Ask a Pets Blogger: How Long Does Parvo Live in the Environment?

A friend of mine recently fostered a dog who was suffering from parvo. With vet treatment, the dog survived and has gone on to a forever home… but my friend is now worried about future fosters. What can she do to protect the next dog that comes to stay with her? Parvo is a tough one to get rid of because it is so hardy — especially outdoors. A few ways in which the parvovirus can be spread: Carried on shoes or clothing. Surviving sub-freezing temperatures to infect dogs after the spring thaw. Freezing does NOT kill the virus — … Continue reading

What Is Feline Distemper?

Feline distemper — also know as panleukopenia — is a severe and highly contagious disease that affects felines, raccoons, and mink. The virus that causes feline distemper is similar to the parvovirus in dogs. Panleukopenia is very widespread and common in nature; a cat can easily be exposed to it within the first year of life. The virus is very stable, and can survive for years at room temperature. Many common disinfectants do not kill the feline distemper virus. Contact with 1:32 bleach solution for ten minutes will deactivate the virus. Feline distemper is most commonly transmitted when a cat … Continue reading

What to Consider When Getting a Cat

Between cats and dogs, the two most popular pets in America, cats are the more low maintenance. They can ostensibly be left on their own for longer periods of time, and they don’t require quite the same levels of attention as dogs. Because of that, however, sometimes people think they can just adopt a cat and let it be, when there are still several things to consider when determining if a cat is suitable for your lifestyle. First things first, you’ll have to consider your cat’s vaccinations. Depending on how young of a cat you adopt, and from where you … Continue reading

What is FVRCP?

If you are a cat owner, your cat has probably received the FVRCP vaccination. But do you know what it does? The FVRCP vaccination protects your cat against three contagious diseases. Kittens receive four FVRCP injections, starting at the age of six to eight weeks. A booster shot is typically given annually, though some experts believe a less frequent booster shot would be just as effective. FVR = Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis. This is a severe upper respiratory infection that is most dangerous to young kittens and older cats. The virus is extremely contagious to cats, and is caused by a … Continue reading

Do Dogs Catch Colds?

Up until the last week or so, I could say that I’ve never really heard a dog cough before. But in the last few days, Lally’s been making a weird noise that is somewhere between a human cough and the sound she makes before she barfs. Aside from the cough, she seems fine… so it got me wondering: do dogs catch colds? Colds — like humans have — aren’t transmittable from humans to pets. So what could be causing Lally’s cough? Kennel cough comes with a high, dry cough — the dog seems to feel fine otherwise. In most adult … Continue reading

Tabby: Even the Best Vets Goof

When I very first found Tabby in the middle of the road, the vet I rushed her to was great. It wasn’t our family vet because I wasn’t near them. I was only a couple miles from Banfield Pet Hospital, and, not knowing how bad off Tabby might be, I decided just to go to them. However, in the three months since we’ve had her, a couple of their initial observations have proved wrong. Room for Error I’m not trying to impugn anyone’s character here. That’s not the point. Mistakes happen. And in this case there was room for error. … Continue reading