Sabal Chase Animal Clinic

Sabal Chase Animal Clinic
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fighting Felines: Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

One of the most common problems cat owners face is that of cats who share the same space, but can’t seem to get along. When a new cat is brought into a home with an established, resident cat, the transition does not always go smoothly. New cats should always be introduced gradually. Start by limiting the newcomer’s range to certain rooms in your home. The established cat will know there is a new cat in the house, but neither will have to be in the other’s space at first. Let the established cat smell anything with which the new cat has had contact, and leave the item in a communal area. This will let the established cat know that eventually, this will be a shared space. Face to face meetings should be brief at first, and must always end on a good note. Reward both cats for their good behavior with treats, play activities, and praise.

If one of the cats is bullying the other, you may need to seek help from a trainer or behaviorist. Many Certified Professional Dog Trainers are also great with cats, so don’t give up if a Google search for cat behaviorists is fruitless. As a short term solution, make sure the cat who is being bullied has access to a high shelf, cat tree, or kitty condo. Height provides cats with feelings of both confidence and safety, and a cat who is not feeling stressed is less likely to develop health and behavioral problems. Additionally, the bully cat should wear a collar with a bell attached. The sound of the bell will alert the other cat to the movements of the bully. This prevents the target from being ambushed or stalked, and gives him plenty of time to escape to higher ground. Make sure the collar is labelled for cats, and will safely break apart if it gets caught. This trick alone tends to even the field, and should help keep the peace until a the behaviorist arrives.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Meet Chiquita, our June Pet of the Month!

World, meet Chiquita, our June Pet of the Month! Chiquita is a 12-year-old Miniature Pinscher who loves sunbathing and being spoiled. And who can resist spoiling that face? Despite the adulation, Chiquita's sweet and laid back temperament made her an instant hit with our team. Even when she's waiting for Santa with her four-legged companions, she still keeps her cool.

Congratulations, Chiquita, and share with all your friends - you're our Pet of the Month!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Hype About Flu

The Hype About Flu!
What You Need To Know About H3N2!

The recent H3N2 outbreak in Central Florida has alarmed many pet owners. Here is some information on what you should know.

  • Ace recovering from an upper respiratory infection.
    The H3N2 virus was first discovered in Chicago, Illinois in 2015. Since then the virus has been found in more than 30 states, including Florida.
  • In December 2015, Merck released the first H3N2 vaccine.
  • PLEASE NOTE: the H3N8 vaccine, either from Merck or Zoetis, does NOT offer cross protection against the H3N2 virus. It is a different strain altogether.
  • The vaccine may not 100% prevent the virus, but it will offer more protection than not vaccinating at all. If a vaccinated dog contracts H3N2, it will not last as long and the symptoms will not be as serious.
  • The virus can survive in the environment for up to 24 hours but is easily killed with soap and water.
  • The best way to prevent your dog from getting the virus would be to vaccinate against the H3N2 virus AND to limit your dog’s exposure to areas that they may socialize with other dogs like dog parks, day care, shelters, pet stores, dog shows, social events, etc.  
  • Testing is available if your dog shows signs of coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, decreased appetite, and lethargy. PLEASE avoid contact with other pets if your dog shows these symptoms.
  • The H3N2 virus can infect cats, but not humans. There is currently no vaccine for cats.
  • Treatment involves supportive care, cough suppressants and antibiotics to prevent secondary infection. Some dogs contract pneumonia secondary to H3N2 and require hospitalization.

The University of Florida has detailed information for pet owners here.

Here at Sabal Chase Animal Clinic, we have been offering the H3N2 vaccine since it first came out in 2015. At that time, we made it a mandatory vaccine for all of our boarders.

If you wish to schedule an appointment to get your dog vaccinated for H3N2, please call us as soon as possible so we can accommodate you. If this is the first time your dog has received this vaccine (or if your dog was not previously boostered), they will need to return in 2-3 weeks for a 2nd vaccination.