3675 Crescent Ridge,
Dubuque, IA 52003,
In order to provide excellent, state-of-the-art medical care, while maintaining reasonable prices, we ask that all services be paid upon completion. We accept cash, check, Master Card and Visa.
To protect against the spread of disease, all in-hospital patients, including those in for boarding, must have current vaccinations for the common communicable diseases.
Calling ahead for prescription refills is recommended.
IN THE NEWS:
Currently an infectious disease named "dog flu" or "canine influenza" is affecting dogs in the Midwest.
It is highly contagious and is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact, aerosols of respiratory secretions, and contact with contaminated environments such as surfaces, food- and water bowls, collars/leashes as well as the hands and clothing of people who have handled infected dogs.
Virtually all dogs become infected when exposed to canine influenza.About 80 percent of these exposed dogs will show signs of infection, those that do not have symptoms can still spread the virus. It is a serious illness that is easily spread among dogs in shelters, day cares, boarding kennels and dog parks.
In its early stages it can be mistaken for kennel cough. Symptoms include persistent coughing, dry cough, fever, nasal discharge, lack of energy, and loss of appetite. Canine influenza can progress to bacterial pneumonia, which can be fatal to puppies, sick dogs and older dogs. A small number of dogs with the virus have died from complications of the disease.
Since canine influenza is a virus treatment will focus on supportive care such as IV fluids and antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections.
If you made an appointment and your dog is showing symptoms such as coughing, nasal discharge, fever, or lethargy, we ask you to leave the dog in the vehicle temporarily and check in at the front desk for further instructions. Doctor Neumeister will either come outside for further evaluation or we will lead you and the dog through a separate entrance directly into our isolation ward.
If you are concerned regarding this flu outbreak we suggest that you keep your dog separated as much as possible until this outbreak calms down. The fewer contacts your dog has with another dog, the lesser the chance of it becoming infected.
One of the suspected canine influenza strains is caused by the H3N8 influenza virus and was first identified in racing greyhounds in Florida in 2004. It had been circulating in the greyhound population for at least five years prior to its identification. A vaccine for this particular strain is available - it will decrease the severity of the illness, but does not prevent it. Now it seems that a different strain might be the cause of the current outbreak. The particular strain being researched seems to be related to the H3N2 influenza virus that is circulating in dogs in Asia. The Asian H3N2 strain has been shown to also infect cats. At this time there is no evidence of human risk, but due to the unpredictability of viruses this is still under investigation.
The symptoms for both flu strains are the same.
Final diagnosis of the disease can only be confirmed through serologic testing or submission of tissues.
Titer vs. vaccinations?
We would like to share some more information regarding titers and vaccinations.
A "vaccination" is the administration of antigenic material to stimulate an immune system to develop adaptive immunity to a pathogen. Vaccines can prevent or ameliorate morbidity from infection.
According to the veterinary medical experts contributing to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) distemper, parvo, hepatitis and rabies are infectious diseases that pets should be vaccinated for. The rabies vaccine is required to be administered by law due to the significant risk to humans.
Before administering any vaccinations Dr. Neumeister will do a wellness exam on your pet, because vaccinations should be determined on a case-by-case basis. Each animal's risk factors are unique, based on his age, genetic inheritance, current health, geographic location, and lifestyle.
If a client prefers to vaccinate their pet as minimally as necessary to protect them from disease a yearly titer test can be done.
A "titer" or "titering," is the act of submitting a blood sample to determine if an animal has enough antibodies to overcome an attack of a particular virus if exposed to it. Theoretically, with the help of yearly titers, a pet would not need to be vaccinated as long as the antibody levels are demonstrably high, year after year. If your reason for considering titers is only based on saving money, you should be aware that running the titer is two to three times more expensive than the vaccinations.
Titers can not entirely replace vaccines. They also do NOT denote protection against a given disease, because it measures antibodies, not cell-mediated immunity, which is the real-world measure of protection. It’s still every individual pet owner’s decision to make, but owners should not get a false sense of security based on lab results reporting that antibody levels suggest protection is "likely" It all comes down to this: the core vaccines are an important and life-saving component of responsible dog care when administered properly – neither too frequently nor inadequately.
Case of the Week: Panosteitis - "growing pain" in dogs
A 6-month old German Shepherd was presented because of limping. During the exam Dr. Neumeister found that the dog was very uncomfortable with extension of the left front leg and was able to extend it only 30%.