Animal Health Guides
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This Category has no FAQ yet
This Category has no FAQ yet
Did you know that cats outnumber dogs as pets in the U.S. by almost 10 million? Sure, they're popular pets – but it's not all good news. There are also more cats than dogs in animal shelters and in need of good homes, and studies show that cats are less likely to receive veterinary care than dogs.
That's where we come in – the AVMA and the CATalyst Council. Are cats loved less than dogs? No way. But the statistics do show that cat owners are more likely to assume that their cat doesn't need to see a vet – perhaps because they think that cats just don't get sick as often or need care for chronic conditions like gum disease or arthritis. So what are we doing about this? It all begins with education – making sure people are aware that cats need good homes and high-quality veterinary care. To that end, here are some resources for cat owners and veterinarians alike, about general health, wellness and welfare, to name a few of the topics we cover.
In addition, the CATalyst Council's Website provides many resources, including a cat owner's guide to optimum feline health. It's sort of an owner's manual for cats (although we all know the cats are pretty convinced they own us, not the other way around).
What can you do? One, if you choose to bring a cat into your life, consider adopting a shelter cat. Two, make sure your cat receives regular veterinary care to keep it healthy and happy. Three, be a responsible cat owner and provide for your cat's needs. The fourth one is easy: love your cat. -AVMA. Click here for more information.
Normal Temperature 100*F-101.5*F: Pulse 110-130 bpm: Respiration 20-30 rpm
Some "Kitty Don'ts:" Pain relief meds (e.g., tylenol, aspirin, ibprofen, acetaminophen, aleve, ...) can be fatal to cats!
I'm Having Kittens! The gestation period for cats is 9 weeks. An ultrasound can be done to verify pregnancy at 15 days. A radiograph can be done to verify pregnancy and number of kittens at 45+ days. If your cat has been in active labor for more than 1 hour or appears to be having difficulty, call your veterinarian immediately.
(Little or no contact with other cats is recommend until vaccinated)
Rabies Vaccine is required by the State of Colorado. Kittens should receive their initial shot at sixteen (16) weeks. They should be boosted one (1) year after their initial shot and then we vaccinate with an every three (3) year vaccine.
Felocell* is the recommended combo-vaccine: feline panleukopenia (distemper), feline viral rhinotracheitis, and feline calicivirus . Kittens should receive their inital shot at eight (8) weeks. They should be boosted at twleve (12) and sixteen (16) weeks. Then they should be vaccinated yearly (if you travel, you may need additional protection).
Leukemia can be recommended, but should be discussed with your veterinarian.
Worming is recommended for kittens. Adults cats may or may not need regular worming.
When Should I Spay My Cat? Six (6) months is a guideline, but this should be discussed with your veterinarian.
When Should I Neuter My Cat? Any time after six (6) months is a guideline, but this should be discussed with your veterinarian.
Ask dog owners what's so great about dogs, and most of them will tell you about their pet's "unconditional love." They'll tell you about that warm, wonderful, wagging greeting when they get home…or maybe they'll tell you about their faithful walking, hiking or running companion. And odds are, they'll pull out their wallet and show you photos of their beloved pet. It doesn't matter if they paid a few months' salary for a pedigreed dog or if they adopted a mutt from the shelter – the unconditional love a dog has for its owner knows no breed boundaries.
It doesn't matter if your dog isn't Underdog, Scooby Doo, Lassie or Rin Tin Tin – he's your own household hero. And the best way to keep your canine hero going strong is to keep him healthy and happy. To that end, here are some resources for both dog owners and veterinarians about general health, wellness and welfare, to name a few of the topics we cover.
What can you do? One, if you choose to bring a dog into your life, consider adopting a shelter dog. Two, make sure your dog receives regular veterinary care to keep it healthy and happy. Three, be a responsible dog owner and provide for your dog's needs. The fourth one is easy: love your dog. -AVMA.
Normal Temperature 99.5*F-101.5*F: Pulse 60-120 bpm: Respiration 10-30 rpm
Some "Doggie Don'ts:" Onions - Grapes - Chocolate - Raisins
I'm Having Puppies! The gestation period for dogs is 63 days. An ultrasound can be done to verify pregnancy at 18-20 days. A radiograph can be done to verify pregnancy and number of pups at 50-53 days. If your dog has been in labor for more than 2 of hours or appears to having difficulties, call your veterinarian immediately.
For a complete Pregnancy Guide Click Here
For a complete Whelping Guide Click Here
(Little or no contact with other dogs is recommend until vaccinated)
Rabies Vaccine is required by the State of Colorado. Puppies should receive their initial shot at sixteen (16) weeks. They should be boosted one (1) year after their initial shot and then we vaccinate with an every three (3) year vaccine.
DA2 PCorona is the recommended combo-vaccine:distemper, adenovirus and parvovirus. Puppies should receive their initial shot at eight weeks. They should be boosted at twelve (12) and sixteen (16) weeks. Then they should be vaccinated yearly. (*if you travel or hunt, you may require additional protection).
Parvo is recommended for puppies at six (6) weeks of age.
Worming is recommended for puppies. Adult dogs may or may not need regular worming.
When Should I Spay My Dog? Six (6) months is a guideline, but this should be discussed with your veterinarian.
When Should I Neuter My Dog? Any time after four (4) months is a guideline, but this should be discussed with your veterinarian.
courtesy of ASPCA
Normal Temperature 99.5*F-101.5*F: Pulse 25-45 bpm: Respiration 18-36 rpm
Some "Horsey Don'ts:" Do NOT give pain relievers the day of a lameness exam. See more horse don'ts here.
When Should I Castrate My Horse? Any time after 30 days is a guideline, but you should discuss this with your veterinarian.
Traveling: If you leave the State of Colorado you will need a current negative Coggins (blood test that takes several days) and a veterinarian signed health certificate (each state has different requirements).
I'm Having A Foal! The gestation period for horses is 335 days +/- 10 days. An ultrasound should be done to verify pregnancy at 18, 30, and 45 days. Mares should be vaccinated with Rhino in their 5th, 7th, and 9th month and with a 5-Way in their 10th month. Mares should be wormed with ivermectin sometime within 24 hours of foaling. If your mare has been in hard labor for more than 1/2 hour or appears to be having difficulty, call your veterinarian immediately.
5-Way* is recommended yearly in May. Foals should receive their initial 5-Way at four (4) months (if mare not vaccinated one month prior to foaling)or at five (5) months (if mare was vaccinated one month prior to foaling) and boosted one (1) month after initial vaccination.
Rhino-Flu* is recommended twice yearly. Once in May (included in the 5-Way vaccine) and once in November.
West Nile* is recommended yearly in June.
*If you travel or show you may need additional protection.
Wormingis recommended but varies depending on stable conditions. Check with your veterinarian for a worming schedule that fits your needs.
"Will E. Moon"
At around 5 months had front legs that looked like eggbeaters. Traditional treatments and surgeries helped one leg but not the other. Dr. Michael H. Gotchey designed and performed a very unusal surgery to save his life.
Normal Temperature 101*F-103*F: Pulse - 70-90 bpm: Respiration - 12-16rpm
Some "Cattle Don'ts:" Don't make sudden ration changes and don't leave the gate open!
Moving Cattle: If you cross state lines you will need a veterinarian signed health certificate (each state has different requirements).
I'm Having A Calf! The gestation period for cows is 235 days. A pregnancy check is best done 45 days after the bull has been removed.
**Important and Complicated -- Let's Talk!**
Vaccine programs used in the breeding herd are primarily designed to prevent against diseases that cause reproductive losses which includes failure to conceive, embryonic death, abortion and stillbirths. Vaccinating the breeding herd also protects the developing fetus and has the additional benefit of increasing antibodies in colostrum which helps protect the newborn calf. In calves, the vaccination program is primarily designed to prevent respiratory disease and diseases that cause sudden death.
The first step in designing or evaluating a program is to know the diseases that are most likely to impact a cow/calf operation. The following is a description of the diseases that typically make up the core of most vaccination programs and when the vaccines for the disease are to be administered. Vaccines for other diseases can be added when deemed necessary.
Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) – in a non-immune pregnant cow, exposure to this virus can cause abortions. The abortions typically occur after four months of gestation but can occur at any time and abortion rates of 5-60% have been reported. In calves, IBR is responsible for respiratory disease outbreaks. Calves with IBR will exhibit fever, lethargy, heavy nasal discharge and open mouth breathing. IBR may also affect the eye creating symptoms similar to pinkeye. This “ocular form” of IBR may or may not occur in conjunction with respiratory disease. Cows and replacement heifers should be vaccinated for IBR before the breeding season begins and calves should be vaccinated near weaning.
Bovine Virus Diarrhea (BVD) - BVD is a complicated disease and can cause a wide variety of problems in a cow/calf herd. In pregnant animals, infections may result in early embryonic death, abortions or calves may be born with congenital defects. BVD infections also have an immunosuppressive effect and can make the cowherd more susceptible to other infectious agents. Calves exposed to this virus may show severe diarrhea but respiratory disease outbreaks are more common. The immunosuppressive effect of this virus also makes calves more susceptible to other infectious agents.
Because PI animals are so detrimental, the common recommendation for herds that suspect they have one or more PI’s is to test and remove the infected animals under the guidance of a veterinarian. Vaccination alone is not enough to overcome the effects these PI’s may have. If a herd is currently PI free, it is recommended that all purchased cattle are tested before they are introduced into the herd and a BVD vaccine should be given to the cowherd pre-breeding. If the cow is protected, this greatly reduces the risk of the unborn calf becoming infected if the herd is accidently exposed to the virus. Calves should be vaccinated for BVD near weaning.
Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (BRSV) – Even though BRSV is occasionally reported to be the cause of respiratory disease outbreaks in non-immune adult cows, it is more likely to cause respiratory disease outbreaks in calves. Calves that develop a severe form of BRSV have steadily increased breathing difficulty, fluid accumulates in the lungs and they may have open mouth breathing. If it is decided a BRSV vaccine should be used in the breeding herd it should be administered at the same time the IBR and BVD vaccines are administered. Calves should be given the vaccine near weaning.
Parainfluenza (PI3) – This virus has traditionally been considered to be part of the respiratory disease complex in calves but there is little evidence to indicate how significant its role is. Even though the importance of this virus is in question, producers will find that vaccines containing IBR, BVD and BRSV will also contain PI3 and therefore they will be vaccinating against this disease by default.
Leptospirosis – This bacterial agent predominately affects cows and causes abortions, stillbirths or weak born calves. Abortions may occur as early as the third month of gestation, but more frequently occur in the 3rd trimester.
Historically, vaccinating against leptospirosis has been done with a multivalent (several strains) vaccine containing L. hardjo, L. pomona, L. canicola, L. icterohaemorrhagiae and L. grippotyphosa. Vaccination of the breeding herd normally occurs before the breeding season begins and again at pregnancy examination time because the duration of immunity of this vaccine is less than one year. More recently, animal health companies have been offering a vaccine that contains another strain of leptospirosis called L. hardjo-bovis. Producers should consult with their veterinarian to determine if this additional strain should be included in their vaccination protocol.
Vibriosis - Vibriosis is a venereal disease that can be spread from an infected cow to uninfected cows via the bull. Vibriosis may cause embryonic death and resorption which goes unnoticed by the producer or it may lead to infertility and the producer notices his/her cows rebreeding several times before they finally conceive. Infected cows usually recover and become normal breeders after a normal pregnancy is obtained. However, a few cows will carry the infection through gestation, deliver a normal calf and then infect bulls in the next breeding season. Vaccinations for vibriosis should be given to all breeding animals prior to the breeding season.
Clostridial diseases – Clostridium bacteria can cause disease of the muscle, liver or intestine in cattle. Terms frequently used when muscle is involved are blackleg and malignant edema and the term red-water is used when the liver is involved. Clinical signs of a clostridial infection are dependent upon the organ involved. In most instances, producers will find the affected animals dead rather than sick due to the rapid progression of the disease. Occasionally, clostridial diseases affect older animals but in most instances the greatest impact is seen in calves. Vaccines against clostridial diseases are commonly referred to as 7-way or 8-way blackleg vaccine and they are normally given to calves at marking and branding time and again near weaning.
Brucellosis – Signs of this disease in cattle are abortions, weak calves, failure to settle, faulty cleaning and decreased milk production with no apparent signs of sickness. Even though testing and slaughtering has greatly reduced the incidence of this disease, it is highly recommended that replacement heifers still be vaccinated for it. This vaccine is normally administered around weaning time and must be administered by a licensed veterinarian.
Since the purpose of vaccinating a group of animals is to reduce the likelihood that a disease outbreak will occur or instead, reduce the impact of an outbreak if it does happen, it would make sense that the vaccine should be administered before the disease is likely to occur. Therefore, it is important to assure that the appropriate vaccines are administered in the breeding herd prior to the breeding season and to the calves before weaning time. Failure to do so increases the risk of a disease event.
Timing of vaccination is also important for a achieving an adequate immune response. Administering vaccines during stressful periods, such as during weaning, reduces the ability of the animal’s immune system to properly respond to the vaccine resulting in poor protection. This is why vaccination programs often recommend administering the respiratory disease vaccines 2-4 weeks prior to weaning and then again at weaning. Administering the vaccine prior to weaning not only gives the calves time to respond to the vaccine but the calves are under less stress at this time because they are still with the cows. Other factors lead to a poor vaccine response is poor nutrition, parasitism, overwhelming disease challenge and mishandling of vaccine.
Photo courtesy of Florida University
BANGS (Brucellous vaccination) is recommended.
Worming- Perform at least twice per year (spring and summer). If only once is possible, deworm in late June or July. Deworming in the fall is good practice to reduce the number of worms that overwinter in the cow but is not as important as the spring and summer when larvae are active in the pasture.
This calf was born with five legs! He only needed four legs, so Dr. Lee O. Meyring decided to remove the fifth, which was extending from his little head.
The Doctors at The Steamboat Veterinary Hospital have treated and cared for many types of animals. Some of the others include: ferrets, pocket pets, rabbits, birds (including and eagle and a pelican - ask Dr. Meyring about this!), reindeer, reptiles, bison, alpacas, llamas, yak, elk, deer, fox, raccoon ...
Dr. Gotchey helped out a reindeer patient of ours just in time to begin preparing for next year's run with Santa!
Dr. Nate Daughenbaugh examining baby elk that was brought into the hospital.