Document 138562

April 2011
350 Alexander Rd.
Nakusp BC V0G 1R1
In this Newsletter:
Canine “Kennel” Cough
It’s contagious, and it’s going around.
Canine Kennel Cough
Rabies in Canada
Birds and Windows
Choosing a Puppy
Tapeworms are common parasites of cats in our
area, and we also see them in dogs occasionally.
The tapeworm lifecycle requires an “intermediate
host”, such as a flea, a rodent or a deer carcass, that
carries the tapeworm to the dog or cat. Dogs and
cats cannot get tapeworms from eating stool, and
they don’t transmit them directly to each other.
That means that if your cat has tapeworms, your dog
doesn’t necessarily have them too. The cat may be
getting the tapeworms from hunting rodents. On
the other hand, if there are fleas in the house, both
pets may have tapeworms. The flea tapeworm is so
common, in fact, that if your pet has tapeworms you
should look for fleas.
Tapeworm segments can be seen
in stool or stuck to the anus or
tail. They look a little like a
flattened grain of rice. They can
be irritating to the anus.
Treatment is simple: usually pills. There is also
newer medication for cats that can’t be given pills. If
cats or dogs eat rodents or raw meat you may wish
to treat them on a regular schedule.
Horses, sheep, goats, and cattle get different species
of tapeworms.
“Infectious Tracheobronchitis” is the technical term
for kennel cough. It can be caused by a viral
infection, or in more serious cases by a bacteria
called Bordetella bronchiseptica — related to the
bacteria that causes whooping cough in humans.
Affected dogs will cough, but otherwise breathe
normally. They sometimes cough very hard and end
up retching and gagging. Most of the time, they still
eat and drink normally and are active. Occasionally
a dog will get very ill from a Bordetella infection.
The name “kennel cough” comes from the fact that
this disease is very contagious when dogs are close
to each other (however, dogs do not have to be in a
kennel to catch this disease). Keep affected dogs
away from other dogs, and keep them well-rested
while they recover.
Any dog with a severe cough should be seen by your
veterinarian. Bordetella can cause severe coughing
for weeks or even months. We try to circumvent
that by using specific antibiotics early in the disease.
Sometimes a patient can have a similar cough from
a heart or lung condition, and treatment is
completely different.
There are vaccines for several of the agents causing
kennel cough.
April 2011
350 Alexander Rd.
Nakusp BC V0G 1R1
Choosing a Puppy
Rabies in Canada
Number of rabies positive skunks in 2010:
Number of rabies positive bats in 2010:
Average yearly Rabies positive bats from BC: 13
Number of human deaths from Rabies:
(since reporting began in 1924)
Last Canadian human death from Rabies: 2007
Last BC human death from Rabies: 2003
% of total confirmed rabies cases that are
- cattle: 5 - 11%
- cats: 2 - 6%
- dogs: 1 - 2.5%
% Human exposure due to contact with rabid dogs
or cats : 60%
Source: Canadian Food Inspection Agency
If a Bird Hits
your Window...
About half of birds that fly into
windows are stunned but not
killed. Some of these birds will have fatal internal
bleeding, but some will recover.
To give the stunned bird the best chance, place it
upright in a small dark box in a quiet area. The goal is
to give the bird a chance to rest and recover while
being protected from predators. Open the box every
15 minutes to see if the bird flies off.
If there seems to be an injured wing or leg, or the bird
does not recover in an hour, bring the bird in to the
vet clinic for examination or take it to BEAKS (Bird
Emergency and Kare Society) in Castlegar.
There is excellent practical advice on safeguarding
your windows for birds at
(then search the site for “windows”)
Adopting a new puppy is a big step. If you do some
research, you have a good chance of making the
right choice for your family, and for your new dog.
Consider the kind of lifestyle you want to have with
your dog. Do you want an active dog? A “portable”
(small) dog? A quiet easy-going dog? An easy-totrain dog? An independent dog? Look at what the
breed was bred to do:
something about the
character of the dog.
Where will the dog
spend time when you
are not there? Do you
have a safe place
inside the house? Do you have a fenced yard?
What do you know about the care the dog will
require? Are you prepared for a coat that requires
maintenance, for example?
Where was the puppy raised?
people and to other dogs?
Has house-training been
started? A good start in life
will make things easier for
Is it socialized to
It is best to be able to see
the puppy’s parents: Do
they have the kind of
temperament you want?
If you can’t see the
parents, especially if the dog is of mixed breed, it is
hard to predict what the dog will turn out like.
Alternatively, consider adopting an adult dog from
the SPCA or a breed rescue. Adult dogs have
established behaviour traits (as well
as size!), so you know what you are
There is a great deal of web-based
information available. Here is a good
place to start your research: