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Adoption contract for cats and kittens in need: All kittens and adult cats coming into our rescue, including those that come in from other organizations, must be spayed/neutered and vaccinated prior to adoption. Adoptions are subject to a $50 non-refundable fee to cover costs and insure that they are current on their vaccines, spayed/neutered, and microchipped. Each animal must be adopted by a current pet-owner. Animal adoption fees are separate from donations.
Why a no-kill animal shelter?
Because we believe all life has value and deserves a chance. Many shelters don't realize that, in large part, they create unnecessary stress for shelter animals and breed animals to be euthanized. If these shelters do choose to euthanize animals, it should be done in such a way as to minimize suffering, and with the intention of finding loving new homes for them. If you're interested in knowing more about animal rights, click here.
How often do animals come in?
We take in animals from approximately four to five days a week. Typically a little less than half of the dogs and cats come in due to people bringing them in. The remning animals come in as the animals that were found, or were picked up by the police or animal control. We also adopt out dogs for people in residential neighborhoods as often as possible, and cats for those in apartment complexes, as they can be a bit too much for our staff to handle as well. We have also adopted out some animals that have been surrendered at an animal shelter.
How often do animals come in sick?
Since we do not have on-site medical care, we try to get the animals in as quickly as possible. When we get an animal in, they are examined, treated if needed, and the owner is given a follow-up. If an animal has a sickness, or a wound that we think may be an indication of a sickness, we will often let the owners know about it, and follow-up on the problem.
Why is it so important to vaccinate your dogs?
Vaccines are an important part of ensuring the health of an animal, especially in times of potential disease outbreaks. These outbreaks are often times brought on by a breakdown of natural immunity, and vaccinations are one of the easiest ways to combat them. We do not recommend vaccinations for dogs unless their owner has specifically requested them, and has already consulted with a veterinary clinic about what vaccinations are most appropriate for their dog. We do recommend annual or biannual rabies vaccinations for dogs. To vaccinate your own dog, go here.
Why are dogs vaccinated for heartworm disease?
To start, they are vaccinated as a preventative measure agnst other illnesses and diseases that can present themselves as more serious and life-threatening problems to them. We vaccinate because it is part of best practice to vaccinate your dog agnst heartworms. We are able to perform heartworm testing (both ELISA and antigen test), and the vaccination, while not necessarily able to prevent heartworms, can help prevent your dog from becoming severely sick.
Does being vaccinated increase the likelihood of getting heartworms?
No. The only way to protect your dog from getting heartworms is to do prevention. Your dog is already very well vaccinated, and given the vaccine used, the risk of getting heartworms from vaccinating your dog is minimal. It’s very unlikely that they would get heartworms from a routine vaccination.
Where can I get information about heartworms?
There are many other things that we can do to help keep your dog healthy, and a good place to start is to talk with your local veterinarian. They can tell you if you are doing all that you can, and they can help you find out more about what you can do. You may also want to see the American Heartworm Society’s Heartworm Education Program, and their website is: www.heartwormsociety.org.
If you have questions about vaccinations, or want to know more about heartworm, please contact us at (716) 524-7730.
How does Heartworm Disease Compare to Other Viral and Bacterial Disease?
Heartworm disease is the leading contagious parasitic disease in dogs. It is an extremely debilitating disease, and in many cases, it can cause your dog to lose weight rapidly, become lethargic, and eventually, have to be euthanized. If your dog becomes a carrier of heartworms, they can be difficult to control, even with heartworm preventatives. Many carriers will have no symptoms of the disease and will pass the disease to other dogs. The disease can be spread by mosquitoes that feed on infected animals, but the more important risk is that a dog can contract the disease from another animal, whether it be another dog, cat, or even a bird.
The other great risk is that many times, you will find that the cause of your dog’s lethargy is not heartworm at all. Other diseases like parvovirus, panleukopenia, and Giardia can all be the cause of your dog losing weight. Many times, a dog will be diagnosed with other, more serious conditions, when the problem actually lies in another area.
Diagnosing Heartworm Disease
The definitive test to diagnose heartworm disease is to test your dog’s blood for the presence of antibodies, or antigen, to the disease. A positive test means that your dog has been infected with the disease. If your dog has not had a blood test, you will need to have it done to determine if your dog has been infected. Your vet will draw a blood sample from your dog’s hind legs, to test for the presence of antibodies. Some private practices will have blood testing avlable on site. Many private practices, though, will order a test for you to send in for further confirmation.
In order to diagnose a carrier of heartworms, your dog needs to have a fecal examination. This will help to identify and quantify the number of the heartworm parasite. It also gives the veterinarian a better idea about the prevalence of the disease in your area.
This will require the dog to be in a clean and quiet area for at least five hours. After they are alone, the veterinarian will use a specially designed brush, a fine-toothed wire instrument, to sample your dog’s feces and identify the parasite larvae. Your vet may also draw some of the same sample for testing.
Treating Heartworm Disease
Treatment for heartworm disease varies from one owner to the next. Some of you may want to just let nature take its course and do nothing, whereas others may want to do everything possible to try to save their dogs’ lives. For those people who feel that they want to treat the disease, there are four options avlable to you.
Home treatment. Some people choose to take their dog’s temperature, record it, and give it