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Pets may be susceptible to swine flu virus

Thousands of Americans have been infected with the H1N1 flu virus, but that’s just counting people. This week it was announced a domestic cat in Iowa also was stricken with the virus — most likely transmitted by sick owners — as well as two ferrets in Nebraska and Oregon.

This sudden infection may have pet owners wanting to put their furry friends in line for an H1N1 flu shot, but state veterinarian experts say not to worry. (H1N1 or any type flu vaccines are a bad idea!!  We are over vaccinating our pets, just like we are over vaccinating ourselves and our children.)

“Theoretically, you could pass it on to pets, but the chances are extremely low,” said Dr. Bob Ehlenfeldt, a state veterinarian in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.

The reversal of pets transmitting the virus to humans is even less likely, he said.

The chances are so low, according to Ehlenfeldt, because the H1N1 novel 2009 flu virus is a human disease being transmitted and maintained in humans. It’s unusual for species other than humans to become infected because viruses tend to adapt to certain species, he said.

For example, the bird flu from a few years ago was highly adaptable to infecting birds, whereas this strain of the H1N1 flu is adept at people-to-people transmission, he said.

Besides the cat and the ferrets, the only other non-human species known to have been infected with the virus are about a dozen swine herds worldwide, and recently some turkeys in Chile, according to Ehlenfeldt and Dr. Jim Kazmierczak, a state veterinarian in the Wisconsin Division of Public Health.

The infection of the ferrets, however, didn’t surprise Kazmierczak because the lanky rodents are thought to be susceptible since they are used as laboratory animals and are sensitive to human strains of influenza, he said.

Also, since turkeys were infected, Kazmierczak said it could be possible for other types of birds to get the virus. So far, however, no incidents have been reported.

“The safe thing to do is to assume that while we know cats and ferrets are susceptible, we should assume dogs and pet birds are also susceptible,” Kazmierczak said.

Thus, owners infected with the H1N1 flu should still be careful around their pets and maintain distance from them as you would with other family members.  It really is a matter of common sense!!!

For example, Kazmierczak said to relocate a bird cage if it is positioned in the room in which an infected person may be recuperating.
Also, wash your hands before handling or feeding the pet, he advised

By Hilary Dickinson – Published: Saturday, November 7, 2009 12:57 AM CST
hdickinson@beloitdailynews.com

Posted:  Just One More Pet – Cross Posted:  True Health Is True Wealth

Related: 

Katie Couric  Reports on Serious Vaccine Safety Issues – Finally

First Daughters Not Vaccinated Against H1N1

November 9, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

77 Rescued Arabian Horses Aided by ASPCA – 400+ Animals Total Rescued in Texas

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On August 14, the Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT) assisted the Denton County Sheriff’s Office in the seizure of 77 emaciated Egyptian Arabian horses, all living on the Renazans Arabians ranch in Pilot Point, TX. The ASPCA, upon learning about the case, awarded a $10,000 grant to HSNT to help care for the rescued equines.

A few days prior to the seizure, a visitor to the 40-plus acre ranch discovered 17 starved horses standing in several inches of their own waste and immediately called the Denton County Sheriff’s Department. Upon arrival, officers found 60 more neglected horses scattered around the property, in back pastures and locked in barns. In addition to being starved, the horses suffered from soft, overgrown and split hooves and sores from lying in their own waste.

“The Humane Society of North Texas has shown an extraordinary commitment and dedication to animals in its community, and this instance is no exception,” says Julie Morris, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Community Outreach. “We are glad to be able to provide them with support in their time of need.”

The funds will also be used to aid the group’s ongoing equine and livestock investigations and rescues—over the past 18 months, HSNT has taken in more than 500 abused and neglected horses. HSNT’s successful adoption program has placed nearly all of these rescued horses into permanent, caring homes.

“The rescued horses have been healing and gaining weight,” reports Samantha Laos, a supervisor with HSNT. “They are calm and happy and not scared anymore.”

The owner of Renazans Arabians, Gordon Dennis Key, 66, has been arrested and charged with one count of animal cruelty. He could eventually face 77 counts—one for each horse—with each charge carrying a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $4,000. Key was also ordered to turn over all documentation for the horses and pay $5,000 in court costs, as well as all expenses for caring for the animals during their impound. He is currently free on $10,000 bail.

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Almost 400 Animals Rescued From Texas Property

A business that has been operating in Sunnyvale for more than 100 years was raided on Tuesday, with hundreds of livestock seized.

Almost 400 Animals Rescued From Texas Property

Kearney’s Feed Store, a long-standing family business, was run by Earnest Kearney, 76, who was arrested in the raid and now faces charges of animal cruelty. 105 chickens, 79 pigeons, 41 rabbits, 35 horses, 33 goats, 27 doves, 22 sheep, 16 turkeys, 9 ducks, 6 cattle, 4 potbellied pigs, 4 guineas, 2 geese, 2 mules and 1 donkey were seized from what was described as rescuers on the scene as “deplorable” and “cruel” conditions. The allegations of cruelty include confinement with inadequate freedom of movement and contamination of drinking water with feces.

The Texas Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has warned Kearney several times over the last few years, and they have now moved all of his livestock to their facility in McKinney after multiple anonymous complaints. A custody hearing on October 15th in Dallas will decide if the animals are to stay in the SPCA’s custody, in which case the animals will be nursed back to health and offered for adoption.

“Those businesses or individuals that profit through the sale of animals need to understand that the cruelty laws apply to them as well,” said SPCA of Texas President James Bias. “If these animals are found to be in an abusive situation, they can face not only having those animals removed, but also criminal charges.”

Posted:  Just One More Pet

October 10, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can Cats and Dogs Catch Swine Flu?

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Pet parents of dogs and cats can relax for now, say ASPCA veterinarians. While the 2009 H1N1 virus—a faster moving and possibly more debilitating strain of influenza than the typical seasonal flu—has become an international concern, the virus, referred to as swine flu when first identified, appears to present little risk of infecting dogs and cats. However, viruses can mutate quickly and taking important preventative measures remains essential.

“Many species can become infected with influenza viruses, but the current 2009 H1N1 virus, which is a mixture of genetic material from different species, has not been identified in animal populations in the United States to date,” says Dr. Miranda Spindel, Director of ASPCA Veterinary Outreach. “These viruses are notoriously unpredictable, though, and it is important that we remain vigilant.”

In terms of other animals who are susceptible, Dr. Spindel warns that influenza or flu viruses are occasionally transmitted from people to pigs, and the 2009 H1N1 virus has also been identified in turkeys. Pet parents of Vietnamese Potbellies, African Pygmies and other pet pigs should monitor their animals’ health closely, notify their veterinarian of any signs of illness and speak to their veterinarian about influenza type A vaccines. And ferrets are susceptible to most human flu viruses, so pet parents should take extra care to prevent exposure of pet ferrets to people or other ferrets with flu symptoms.

Meanwhile, flu season is upon us and pet parents should take common-sense preventative measures to keep their dogs and cats healthy:

  • If your dog is exhibiting flu-like symptoms, including coughing, nasal discharge or fever (normal dog and cat temperature is 101 to 102.5 degrees), play it safe and avoid taking him to places like dog parks, where he can pass on germs or come into contact with unvaccinated or sick dogs.
  • Avoid letting your cat roam freely outside.
  • If your dog comes into frequent contact with other dogs or is kept in a kennel, the ASPCA recommends that you discuss with your veterinarian whether vaccination against canine influenza may be appropriate. Note: canine influenza and H1N1 are not the same virus.
  • Talk to your vet about what flu vaccines are currently available, and be sure all your pets get vaccinated!
  • Don’t let your pet share water bowls, food dishes or toys with other animals.
  • Make sure your pet is eating, drinking and playing as he normally does each day. If you notice your pet behaving unusually, or if he has flu-like symptoms, check in with your veterinarian immediately.

Read the ASPCA’s official statement on swine flu.

Do you Twitter? Use this hashtag to tweet on this article: @aspca and #PetsandSwineFlu

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Posted:  Just One More Pet

October 4, 2009 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vote For Positive Change For California Farm Animals

California Animal Advocates,

When you go to the polls on November 4, don’t forget to vote in positive change for California’s farm animals! Proposition 2 is a landmark ballot initiative that combats some of the worst abuses in factory farming. If passed, it will end the practice of keeping veal calves, breeding pigs and laying hens in cages and crates so small that the animals cannot turn around.

This law will not only prevent cruelty to animals—it also will improve food safety and reduce the devastating environmental impact of factory farms.

What You Can Do
Please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to learn more about Proposition 2 and send a note to friends and family asking them to vote YES! on Prop 2.

Thank you for your support, California!

Here are two important ways you can get involved this week in the campaign to pass Prop 2:

Tune in to the Ellen DeGeneres Show tomorrow, September 26th — I’ll be talking with Ellen about Proposition 2, and how it will help millions of farm animals in California and across the country. Click here to see when the show will air where you live.  

And you can bet I’ll have my dancing shoes on…

Watch our new video to hear straight from the, ahem, pig’s mouth about how you can help farm animals.  

It’s a funny animation, with a tune I bet you’ll recognize, but don’t get me wrong — the heinous treatment of farm animals is no laughing matter. Watch this short movie, then be sure to share it with everyone you know.

Related posts:

September 26, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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