Dog flu increases in Midwest, sickening canines

Published: Wednesday, April 08, 2015 @ 7:01 AM
Updated: Wednesday, April 08, 2015 @ 7:01 AM

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Flu season for humans is at its end, but for dogs in the Midwest, it may be just beginning. 

According to CBS News, more than 1,000 cases of canine infectious disease has been reported in the Chicago area.  Five dogs have died so far.

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One veterinarian told WBBM that it is almost an epidemic, the worst outbreak he has seen in his 35 years of practice.

The Chicago Veterinary Emergency Center was seeing 15 cases of canine flu a day.

The disease presents as a cough, runny nose and fever WBBM reported, but CBS reported that humans can not get the illness from their pets despite it being contagious between dogs in close contact with each other.

A simple, $100 vaccine each year is highly effective to prevent the illness.  Treating the flu if a dog contracts it can cost thousands if the animal needs to be hospitalized in isolation, CBS reported.

The illness seems to be isolated to Chicago, but it has been seen in Northwest Indiana, but they had a connection to Illinois, WTHR reported.

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7 dog hacks for pet parents in the city

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 11:25 AM
Updated: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 11:25 AM

Try these seven hacks for a safe, happy city or apartment life with your pooch If you haven't yet become a pet parent, choose a dog with your living situation in mind If you live in an apartment building, potty trips can be a hassle. You may have to use training pads or synthetic grass If you have a new dog used to a different living environment, they may need time to adjust to city or apartment living For outdoor playtime in some wide-open spaces, try one of Atlanta's best dog parks As the sun heats up t

Owning a dog can be extremely rewarding, but if you're a pet parent who lives in the heart of a city or in an apartment, you might face a few extra challenges.

RELATED: Tips to keep your dog cool in the summer

From a lack of yard space to nearby neighbors who can easily hear your dog barking, you may need to make some adjustments for the good of your lifestyle and your neighbors.

Try these seven hacks for a safe, happy city or apartment life with your pooch:

1. Choose the right breed.

If you haven't yet become a pet parent, choose a dog with your living situation in mind, according to this Pets Best Insurance blog. A puppy may be  more rambunctious and need more bathroom breaks than an older dog. And while you might assume that larger dogs won't work well in the city or in an apartment, that's not necessarily true. Depending on the breed, they may bark less and be less energetic than smaller dogs.

2. Prepare for potty trips.

If you live several stories up in an apartment building, potty trips outside can be more of a hassle. You may have to improvise by using some training pads or trying a dog potty with real or synthetic grass,according to the experts at Bella’s House and Pet Sitting. Disposable and permanent versions are available, and you can place them inside or outside on a balcony.

RELATED: Pets on a plane: Which airlines are most pet-friendly?

3. Help your dog adapt.

If you have a new dog or one that's used to a different living environment, he or she may need time to adjust to city or apartment living. Introduce your pet slowly to the sounds of traffic, neighbors, and other animals, giving him or her extra attention and time to feel safe.

4. Help your pooch get plenty of exercise.

Your dog will require plenty of exercise and will need to be walked at least two to three times a day. For outdoor playtime in some wide-open spaces, try one of Atlanta's best dog parks, where you and your dog can socialize.

Booties or shoe suspenders may look a little unusual, but they can help protect your dog's paws from hot pavement.(Amazon/For the AJC)

5. Protect your dog's paws.

As the summer sun heats up Atlanta's asphalt and concrete, it can be dangerous for your dog's paws. If you're taking your dog for a walk in hot weather, check the pavement for heat by putting the back of your hand on it for at least seven seconds. If it's too hot, stick to grassy surfaces, wait until a cooler part of the day, or invest in some dog booties.

6. Use and swap out toys.

Leave your dog some toys to play with to keep him or her from getting bored and destructive when you're not home. A few Kong toys – which have hollow centers to put treats inside – can help provide some stimulation and entertainment while you're gone. And it never hurts to swap out an old toy and add a new one to the mix now and then to keep your dog interested.

7. Get some help.

If you're going to be gone for long periods of time during the day, consider hiring a dog walker or enrolling your pet in doggy day care. Some day cares even have webcams that let you sneak a peek at your dog having fun while you're stuck at your desk at work.

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Cat reunited with owner 14 years after hurricane disappearance

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 8:34 AM

Cat Missing for 14 Years Reunited With Owner

Perry Martin probably can’t stop pondering about his cat.

>> See the Facebook post here

T2 was reunited with his dad after being missing for 14 YEARS! He went missing in 2004 for during hurricane season and...

Posted by Humane Society of the Treasure Coast on Tuesday, March 13, 2018
 

In 2004, the orange tabby Thomas 2, or simply just “T2,” disappeared.

It happened when the Fort Pierce man moved into a friend’s house in Stuart after Hurricane Jeanne stormed through the area, according to TCPalm.

>> Delta under fire after flying a puppy to the wrong airport

The retired K-9 officer grieved, but then came to terms with the idea that his cat had moved on to other ventures, or to that great catnap in the sky. 

That all changed on March 9 with a phone call.

“Someone said, 'What if we told you T2 was alive?' I figured it was a mistake," Martin told TCPalm. "It was too crazy to believe."

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Worn and weary, the fiery feline was found wandering the streets of Palm City.

He was brought into the shelter, where a scan of his skinny shoulder detected a microchip, which eventually led him back to Martin. 

Next thing you know, the tabby, now 18 years old, is back snuggling on his owner’s lap

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The cat is content, but Martin’s questioning persists.

"Could you imagine if he could talk for just 15 minutes to tell us what he's been through?" Martin told TCPalm. "He'd probably say, 'Why did you keep the door shut, Dad?'"

Read more at TCPalm.

Study Says Your Cat Really Does Like You

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Dogs love donated chairs at shelter

Published: Tuesday, March 06, 2018 @ 11:23 AM

Dogs Get Cozy After Chairs Donated to Shelter

The dogs awaiting adoption at one Illinois animal shelter no longer have to sleep on a cold floor.

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The Knox County Humane Society posted a Facebook video Monday of their adoptable dogs lounging comfortably in donated chairs. Goober, Mickey, Tango and Buster Brown are seen making themselves at home on the chairs until they find their forever home.

WATCH THE VIDEO

The Knox County Humane Society wrote on Facebook, "The shelter pets absolutely love their chairs! If anyone has any older chairs they no longer want, please think of the shelter pets!"

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Seasonal allergies could be affecting your pets

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:39 AM

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The weather in some parts of the country is not helping people with allergies, and your pets could also be feeling the effects of the high pollen (and other allergens) count. 

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Pets are often sniffling grass, other pets and the ground. They are also much closer to where the allergens can sit, so they could be more exposed to more allergens, such as pollen. 

>> On WFTV.com: More weather facts and hacks

Just like humans, dogs and cats can sneeze, get watery eyes and runny noses. Allergies can make these symptoms worse. According to the Humane Society, dogs often express pollen allergy symptoms by itching. The pollen gets on their fur, makes its way down to their skin and irritates it. 

>> On WFTV.com: Interactive: Common medications used to treat your cough

Here are some ways to help your pet cope with seasonal allergies:

  • Consult your veterinarian to make sure the irritation on the skin is not something worse. Your veterinarian can prescribe allergy medicine if needed. 
  • Try to limit activities outdoors, especially in the morning, when pollen levels are the highest.
  • After a walk, wash or wipe your pet's face and paws a wet towel. Just like in humans, the pollen can be washed out. 
  • When you bathe your pets, use warm water when applying shampoo and cool water to wash it off. Cold water helps with the itching. 
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