Stories

What Happened?

OUCH!
Takes more than a high speed chase into our sign to close our doors! Don’t worry, we are open for business as usual. Thank you to our New Berlin Police Department and the K-9 Unit for their hard work.

Watch the story from Fox6 News

Canine Flu Update

The canine flu has been getting a lot of press lately; as a result, many questions have arisen as to whether or not to vaccinate, especially with the recent outbreak. Here are a few points to consider:

Just like the human flu virus, the dog flu is an airborne virus that is spread by coughing and sneezing via aerosolized respiratory secretions. The virus may spread through contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars, leashes, etc.) and people moving between infected and uninfected dogs. It is not spread via urine or feces.

The virus can remain alive and able to infect surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on hands for 12 hours. It is easily killed by commonly used disinfectants – bleach, ammonia, even ordinary hand soap.

Dogs are infected with the virus for 2 – 4 days before the start of symptoms. They are actually the most contagious during the time, before they are exhibiting signs of illness. Contagiousness decreases dramatically during the first 4 days of illness but may continue up to 7 days in most dogs and, rarely, up to 10 days in a few dogs.

It is highly contagious from dog to dog but rarely fatal.

Symptoms include: fever (usually low grade), cough, nasal discharge, sneezing, ocular discharge, lethargy and anorexia.

More severely affected dogs can exhibit a high fever with an increased respiratory rate and other signs of pneumonia or bronchopneumonia (usually from secondary bacterial or mycoplasmal infections).

To protect your dog from the dog flu, keep your dog away from high-risk areas that include dog parks, kennels, doggy day care, grooming, training facilities and pet stores. Avoid popular walking areas for dogs as well.

A vaccine is available for the “traditional” canine flu, H3N8; however, the recent outbreak is from Asia, H3N2, which the vaccine is not effective. If you are interested in vaccinating your dog, a series of two vaccines given 3 to 4 weeks apart and then once a year thereafter is necessary. Protection does not reach its maximum until up to 7 days after the second booster. Although the vaccine can be helpful, pets can still get the canine flu even if vaccinated but the severity of the disease may be reduced.

Dr. Hermann

Ref: Information courtesy of Veterinary Specialty Center

We Were Voted #1

We were voted #1 for “Best Veterinarians” on WISN A-List for 2014!

We are the only American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accredited hospital in New Berlin. We are proud to be able to exceed the veterinary standards in over 900 items. We look forward to continuing our passion for excellence in veterinary medicine in the future. For more information, please select from the links below:

Alist

AAHA

Allergies - An Itchy Situation

Our pets can suffer from allergies just like people; however, our pets may not always display the signs of allergies like we do. Here is just a partial list of the more common signs of allergies in pets:

  • Itchy skin either generalized or in a specific area of the body such as the eyes, ears or face.
  • Bacterial skin infections or rashes either generalized or located in a specific area called “hot spots”.
  • Chewing or nibbling on the top of the legs or paws.
  • Excessive licking of the paws.
  • Excessive ear wax production or ear infections.
  • Rubbing of the muzzle on the floor.
  • Less frequently, sneezing or watery eyes.

These signs can be caused by many types of diseases, but these are the more common signs displayed by pets with allergies.


The problem:

Like in humans, allergies can be triggered by many things including inhalant (airborne), topical (contact with the skin), and/or food allergies. How the body reacts to these allergies can be multifactorial making it difficult to treat or manage allergies by a single solution. To better understand why a multimodal approach to managing allergies is necessary, let’s look at what happens in the body when an allergy is triggered.


The allergy reaction:

When a pet is exposed to an allergen a series of pathways are triggered depending upon whether it is inhalant, topical or food. For example,

Inhalant Allergen → multi-step process involving T-Lymphocytes, B-cells and the release of IgE → release of histamines and other inflammatory chemical mediators such as cytokines, interleukins, leukotrienes and prostaglandins → dilation of blood vessels (red skin), mucous secretions including ear wax and oils on the skin, nerve stimulation (itching, biting and chewing of the skin), and smooth muscle contraction.

Contact Allergen → multi-step process that is different than the inhalant allergen that involves T-cells that destroy target cells and activates macrophages and the release of hydrolytic enzymes → physical signs similar to the inhalant allergen. Sometimes issues with the internal organs and/or endocrine systems can affect the skin making the skin more sensitive to topical irritation.

Food Allergen → depending upon the type of reaction with the protein in the food, the process may follow different pathways → abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, and/or diarrhea may be the result.

As one can see, there are many pathways and chemicals that are involved when our pet has an allergy reaction. Some of the more common treatments that may be employed include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Special shampoos and leave on conditioners
  • Topical sprays
  • Special ear cleaners and medications
  • Fatty acid supplements
  • Antibiotics
  • Antifungals
  • Parasite treatment
  • Steroids or Atopica

The success or failure of the treatments attempted depend upon what the cause(s) of the allergy is (are). So what are the causes of allergies?


Causes of allergies:

Just about anything on the planet can cause an allergy reaction, but some of the more common causes include:

  • Pollens from weeds, trees, and grasses
  • Molds
  • Dust, dust mites, etc.
  • Human and animal dander
  • Highly chlorinated water
  • Home furnishings including fibers, dyes, plastic products, polishes, cleansers, cement, etc.
  • Certain medications
  • Foods
  • External parasites such as fleas and mites
  • Internal parasites including intestinal parasites, heartworm, etc.


Management of allergies:

In most cases, there is not a cure for allergies but only management. Since there are many causes and reactions to allergies, finding out the causes are imperative to have a successful management of allergies. Your veterinarian will need to perform a series of tests in order to determine the best course of treatment for your pet. Some of the more common tests include:

  • Physical exam and history
  • Skin scrapings – looking for mites, bacteria, fungal infections, etc.
  • Skin impression smears – looking for infections, etc.
  • Microscopy of ear debris – looking for underlying ear infections
  • UV light – looking for skin infections
  • Fecal analysis – looking for internal parasites
  • Blood work – looking for internal organ issues or endocrine disorders such as low thyroid or adrenal gland malfunction
  • Allergy testing – skin and/or serum (blood)
  • Treatment for parasites even if not found on exam


Based on the diagnostic findings, a multi-modal approach to manage the allergies is employed as listed above; however, sometimes that is still not enough. At times, additional therapies may need to be instituted such as:

  • Immunotherapy – in the form of allergy shots or oral liquid.
  • Food trials – there are no diagnostic tests for food allergies, so this option is performed by trial and error and can take many months to determine what foods your pet may be allergic to.
  • Apoquel


Apoquel

In the past, when pets would not respond to more basic approaches to allergy treatment, veterinarians have had to use steroids to help suppress the many reactions described above. Steroids have proved to be very effective in allergy management but the side-effects of steroids have been less than desirable. There is hope however with a new medication called Apoquel.

Apoquel works at the level of the release of cytokines, the initial trigger for inflamed and itchy skin. Apoquel is a new type of drug, not a steroid, which quickly and significantly reduces the effects of the allergy reaction in our pets. Apoquel can be used while other tests are performed to determine the cause of the allergies. Apoquel can be used with other medications such as antihistamines or non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (Rimadyl, etc.). Apoquel does have some restrictions of use such as it cannot be used with steroids, dogs under one year of age, or pets with certain health conditions. Apoquel is only approved in dogs.

Apoquel is proving to be a very important component in the management of allergies and is showing great promise in the future. Unfortunately, because it is a new medication, it is only available for a limited number of patients at this time. We hope that it will be available on a much larger scale by the end of the year.

For more information on allergies, the management of allergies and/or Apoquel, please consult your veterinarian.

Air Travel

We are into summer, which means warm weather and vacations. Many of us take our pets with us on vacation so it is important to be prepared. Here are some tips regarding traveling with your pet:

Microchip – Have your pet microchipped. The summer months have the highest incidence of lost pets. Having your pet microchipped helps to ensure that when your pet is found, he or she will be returned to you. At New Berlin Animal Hospital, we can microchip your pet while you wait. Also, if your pet is microchipped, make sure you have the number registered with your current name and address. Contact the manufacturer of your pet’s microchip or give our office a call and we can help.

Many but not all hotels and motels accept pets. Call the places that you will stay and make sure that they accept pets.

When traveling in a car, bring plenty of water along. Pets get thirsty especially if they are laying on the seat on the sunny side of the car. If your pet gets car sick, call our office for information about medications that can be dispensed to help with car sickness.

Flea and Heartworm protection is critical when traveling with dogs and cats (if the cats will be outside). Make sure your pet is covered with Frontline and Heartgard. If you have questions, just give our office a call.

Lyme vaccination is important if you travel to areas of Wisconsin or other parts of the country where Lyme disease can occur.

Air travel provides a unique situation for pets. It is important to plan way ahead if you are traveling with your pet on the airplane, whether if your pet is in the cabin with you or in the animal holding area of the plan. Air travel requires a health exam and a health certificate from the USDA and signed by a USDA approved veterinarian. All of our doctors are USDA approved and can provide this service for you. It is important to note that the vaccination requirements are dependent upon the State or Country that you are traveling to. For foreign countries, many times vaccines must be given within 6 months but not too soon before traveling. You can give our hospital a call and we can help you with what you need to know when travelinging by air with your pet. Another great resource can be found at:

Air Travel with Your Pets

If you have any questions about traveling with your pet, please give our office a call at: 262.782.6910