Veterinarian Taylor Parker of Lone Mountain Animal Hospital in Northwest Las Vegas discusses Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV), its symptoms, and the importance of getting pet rabbits vaccinated against this disease.
What is Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV)?
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) is a highly contagious and deadly disease in both domesticated and wild rabbits. It can be caused by two different, related viruses, RHDV1 and RHDV2. Currently, there is an outbreak of the RHDV2 virus in the Southwest United States. Of rabbits that are exposed to the virus, almost all of them die.
The disease is believed to have originated in Europe, but appeared in North America earlier this year. According to the House Rabbit Society, several cases of RHDV have been reported in the U.S. since April 2020. States that have reported the virus include Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Since April 2020, there are reports of wild and domesticated rabbits that have died of RHDV in the Las Vegas and Boulder City areas.
What are the symptoms of RHDV?
Courtesy: Sandy Millar/Unsplash.com
Some symptoms of the disease may include loss of appetite, lethargy, bleeding from the nose or mouth, fever, difficulty breathing, or sudden death. Rabbits who are exposed to RHDV have been known to die within 24 hours of exposure. It’s also possible for rabbits to die without showing any symptoms of RHDV, which is why it’s so important to vaccinate rabbits against this disease.
How does the disease spread?
While humans cannot catch RHDV and the disease does not affect other animals, it can quickly spread among rabbits via inhalation, ingestion, or via absorption through scrapes and wounds. It can also be transmitted by direct contact with an infected rabbit, or by contact with an object, person, clothing, or equipment that has encountered an infected rabbit, or contaminated environment. Rabbits are also able to catch the virus through the consumption of contaminated water or food. Insects can spread the virus over long distances.
How often should my rabbit be vaccinated?
After your rabbit is given its first vaccine against RHDV, a booster shot is administered every year. The State Veterinarian of Nevada requires all domesticated rabbits to be microchipped after getting vaccinated, as a way to prove that the rabbit is protected against RHDV. It is recommended that rabbit owners wait about a week for the vaccine to work. Because of how contagious the disease is, vaccines for RHDV are in high demand. Currently, only two labs in the world manufacture the vaccine, but the United States is taking steps to manufacture it domestically.
Is my rabbit eligible for the vaccine?
Any healthy rabbit is eligible for the RHDV vaccine. However, if your rabbit is having trouble walking, showing a loss of appetite, or experiencing any other symptoms, you should delay giving your rabbit the RHDV vaccine to rule out any health issues or diseases.
A pug has tested positive for COVID 19 and is thought to be the first dog in United States to have tested positive.
Like the dog cases in Hong Kong it is though that the Pug was infected by his owners, three of whom were also positive, and the positive result was considered “mild.”. It is also worth noting that another dog and a cat in same household tested negative.
Two domestic cats have tested positive for COVID 19 in New York.
These are the first cases of COVID 19 in cats in the United States.
Both cats showed mild respiratory symptoms and are expected to recover. The owner of one of the cats tested had previously tested positive for COVID 19, while it is suspected that the other cat’s owner was asymptomatic.
Previously a cat in Belgium and a cat in Hong Kong tested positive and two dogs tested a weak positive also in Hong Kong.
Recently, a Tiger tested positive for COVID 19 at the Bronx Zoo in New York. It is believed that the Tiger caught the virus from a keeper at the zoo, who was also COVID 19 positive but not showing symptoms.
This latest development for pets and COVID 19 does not really change the CDC’s guidelines, although they have provided additional clarification.
“Until we learn more about this new coronavirus, you should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would with people. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet,”
In addition, the CDC recommends:
“Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people and animals, do not gather in groups, and stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings. Do not go to dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather. To help maintain social distancing, do not let other people pet your dog when you are out for a walk.”
There are well over a million people have been tested for positive for COVID 19 and very few domestic pets.
An animal health lab, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., which has developed a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in pets, released a statement on March 13th that out of thousands of samples from cats and dogs with upper respiratory symptoms none tested positive for COVID-19.
Likewise, Trupanion, a pet insurance company with 500,000 members has seen no uptick in claims for respiratory diseases in pets.
The CDC does NOT recommend testing pets for COVID 19.
The advice from the CDC is that there is no evidence that pets can spread COVID 19 to humans. “At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. A small number of pets have been reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after contact with people with COVID-19.”
The doctors and staff, like everyone else, are watching the situation closely. However, our advice and recommendations based on information from the CDC’s website, along with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) website.
At Lone Mountain, we have made a number of changes to respond to this crisis.
We have temporarily changed our hours to 7AM – 6PM, Monday through Friday, Saturdays 7AM – 5PM, and on Sundays 8AM – 4PM.
We are not allowing clients into the building.
We have instituted curbside-service.
We will collect your pet from you in the parking lot next to your car (please remember your social distance), and we will communicate with you by phone. Payment by credit card will be made over the phone. Please just call us on 702-645-3116, and we will advise you as to each step of the process when you arrive. Our lobby doors will be locked.
Please keep your phone handy and answer blocked calls and text messages during your appointment – that is how we will be communicating with you.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 we ask that you try to have another member of your household bring your pet in.
We have temporarily be suspended our grooming services until further notice.
We are accepting boarders and day boarders on a case-by-case basis.
Thank you for your understanding, and support, during this difficult time. We are making these changes to try and keep both our clients and our staff safe, while still being able to look after pets.
Obviously, this is a very difficult time for everyone.
We take our responsibilities to the pet community in Las Vegas, and the surrounding area, very seriously indeed, just as seriously as we take our responsibilities to our doctors and staff.
The State of Nevada considers veterinarians an essential service…
As per NRS 414.060; NRS 414.070; Declaration of Emergency, Directive 003, March 20, 2020 section 1(a), “Essential Licensed Business” includes essential healthcare operations such as veterinary services.
… so do we.
All of our staff have their temperature checked before starting their shift, and self-check throughout the day.
We have an almost constant cleaning regiment in place throughout the hospital.
Our staff wear masks at all times, both inside and outside of the building.
We have a delivery service for food, medications, and pets.
We also have an online store through our website.
For the moment we are providing routine services, including dentals as part of our dental special. However, if you would prefer not to come in at this time, we will be continuing the dental special to later in the year.
Lone Mountain Animal Hospital has updated our own internal protocols, including cleaning and staff interactions, and we would ask clients to understand if handshakes and hugs are no longer the norm for the time being.
This is obviously a rapidly evolving situation and so things are changing day to day, but our intention is to be there for you and your pet.
Veterinary services are essential to pet health, overseeing zoonotic health, and ensuring a healthy supply of food. At Lone Mountain Animal Hospital, we are open for business, but with updated protocols to comply with social distancing and to protect both our staff and clients.
We ask that all clients follow these guidelines as they are mandatory, not elective in ensuring public safety and in order for Lone Mountain to be open to provide veterinary services.
At LMAH, we are following COVID-19 social distancing guidelines by minimizing close contact between people and maintaining a 3-foot distance.
Only one family member is permitted in the exam room. Please have other family members wait in the car. No children are permitted in the hospital.
Only one client is permitted in the lobby at a time. We are currently utilizing our “dog” lobby entrance only. A staff member will receive you at the door to take your name and cell phone number.
the lobby is occupied, we will ask you to wait in your vehicle. Once the lobby
is clear we will call you to enter the building.
leaving the building please do not return to the lobby, use the exit door
located at the left side of the reception desk.
waiting on tests, we ask you to wait in your car. If more time is needed you
can go home and we will call when your pet is ready.
If your pet has a medical emergency, please alert our staff and you will be escorted into our “cat” entrance.
free to speak with our team members about any of your individualized needs at
702-645-3116. Thank you for your patronage and
assistance during this time.
Meet Kristina, the newest extern at Lone Mountain Animal Hospital!
Kristina is a fourth-year student at the University of Illinois and will graduate in May this year! Originally from Riverside, California, she attended schools throughout Texas before graduating from Texas A & M University for her Bachelor’s and Graduate degrees. Kristina said ever since she was in kindergarten she’s wanted to be a veterinarian.
“That’s the typical answer,” Kristina said. “But, I kind of solidified the actual [Doctor of Veterinary Medicine] idea when I got to my undergrad.”
Kristina describes her volunteer experience as being “all over the place.” She got her start with rescues, animal shelters, and fosters when she was in middle school and she also volunteered with equine programs for special needs. Since then, Kristina said she’s also volunteered with dog shows, autism awareness places, and bottle baby fostering.
“I’ve probably fostered more than 200 bottle babies in the past five or six years,” she said. “So, that’s my claim to fame in college — everyone knows me as ‘The Bottle Baby Lady!'”
Since finishing her Graduate studies, Kristina said she’s interested in epidemiology and public health. She’s also interested in exotics and zoo medicine, but most of her experience thus far has been in domestic animals. She learned of the externship program at Lone Mountain Animal Hospital from her friend, Dr. Emilee Larkin! After discussing the program with Larkin, Kristina decided to apply and is looking forward to seeing the different aspects of private practice in a different part of the country. She’s also excited to learn more about the niches of exotic animal medicine.
In her spare time, Kristina enjoys continuing her volunteer work with animals and fostering. Kristina has adopted some of the animals she’s fostered. She currently has four cats, a dog, and two African dwarf frogs.
AS OF JUNE 1ST, 2020 – THIS PROMOTION HAS NOW ENDED!
Don’t miss out on our 2020 Dental Special starting February 1st, 2020!
Dental health is a very important part of your pet’s overall health! Dental problems can cause, or be caused by, other health problems. Your pet’s teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year to check for early signs of dental disease.
In honor of Dental Season, cleanings have been reduced to $157! But Lone Mountain Animal Hospital is also offering additional chances for savings!
Our Dental Package includes:
FREE Dental Exam
FREE Bath or Bath Voucher
FREE Nail Trim
FREE 30-Day Pet Insurance Trial Offer
*Up to $100 in savings and additional free services!
So, what exactly is pet wellness testing? It’s essentially running lab work at times when our pets appear outwardly healthy. Since symptoms of age and illness aren’t always visible, wellness testing serves as an early warning system to detect abnormalities.
This knowledge is powerful and aids the veterinary team in improving the health and extending the life-expectancy of your pet.If an abnormal trend or disease is detected, it may enable earlier intervention, provide more treatment options, and lead to a more successful outcome.
Wellness testing is essential for dogs and cats over 7 years, but can be valuable for any age pet.
Wellness visit includes a physical exam, a complete blood count (CBC), complete blood chemistry panel, a thyroid level, and a urinalysis. The special price of these services is $209, a savings of over $89. (Please note the wellness special is not applicable for sick pet visits.)
Special pet wellness exam and bloodwork discount available through the end of September. Discounted exam, cystocentesis, and bloodwork are available for well pets only. Sick pets will require different lab work and diagnostics.
Dental health is a very important part of your pets’ overall health. Dental problems can cause, or be caused by, other health problems. Your pet’s teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year to check for early signs of a problem. Watch our video for more information.
Dental cleaning prices exclude, blood work, x-rays, extractions, and other services. A full estimate will be given at time of dental exam or check-in.
Canine influenza has been reported in Nevada. There is currently two strains of the dog flu and vaccination is available for both. Both strains are highly contagious, symptoms may or may not be visible until three days of the infection, and an animal can be infectious up to 25 days. Please view our infographic for further clarity on both H3N2 and H3N8 strains and their symptoms.
Dr. Jarred of Lone Mountain Animal Hospital explains the origins of Pit Bulls including common misconceptions of the breed.
The breed originated in the 19th century in England by crossing English Bulldogs and other terriers known as “bull & terriers.” In the 1860’s Pit Bulls were brought the U.S.for use as family guard dogs and for herding livestock. There are many myths and negative stereotypes surrounding the Pit Bull Breed. Much of this negative press is the result of bias media coverage, and reporting of false non-scientific data and incorrect breed identification. Often, non-pit bull type dogs (mastiffs, other terriers, etc.) are identified as “pit bulls.”
So what exactly is a Pit Bull?
Four breeds commonly identified as pit bulls.
1. American Stafford Terrier
2. American Pit Bull Terrier
3. Stafforshire Bull Terrier
4. American Bully
Pit Bulls were not always so feared by the media or the public, and in 1914-1918 were deemed “America’s dog” and used in World War I to sell war bonds and recruit for the US military.
Where did this negative image of the Pit Bull come from?
In 1987, a sports illustrated article was written deeming the Pit Bull a “vicious animal” – citing numerous human attacks, referencing their supposed extreme aggression, and inability to be integrated into society. Taking any emotions you have about this breed out of the equation – if you look at the actual statistics Pit Bulls are not more dangerous than many other large dog breeds.
– There is no such thing as “locking jaws of pitbulls”. Pit-Bull jaws are anatomically the same as any other breed of dog. A study was done that showed the average pit bull jaw exerts 235 pounds per square inch, compared to the average for all dogs which is 320 pounds per square inch. – Peer-reviewed statistics conclude that 72% of dog-bite related fatalities were caused by non-pitbull type breeds and mixed-breeds and only 28% were attributed to all 4 pitbull-type breeds combined.
– Peer-reviewed statistics conclude that 72% of dog-bite related fatalities were caused by non-pitbull type breeds and mixed-breeds and only 28% were attributed to all 4 pitbull-type breeds combined.
– In 2016 the American Temperament Testing Society found that 87% (out of over 900 dogs) of Pit Bulls passed their temperament test. This is shockingly higher than many other popular breeds like the Collie (58%), Golden Retriever (85%), or Olde English Sheepdog (77%).
Police departments across the country have begun adopting Pit Bulls to become police dogs, A job normally reserved for German Shepherds. Traditional breeds can cost The Police department up to 15K per dog. Officers have begun scouting local shelters seeking Pit Bulls with potential for adoption and proper training.
While the influence of genetics on certain aspects of a dog’s personality cannot be denied, deeming an entire group of dogs inherently dangerous is simply unfair. This is directly related to the high numbers of pit bulls being admitted to, and euthanized in animal shelters across the country. These are family oriented, loyal, energetic dogs that with proper exercise and training (like any dog) make wonderful companions. I urge my clients to be responsible owners, regardless of breed, and consider facts versus fiction when choosing the right dog breed for you and your family.