Palmyra Animal Clinic Blog | Palmyra, PA

We treat your pets the way we treat our own

Palmyra Animal Clinic

920 E Main St

Palmyra, PA 17078

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Check this blog often for the latest updates and news from Palmyra Animal Clinic.

By Palmyra Animal Clinic, Apr 2 2015 03:03PM

~ FeLV, FIP, FIV- though appearing as alphabet soup, these combinations of letters actually represent abbreviations for the three most common killer diseases of cats in the United States. In fact, feline leukemia virus, feline infectious peritonitis, and feline immunodeficiency virus rank one, two and three, respectively, as infectious disease killers in this country. All three are contagious, incurable, and most often fatal. Each is caused by a separate virus, affecting the eat's immune system. To protect pets, concerned cat owners should be aware of each of these diseases and how they are spread.

~  Feline leukemia virus kills nearly one million cats per year, even though a vaccine has been available since 1985. The virus is contracted through close contact with an infected cat. It attacks and weakens the immune system, leaving it susceptible to many life- threatening infections, including FIP and FIV. Not all cats exposed to the virus become infected - some fight it off and become immune, and others become carriers, putting other cats at risk. Once a cat is permanently affected, though, FeL V shortens its life. It may cause tumors, blood abnormalities such as leukemia, or leave the cat open to infection from other diseases. About 83 percent of infected cats die within three years of exposure, and almost half of these die within the first year.

~Although identified a quarter of a century ago, the first big breakthrough for feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) did not occur until 1991 when the first vaccine was introduced. There is no cure for the disease and it kills nearly one-half million cats a year. Because there are no tests to distinguish it from other, less harmful, related feline viruses, FIP is easily misdiagnosed. Its symptoms - weight loss, lethargy and vomiting - are also misleading because they are common to many other diseases. Unfortunately, once symptoms are seen, it is generally too late for all but trying to ease the eat's suffering. There are several different forms of the virus, including a wet form resulting in fluid buildup in the chest or abdomen, a dry form which attacks more slowly with a general lack of observable signs, and a combination of these two forms. The FIP virus is especially hard on young cats six months to five years of age and on cats over eleven years old. Like FeL V, FIP is spread through direct contact between cats. Infection rates are also affected by stress, steroids crowding, malnutrition, and other infections such as FeLV or FIV.

~ Feline immunodeficiency virus belongs to the same subfamily of viruses as the virus that causes human AIDS (although no communicable to humans). FIV can lie dormant in cats for years before signs of illness appear. Two to six weeks after exposure to FIV, an infected cat may have a fever or swollen lymph nodes. The cat may then appear normal for years. But the last, and fatal stage brings on a weakened immune system and other infections such as FeLV and FIP. This can last for more than three years. FIV, as with FIP and FeLV, is spread through contact with an infected cat which, in the case of a kitten, may be it’s mother or father.

~What can be done to protect your cat from these three fatal diseases? Reliable tests are available for both FcLV and FIV. It is suggested that all new kittens and any cat not already tested should be tested for both viruses. If the tests are negative, the kitten or cat should be vaccinated for FeLV. An initial two doses, three weeks apart, followed by annual boosters are recommended. Since there is no FIV vaccine as of yet, protection can be maintained by keeping cats indoors, neutering male cats to reduce the urge to roam or fight, and having any new cat tested before introducing it into a household with other cats. The advent of the FIP vaccine for cats has aided cat owners in their fight against infectious diseases. Given as nose drops, the FIP vaccine should be given to healthy cats twelve weeks of age or older as two doses three weeks apart, followed by a yearly booster.

~ If you are unsure whether your cat has been tested or protected against FeLV, FIP, or FIV, or if you have any questions regarding these three major viral diseases of cats, check with your veterinarian, or feel free to call the Palmyra, Colonial Park, Silver Springs, or Pine Grove Animal Clinics for further information. Together we can make the lives of our pets longer and healthier.

Richard Hann, DVM

By Palmyra Animal Clinic, Mar 20 2015 02:31PM

"Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can produce a life- threatening illness. The virus attacks rapidly dividing cells in a dog's body, most severely affecting the intestinal tract. Parvovirus also attacks the white blood cells, and when young animals are infected, the virus can damage the heart muscle and cause lifelong cardiac problem" (http://pets.webmd .com/dogs/parvo-parvovirus-dogs)

Parvovirus is one of those things that everyone has heard of and no one can really tell you what it is. It's one that if you asked a hundred people, fifty would say it was curable and fifty would say it was a death sentence. They would all be right. Depending on the dog's immune system and the owner's finances, a diagnosis of parvo could go either way.

Some symptoms include (but are not limited to) bloody diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and abdominal pain. The treatment for parvo is the treatment for the symptoms as no antiviral has been developed that can combat with the virus once it's living in a host. Diagnosis is done in a vet's office with an Enzyme Linked ImmunoSorbant Assay (ELISA) test. This takes about 15 minutes, though, due to the possibility of a false positive or false negative, and the fact that parvo is life threatening, your vet may ask for additional blood work and tests to verify and be sure.

Costs for treatment can range from $1000 to over $3000. That may seem like a lot, and a large gap, but on the low end it's accounting for 5 days in ICU treatment and the bare minimal medications that would be necessary. At the higher end of the estimate is a dog with complications; a dog that will need surgery to have parts of its bowel and/or intestine removed.

Parvo can be a lot simpler than you think. Picture this: a bird is hopping along the forest floor looking for breakfast and lands on a spot that was once defecated on by a dog that had parvo. (This could have happened last week, or last month. Parvo is incredibly resilient and can live in the environment for months.) The bird grabs the worm and happily munches while flying to your backyard where you have a conveniently placed birdbath. Washing the mud from its feet, it fluffs itself while you watch on from the kitchen window drinking your coffee. The twilling sound of birds and the splashing that ensues wakes lazy bones puppy up who then runs to the back door begging to be let out. You oblige and puppy happily chases birds around the yard, sneaking a drink out of the birdbath when you smiled and turned around to fix your own breakfast. Your dog was just exposed to parvo.

This isn't meant to be a message of doom and gloom, just a warning and spreading of awareness. According to the records kept by Banfield Pet Hospital the national average of Canine Parvovirus are 34 cases in ten thousand and Pennsylvania is at 12 cases in ten thousand. Most of our neighbors are similar, however Ohio is higher than the national average at 35 cases in ten thousand. ( _pet-health/disease/trends/PA)

By Palmyra Animal Clinic, Mar 19 2015 04:56PM

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Unfortunately, niether were vaccinated and 3 days after leaving the hill they were both sick with parvo. It could have come from the hill, it could have been the pail, or it could have been the water. We'll never know. What we do know is that "Even with the best veterinary care, this disease is often fatal." And that, my friends, sucks.

That being said though, you're looking at some of the cutest little mugs to ever exhonorate themselves from death row!

Jack and Jill were found as strays in York County. When the SPCA had them tested and they turned up positive for parvo a plea was sent out for help. They were on a list to be euthanized when Dr Clements answered the email asking for help with, "When are they going to get here?"

Along come Jack and Jill to Palmyra Animal Clinic- Lend A Paw Adoptions with nothing more than cute faces and parvovirus. After 4 days of intensive treatment, Jill took a turn, lifted her head up, and declared herself well enough to leave ICU! Jack wasn't quite as quick to tire of ICU but, two days later, he too decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about back in the kennel with the healthy pups.

This is a story with a happy ending that could have just as easily been a cautionary tale for those who skip out on vaccines. The 'distemper' vaccine (seen on your exam form as DHLPP) is what will prevent YOUR dog from getting this entirely preventable disease. It's a combo vaccine that covers distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and parainfluenza.

We really CANNOT stress enough how prevalent these diseases are and how easy it is to prevent them.

Normally, we don't come out front and ask for donations. This is going to have to be a slightly different situation. We are asking for donations to help cover the costs of the treatments in order to adopt these loveable mutts. Just the parvo treatment alone was $900 a dog (the main reason that when they are tested positive in a shelter they are euthanized). They are also now up to date on shots and altered (spayed and neutered).

If you are interested in adopting this pair, affectionately known as "The Twins" call us at 717-838-5451 or message us here on Facebook.

For more info on Parvo, please take a look at the links below:

Contact Palmyra Animal Clinic for more information and on how to adopt Jack & Jill!

(717) 838-5451

By guest, Jan 21 2015 08:53PM


Welcome to Lend A Paw Adoptions! We are a small part of Palmyra Animal Clinic. We try to rehome cats and dogs that are in need. Visit our Facebook page to see what and who is available!

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