Dear Friend,

In this issue you will find:

Hurricane Adoptions

They Ate What?

Cool Weather Is Coming

Halloween Safety


Food Pantry Update


Exercise caution when adopting a dog from a hurricane region

A message from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

MADISON – As images of dogs left behind during Hurricane Harvey permeate social media and news stories are written about rescue organizations bringing dogs from Texas, animal health officials are recommending that adoptive families exercise caution.

"Certain mosquito-borne diseases, heartworm in particular, are prevalent in the southeastern United States, so when a dog is brought to Wisconsin it is possible that it has heartworm," says Dr. Yvonne Bellay, humane program veterinarian with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection—Division of Animal Health.

If you are planning to adopt a dog brought from the hurricane region, here are some things you should consider:

  • If you have dogs or cats already in your home, they are at risk of contracting heartworm disease, through mosquito transmission, from the new dog. As long as mosquitoes continue to fly around our pets, and they currently are until we have a hard frost, other pets in the household are at risk.
  • The dog should be tested for heartworm infection as soon as possible, which can usually be done during a routine visit.
  • If found to be positive, be prepared to face treatment costs between $400 and $1,000 on average, according to the American Animal Hospital Association. Treatment involves injections and possible hospitalization.
  • The seller must provide you with a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) issued within the 30 days prior to adopting the dog. The CVI provides documentation of the dog's health at a particular point in time, but is not a guarantee of the animal's health.

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease caused by foot-long worms that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets. It can lead to severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. Heartworm disease affects dogs, cats and ferrets,as well as wild animals such as foxes, wolves, and coyotes.

"Dogs are natural hosts for heartworms and, if left untreated, the worms can cause lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries, affecting the dog's health and quality of life," Bellay says. Cats are atypical hosts for heartworms, but can still suffer damage in the form of a condition known as heartworm associated respiratory disease (HARD).

Prevention is by far the best option, and treatment—when needed—should be administered as early in the course of the disease as possible. Since many of these dogs are being picked up off the streets or removed from flooded homes, it is impossible to know whether they have been treated with heartworm preventive medication.

Note from Bobtown Pet Clinic: It is actually illegal to import into Wisconsin any animal with a communicable disease. This includes heartworm positive animals.


They Ate What?

Animals eat some amazing things.

Every year there is an contest to find the most unusual or interesting gastrointestinal foreign body that can be seen on the X-ray.

You can find this year's winners at this link:

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Cool Weather Is Coming

As I write this the fall colors are peaking. We have had a first frost, but not a hard freeze. There is no doubt that cooler weather is coming in the very near future.

This is just a quick reminder to start preparing your pets for cooler weather. Outdoor pets will need access to liquid water and adequate shelter with warm bedding. 


Top Halloween Tips for Pet Owners

(From the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center)

1) Lock candy safely away. Kids love to stash candy in their rooms, but a dog's keen sense of smell will lead him to even the most cleverly hidden treasure. Contact a veterinary professional right away if your pet does get into Halloween candy, especially if it contains chocolate or is sugar-free and contains xylitol.

2) Don't leave glow sticks lying around. Glow sticks are used to help keep kids safe while they are out in the dark. Pets (especially cats) find these glow sticks to be a lot of fun as well, and we commonly get calls about pets puncturing the sticks. While most of them are labeled as non-toxic, they do have an extremely bitter taste and we will often see pets who bite into them drooling and racing around the house. A little treat or sip of milk will usually stop the taste reaction.

3) Keep your pet identified and visible. There are a lot of extra people on the streets at Halloween, and that combined with strange costumes can spook pets and cause them to bolt. If you take your pet out after dark, make sure he or she wears a reflective collar and is securely leashed. And make sure your pet has proper identification on the collar.

4) Calm your pet. Even pets who are kept indoors may experience intense anxiety over the large number of strangely dressed visitors. Keeping your pet away from trick-or-treaters may do the trick, but if you think more will be needed be sure and speak with your vet well in advance about options to help calm your pet.

5) Check those costumes. Costumes can be fun for the whole family. If you are planning on dressing up your best bud, ensure that the costume fits well and isn't going to slip and tangle the pet or cause a choking hazard if chewed on. Never leave a costumed pet unattended.


Fleas and Ticks

With the cooler weather comes the end of our flea and tick season. However, it will take a few hard freezes to get rid of the fleas in the environment. Ticks will continue to be out until it really starts getting cold.

With this in mind, do not stop your flea and tick preventatives for your pets until at least December. We really recommend using them year round. It keeps us in the habit and protects from the fleas that your pets get exposed to when interacting directly with other animal. Places like pet stores, boarding and grooming facilities and even veterinary clinics are exposure risks. 


Food Pantry Update

So far this year you have donated $1173 and 392 lbs of food in exchange for pet nail trims. Keep up the great work!

As we near the winter, food pantry usage will increase. Please help us keep the donations coming.