What Is Canine Influenza Virus?


There are many causes of kennel cough, both bacterial and viral. Canine influenza virus (CIV) is one of the viral causes of kennel cough. This highly contagious respiratory disease has affected thousands of dogs in the United States. Because CIV is a relatively new virus, most dogs have not been exposed to it before. Dogs of any age, breed, and vaccine status are susceptible to this infection.

How Could My Dog Catch Canine Influenza Virus?
CIV is easily transmitted between dogs through a combination of aerosols, droplets, and direct contact with respiratory secretions. The virus does not survive for a long time in the environment, so dogs usually get CIV when they are in close proximity to other infectious dogs.

Which Dogs Are Prone to Canine Influenza Virus? 
Any dog who interacts with large numbers of dogs is at increased risk for exposure. Pet owners should consult their veterinarian for information about the canine influenza vaccine.

What Are the General Signs of Canine Influenza Virus? 
While most dogs will show typical signs of kennel cough, but a small percentage of dogs will develop a more severe illness. Signs of canine influenza virus include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Variable fever
  • Clear nasal discharge that progresses to thick, yellowish-green mucus
  • Rapid/difficult breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

Can Dogs Die From Canine Influenza Virus?
If CIV is quickly diagnosed and treated, the fatality rate is quite low. Deaths are usually caused by secondary complications, such as pneumonia. It is important that dogs with CIV receive proper veterinary care.

How Is Canine Influenza Virus Diagnosed?
Veterinarians will typically conduct a thorough physical examination and run a series of tests to diagnose the illness.

How Is Canine Influenza Treated?
Because CIV is a virus similar to the flu in humans, there is no specific antiviral medication available. However, supportive care and appropriate treatment of secondary infections are important. Your veterinarian may advise the following to soothe your dog while the condition runs its course:

  • Good nutrition and supplements to raise immunity
  • A warm, quiet, and comfortable spot to rest
  • Medications to treat secondary bacterial infections
  • Intravenous fluids to maintain hydration
  • Workup and treatment for pneumonia

Be advised, while most dogs will fight the infection within 10 to 30 days, secondary infections require antibiotics and, in the case of pneumonia, sometimes even hospitalization.

What Should I Do if I Think My Dog Has Canine Influenza Virus? 
If you think your dog has canine influenza virus, immediately isolate him or her from all other dogs and call your veterinarian.

Can I Catch Canine Influenza From My Dog?
So far there has been no evidence to indicate that dogs can transmit CIV to humans.

How Can I Help Prevent My Dog From Spreading the Disease? 
Any dog infected with CIV should be kept isolated from other dogs for 10 to 14 days from the onset of signs. Dogs are most infectious before signs are apparent, and can continue shedding the virus for approximately 10 days. This means that by the time signs of the illness are seen, other dogs may have already been exposed.

Source: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/canine-influenza-viruscanine-flu

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Easter Pet Poisons


The veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline receive hundreds of calls this time of year from pet owners and veterinarians concerning cats that have ingested Easter lilies.

“Unbeknownst to many pet owners, Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “All parts of the Easter lily plant are poisonous – the petals, the leaves, the stem and even the pollen. Cats that ingest as few as one or two leaves, or even a small amount of pollen while grooming their fur, can suffer severe kidney failure.”

In most situations, symptoms of poisoning will develop within six to 12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Symptoms worsen as kidney failure develops. Some cats will experience disorientation, staggering and seizures.

“There is no effective antidote to counteract lily poisoning, so the sooner you can get your cat to the veterinarian, the better his chances of survival will be,” said Brutlag. “If you see your cat licking or eating any part of an Easter lily, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately. If left untreated, his chances of survival are low.”

Treatment includes inducing vomiting, administering drugs like activated charcoal (to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines), intravenous fluid therapy to flush out the kidneys, and monitoring of kidney function through blood testing. The prognosis and the cost – both financially and physically – to the pet owner and cat, are best when treated immediately.

There are several other types of lilies that are toxic to cats as well. They are of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species and commonly referred to as Tiger lilies, Day lilies and Asiatic lilies. Popular in many gardens and yards, they can also result in severe acute kidney failure. These lilies are commonly found in florist bouquets, so it is imperative to check for poisonous flowers before bringing bouquets into the household. Other types of lilies – such as the Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies – are usually not a problem for cats and may cause only minor drooling.

Thankfully, lily poisoning does not occur in dogs or people. However, if a large amount is ingested, it can result in mild gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Other Dangers to Pets at Easter Time

Pet Poison Helpline also receives calls concerning pets that have ingested Easter grass and chocolate.

Usually green or yellow in color, Easter grass is the fake grass that often accompanies Easter baskets. When your cat or dog ingests something “stringy” like Easter grass, it can become anchored around the base of the tongue or stomach, rendering it unable to pass through the intestines. It can result in a linear foreign body and cause severe damage to the intestinal tract, often requiring expensive abdominal surgery.

Lastly, during the week of Easter, calls to Pet Poison Helpline concerning dogs that have been poisoned by chocolate increase by nearly 200 percent. While the occasional chocolate chip in one cookie may not be an issue, certain types of chocolate are very toxic to dogs. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. The chemical toxicity is due to methylxanthines (a relative of caffeine) and results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and possibly death. Other sources include chewable chocolate flavored multi-vitamins, baked goods, or chocolate-covered espresso beans. If you suspect that your dog ate chocolate, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

Spring is in the air and Easter is a wonderful holiday. Remember that your pets will be curious about new items you bring into your household like Easter lilies, Easter grass and chocolate. Keep them a safe distance away from your pets’ reach and enjoy the holiday and the season.


SOURCE: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/seasons/easter/

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Why Your Pet Needs Dental Care


In honor of National Pet Dental Health Month, Animal Emergency & Pet Care Clinic of the High Country wants to emphasize the importance of dental care for your pet. Did you know that more than 50% of all dogs and cats have some form of gum disease by just 3 years of age? Comparable to gum disease in humans, gum disease in pets begin with tartar buildup, which is why it’s so important to keep up with brushing your pet’s teeth from home. It’s also important to bring them in to at least once a year for a professional dental exam so we can let you know if a cleaning is necessary. We offer a variety of dental services to keep your pet’s teeth and gums in tip-top shape.


Common Signs of Gum Disease


Fortunately, many of the early signs of gum disease are obvious to the eye (or the nose) and can be treated. They include:


  • Bad breath
  • Brown or yellow film (tartar) on the teeth
  • Red gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Bumps in the mouth


Left untreated, gum disease can actually affect a pet’s liver, heart, and kidneys. Of course, we know you don’t want this for your pet, so if it’s been a while since your pet’s had a dental visit, schedule an appointment online today or give us a call at 828-268-2833. After your pet’s dental visit, we’ll be happy to give you our recommendations for dental products and techniques that can be used to maintain your pet’s teeth from home between visits.

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3 Fun Winter Activities to Do with Your Pet This Season

Fun Winter Activities to Do with Your Pet This Season

During the winter months, it’s easy to get a little cabin fever. And you know what? Our pet’s aren’t immune to that same feeling! That’s one of the reasons it’s important to try and stay active and energized. Animal Emergency & Pet Care Clinic of the High Country would like to help keep your pet healthy and happy, which usually means active and entertained! Check out some of the fun pet-friendly activities we suggest:

  1. Take a hike. Going out one a park trail, whether paved or not, can be a fun wintertime activity for you and your pet! Even if it’s just a half hour hike, it gets the blood flowing and muscles moving.
  2. Play a game inside. Sometimes our pets can be stimulated by an active inside game too. Even if you don’t have a lot of space for your pet to run, a game of wrestle or tug of war can take place in an open room or a hallway.
  3. Strengthen your pet’s brain. Cognitive games for pets are very popular right now and can really benefit your pet. Plus, they can be quite fun! You can pick up some interesting cognitive games at your local pet supply store or online. It can be fun to see what your pet is capable of!

No matter what life stage your pet is in, they can benefit from physical activity, bonding with you, and cognitive exercise. It’s easy to squeeze these activities into our day during the summer, but in the winter it can be a lot easier to let things slip. Add daily pet time to your to-do list this winter and watch your pet get healthier and happier. Who knows, it might benefit your health too!

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The Importance of Spaying and Neutering


Has your pet been spayed or neutered? At Animal Emergency & Pet Care Clinic of the High Country, we recommend that all companion animals be spayed or neutered. Not only is spaying and neutering beneficial for the reduction of unwanted pets in the world, but it can also improve your pet’s personal health and well-being.

Unwanted Puppies and Kittens

Pet overpopulation is a problem that has been affecting our humane societies and animal shelters for many years. While there are reputable breeders doing good work in the world, every pet does not need to be the parent of a litter of puppies or kittens. The result of too many puppies and kittens is pets that can’t find a home and overcrowded shelters.

Health Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

Spaying or neutering your pet has more benefits than the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, it can also make your pet lead a longer, healthier life! Some of the health benefits of spaying or neutering are:

  • Reduced risk of some cancers (particularly testicular, uterine, mammary, and ovarian)
  • Elimination of some unwanted pet behaviors including marking, aggression, running away, etc.
  • Elimination of the heat cycle in female dogs

If your pet is not spayed or neutered, we recommend having the completed as soon as possible. During the month of December 2015, we are offering a special on this procedure, but it’s only for the month, so please call and schedule your visit as quickly as possible! After all, this is such an important part of your pet’s ongoing health.

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The Importance of Senior Veterinary Care in Boone

Senior Pet Care in Boone, NC

Is your pet over the age of 7 years? For most pets, age 7 is when they will start being called a senior, but it may be even earlier for pets that are larger, like Great Danes and mastiffs. Once your pet reaches their senior years, the Animal Emergency and Pet Care Clinic of the High Country will begin to offer different treatment which corresponds to the life stage and needs of your particular pet.


While ongoing veterinary care is critical to pets of all ages, it can be even more important for pets who have reached their golden years. At this point in each pet’s life, health conditions can develop and progress quickly, making diagnostics an absolutely essential part of preventive care. Once a problem or potential problem has been identified, treatment can begin promptly. The sooner an issue is addressed, the more effective the treatment can be!


What Does Senior Care Consist Of?


When a senior pet comes in for an examination at the Animal Emergency and Pet Care Clinic of the High Country, we conduct a nose-to-tail exam just like we would for a younger pet. In addition to a basic examination, we will also recommend a number of diagnostics, usually including blood work and urine testing, to check for underlying health conditions that can’t be identified with the naked eye.


In addition to a physical and diagnostics, we will also work with you to analyze your pet’s lifestyle and determine if there need to be changes in their care, such as dietary adjustments, vaccine alterations, etc. When pets age, their basic needs begin to change and our veterinary team can work with you to make sure that your particular pet’s needs are met!


Contact our veterinary team to learn more!

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The Importance of Annual Wellness Care for Pets


Annual wellness visits are so important for our pets, for a number of reasons! At Animal Emergency & Pet Care Clinic of the High Country, we recommend that all pets come in to our office for check-ups at least once a year to help us ensure that they are healthy. Exams allow us to identify problem areas in your pet’s health and even diagnose health problems that may be only just developing. Catching problems early can often be the best way to administer effective treatment that will keep the problem from progressing! This can often save money in the long run, in addition to helping your pet to get back on the road to good health faster.

Besides nose-to-tail examinations, we also recommend that all pets receive ongoing preventive care to keep potential problems at bay! Vaccines are an important part of preventive care because they can help protect your pet from so many diseases that they may encounter in regular life. During your pet’s annual visit, we can talk with you about their needs and lifestyle to ensure that they’re fully protected from the diseases they may encounter.

Why We’re Offering Our October 2015 Special

During the month of October 2015, we’re offering a special discount on annual visits, vaccines, and diagnostic testing: 10% off for all patients, 20% off for our loyalty members. We’re offering this promotion to help instill the importance of annual visits, vaccines, and diagnostics and we hope that our clients will be able to see just how serious we are about it!

If you have not yet taken advantage of our October 2015 discount special, please contact our team about setting up an appointment this month!

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The Importance of Pet Dental Care


Does your pet have bad breath? If so, this could be a sign of the early stages of gum disease, which is one of the most common diseases seen in pets. In fact, more than half of all dogs and cats in the U.S. have some form of gum disease by just 3 years of age. The good news is that gum disease CAN be prevented with regular check-ups and cleanings as needed, and if you schedule your pet’s appointment for this month at our clinic, you can save money! For the month of September, Animal Emergency & Pet Care Clinic of the High Country in Boone, NC is offering a 10% off special on our dental services….and if you hold an active Loyalty Reward card, you can save 20%! Keep reading to learn more!


Loyalty Rewards Card


Loyalty Rewards cards are available for pet owners who bring their pets to Animal Emergency & Pet Care Clinic as their regular veterinarian and for all preventive care. These cards can be purchased for $10 each for a one-year membership! Having a Loyalty Reward provides a number of benefits for you and your pet, including the 20% dental discount. You can also:


  • Earn 5% back on every dollar you spend
  • Take advantage of special events and deals throughout the year (available exclusively to Loyalty Card holders)
  • Redeem points/dollars earned on any future visit


To sign up for YOUR Loyalty Rewards Card, or to learn more about it, give us a call at (828) 268-2833.


Why Your Pet Needs Regular Dental Care


Dental care is one of the most important aspects of pet care, but it’s also one of the most neglected. Just as with humans, once gum disease begins to progress, it can affect more than just the mouth. In dogs and cats, gum disease can affect the liver, heart, and kidneys if left untreated. It can also cause discomfort and pain and result in tooth loss/extractions. Of course, no one wants this for a pet, so it’s best to be proactive about your dog’s or cat’s dental health. Animal Emergency & Pet Care Clinic of the High Country recommends that you bring your pet in for a dental exam at least once a year. During the exam, we can determine if a full dental cleaning is necessary and schedule a separate appointment for treatment.


What to Expect During Your Pet’s Dental Visit


The dental appointment typically consists of a pre-dental exam and pre-anesthetic blood work to ensure that your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia and the dental procedure. The treatment itself consists of IV placement and anesthesia administration, digital X-rays to view below the gum line, pain management, and ultrasonic scaling and polishing. We monitor vitals for all of our patients before, during, and after every procedure we perform. After treatment, we provide at-home instructions and pain management to aid in your pet’s recovery.


At-Home Dental Care


While professional veterinary care is the best way to keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy, you as the pet owner play a crucial role in your companion’s oral health as well. There are a number of ways you can help keep your pet’s mouth healthy between visits to our clinic. These include brushing and toothpastes, oral rinses and gels, diets and chews, and chew toys, which are available for both dogs and cats. Our team will be glad to give you our recommendations for at-home dental care during your pet’s visit.


Is Your Pet Due for a Dental Visit?


If it’s been a while since your pet has seen a vet, or if you’ve noticed any of the following symptoms, it’s time to schedule a dental appointment at our clinic. These are some of the most common signs that could indicate an oral infection or the early stages of gum disease.


  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Loose or broken teeth


Schedule your pet’s dental visit today at Animal Emergency & Pet Clinic of the High Country in Boone, NC by calling (828) 268-2833, and take advantage of our 10% off dental special. Together, we can lower your pet’s risk of gum disease and prolong their life!


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Save 20% on Puppy and Kitten Services


If you recently brought home a new puppy or kitten, congratulations on the new addition to the family! Having a new pet in the home is usually a very exciting time for a family, but it’s also the time when certain precautions and regimens need to be established. In fact, your fur baby is going to need health care within the first week of bringing them home. Animal Emergency & Pet Care of the High Country in Boone, NC wants to help your pet get started on the right paw while saving you money at the same time, so we’re offering 20% off of all of our puppy and kitten services. This includes the wellness exam, genetic testing, and spaying/neutering.

About the Puppy/Kitten Wellness Exam

Your pet’s first wellness exam allows our doctors to ensure that your new companion is healthy and make treatment recommendations if they’re not. We examine your pet from nose to tail, including the eyes, ears, hair, coat, and teeth. We also recommend a stool sample to test for parasites, since many puppies and kittens are born with intestinal parasites. During this first visit, we also provide counseling so you can be well equipped to give your pet the best chance at a long, happy, healthy life. We address training, behavior, diet, vaccinations, and parasite control and can answer any questions you have about caring for your new pet.

Genetic Testing for Pets

Just as with humans, there is the option of DNA-based detection of genes that may cause disease in pets. Genetic testing allows the doctors at Animal Emergency & Pet Care of the High Country to identify and reduce inherited diseases, including breed-related diseases and genetic disorders. Since there are many conditions associated with certain breeds, we can also determine what diseases to test a pet for. If you plan to use your pet for breeding, we recommend that you schedule a genetic test.

Spaying and Neutering

If you don’t plan to breed your pet, we recommend that you spay/neuter them at about 6 months of age. This will not only prevent overpopulation, but can actually prevent a number of health problems from occurring. Spaying can prevent uterine infections and breast cancer while neutering can prevent testicular cancer. Neutering can also prevent aggressive behavior and marking, while spaying will prevent from going into heat.

How Can I Save on My Puppy’s/Kitten’s Care?

It’s simple! Just schedule an appointment today by calling (828) 268-2833. Your 20% discount on your pet’s spay/neuter, exam, genetic test or other puppy/kitten service will be applied at check out. If you have any questions about the discount or about our services, let an Animal Emergency & Pet Care of the High Country team member know. We’ll be happy to help.

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The Importance of Pet Pain Management in Boone, NC


When a pet is in pain, due to a chronic condition, an injury, or a recent surgery, it is important for that pain to be relieved, for a number of reasons. Besides the obvious desire for your pet to be comfortable and at ease, pet pain management is critical for helping patients to heal properly. From experience, we all know that pain causes our bodies to clench up, making us unable to walk or move comfortably, and increasing the risk of more injuries! The same is true of our pets.

What is Pet Laser Therapy?

Laser therapy is a pet pain management treatment modality that has formerly been used in human medicine and has only recently been added to the field of veterinary medicine. The laser therapy tool uses concentrated laser light to stimulate healing in specific areas of the body, as directed by the pet’s needs.

When your pet is brought to our office in need of pet pain relief, our veterinarians will work closely with you to ensure that the best treatment option is offered for their needs, and we will often utilize pet laser therapy in addition to other treatment options we deem necessary for your pet’s healing and comfort.

Please contact our team to learn more about pet laser therapy and other pain management treatment options. We look forward to working with your pet to help them get back to feeling their very best.

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