Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year, New Options: Canine Influenza Vaccine

Over the last few years there has been a lot of discussion about Canine Influenza.  More recently, a Canine Influenza Vaccine has been introduced to veterinarians. Morris Animal Inn, in an effort to maintain our status as a leader in the industry, has done extensive research with local veterinarians and Schering Plough, manufacturers of the CIV vaccine. We would like to share the following with you as you make the decision with your veterinarian whether to add the CIV vaccination to your pet’s 2011 list of vaccinations.

Morris Animal Inn has not had any cases of the Canine Influenza; however, there have been cases in New Jersey, so we are taking the potential exposure seriously.

The Canine Influenza is highly contagious and can be transmitted by infected dogs prior to their showing any symptoms. Typically, it is airborne, passed by dog to dog contact, or via people's hands or clothing. The disease is usually mild, accompanied by coughing and sneezing similar to the typical Canine Cough. The main concern is for approximately 20% of the dogs that may exhibit additional symptoms such as loss of appetite, lethargy, nasal discharge, fever, and potentially, pneumonia.

Based on discussions with area veterinarians and representatives from Schering Plough, our recommendation is that all our customers' dogs be vaccinated for Canine Influenza; however, we are not mandating it at this time. You should consult with your veterinarian to determine if the vaccine is appropriate for your dog.

Canine Influenza Vaccine
It is important to keep in mind that the current vaccine is not a preventative, and even a properly vaccinated dog, when exposed, will still contract the virus. The vaccine is designed to reduce the severity of the disease, the length of time the dog is sick and the complications that are brought on by secondary bacterial infections. The vaccine is a two injection series and becomes effective after 30 days.

Hopefully, your pet(s) will never contract Canine Influenza, but if your dog exhibits symptoms, it is important that you consult with your veterinarian promptly. Due to the nature of this virus, regardless of how diligent we are in cleaning and screening protocols, it may be impossible to totally prevent in the future. That said, we want to assure you that your pet’s health and happiness is always our main concern.

Morris Animal Inn wishes you and your family a happy, healthy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Morris Animal Inn Gives Back

Every day at the Morris Animal Inn means quality care and fun for our canine and feline guests; they are our number one priority! In light of the season, we are taking a moment to reflect on the ways we have helped animals and people who are less fortunate in 2010.

Here's a peek at some of the highlights:

Morris Animal Inn Puppy Prom:
Benefiting Becca's Closet
NJ News 12 Cover Puppy Prom
and Donation of 100+ Dresses to Becca's Closet

St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center:
Canine Cotillion & Holiday Mall Wall 

 Morris Animal Inn Managers
Canine Cotillion Donor

"Mall Wall" Sponsor, The Mall at Short Hills

Noah's Ark Animal Welfare Association:
Petcasso, Kit-Tea and Howl & Hike
Petcasso Silent Auction Sponsor
Howl & Hike
"Lap Dog" Sponsor
Kit-Tea "Cat's Meow" Sponsor

Pounds for Hounds:
Benefiting Eleventh Hour Rescue

Morris Animal Inn representatives donate 10 lbs. of dog food
to Eleventh Hour Rescue for every pound its staff lost
Holiday Pet Photo Shoot with Photographer Hugo Juarez:
Benefiting Make A Wish Foundation of NJ 

Hugo Juarez assists Morris Animal Inn staff
in taking unique pet photographs
VP Joanne Morris donating photo shoot proceeds
to the Make A Wish Foundation of NJ

Morris Animal Inn, a family owned business, values and understands the importance of giving back to the community. In addition to the charity events highlighted above, we have participated in countless fundraising events and donated hundreds of baskets and gifts to fundraising events, among other activities. 

The Morris Family and the Staff at Morris Animal Inn would like to thank all of our clients for their support over the years, which has allowed us to play an active role in many of these charitable initiatives on both the local and regional levels.

Wishing you and your family a healthy and happy New Year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cats and Dogs: Happily Ever After?

Does your dog like to chase your cat? If so, your cat probably isn't crazy about this arrangement. And the last thing you need around the holidays is your pets fighting like, well...cats and dogs. Even though both species think themselves to be predators, dogs often consider cats their prey.

Here are four easy ways to keep the peace in your mixed-species household:

When you can't supervise, separate your dog from your cat with a door or gate. This will protect your cat from injury and block your dog from engaging in the unwanted chasing behavior.When you are around, make sure to let your dog know chasing is unacceptable every time he engages in the behavior. A strong and simple "No!" is a good start.

Reprogram your dog's desire to chase small moving animals by putting him on a leash when your cat enters the room. As soon as your dog notices the cat, begin feeding him pieces of a high-quality treat like boiled chicken. Keep feeding your dog as long as your cat is visible, but keep him on-leash. Your dog will eventually associate  the cat entering the room with your feeding him treats, so he will come to you rather than focusing on your cat. After a while, you can even test this process without a leash. You may also need to condition your cat to be calmer in the presence of your dog!

Stay positive by using a familiar command rather than yelling. Or, you can teach your dog a basic emergency "pause" cue like "Stop!". If you teach the cue as a game, associating it with a yummy treat, you can make your dog stop his behavior long enough for your cat to safely escape.

 Keep cats indoors so that your dog has less space to chase. It's also hard for dogs to tell the difference between a squirrel, rabbit or cat when they are playing outdoors. If your cat reacts badly to the indoor lifestyle, consider building her a screened-in enclosure.

These methods, along with some patience and compassion, will help you make your home a place where cats and dogs live happily ever after.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Hazards

Holiday pet hazards lurk around the Christmas tree and dangle from the dinner table. Fortunately, keeping your furry friends out of the poinsettias and away from chocolate just takes a few simple strategies.

Decorate with pets in mind.

Dangerous decor is a big holiday season concern.

Greenery: Holiday plants like poinsettias, holly and mistletoe should be kept out of reach from your pets because they can cause upset stomachs, gastrointestinal distress and other problems. But even fake plants can hurt your pet. Surprising culprits for tummy troubles are loose needles from artificial Christmas trees, wreaths and garlands.

Speaking of Christmas trees, remember to avoid using additives, such as fertilizers or home remedies like aspirin, in the water of a live tree’s base because they are often poisonous to your dog or cat if they choose to drink from it.

Climbing and chewing: Many pets instinctually get into trouble in a home decorated for the holidays. To prevent kitty from climbing up the Christmas tree, try placing aluminum foil around the tree base and under the tree. The texture and sound tin foil makes is unpleasant to cats, so they tend to stay away from it.

To discourage gnawing on electrical cords, use protective devices made for computer cables, like rubber or plastic cord ducts. Or, you could spray any bitter tasting pet products on cords to deter noshing.

Christmas ribbon can be a less obvious but attractive hazard to pets. Although beautiful and fun to play with, ribbon, tinsel and icicles can create an intestinal obstruction in dogs and cats.

At home or on the road: Don’t forget to secure your pet(s) during travel with a pet seatbelt or carrier. Slick roads can put an unrestrained pet (and human passengers) at risk. Also, using a crate can keep the family dog from nipping because of the stress of having guests in the house.

You should also be sure your pet has current identification tags as well, in case he or she should run out the door as you welcome guests inside.

Food Abounds.

Food is often a favorite part of holiday decor, from gingerbread houses to candy canes to oranges flanked with cloves. But some holiday treats can pose an immediate threat to animals. Chocolate for instance, is toxic to both cats and dogs, so take extra care when baking.

And rather than feeding Fido or Whiskers your holiday leftovers, plan ahead and put out pet-friendly treats. Lots of treats of a variety of festive shapes and colors are available at your local pet store. …and remember, moderation is the key!

Happy Holidays!