent pet.

On the other hand, adult cats are generally slower to adjust to new situations than are kittens. It may take some extra time and patience when introducing an older cat to other family pets. Until he adjusts, you may need to supervise and keep an eye on him so that he doesn't sneak out the door and try to return to his former home.

By starting out with an adult cat; however, you are going to miss the enjoyment as well as anguishes of living with a kitten.

Kittens are adorable, cuddly and amusing. Their nonsensical antics and youthful exuberance are a delight. Watching them learn and grow is unforgettable for all ages and an exciting experience for children.

Prepare to give your kitten lots of care during the first few weeks. You need to feed your young kitten several times a day and clean up after him. He may even need to sleep cuddled up next to you for a while. Kittens are constantly getting intro mischief, so put away your table top items until he's older. Finally, be prepared for a few trips to the veterinary hospital for exams, vaccinations, neutering and an occasional incident.

Pedigree Cats

If you plan to show or breed your cat and you are specific about what you want in looks and temperament, buy a pedigreed cat from a reputable breeder. A pure-bred cat can cost several hundred dollars; however, you are probably not going to mull over your investment in an exquisite, show quality feline.

If you definitely want a particular breed, but you don't need show quality and registration papers, you can probably purchase a "pet quality" kitten relatively inexpensively from a breeder. While color variations or other minor faults may make the animal unacceptable for breeding or showing, they usually don't affect his potential for becoming a wonderful pet.

Long-Haired or Short-Haired Cats

A short-haired cat requires less maintenance than a cat with long hair. If you are considering a long-haired cat, your tolerance for hair on carpets, furniture and clothing is a major factor to consider. Allergies are another factor to consider as long-haired cats may aggravate allergies more than short-haired cats. If you decide on a long-haired cat and want to keep him healthy, daily grooming is necessary. Regular brushing, and an occasional dose of a veterinary-approved cat laxative, should keep him free from hairballs. Both long-haired and short-haired cats should get a nail trim from time to time.

Male or Female

Males cats are generally larger than female cats. Neutered males normally don't spray and are mellower than non-neutered male cats because they are not driven by their hormones. Altered cats are more docile than non-neutered cats. Unless cat breeding is your goal, sex makes little difference in your choice. Spayed females do not produce generation after generation of unwanted kittens.

Dog Divas and the Pet Industry

Pet Shampoo

Calling All Dog Divas: Why the Pet Industry Remains Strong

Even with a declining economy, there is one place many Americans are not willing to make a cut – their pets. As other industries go down, the pet industry has remained remarkably resilient. Last year, Americans reportedly spent $55 billion on their fury companions. Wonder where all this money is going? Although veterinary services saw a 7% increase in the last year, this was not the only place of growth. Rather, dogs and cats are being treated to trendy human-like luxury items such as gourmet and organic meals, stylish clothes, eco styling products, and even pet exercise equipment.

The Global Pet Expo held in Orange County revealed just how far pet owners will go to pamper their pets. Many of the pet food vendors were even seen nibbling on the food themselves in order to emphasize its great taste and nutrition. With food like pan-seared duck and black-and-white quinoa on the menu, can you blame them?  Although not all animal owners are indulging their pets in 5-star cuisine, the importance of providing a healthy diet is extending beyond your family’s plates and into the doggy dish. “Pet owners aren’t just looking to provide a home for their pets,” says Bob Vetere, president of the American Pet Products Association. “They are investing in their pets’ quality of life.”

How can you spoil your pet? Here are a few products that are sure to enhance your dog’s diva rating:

  • Bottles of Pet Pop of Australia’s vitamin-infused mountain spring water for dogs
  • Israeli dog shampoo with Dead Sea minerals
  • Sniff Pet Candles made of 100% organic products to promote your dog’s health and well-being
  • The Honest Kitchen’s fair-trade quinoa from Bolivia and wild, line-caught Icelandic haddock

Now THAT’s one diva dog!

Protecting Your Bird From Avian Flu

Avian Influenza or bird flu is a highly contagious viral disease that can infect many types of birds, including pet birds. It is important to take preventative measures to protect your avian family. Knowing the appropriate measures to take and how to identify possible infection is the best way to do this.

Avian flu is highly contagious

While strains of bird flu can be different, the symptoms are very similar. Below is a list of common symptoms.

  • Sudden increase in bird deaths
  • Sneezing, gasping for air, coughing and nasal discharge
  • Watery and green diarrhea
  • Lack of energy and poor appetite
  • Swelling around the eyes, neck, and head
  • Purple discoloration of the wattles, combs and legs
  • Tremors, drooping wings, circling, twisting of the head and neck or lack of movement

Using preventative measures to protect your birds is just as important as being able to identify symptoms. Follow these five steps for the best possible results:

Keep Your Distance - Restrict access to your birds. If visitors have birds of their own, do not let them near your birds and vice versa.

Keep It Clean - Wear clean clothes and wash your hands thoroughly with a disinfectant before handling your birds. Clean cages and change food and water daily. Remove feed from bags, place it in a clean sealed container and throw the bags away. Clean and disinfect tools that come in contact with your birds or their droppings. Remove droppings before disinfecting. Properly dispose of dead birds.

Do Not Haul Disease Home - When buying a pet bird, request certification from the bird seller that the bird was healthy prior to shipment, legally imported or came from U.S. stock.

If you or your bird has been near other birds or bird owners, such as at a pet store, bird club meeting or bird fair, clean and disinfect travel bird cages, your clothing, shoes and tools before going home. Have your birds been to an exhibition? Keep them separated from your other pet birds for at least two weeks after the event. New birds should be kept separate from your other pet birds for at least 30 days.

Do Not Borrow Disease From Your Neighbor - Do not share tools or bird supplies with your neighbors or other bird owners. If you do bring these items home, clean and disinfect them first.

Report Sick Birds - Do not wait! If your birds are sick or dying, call your local cooperative extension office, local veterinarian, the state veterinarian or U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Veterinary Services office to find out why. The USDA operates a toll-free hotline at 1-866-536-7593 in order to help.