Are Fleas a Problem for Pets in Central Oregon?
Holly Sides, DVM
In most areas of the country fleas are a very common cause of itching, scratching and biting for our pets. This can lead to skin irritation, hair loss and secondary infection. Thank goodness we live in Central Oregon. Our wonderful dry climate makes the likelihood of flea infestations much less. However, our wildlife can be infested and exposure to fleas is very possible. In addition, many of us travel to the valley and the coast where there is a chronic flea problem. And we have family and friends who bring their pets here to visit us. We are frequently asked about flea issues and, therefore, we will cover some facts about fleas in this month’s newsletter.
Signs of Flea Infestation:
- Adult fleas on your pet’s skin or in your house
- Flea eggs on your pet’s coat (white oval shapes that area the size of table salt crystals
- Flea excrement on your pet’s skin (dark specks that turn red in water)
- Irritated skin or excessive itching, which can lead to hair loss or a bacterial skin infection sometimes referred to as a “hot spot”
Options for Treating Your Pet
- An adulticide, such as a monthly topical product is applied to the pet’s skin, where it is toxic to adult fleas, providing quick relief.
- An insect growth regulator (IGR) is found in some topical products to kill eggs and larvae to help break the flea life cycle.
- An insect development inhibitor (IDI) can be given orally every 3 months. It keeps flea larvae from maturing to the next life stage, which also helps break the life cycle of the flea.
- There is also a collar that will kill fleas for up to 8 months. It will kill and repel the fleas before they bite.
Options for Treating Your Pet’s Environment
- Regular vacuuming helps remove flea eggs, larvae, and pupae. Don’t forget to dispose of the bag, as the fleas can hatch in the bag after vacuuming.
- If you use a fogger or flea spray in your house, yard, and kennel, be sure to choose one that will kill flea eggs and larvae in addition to the adult fleas.
Products we Recommend
We recommend a Bravecto oral chewable product for dogs which lasts for 3 months. For cats, we recommend a topical product from Bravecto that is given monthly. We also sell Seresto collars that can protect your pet for up to 8 months.
It is important to remember to use products that are specifically designed for your type of pet (cat or dog) and make sure you administer the proper dosage. Some flea treatments for dogs can be harmful to cats.
Ask us about fleas and we will happily steer you in the right direction for your pet.
What You Need to Know About Dog Flu
Keith Sides, DVM
You can get the flu but did you know your dog can as well? It’s called canine influenza virus (CIV), or dog flu, and cases have been diagnosed all over the country. In fact, canine influenza has impacted dogs in more than half the country, just since March 2015. New cases are being diagnosed every week. It has made dogs sick (some very ill) and six dogs have died as a result of CIV.
Here’s what you need to know. There are two strains of canine influenza – H3N8 and H3N2. H3N8 has been around for several years but H3N2, an Asian strain of CIV, is brand new in the United States, which means that dogs have not been exposed to it before and have no immunity.
A dog may have canine influenza H3N2 for up to 24 days, which means the dog is contagious and spreading the disease throughout that time period. As a result, the infection can spread quickly among social dogs in inner cities, doggie daycare and boarding facilities, dog parks, sporting and show events and any location where dogs commingle. H3N2 is also incredibly contagious. It can spread easily by direct contact with infected dogs (sniffing, licking, nuzzling), through the air (coughing, barking or sneezing), and by contact with contaminated objects such as dog bowls and clothing.
Protect Your Dog
To protect the spread of disease, wash your hands with soap and water or disinfect them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after contact with dogs. Dog owners whose dogs are coughing or showing other signs of respiratory disease should not participate in activities or bring their dogs to facilities where other dogs can be exposed to the virus. Consider vaccination against CIV based on your dog’s lifestyle and risk factors. Dogs are at risk for contracting canine influenza if they: visit doggie daycare, board at a boarding facility, attend training classes, play at dog parks, participate in dog-friendly classes, attend dog shows or sporting events, or often greet other dogs during walks.
Signs of CIV
Call us immediately if your dog has the following symptoms: coughing, discharge from the nose or eyes, loss of appetite, lethargy/lack of energy.
If you would like more information about canine influenza, or about the vaccine, please give our office a call. You will also find valuable pet owner information at https://www.dogflu.com
Special Announcement – Road Construction Detour
Road construction on S. Canal, which impacts access to our office, is underway. If you are approaching the clinic from the south, road construction on S. Canal will detour you onto HWY 97 or 27th St. Please allow an extra 5-10 minutes. To avoid the road construction in front of the clinic, access the clinic parking lot from Odem Medo Dr and 17th Place. Bi-Mart, Shari’s and Burger King are on Odem Medo Dr. Then, turn south onto 17th Place at the Mid Oregon Credit Union sign between Burger King and Bi-Mart. Next, turn right (west) onto SW Umatilla Ave by Clark’s Family Dentistry. Follow the signs to our parking lot. You can also follow directions on google maps or map quest to Orion Eye Center, which leads to our back entrance.
- We are pleased to welcome two new staff members, and both are veterinary assistants who joined our staff in January 2018. Ashley is originally from Banks, OR. She had worked as a phlebotomist for the American Red Cross, and she also spent four years at veterinary clinics in the valley before moving to Redmond.
- Stephenie recently became a resident of Madras after moving to Central Oregon from Central Nebraska. She had grown up on a farm and worked at her local veterinary hospital for many years learning her way throughout every area of the hospital.
- Here’s an update on our SONNY’S SUNSHINE FUND: We are excited to announce that over $3,300 has been raised to benefit the Crook County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team. Cinder Rock, our generous clients, and other friends and families were honored to support this outstanding group of volunteers and their rescue-trained dogs. Starting April 1st, our current effort is dedicated to helping Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Tumalo. Crystal Peaks is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “rescue the equine, mentor the child, offer hope for the family and empower the ministry.” Its vision includes providing a safe and positive environment for children and families to experience hope, healing and encouragement. And all the programs are provided free of charge. We invite our clients to come to our office to read additional details, and for even more information, go to www.crystalpeaksyouthranch.org