November Newsletter 2006

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ince its appearance in Florida in January, 2004, the highly contagious, viral respiratory infection known as Canine H3N8 has spread throughout the U.S.

Some researchers believe the current strand jumped species (which is highly unusual), originating as a strain in horses. Canine H3N8 is so virulent, nearly every dog who comes in contact with the virus will contract the illness. And with one out of every five dogs exhibiting no visible symptoms of the illness, you can never be certain if you’ve encountered the virus.

There is a Canine H3N8 diagnostic kit, developed for veterinarians by Cyntegra of San Diego, which can provide results within 24 hours at a cost of around $100, but its availability is not widely known.

The most common symptoms of canine influenza include:

  • Soft, moist cough

  • Thick nasal discharge

  • High fever (104 - 106)

  • Shallow, quick breathing

At present, there is no vaccine on the market today to protect against canine influenza. The most severe cases can lead to pneumonia, with fatality estimates between 5% and 8% of cases. However, the majority of dogs will recover completely within 30 days.

Your best option is preventative – avoid situations where your dog may encounter many unknown dogs. And if you come in contact with a dog you believe may have the flu, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly (and possibly change your clothes) before interacting with your dog. Be sure to feed your dog a healthy diet. Look for the latest information by monitoring local advisories for incidences of canine flu in your area or ask your vet.

If you suspect that your dog may have contracted the canine flu, contact your veterinarian immediately for treatment options.


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he reason why cats purr has been the subject of great debate among feline experts. At present, there is still no consensus regarding whether the behavior of purring is voluntary or involuntary.

Purring is generally understood to result from the vibration of vocal cords that is amplified by air pushed in and out by contractions of the diaphragm. Both domestic and wild cats (including big cats that do not roar) are known to purr. Kittens are capable of producing purrs within a day after they are born, often purring while suckling.

Purrs are one element of the murmur vocalization group, sounds that can be produced while the mouth is shut. Purrs are believed to communicate pleasure and contentment, but cats will also purr when they are frightened or ill, and some will even purr while delivering kittens. Some experts believe that during these latter, stressful situations, the purring may be an attempt to reduce stress. When cats purr in the presence of other unknown cats or kittens, purring may serve to convey submissiveness or a friendly intent.

Although we may never know exactly why cats purr, perhaps we can all agree that purring is a most pleasant sound, and that our cats must feel some contentment while making those light lulling rumbles.

Porky Puffs Gourmet Pork Chews for Dogs

Dogs can’t resist the rich aroma of our delicious, hickory-smoked pig snouts. Packed with high-quality protein, Porky Puffs chewable treats are non-greasy and contain no chemical preservatives or artificial flavors. And with no artificial colors, you won’t have to worry about hard-to-remove stains in your carpet!

Porky Puffs are easily digestible and therefore a safe alternative to rawhide.  And Porky Puffs are appropriate for dogs of all ages.

This Thanksgiving, give your sweet pup something to be truly thankful for – yummy Porky Puffs!


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