Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a very contagious and deadly virus that affects a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems, as well as the conjunctival membranes of the eye. Dogs are not the only animal susceptible to this virus. Ferrets and wildlife such as raccoons, coyotes, wolves, foxes and skunks are at risk as well. Dogs of all ages are susceptible to distemper, but those with suppressed immune systems and dogs that are un-vaccinated or not completely vaccinated are at the highest risk for contracting the virus.  Prognosis for recovery is very guarded for this disease. Those who do recover usually have lasting neurological deficits for the rest of their life.

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Canine Breed Spotlight: Chow Chow

The Chow Chow is one of the few ancient dog breeds still in existence today. They are believed to have originated in Mongolia and Northern China. The breed slowly made its way south with the nomadic tribes of Mongolia. In Mongolia the Chow Chow is referred to as Songshi Quan which means “puffy-lion dog”.  They were used as working and sporting dogs in China for many centuries. They were used for herding, pulling, protection and as scenting and pointing dogs for hunting.

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Canine Adenovirus

There are two types of canine adenovirus, type one (CAV-1) and type two (CAV-2). Canine adenovirus-1 causes infectious canine hepatitis, which is a viral infection of the liver. While canine adenovirus-2  is one of a few viruses that causes canine infectious tracheobronchitis, which is also known as kennel cough.

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Feline Breed Spotlight: Manx

The Manx cat is one of the oldest know cat breeds, they are thought to date back to 1750 or later. There are many legends and stories to how this tailless cat came about, however the Manx’s identifying characteristic is due to a genetic mutation. Either a tailless cat or possibly a Japanese corkscrewed tail cat landed on the remote location for the Isle of Man, off the coast of Britain from a trading ship. Due to the cat ending up on an island, it was easy for its genes to be spread throughout the cat population on the island. The name “Manx” comes from origin of this breed being the Isle of Man.

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Cats, Feline BreedsKari
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) causes immunodeficiency disease in domestic cats. This makes the cat’s body unable to develop a normal immune response. Once a cat is infected by the virus their immune system becomes severely weakened. This is a slow acting virus and an infected cat may not show symptoms until years after the initial infection has occurred. Cats with FIV that are kept in a stress-free environment, with proper supportive and medical care tend to not show symptoms and do live a normal, comfortable life. When the disease does reach its terminal phase, the cat becomes prone to developing secondary infections or cancer. This disease is primarily spread by deep bite wounds via saliva. It also has the potential to be spread from an infected mother to the kittens during passage through the birth canal or when the newborn kittens ingest infected milk.

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Canine Breed Spotlight: Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is known in Germany as the Zwergschnauzer– “zwerg” means dwarf and “schnauzer” comes from the German word for beard or whiskered muzzle in reference to the dog’s beard. Miniature Schnauzers were bred with the intent to create a smaller version of the Standard Schnauzer. They were developed in Germany by crossing breeding the standard size Schnauzer with smaller dogs, such as the Miniature Pinscher, Affernpinscher and possibly the Miniature Poodle or Pomeranian.  Originally these dogs were bred and used as ratters. While they still retain that ability, the Miniature Schnauzer is mostly a companion dog today.

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Feline Breed Spotlight: American Bobtail

A kitten was obtained with a short tail to a couple when on vacation. They bred this cat to their female when they arrived home, and the resulting kittens all had short tails. The resulting short tail kittens suggests that the short tail trait was caused by a dominant gene. A breeding program began where these kittens were bred with other cats with naturally short tails. Selective breeding was done to create a a big sturdy cat with a short tail and sweet temperament. Out crossing for breeding is no longer needed as they have a large enough gene pool. This breed is different and is a completely separate breed from the Pixie-Bob cat- there are major differences in head shape, feet and colors/markings between the two breeds.

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Feline BreedsKari
Feline Calicivirus (FCV)

Feline calicivirus is a very contagious virus seen in cats. It is responsible (along with FVR) for causing upper respiratory infections in cats. This virus is spread through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and lining of the eyelids. It can be spread by direct contact, inhalation of sneeze droplets and through sharing of dishes, bedding and litter boxes. This virus mutates readily during replication, meaning that there are many different strains of the virus out there.  Some strains are more pathogenic than others and can cause a more severe case of disease. This virus can remain stable in the environment for up to a month.

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Feline Panleukopenia

Feline panleukopenia (also known as feline distemper) is a highly contagious viral disease of cats. The virus responsible for causing feline panleukopenia is very closely related to the virus responsible for causing parvo in dogs (it is not related to the virus that causes distemper in dogs even though the name suggests that it might be).  This virus invades rapidly growing cells, such as cells in the digestive system, bone marrow and lymph tissue. This virus is transmitted through feces and/or urine of infected cats; it can also be spread by contaminated items such as bowls, litter boxes and bedding. The virus can also be transmitted from an infected mother to the kittens while still developing in the uterus.

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Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR)

Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) is also known as feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1). The term “rhinotracheits” means inflammation of the nose and trachea. This virus causes an upper respiratory infection of the nose and throat in cats. FVR is one of the most common diseases of cats in the world and many cats are exposed to the virus in their lifetime. Feline herpesvirus 1 is responsible for 80% to 90% of infectious upper respiratory diseases in cats. Cats of all ages are susceptible, but kittens, pregnant cats or those with a suppressed immune system or concurrent disease are more susceptible to infection. FVR is spread between cats through direct contact with the eyes or nose of an infected cat or through contaminated objects such as food and water bowls. This virus is easily spread and is very common in areas where multiple cats are housed close together, such as multi-cat households, catteries and shelters.

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Canine Breed Spotlight: Wire Fox Terrier

The Wire Fox Terrier was developed for fox hunting in England. They are believed to be descended from a breed of working terriers from Wales, Derbyshire and Durham. Their purpose was to flush foxes from their dens so that hunters could hunt them over open country. Their short, docked tails worked as a handle and aided hunters in pulling them out of the dens. The modern day Wire Fox Terrier is not used for hunting anymore, but has become a very successful show dog.

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Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease that can occur in wild and domestic cats. It is caused by a type of virus called a coronavirus. There are many different strains of feline coronavirus, which differ in their ability to cause FIP.  Most feline coronavirus infections are relatively harmless, but this initial harmless infection may later mutate to cause FIP in some cats. To further complicate things, cats with a strong immune system infected with a more harmful strain of feline coronavirus may be carriers of the virus. Meaning they may shed the virus without ever showing signs of disease.  Also, the virus can remain dormant in the body for months to years before infected cats eventually develop full-blown disease. This makes FIP a very confusing disease that is hard to understand.

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Feline Breed Spotlight: Birman

The Birman cat is also known as the The Sacred Cat of Burma. How this breed came to be is unknown, theories suggest they by may be a result of cross breeding various Siamese, Persian and Angora cats. These cats were imported from Burma to France, where breeding programs established the breed. This breed was almost completely wiped out during World War II, only 2 cats were alive at the end of the war. Breeding programs then started out-crossing with Persian and Siamese cats to rebuild the breed. Birman cats were first imported to the United States in 1959 and were recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1967.

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NutraVet Products: Nutraflex

Nutraflex is a fast acting joint support product containing the necessary high strength ingredients that help maintain healthy joint function in dogs and cats whilst supporting the natural systems that control inflammation.  This product is available in capsule form, which can be given directly by mouth or broken open and mixed with food.  Results  from using Nutraflex can be seen in as little as 4-7 days.

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Canine Breed Spotlight: Basset Hound

The word basset means “low” when referring to the height of a dog. The French developed this “unconventionally attractive” Basset breed of hunting dog;  however the modern day breeding took place mostly in England in the late 1800s.  Bassets probably descended from the St. Hubert Hound, where a genetic mutation produced a short-legged or dwarfed hound. The “short” dogs were kept and bred when it was shown that they had skills to track rabbits and hare under brush in thick forests. They gained popularity as a hunting dog for small game hunting on foot.

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Feline Breed Spotlight: Balinese

Contrary to what the name suggests, the Balinese does not come from Bali or any part of Indonesia. The Balinese actually comes from the same linage as the Siamese, but they are expressing the recessive long haired gene. Originally, when these long haired cats were found in Siamese litters were they were sold as pets, as they were considered an imperfection. They then became registered as “Long Haired Siamese”. It wasn’t until the 1950s that breeders focused on breeding them as a distinct breed and changed the name to Balinese.

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