Dear Friend,
In this edition you will find:
Miller's Corner Community Celebration
Seasonal Allergies
Blue Green Algae
Kennel Cough
Cat Trivia

Miller's Corner Community Celebration

Please join us on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, from 4pm to 7pm, for the annual Miller's Corner Community Celebration.

Live Entertainment
Free Dinner
Petting Zoo
Door Prizes
And More

Sponsored by Roberts Medical Clinic, Bobtown Pet Clinic, Drug Test Midwest, Barn Board Grill and Saloon, and Park Dental.

Held in conjunction with National Night Out Celebration 2015.

On your mark! Get set! ITCH!

It will not be long until the worst allergy season of the year is upon us. Dogs will be coming in scratching, with ear infections, skin infections and hot spots.

Late summer sees the blooming of many plants, especially ragweed. These pollens cause allergy symptoms in many animals and people. Dogs tend to be skin reactors. This means that they start to itch and scratch. Secondarily they often have skin infection problems. The classic presentation is chewing at the feet, scratching at the face and ears and often having ear infections.

With seasonal allergies there really is no escape from the cause of the symptoms. The pollens are everywhere. Therefore, we are left to treat the symptoms or to try to retrain the immune system.

We have a number of medications to help control the symptoms of the allergies. These include antihistamines, steroids and immune modulators. It can also help considerably to treat the secondary problems like skin and ear infections.

Retraining the immune system requires allergy testing and a series of injections. These often go on for the pets life.

So if your pet is starting to itch, please call for an appointment. Allergies can be miserable. We can help.

Blue-Green Algae

If you have watched the news recently you will have seen segments on blue-green algae killing several dogs.

What we commonly call blue-green algae are actually photosynthetic bacteria, known as cyanobacteria, which live in water. These types of bacteria are found worldwide and are among the oldest and largest groups of bacteria.

The bacteria are normally present in the water. Problems occur when very exuberant growth occurs forming what is termed an algal bloom. The algae numbers increase dramatically, and the bacteria tend to rise to the surface, often forming a mat that can be several inches thick, especially near shore.

The blooms usually form in slow moving or stagnant waters rich in nutrients. Most commonly, the blooms occur in the late summer or early fall, but can occur at any time. The blooms can look like foam, scum or mats that can be blue, green, brown or red. Some blooms may not affect the appearance of the water.

The cyanobacteria can cause problems in many ways. The blooms can block out the sunlight to the water and use up all the oxygen killing other plants and animals. They can produce toxins that are among the most powerful natural toxins known. There are many different types of toxins produced; including neurotoxins, liver toxins, kidney toxins, and tumor promoters. No antidotes have been identified for these toxins.

People and animals are exposed to these toxins when drinking water from, playing in, or inhaling aerosols from a contaminated body of water. Some toxins will cause skin irritation. If inhaled, some can cause allergy or asthma-like symptoms. Swallowing water can also cause severe gastroenteritis, including vomiting and diarrhea. Additionally, some bacteria, such as Clostridium botulinum (botulism), can use these blooms as a growth medium.

Treatment for blue-green algae toxicity revolves around decontamination, symptomatic and supportive care.

The best ways to protect yourself and your animals is to avoid areas of water where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water. If you or your animals do swim in those areas, make sure to rinse off immediately with fresh water. Do not irrigate with pond water that looks scummy or smells bad. If you think you or your animal has been poisoned by blue-green algae, seek medical attention immediately!

More information on cyanobacteria can be found at

Is your dog sounding more like a goose than a dog? 

We have been seeing quite a few coughing dogs lately. The symptoms and examination findings have been most consistent with a kennel cough.

Kennel cough is best though of as a variety of viruses and bacteria that cause a contagious cough. The primary symptom seen is coughing. Dogs continue to feel well, although the cough can become disruptive, keep them awake, and even cause a gag reflex with vomiting. They typically do not run a fever and continue to eat and drink. The cough is often worse with activity or even sleeping. 

The coughing dogs we have been seeing lately do not seem to have Bordatella bronchiseptica (one of the major bacterial causes). We are not sure but suspect a viral cause.

Just be aware that there seems to be an up tick of kennel cough lately, especially if you take your friend to the kennel, groomer or the pet store. If your dog starts to cough, please call for an appointment. 

Interesting Cat Facts

At night a cat can gather into the extra-large corneas and lenses of its eyes more than six times the amount of light than humans. Seeing far better than humans do at night time and tending to focus best at a distance of eight to twenty feet makes cats excellent night time hunters.

A cat will clean itself with paw and tongue after a dangerous experience or when it has fought with another cat. This is believed to be an attempt by the animal to soothe its nerves by doing something natural and instinctive.

A cat's jaws cannot move sideways.

Abraham Lincoln loved cats. He had four of them while he lived in the White House. Abraham Lincoln's cat, Tabby, was the first of several White House cats.

All cats are members of the family Felidea. Interestingly enough, the cat family split from the other mammals at least 40,000,000 years ago, making them one of the oldest mammalian families.

Americans spend more on cat food than on baby food.