Mini-Pigs in the City

Mini-pigs in Seattle If you live in Seattle, chances are you have unexpectedly come across a mini-pig being walked on a leash. Many places classify mini pigs as farm animals, which are not allowed to live within city limits. Seattle is one of the few cities that allows mini pigs as pets; where pet pigs even have city licenses like cats and dogs. There are multiple breeds of mini pigs, including Vietnamese pot-bellies, as well as Juliana and KuneKune crosses.  The full-grown weight of these cuties is usually 60 to 150 pounds, but they can reach over 200 pounds when obese. However, even the largest mini pig is still much smaller than their barnyard counterparts, which can weigh 500 pounds or more! Pigs don’t stop growing until three years of age. So, if the piglet you are adopting has parents that are younger than that, you cannot know your piglet’s full weight potential. Mini pigs have made their way into the comfort of our homes. They are great companions, highly trainable, easily housebroken, and make wonderful pets. Even though they can really enjoy being indoors, they still need to have daily outdoor time for environmental stimulation, grazing grass, and other foraging. Rooting is a natural behavior in pigs, so they need to have access to an area they are allowed to root in. For pigs that spend a lot of time indoors, you can make a rooting box inside the house that contains stones or straw. Fulfilling your pig’s needs for environmental enrichment will help improve their temperament and contentment. Mini pigs need to be fed a diet formulated specifically for them. Feeding a commercial swine food can lead to obesity since those diets are formulated to increase weight quickly. Vitamin E degrades rapidly in the feed, so make sure […]

Coyotes In the City

Coyotes are a rare sight in Seattle. Rare enough that when someone sees one, an alert is often issued on social media websites warning neighbors that a coyote is in the area and to be watchful of their pets. Sometimes these appearances are confirmed with dark or distant photos of the wild dogs wandering the city streets. Over the years, efforts have been made to mark the passage of coyotes through Seattle. The King County government’s web page devoted to the animals links a now-defunct site which used to map coyote sightings in the area.  Presumably the webmaster realized what a tiring and futile effort they were putting forth trying to track these animals. Known for being clever, coyotes are also very common. While spotting one is an interesting and notable moment in most people’s day it’s not particularly noteworthy in a normal day in the city. Coyotes tend to be active during dawn, dusk, and dark.  However, this is not a rule and there is no particular reason to be concerned about coyotes being active during the day, either. Coyotes are very, very good at living with humans.  They have adapted to living nearly invisibly among us and can feed on rodents, garbage, and gardens. While they won’t pass up an easy meal, they are not known for hunting pets specifically. Coyotes seen in public areas are usually no more or less aggressive than those you don’t see—which is the majority of coyotes. So what does this mean for you and your pet? Of course it is important to be aware of the wild-life in your area. Coyotes, raccoons, possums, and rats are all known to interact with our pets. Any one of them may attack or wound our pets, though this is rarely their preference. However, more important […]

Dogs Can Get the Flu, Too!

Canine influenza is in the news. The H3N2 variant of the canine influenza virus is the one we are hearing about most often, now. It is originated as an avian influenza virus in Asia which had mutated and become infective to dogs in 2007. The first documented case in North America was in 2015. Since then it has spread to 31 states in the US. Outbreaks of canine influenza occur in situations where dogs are housed together (shelters) or spend time in close contact (dog shows, day care). All dogs are susceptible to infection with the H3N2 influenza virus as it is an illness to which our dogs have not previously been exposed. Even dogs who were vaccinated against the H3N8 influenza virus are not protected against the new H3N2 virus variant. The influenza virus is spread among dogs when respiratory secretions are aerosolized by barking, coughing, sneezing, or through nose-to-nose contact. People can move the virus from dog to dog because the virus can live on hands for up to 12 hours and on clothing and food bowls for 24 hours. The virus can also persist in the environment for up to 2 days. The good news is that the virus is readily killed by commonly used disinfectants. Once a dog is infected they may be contagious but show no symptoms for up to five days, but dogs may remain contagious for up to 24 days after infection. In as many as 20% of dogs no symptoms are noted despite being infected! Coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge and lethargy are the most commonly observed signs. Most dogs have mild infections and respond well to supportive care- rest, hydration, nutrition, and antibiotic administration if secondary bacterial infection occurs. A small number of dogs do develop pneumonia and may need hospitalization for […]

Our Recommendations For Canine Influenza Virus

Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) Seattle Veterinary Associates Recommendations   At Seattle Veterinary Associates (SVA) we feel that it is our responsibility to be conservative with vaccinations and counsel each client on their pet’s individual risk of exposure.  We then customize the most appropriate vaccination protocol based on your pet’s lifestyle and environmental exposure risks.  To date, we have not routinely recommended the Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) vaccine based on the very limited presence of the disease in Washington. However, due to the recent epidemiological trends on the west coast, we are now recommending the CIV vaccination for any dog that poses a risk for exposure. These patients are generally the same group of dogs that we recommend receive the Bordetella (“kennel cough”) vaccination. Just like Bordetella, dogs that have contact with groups of other dogs are at higher risk for exposure to CIV. Lifestyle factors include any congregation of dogs; boarding and daycare facilities, dog-friendly workspaces, dog parks, and grooming parlors. Immunocompromised pets, such as juveniles, geriatrics, patients with immune-mediated disease and cancer may be at an increased risk of developing more severe symptoms. CIV has caused respiratory disease in dogs throughout much of the country over recent years. Two different strains of the virus have been identified; the first subtype, H3N8 (equine origin), originated from Florida in 2008 and radiated throughout most of the country.  The most recent strain of influenza, H3N2 (avian origin), originated in Korea, China, and Thailand in 2007/2008 and then emerged in the Chicago area in March of 2015. Shortly after its arrival in Chicago, there were approximately 1,000 cases documented in the metropolitan area and the disease then spread to over 20 states in a matter of months. In early February 2016, there was a small outbreak in a south Puget Sound shelter that […]

Happy Pets at the Vets

Veterinary care is essential to maintaining your pet’s health and longevity. Many pets are incredibly tolerant of handling by strangers. These pets take visits to the veterinary hospital in stride. But some individuals are fearful of unfamiliar surroundings and events. Extra care must be taken to ensure that these pets have good experiences at the veterinary office.

Our Year In Review

2017 has been an amazing, full year here at Seattle Veterinary Associates. With so much going on it’s almost impossible to stay caught up!  Here’s what you may have missed! Green Lake Animal Hospital underwent a MAJOR renovation! We replaced the cages in our Green Lake Animal Hospital and donated the old but still sound cages to a small rescue called Preventing Homeless Pets located in Benton City, Wa. Staff Attended an all-SVA meeting on creating a fear-free practice. From learning how to create a more calming atmosphere to new pet-handling techniques the all-day meeting was a great fit for our goals!

Your Place Or Ours?

There are many times when staying at home with your pet and having medical services come to you is a better option.  A few examples include: your pet is stressed by hospital visits, in discomfort and difficult to move, or coming toward the end of their life. For this reason, Seattle Veterinary Associates offers at-home veterinary technician appointments and euthanasia.

Rabies, Bats, and your Pets

So far in 2017 two bats have tested positive for rabies within the Seattle city limits. One was found in Green Lake Park while the other was located in Ballard. Anyone having direct contact with bats is at risk for contracting the rabies virus.  These two bats are part of a marked increase in the percentage of rabies positive bats in our county. This number is not so high as to be alarming, but it is high enough to take note and consider the possible impact to you and your family. While humans can be told to avoid direct contact with bats, this is not so easy with our pets. With a large number of dogs walking with their owners every day and cats roaming the neighborhoods, sick or dying bats become an attractant that few animals can resist. These pets are at risk for contracting the disease which becomes a risk for their human family members. Not every bat has rabies, but because of the seriousness of the disease, it is safest to treat any bat you or your pets come in contact with as being infected. Should you or your pet interact with a bat, the King County Department of health has created a page with instructions on how best to deal with the situation: Animals in early stages of rabies infection may show no symptoms but are still contagious to both humans and other animals. In most cases, pets that become infected are not diagnosed until after they have begun to show symptoms. Once symptoms of rabies develop there is no treatment.  Those who have already chosen to vaccinate their pets for rabies can take comfort in the fact that their pets are protected. For those who find their pets are due or overdue for a […]