Sunday, March 22, 2009


Strategic deworming is a practice recommended by the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The plan consists of treating your pet for worms at regular intervals that are specifically designed to prevent parasite disease and the shedding of parasite eggs in your yard and home which can then re-infest your pet or family members. Almost all puppies and kittens are born with intestinal parasites. Therefore, it is recommended that your pet be treated every two weeks until three months of age, then monthly until six months of age. The interval should be adjusted based on the prepatent period of any parasites seen in a fecal sample.

We recommend that adult dogs and outside cats have fecal samples tested twice a year; adult indoor cats have fecal samples tested annually; and deworming be done twice a year on pets belonging to immunocompromised individuals.

Adults and children can be accidentally infected with roundworm, hookworm, and tapeworm, which are common parasites of dogs and cats. It is estimated that 10,000 children in the United States are infected annually with roundworm. People are exposed when they work or play in contaminated soil (garden or sandbox) and then accidentally put dirty hands in their mouth. Sometimes fruits and vegetables that grow close to the ground are contaminated.

Besides deworming your pet regularly, and washing your hands often, there are other measures you can take to decrease exposure to intestinal parasites:

* Clean up after your dog! Don’t leave feces in our parks or parkways, or in your yard. Daily maintenance is best!
* Control fleas! Fleas spread tapeworm.
* Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating.
* Do not allow children to go barefoot or sit on playgrounds or beaches where they are exposed to pet feces. Hookworm larvae can penetrate the skin and cause serious inflammation.
* Clean cat boxes daily and wash hands afterward.

If you or your child experience symptoms including fever, malaise, cough, rash, wheezing, appetite loss, or weight loss, consult your doctor immediately. The majority of intestinal parasite cases in humans are asymptomatic; however they can also affect the eye, skin, or nervous system.

Source : Family Pet Animal Hospital

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Clinical Update for Feline

UPDATE: November 2003

For the past five years during all feline annual examinations, we have discussed the Vaccination Associated Sarcomas and our attempts to reduce their incidence. We are concerned that many of our cat owners may not have made it in for their yearly physical examination and we are dedicated to getting this information out to everyone. Important changes are happening in veterinary medicine. Due to the emergence of Vaccination Associated Sarcomas, vaccination recommendations will be changing for all patients, including dogs.

The facts:

1. One in 5,000 feline patients receiving a vaccine, usually the Rabies or Feline Leukemia containing an adjuvant, will develop a malignant tumor called a fibrosarcoma right at the injection site. It starts as a small lump, called a granuloma. Depending on the cat’s immune system, the lump may disappear within three to four weeks, or it may continue to increase in size, transforming into a malignant fibrosarcoma. Once the tumor forms, it is extremely aggressive locally and very difficult to completely surgically remove. Multiple types of chemotherapy, as well as radiation therapy, have been tried post-surgically to prevent recurrence with variable success.

2. IT IS REQUIRED BY LAW as well as an important preventative measure to continue to vaccinate against the Rabies virus. Not only is Rabies fatal for cats, it is fatal for people and readily contagious through exposure to infected saliva. Multiple occurrences of bats getting into people’s homes and high-rise apartments are reported yearly in Chicago. The state of Illinois may elect to quarantine an unvaccinated cat for up to six months if exposed to a bat.

3. Keeping the above information in mind, we feel uncomfortable discontinuing any Rabies inoculation, even in strictly indoor cats. We had been giving a three-year vaccine, thereby reducing a cat’s exposure to the vaccine by one-third. Since May 11, 1999, Family Pet Animal Hospital has been using the new Purevax Rabies Vaccine made by Merial exclusively for cats. It is the only rabies vaccine made that does NOT have adjuvants or liquid fillers, so it virtually eliminates injection site inflammation that could lead to a vaccine sarcoma. The company has sold two million doses with only a few reported reactions. It is still licensed for a one year duration; the company is about two years away from completing the research required by the FDA for three year approval. Researchers on the Vaccine Sarcoma Task Force have proven this to be the safest Rabies vaccine available. While we wait for further studies to reveal whether it will have longer immune stimulation than one year, we must continue to vaccinate cats annually.

4. All Feline Leukemia vaccines should be discontinued unless there is absolute concern that your cat may be exposed to another cat, especially a stray. This includes indoor-outdoor cats, as well as cats that live in garden apartments and spend time in ground-floor windows with screens that may allow saliva from a stray cat to pass through. When this vaccine is necessary, it is a yearly vaccine after the initial two boosters.

5. The once annual FVRCP vaccine, protecting against Distemper and other upper respiratory viruses, has now been changed to a three-year vaccine as recommended by the American Association of Feline Practitioners. This has been our recommendation since their announcement in January of 1998 even though the vaccine company is still labeling the vaccine as necessary yearly.

6. The Rabies vaccine should be injected subcutaneously as low as possible in the right hindlimb and Leukemia, when absolutely necessary, should be given similarly but in the left hindlimb. The FVRCP should be placed as low as possible on the right shoulder. The thought behind this protocol is that if a tumor should develop it will be easier to treat surgically when located on a limb than on the shoulder area. In addition, we have changed all our vaccines to single-dose vials instead of ten-dose tanks to eliminate the risk of adjuvant settling to the bottom of the vial and having a higher concentration in the last two to three doses.

7. To monitor your cat, run your hands over the area(s) where the vaccine(s) were given. Check weekly for lumps (a hard, knot-like structure) in or just under the skin. Generally lumps are firm and not easily missed. They will usually be nonpainful and be about the size of a marble when first discovered. A lump may form up to THREE YEARS after vaccination. Any lump found should be examined ASAP and we are more than willing to do this at no charge.

8. We are extremely concerned about the emergence of this problem. We have dedicated ourselves to preventing suffering and promoting health and quality of life. Due to vaccinations, we rarely see Feline Panleukopenia or Rabies and have seen a great reduction in cats with Feline Leukemia Virus. We never imagined something so terrible could come from vaccines we were taught were innocuous.

9. A vaccination titer refers to a blood test that measures antibody protection produced in response to the last vaccine given. In other words, does your pet still have protection from the last vaccination given? Does he or she really need this vaccine? These titers are easy to get and reasonably priced. Currently we are recommending taking blood to measure vaccine titers instead of vaccinating any patient with a chronic illness or immune disorder as well as in geriatric patients. Furthermore, it is wise to screen titers from patients of any age each year the FVRCP vaccine is not due, in case the patient’s immunity has decreased. If the titer comes back “protective”, then the patient does not need the vaccine this year and the titer should be rechecked in one year. If the titer is not “protective”, giving the vaccine may be recommended. The exception to this is the Rabies vaccine; this shot is regulated by law in our state and the choice whether or not to give it is out of our hands.

10. Be assured that the doctors at Family Pet Animal Hospital will keep apprised of all changes in vaccinations and Vaccine Associated Sarcoma treatment based on ongoing research by our universities. Our mission at Family Pet Animal Hospital has always been and will always be your pet’s health. We have worked hard to update our facility annually to provide state of the art diagnostics and treatment modalities. Yet, there is nothing that replaces a physical examination for early detection of problems prior to our pets displaying signs of illness. We strongly encourage all of our clients to continue to make a yearly examination appointment; a time to check all systems and educate you on the most current thoughts in our field that may be life-saving for your pet. Please call our office if you have any questions concerning this information.

Source : Family Pet Animal Hospital

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Recent outbreaks of Leptospirosis, a disease caused by the bacterium Leptospira, have prompted manufacturers to update canine vaccines. Leptospirosis is a leading cause of acute kidney failure in dogs and can also damage the liver. Severe Leptospira infections lead to shock and are usually fatal. It can be transmitted directly between animals, including humans, when the bacteria penetrate the lining of the mouth. More frequently, indirect transmission occurs when the bacteria shed in the affected animal’s urine and contaminate the environment, especially stagnant or slow-moving water.

There are ten serovars (strains) of Leptospira. Previously the annual DHLPP (Distemper) vaccine contained two serovars that are no longer the leading cause of the disease. The NEW DHLPP VACCINE contains Grippotyphosa and Pomona serovars that are responsible for the recent outbreaks. Recovery from the infection with Leptospirosis is dependent upon the amount of specific antibody within the animal’s system. PROTECT YOUR PET!!

Remember that Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be transmitted from animals to humans. PROTECT YOURSELF!! Allow Family Pet Animal Hospital to vaccinate your dog and in turn protect our community.

source: Family Pet Animal Hospital

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mechanism of Vaccination

All chicks are vaccinated at the hatchery, and some chicks receive "booster" vaccinations after they have been in the grow-out house for several days. Have you ever wondered, "How do these vaccinations protect my chicks?"
The purpose of all vaccinations is to cause the birds to develop immunity to pathogens. Pathogens are things like bacteria and/or viruses. Marek's, Newcastle, Infectious Bronchitis, and Gumboro are diseases caused by viral pathogens that we normally vaccinate chicks against.
Vaccines against viruses consist of attenuated viruses that are either in cells or freed from cells. Attenuation means to reduce the ability of the virus to cause disease, that is, decrease its virulence. This is done by putting the virus through several replication cycles in embryonic cells. Then the virus is either freed from the embryonic cells or the vaccine is prepared using viruses still in the cells.
For purposes of illustration, we will assume that our chicks are vaccinated with a Marek's disease vaccine. Within minutes after the vaccine enters the body of the chick, it will be "eaten" by phagocytes. These are large cells that occur everywhere in the body. Their function is to remove foreign materials from the body. After the phagocyte has removed the Marek's virus that was in the vaccine, it will then pass a message to certain lymphocytes (white blood cells), it has encountered a foreign pathogen. The lymphocytes that receive the message originated either in the bursa of Fabricius (bursa) or in the thymus.
The bursa is a small gland located in the tail region of the bird. It looks like a flesh-colored fig. The bursa provides an environment in which certain lymphocytes, called B-cells, develop that can produce antibodies. The thymus has a series of six to seven lobes of tissue located on each side of the throat adjacent to the esophagus. Like the bursa, it provides an environment for maturation of lymphocytes, called T-cells, that produce chemicals called cytokines. These are protein-like molecules that have many functions. For instance, they kill unwanted cells that may enter the body, reject foreign tissues, kill viruses, or kill malignant cells.
The message passed from the phagocyte to the appropriate B- and T-cells will be, "B-cells make antibodies, and T-cells make cytokines against Marek's disease virus!" The next question is, "How does the phagocyte know how to do this?" This is still a mystery of science.
As soon as the B- and T-cells receive the "go" message from the phagocyte, they enter the spleen and attach to "nurse" cells. The B- and T-cells, under the constant care of the nurse cells, swell and soon divide each into two daughter cells. The two daughter cells will divide, and their daughters will divide, and so on. It takes only about 9 minutes for a division to occur. So, in a short time, we have two clones of B-cells formed as well as two clones of T-cells. The first clone of cells is called primary responders, and the second clone of cells is called memory cells.
The first clone of B-cells immediately start producing antibodies against Marek's disease virus and the first clone of T-cells produce cytokines against Marek's virus. The second clone of both B- and T-cells simply continue to divide. These memory cells do not respond during primary responses.
Figure 1 shows antibody levels in the blood that are a direct result of the action of the first clone.

• No antibodies are present until about 2 days after vaccination.
• Peak antibody level occurs at about Day 8.
• The peak lasts only a short time, and antibody levels then begin to decrease.
• By Day 14, all the antibody in the blood is gone. This is a typical primary humoral immune response. The T-cells react like the B-cells and produce what is termed a primary cell-mediated immune response.
"Would primary humoral and cell-mediated immune responses to a viral pathogen such as Marek's protect the chicks?" The answer is "No." If this were all of the protection the body can give, the chicks would have the disease.
Let's assume that when the vaccinated chicks are 14 days old, an unwanted rat enters the house and leaves behind feces loaded with live and highly virulent Marek's disease virus. Within 12 hours, the virus challenges every chicken in the house. The second clone of daughter cells (both B- and T-cells), called memory cells that did not respond during the primary responses, now responds dramatically.
We do not know what the signals for memory responses are, but the reaction, as shown in Figure 2, is immediate production of large amounts of antibody and cytokines. These memory responses destroy the invading Marek's virus and prevent the chicks from becoming ill. This is termed a secondary or memory immune response.

• Rapid production and release of antibodies into the bloodstream so that by 2 days after challenge, antibody levels peak.
• Peak antibody levels are normally at least twice as high as levels during the primary response.
• Antibody levels remain high indefinitely. Cytokine production during a memory response has the same characteristics as a secondary response. Cytokine levels rise to high levels very quickly and remain elevated until the virus is cleared from the body.
"Will these memory responses protect the birds against Marek's disease?" The answer is a definite "YES!" This is immunity, and it is correctly defined as the ability to remember a pathogenic challenge and then to respond in a protective way whenever this pathogen is encountered again.

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Sanitation in Poultry Farm

Water Sanitation

During routine use, material build up and contamination of a water system can and will occur. As lime and scale deposits, rust, dirt and algae collect in the water lines, the functioning of the system will be affected. The build up of these substances, on the inner surface of the system can and will provide a place for microorganisms to take hold. The organic material can supply nutrients for growth and multiplication of microbes such as E.coli. Every time the bird consumes water it will be exposed to an increased microbial load through the drinking water which could result in poor feed conversions, down grading of carcasses, increased mortality and possibly increased condemnation.
The build up of this organic material could also have a negative effect on medication and vaccines delivered through the drinking water. To keep the watering system in proper working order, a routine monitoring, cleaning and sanitizing program should be developed and applied.
The environmental protection agency of the U.S.D.A allows 5,000 coliforms per 100 ml of potable water. However, resources from major poultry officials consider any number to be unacceptable. (Good 1985, Lacy 1994, Koelkbeck 1989).
The following information is to inform the reader of the choices available for water line sanitation and disinfection. One must continue to strive for water quality, as this ingredient is a key component towards poultry health.

Cleaning and sanitizing of water lines

I) Cleaning between flocks (shocking the line)
Probably the most critical time period for the cleaning of a water line system. Cleaning water lines should be a part of the routine barn cleaning and disinfection program.
1)Flush the lines with high-pressure water to dislodge heavy organic matter.
2)Fill the lines with the cleaning solution and leave it in the lines for 3 to 6 hours.
3)Clean the proportioner and change filters.
4)Flush the water lines with clean water.
5)All plasons, cups and other open drinkers must be cleaned as well.

* Do not use these concentrations when birds are in the barn

II) Cleaning With Birds Present
The objective is to keep the water lines clean while birds are in the house. This helps to remove and prevent organic build up in the water lines:
1)Medicate or dilute the indicated concentrations to provide the level needed for cleaning (Table 2).
2)Cleaning should be stopped 2 days prior to vaccination and water medication.
3)When starting this program, monitor the birds behavior to make sure they are drinking water.

III) Sanitizing Water Lines
The objective of water sanitizing is to decrease the number of microorganisms (bacteria and viruses) in the water lines. The addition of a sanitizer to the watering system not only helps to reduce the microbial load but also aids in minimizing the algae growth, mineral deposits and slime build up. The addition of chlorine also helps to reduce oxidation of iron, which helps control rust deposits in the water lines. Keep in mind that a sanitizer should not be used 48 hours prior to and 24 hours after vaccination.

Points to consider when cleaning and sanitizing water lines
1) Some cleaners in combination with medications can enhance delivery and activity.
i) Ammonia, at low levels helps to increase the solubility of sulfa drugs.
ii) Citric acid helps keep tetracycline in solution.
iii) Citric acid as a carrier for vitamins and minerals, rather than sugar, helps reduce slime build up.
2) Some products and combinations warrant some caution.
i) Hydrogen peroxide at full concentrations can be corrosive and tissue damaging.
ii) Iodine is corrosive to galvanized steel, rubber and latex.
iii) Citric acid is corrosive to galvanized steel.
iv) Chlorine at high levels can be corrosive to all metals including stainless steel.
v) Chlorine, ammonia and commercial cleaning agents should not be mixed together since some combinations can react producing dangerous gases.

Since poultry consume about twice as much water as they do feed, it is logical that water quality and content should be considered as one of the most important nutritional elements in production. Therefore, following a water quality assurance program based on monitoring, cleaning and sanitizing should be the most important protocol to implement. With these measures in place, there is no doubt that production parameters will be maintained and optimized.

Michael Leslie
Canadian Poultry Consultants Ltd.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Decorating a Birdhouse

Decorating a Birdhouse

Submitted by jamespatt

Having a craft project to work on as a family is a great way to pass the time. It allows for something to be accomplished together and becomes a point of pride for all involved. This is especially important during the summer months when the kids are out of school and may be stir crazy for something to do.

Building and decorating a bird house is something that parents and kids can do together. It is relatively cheap and can provide hours of entertainment even after the project is completed. If your child is anything like me, they will love anything that can fly and by building a bird house it will help them to watch birds and may even challenge them to find out even more about the types of birds that frequent your backyard.

Building Your Birdhouse

Three are many different ways that you can go about building your bird house. If you want your kids to have some input, it is important for the design to remain simple. However, if building the bird house is simply for your own craft, there are many complicated and fascinating designs that can be followed. It all depends on what you are looking for from your birdhouse. Looking to impress the neighbors? There are designs that will make your own home look like a shack!

If you want your kids to be a part of the process it is very easy to make your birdhouse very simple. It is quite possible to use four or five pieces of wood and construct one with very little in the way of tools. This will allow your kids to claim ownership over the birdhouse from start to finish.

Painting Your Birdhouse

This is where your kids will have a blast! If you approached correctly, your kids will realize that this is actually a house for birds and they need to decorate it as they would their own house. Again, this will be a great exercise for kids to visualize and might spark a greater interest in birds and other animals. Although there are many ways to go about painting your birdhouse, one the best ways to go about doing this is to use a sponge brush. This will give you enough control to do what you want. Sponge brushes are also great for kids. They don’t hold too much paint, but are still able to get the job done.

One thing to keep in mind is that the paint you use should not contain any chemicals that will have potential harm to the bird who will be visiting. Please take careful notice of the type of paint you are using. Not only could this be fatal to the birds, but it could also be traumatic to your kids.

Another thing to consider is to leave the inside of the birdhouse free of any paint. It should be completely natural and free of chemicals so that the birds can freely make a home inside.

How Bright Should My Birdhouse Be Painted?

Although it might be fun to paint your birdhouse a loud color that will stand out in your yard, and this might be your kid’s color of choice, it is important to recognize that bright colors will not necessarily attract more birds. In the wild, female birds are a more subdued color for protection. This will often translate into where birds attempt to find shelter. If your birdhouse is too bright, it might not attract birds.

About the Author
James has been in the bird world for over 10 years, spending most of it breeding exotic birds.He has also written many articles for his local bird club's newsletter.Site:


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The Basics of Feeding Wild Baby Birds

The Basics of Feeding Wild Baby Birds
Submitted by webrunner
Mon, 25 Aug 2008

Have you found yourself in the position of baby bird caregiver?

In feeding wild baby birds, you have a few different options available. To aid you in feeding these birds in need, you can use a variety of tools to deliver the food. Tools to consider that are easily available include: tweezers, syringes, eyedroppers, small paint brushes, popsicle sticks, blunt toothpicks, your fingers and pipettes.

Depending on what food or formula you're giving, pick the most suitable tool or a combination. The thickness of the food formula is usually dependant on the age of the bird so if you're feeding a group use a combination of tools that are most effective.Young birds will readily reach out for food until they are full. Avoid over-feeding baby birds but remember they need frequent small feedings. If they are slow to take food, they may be full or too dehydrated to eat. Also if a baby bird doesn't take food, it may be sick, nervous, or unaware that your gesture is a feeding attempt. In these cases, try taping the side of the nest or whistle lightly so as to mimic a parent birds arrival home.

Baby birds in the wild are naturally fed throughout the day. You'll want to do the same as the bird's caregiver. Generally hatchings should be fed every 20 minutes. Young birds who are not babies can be fed every two hours. Try to give baby birds the same food they would naturally eat in the wild. You may need to research what that particular bird species normally eats. You may also call a local animal center to inquire about what food is appropriate or if a formula recipe is suitable for your particular bird. When feeding ensure that any food is cleaned up and not left to dry on the bird's feathers as this can cause skin problems or feather to fall off.

The goal of you as the caregiver of a baby bird, is to provide temporary care until the bird is well enough to survive in it's natural environment on it's own. Avoid interacting with bird other than at feeding and cleaning times. Also ensure that the bird is kept away from domestic animals including pet birds.

I hope this helps you rehabilitate and feed the wild baby birds you find in need.
About the Author
Eve Duncan is a freelance writer, researcher and web publisher from Canada. To get other tips about birds and squirrel problems, visit where you can also learn squirrel proof bird feeders.


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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Parasites That Love Your Dog

Parasites That Love Your Dog
By: Lee Dobbins

Your dog might not love them, but there are many common parasites that love your dog. If your dog is not properly cared for he can become infested with any of these pests and develop illness or life threatening disease.

Luckily, there are many ways to ward off and get rid of parasites which are as simple as taking pills or using drops. With proper care and prevention, your dog will be generally free and safe from parasites and diseases but if you do notice your dog acting strangly, not eating or scratching too much, it's best to get him to the vet right away.

Some common parasites that can take up residence on your dog include:

We all know fido gets fleas and ticks in the summer, but ticks can pose more serious problems than due to diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Lyme disease. You should check your dog for ticks religiously especially if he spends a lot of time outdoors. Tweezers can be used to remove ticks one by one. If you do not know how to remove ticks properly and carefully, ask your vet first. If you do know how, put them in a can with soap and water after removal.

These are the most common external parasites and can cause the dog to continuously scratch various parts of the body. It may get so bad that your dog loses fur in the infested areas. Ask your veterinarian to put your pet on a good flea-control program and be aware that fleas could become resistant to some products over time.

Lice is less common than fleas but can affect dogs. Your vet will have several treatments that can easily get rid of lice in dogs.

Caused by mosquito bites, heartworm resides in your dogs heart and blood vessels. A dog infected by heartworms looks dull and may even have a chronic cough. There are many heartworm medications that can prevent your dog from developing this disease - ask your vet which one is best for your pet.

Hookworms can cause anemia an loss of appetite and can be given by the mother dog to a puppy during the nursing period or even before birth.

A dog can get tapeworm from swallowing larvae-laden fleas. There are not many symptoms with tapeworm but you might see rice-like pieces in your dogs stools. This is one good reason to always bring a stool sample to your vet when you bring your pet in for a yearly checkup.

Roundworms cause pneumonia, diarrhea, dehydration, stunted growth, and vomiting. A dog with roundworm may have a pot belly.

A dog infected with whipworms may have diarrhea and other ailments like, stool mucus, and serious bowel inflammation. Extreme weight loss is also a symptom caused by whipworms.

Although our dog can attract any of these parasites, most of them can be easily taken care of. Proper care and maintenance and routine visits to the vet will help keep your dog happy, healthy and parasite free.

Author Bio
Lee Dobbins writes for Epet Pet Center where you can find more on how to keep your pet healthy and happy.
Article Source: - Free Website Content

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