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June 2015 Newsletter


June 2015 Newsletter

posted Jun 17, 2015, 5:01 PM by Jason Belt   [ updated Jun 19, 2015, 2:53 PM ]


The June 2015 Newsletter is out.  Check it out at flipsnak or download the pdf directly.

From the President

posted Jun 17, 2015, 4:05 PM by Jason Belt   [ updated Jun 17, 2015, 4:25 PM ]

From the President

Dear RCHS Supporters,

The past few months have been busy for RCHS, with a number of our animals requiring more than routine medical care. One such animal was my foster, little Cinnamon (pictured below). Cinnamon came to RCHS after her owner passed away. When Cinnamon arrived with RCHS she was emaciated, her nails were so long that they were penetrating her pads and she had a very large mammary tumor that touched the ground when she was standing. The tumor turned out to be cancerous but, luckily, it was removed before it spread. Subsequently, after several months of a top- quality diet and lots of love (oh, how I do love her) Cinnamon was adopted by a wonderful couple that adores her.

As anyone who fosters pets knows, fostering is an extremely rewarding and emotional experience. For me (as I expect it is for all "foster parents") it is always somewhat difficult to part with my foster pets, but there are some that I become especially attached to. Cinnamon was one of those. She was a foster that I seriously considered adopting, and I shed a few tears (well, maybe more than a few tears) when she left my home. But during that time of heartache I reminded myself why I foster homeless dogs and cats and why it is important that I let them go to loving homes: It is about the greater good. It is about saving, nurturing and then finding wonderful forever homes for as many of these very deserving animals as we can. As hard as it was to give up Cinnamon, and many other animals that I have fostered over the years, it is even harder to think about what would have happened to each of them if I hadn't been a foster. Moreover, there are so many more precious pets that need our help in the form of a temporary place to go, before they find their perfect home. RCHS was Cinnamon's last s chance. Because we took her, her scheduled appointment to be euthanized was cancelled.

So, if you have ever considered fostering pets such as adult cats and dogs, puppies, kittens, bunnies and pocket pets, NOW is the perfect time to start. If you cannot foster then please consider volunteering. RCHS is run by a small group of very dedicated community members - none of whom are paid for all their hard work. They are all volunteers. But there are never enough people or hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done to help the many homeless pets in need.

Finally, in our last issue we included an article titled "The Downside of Declawing". RCHS would like to express our sincere apologies to anyone who took exception to that article. Although RCHS is, with rare exception, opposed to declawing cats for convenience of the caregivers, we recognize a that there is currently no scientific consensus that declawing causes behavioral problems or chronic pain.

Happy summer! I wish you all a splendid season.

Sincerely,

Dr. Lisa Pohlman DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVP
President, Riley County Humane Society

Happy Tails

posted Jun 17, 2015, 3:39 PM by Jason Belt   [ updated Jun 17, 2015, 4:22 PM ]

Happy Tails



Kittens! Kittens! Kittens! For our lucky cover kitties their story is one with a happy ending. Two unspayed barn cats became pregnant and when the kittens were born the cats became too much for the owner to handle. All were therefore surrendered to RCHS and have adapted well to their new life, being spoiled and loved in one of our foster homes. They are now having a grand time running . around and exploring their new indoor environment. Prior to being adopted each kitten will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. They have great futures ahead of them! So many others are not so lucky.

Among animal shelter workers and rescue organizations this time of year is referred to as "kitten season". When you hear that phrase it might conjure up l images of sweet, fluffy, healthy kittens like the ones pictured here and on our s cover. But, the real situation isn't sweet at all. For animal shelters and rescue organizations "kitten season" can be the worst time of year. There are so very many homeless kittens (many of which are orphaned, not yet weaned and require bottle feeding) and simply not enough safe places for them to go.

You might be thinking, "Why is this a bad thing? Kittens are easier to place in homes compared to older cats, right?" While it is true that kittens can be more desirable to potential adopters, most animal shelters don't have the resources to care for very young kittens (especially orphaned kittens) and nursing moms. Rescue organizations like RCHS step up to take many of those that would otherwise be euthanized, but we too have very limited resources and can't take them unless we have foster homes, supplies and money to provide the necessary care. Most that are lucky enough to be saved typically require medical attention, good quality food and lots of TLC. All you need to do is look at our adorable kitten photos to see how truly worth the effort it is!

Thank you so much to those of you who support RCHS in our mission to improve the lives of these deserving kitties and the many, many other pets that we help. Together we can create an abundance of "Happy Tails"!

Kansas State - Going Mobile

posted Jun 17, 2015, 2:56 PM by Jason Belt   [ updated Jun 17, 2015, 4:53 PM ]

Kansas State - Going Mobile

Veterinary medicine students at Kansas State University are going mobile. On April 13, the college dedicated its brand new Shelter Medicine Mobile Surgery Unit, and their services began at the beginning of May. The Department of Clinical Sciences recently purchased the mobile surgical unit to allow students and faculty to perform on- site, pre-adoption spay/neuter procedures and provide medical care to enhance the health and adoptability of shelter animals. Agreements have already been established to provide services for non-profit and municipal animal shelter organizations in Manhattan, Junction City, Ottawa, Emporia, Topeka, Lawrence, Salina and Clay Center.

The Shelter Medicine Mobile Surgery Unit was made possible by a very generous donation from Cheryl Mellenthin, Cat Spring, Texas. Cheryl dedicated her donation to two people who are very important to the College of Veterinary Medicine Family: the late Chris Gruber, director of development, and her late husband, Mark Chapman.
"We believe students will develop a strong appreciation for the magnitude of the homeless pet population and will be prepared to volunteer and advocate for shelters in their communities after graduation," said Dr. Crauer
The mobile surgical unit complements the college’s shelter medicine program, which is a service learning course for fourth- year veterinary students to get hands-on experience under the supervision of a shelter medicine faculty member. Most shelter organizations in Kansas do not have a veterinarian on staff nor do they have on-site surgical facilities. The success of the program is dependent on developing strong, sustainable relationships with regional shelters. Sixty-six students from the class of 2016 (fourth-year students) are currently scheduled to complete this elective two-week rotation.

“We believe students will develop a strong appreciation for the magnitude of the homeless pet population and will be prepared to volunteer and advocate for shelters in their communities after graduation,” said Dr. Brad Crauer, an assistant professor who was recently hired to direct the shelter medicine program. In addition to individual animal care, Dr. Crauer also provides consultation services for regional shelters on a wide range of topics that include infectious disease control, population management and resource allocation.

The first rotation for providing service to regional shelters began on May 11th and the program will run year around. These students are projected to perform 2,800 to 3,500 spay/neuter procedures in the first year with each student averaging fifty surgical experiences. “This significantly improves the skills and confidence of students taking the Shelter Medicine Rotation. This makes them more practice ready at graduation,” said Dr. Crauer.

The program will have a significant impact for animal shelters and rescues in the region. The K-State Shelter Medicine Program is providing surgery and consultation services free of charge. Resources that an organization had been dedicating to spay/neuter can now be allocated elsewhere. “The goal is to support shelters and rescues with their mission, help raise the level of care across region and save more lives,” said Dr. Crauer. Communities participating in the shelter-medicine program are encouraged to look for a large purple vehicle that says, “Future Vets Helping Future Pets.”

Featured Animals

posted Jun 17, 2015, 2:23 PM by Jason Belt   [ updated Jun 17, 2015, 4:49 PM ]

Featured Animals

For an adoption application, visit rchsks.org.
You can view all of our other wonderful adoptables at http://rchsks.petfinder.com
As always, we are happy to answer any other questions at info@rchsks.org.

Allie is a German Shorthaired Pointer & Labrador Retriever Mix. She is a big goofball of a girl. She weighs 65 lbs and is 4 years old. Allie loves all people, including little ones. She may knock them over though if they're too little as she is a wiggly, jumpy, happy girl. Allie is great with other dogs but not good with cats. She has always been an outdoor dog but we would love to see her go to an indoor home. She will learn indoor rules quickly; she is a very bright girl. She would prefer to have a fenced yard though so she can burn off some energy playing with you or other dogs. She definitely seems to have that lab "forever puppy" quality and is still plenty energetic. Allie is a great dog who will make someone a wonderful new friend.
Photo by Windrow Photography

Meet Jackson! Jackson is an adult chow-chow mix. He is a big mellow sort of guy. He is estimated at around 7 years old and 55-60 lbs. Jackson is a little bit aloof with new people but has been friendly with everyone he's met so far. Since he is a quiet sort though, he would probably prefer a home without young children. Jackson came in to us from a shelter when his time was up. Based on his condition we are guessing he had always been an outdoor dog. He has done well being indoors, but he really needs to have a home with 6 ft fence in his permanent home or he will miss his outdoor time. Jackson will go wander off if let off his leash or in a short fence that he could get over. Jackson does very well with the other dogs he's met since he came in, including a very small dog. We are not sure what he thinks of cats. This boy deserves a great home.
Photo by Windrow Photography

Ferrets Honey and Amber are a bonded pair of sisters. They are roughly 3 years old and very lovable. They do very well with children as long as the children are gentle and taught to handle them correctly. They also do not seem to mind cats or dogs but don't seem to have much interest in socializing with them. They are litter trained but do not use a corner litter box as they both like to try to be in the box at the same time. We have fashioned a long litter box from a tupperware container with one side cut out low enough for them to enter and exit. They spend much of their time playing and cuddling together and so enjoy one another's company. They also love their human fosters and very much enjoy when they get to play with their fishing pole toy. Both will give kisses from time to time when extremely happy and they have shown no signs of being nippy or bity at this time. They are super calm during bath time and love to burrow and play in towels.
Photo by Little Leapling Photography

Sam was surrendered by a very loving owner who was becoming homeless. Sam and his daughter Oops joined RCHS in early April. Sam is the big man of the house. Being 7 years old and weighing in at 22lbs we sometimes call him Big Sam. Despite his size, he is very athletic and enjoys exploring the house and running around with the other animals in the house. He lives with his daughter, Oops, and his foster family's cat and dog. He hoards toys and his favorite toy is a catnip filled stuffed carrot. He hides them from his foster siblings by laying on them so they can't even be seen! He loves to snuggle and in the mornings can be found laying on his foster mom's lap and her computer keyboard. He also loves to sunbathe by the back door. Sam is very sweet and loving and a complete snuggler. He also has a prompt bedtime of 7:30pm so it is hard to wake him after that. He is currently on a weight loss regimen so he can live a healthy and long life in his forever home!
Photo by Windrow Photography

Cytauxzoon Felis (Bobcat Fever)

posted Jun 17, 2015, 1:17 PM by Jason Belt   [ updated Jun 17, 2015, 4:23 PM ]

Education Station

Cytauxzoon felis organisms in red cells of cat’s blood.
Photo provided by Dr. Lisa Pohlman DVM, MS, DACVP
Cytauxzoon Felis (Bobcat Fever)
Susan Nelson, DVM

Cytauxzoon felis, also known as bobcat fever, is a blood parasite that infects domestic cats and has a very high death rate. It is commonly known as "bobcat fever" as bobcats are the main reservoir host for this disease. Bobcats harbor the parasite in their blood. Ticks feed on the bobcat and ingest the contaminated blood, and then cats become infected though a bite from an infected tick. Dogs and people are not susceptible to this disease.

Most cases of cytauxzoonosis in the United States are reported from the southeastern and south-central states between March and September. However, this disease is commonly seen in our area.

The incubation period is 1-3 weeks. Ticks may or may not be present at the time of clinical illness. Symptoms of this disease include: high fever, labored breathing, depression, dehydration, anorexia, anemia, and jaundice, which rapidly progresses to low body temperature, extreme weakness, coma, and death. The death rate is very high with this disease, even with treatment.

A milder strain of Cytauxzoon felis seems to have emerged in west Arkansas and east Oklahoma where a number of cats have survived without treatment (as do most bobcats). These cats continue to have the organisms in their blood but have no residual effects.

Diagnosis of the disease is made by a combination of clinical signs, alterations in routine bloodwork and finding the organisms in blood smears, bone marrow aspirates, or on cytology of organs and lymph nodes. Unfortunately, the diagnosis is often made on a post mortem exam for many cats.

Because the death rate is high, prevention is the best option. Cats should be kept indoors to avoid tick exposure. If cats cannot be kept indoors, then stringent adherence to routine application of tick preventive products and daily tick checks with prompt removal of all attached ticks is critical to prevent the disease. Talk to your veterinarian about the best products for your cat; and don’t forget to treat your dog as they can bring ticks into the house, which in turn can infect indoor cats.

Tick numbers in the surrounding environment can be reduced by such basic measures as removing debris and keeping shrubbery and grass closely clipped to discourage both tick populations and the wildlife species that often harbor them.

Susan Nelson, DVM is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences in the Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University. In 1985, Dr. Nelson received her BA in Biology from Hastings College in Hastings, NE. She then completed her DVM at Kansas State University in 1989. After receiving her DVM, Dr. Nelson spent her next 14 years as an associate veterinarian in a companion animal practice in Manhattan, KS. In 2003, Dr. Nelson joined the faculty at Kansas State University Veterinary Medical Teaching College. She is currently a clinical instructor for senior veterinary students in the hospital’s Pet Health Center.

Heat Stroke in Dogs

posted Jun 17, 2015, 1:02 PM by Jason Belt   [ updated Jun 17, 2015, 4:24 PM ]

Education Station

Heat Stroke in Dogs
Susan Nelson, DVM

Spring is almost over and summer is just around the corner, bringing with it increased temperatures. We all look forward to this time of year as it means we can get out and play more with our four-legged friends; but the fun times can quickly turn deadly for some. As it starts to get hot, the risk of heat exhaustion or death from heat stroke increases. Just taking your dog for a walk at this time of year could put them at risk.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: excessive panting, thick or ropey saliva, weakness, lagging behind, dark red gums, staggering, seizures, unconsciousness, coma and death. As the symptoms progress, the high body temperature will shut down the internal organs, which is often fatal.

For minor symptoms of heat exhaustion, you can cool your dog off by wetting them down with water and letting it rest in the shade. Offer cool water to drink. You also can turn a fan on the dog or put them in an air-conditioned car. If your dog is experiencing more severe symptoms of heat exhaustion, wet him down with water and get him to a veterinarian immediately — as timely treatment is imperative in trying to reverse any damage the heat has done to the dog’s body. While driving to the veterinarian, directing your car’s air vents toward your dog while it is wet will also aid in the cooling process. Sadly, even with treatment, many dogs will still die from heat exhaustion as it does not take much time for the heat to do irreversible damage.

To avoid heat exhaustion, walk your dog during the coolest parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening. Take water along on outings for both you and your dog, and be on the watch for early symptoms of distress. Lastly, NEVER leave your dog in your vehicle during warm weather, even with the windows cracked, as temperatures will quickly rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes and become a death trap for your furry friend.

Susan Nelson, DVM is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences in the Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University. In 1985, Dr. Nelson received her BA in Biology from Hastings College in Hastings, NE. She then completed her DVM at Kansas State University in 1989. After receiving her DVM, Dr. Nelson spent her next 14 years as an associate veterinarian in a companion animal practice in Manhattan, KS. In 2003, Dr. Nelson joined the faculty at Kansas State University Veterinary Medical Teaching College. She is currently a clinical instructor for senior veterinary students in the hospital’s Pet Health Center.

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