Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV 1) is the virus that causes fever blisters or cold sores in humans. More than 80% of the human population are infected with this virus. Many people do not know that they are infected and may not ever have fever blisters/cold sores. HSV1 is for life- once a person is infected they remain so for life. When HSV1 is not active and replicating it lies dormant in your trigeminal nerve- one of the nerves that supplies your face. The virus is shed in fluid from fever blisters and also saliva- you don’t have to have fever blisters to be shedding the virus!! People most commonly shed the virus when they are immunocompromised, for example when sick or stressed.
HSV 1 is readily passed onto marmosets and is fatal if untreated! Marmosets catch HSV 1 from contact with saliva from a person that is shedding the virus or from people with fever blisters.
Kissing your pet, allowing them to take food form your mouth or giving them access to anything you have had in your mouth is the most common way of transmitting the virus!!
Once your pet is infected the disease is rapidly fatal if left untreated. Only about 30-50% of animals that are treated will survive.
The treatment is still in the experimental stages and extremely costly!!
Do not kiss your pet! Do not allow your pet to take food from your mouth or have any contact with items you have had in your mouth. If you have fever blisters/cold sores – do not have any contact with your pet. If you are suffering from a cold or feel unwell- do not have any contact with your pet. Make sure you wash your hands before handling any food for your pet. Children often shed HSV1 in saliva without any fever blisters.
The most common initial signs are: Decreased appetite, dull, lethargic, quiet or just not quite itself, diarrhoea and high fever. As the disease progresses you may also see red, swollen lips or white blisters on inside of gums–fever blisters, seizures, droopy face and unable to blink properly.
Take him/her straight to your veterinary clinic! –This disease is life-threatening and a few hours can make the difference between life and death. Advise the Vet you are concerned about HSV 1 infection. Tell the vet if you kiss your pet, feed it from your mouth or if any member of the family have recently been ill or had fever blisters. Information from the Bird and Exotic Animal Hospital, www.birdandexotic.co.za
There are a large number of foods that can be fed to an iguana. As with people, some foods are really healthy and good to eat as a staple food, some are good in smaller amounts, and others should only be eaten on occasion as a treat. Read more
Constipation is the infrequent or difficult passage of faeces. There can be various causes for constipation. Dietary, behavioural, environmental and medically related causes may result in your pet becoming constipated. Read more about constipation in dogs and cats.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FELV) belong to a family of viruses called retroviruses. All retroviruses (including the Human Immunodeficiency Virus) produce an enzyme which allows them to insert a part of their own genetic material into that of the cells they have infected. Read More
Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that spreads easily from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their faeces. Dogs become infected through oral contact with canine parvovirus in faeces, infected soil or fomites (object / substance capable of carrying infectious organisms). Read More
Spirocerca lupi is a potentially lethal parasitic worm that lives in nodules within the oesophagus of dogs. The worms can survive in these nodules for up to 2 years, laying eggs through a small opening in the nodule which are swallowed and passed out in the faeces. Read More
The best advice is to sterilize your pet. This ensures no unwanted puppies or kittens, no complications with pregnancy and the birth of the young, no females on heat to roam the neighbourhood to cause fights amongst the males it helps keep your pets at home and healthy. Generally females are sterilized from the age 6 months, males can be done a bit later up to the age of 9 months. Read more
One of the saddest things in private practice is witnessing the joy and delight of a new puppy turn to sorrow when, a few days after its purchase; it succumbs to a horrible disease like parvo virus or distemper. What makes it especially sad is that these diseases are preventable with correct vaccination.
Read more about the signs and tips for purchasing a new puppy.
Yes - increase humidity by allowing birds into the bathroom while showering, especially in the dry Highveld winters. Also mist spray daily with decalcified water (ensure the environment is warm). Misting just before leaving keeps the birds busy for the first half hour after the owner has left, and reduces allergen load on the feathers.
Eliminate broad allergic irritants from the environment (cigarette smoke, perfumes, incense, cleaning products, wash hands before handling birds as oily residues from hand creams etc can initiate picking). Remove birds from the kitchen as aerosolised oil droplets and overheated Teflon can be harmful.
Ensure birds are getting enough sleep – they need at least 10 hours darkness per night. Remember that birds often wake at the crack of dawn, and will stay awake till the whole family has gone to bed if kept in the family room.