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Oklahoma State University
Center for Veterinary Health Sciences

Healthy Animals - Healthy People

Continuing Education

Box Turtles and People

Monday, August 14 2017

three toed box turtle

Oklahoma is home to two box turtle species—the three-toed, Terrapene carolina, and the ornate, Terrapene ornata

These turtles have similar diets of insects, worms, mushrooms and fruit.  They will burry themselves to escape the heat of summer or the cold in winter. 

Box turtles are named after their ability to close their plastron or bottom shell up against their carapace or upper shell.  The plastron has a hinge to aid with this, and it allows for the turtle to completely hide and protect its head and limbs. 

Don’t DEET that Dog

Tuesday, August 1 2017

puppy scratching

While people may use DEET products to repel bugs, do not use it on your pets. DEET can cause significant clinical signs in companion animals.

DEET is common in most products used for mosquitoes, ticks and deer fly control in humans. If you hike in our great outdoors, you probably have used a DEET product.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Animal Poison Control Center, some pet owners will apply pest repellant products to their pets. Or in some cases, the pets may get into containers that are left within their reach.

Hot Cars: What You Need to Know

Monday, July 17 2017

dog in parked car

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, pets die every year because they were left in cars on warm—not necessarily hot—days while their owners shopped, visited friends or ran errands. This tragic loss is 100 percent preventable.

Don’t leave your two-legged children or your four-legged children inside a parked vehicle.

July 4 Hazards

Friday, June 30 2017

dog with american flag and sunglasses

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Animal Poison Control Center, the four most common problems reported nearly every July 4th holiday are fireworks, food, lawn products and pool chemicals.

Fireworks are divided into personal use or professional use. Personal fireworks can be purchased and used where allowed by law. Professional fireworks are restricted.

Ticks: What You Need to Know

Tuesday, June 20 2017

two ticks

Ticks in Oklahoma could be abundant this year due to the mild winter and large numbers of wild animal reservoir hosts. These little creatures are very hearty and can actually survive the winter even if it freezes. Ticks are a year-round problem.

Prevention is first and foremost. Place your dog or cat on an approved acaricide, which is a pesticide that kills mites and ticks. Be sure to always follow directions according to the product label. Your veterinarian can recommend the best preventive for your pet.

A Different Kind of Dairy

Thursday, June 1 2017

goats in hay

June is National Dairy Month. In recent years, more and more people are turning to goat’s milk as their source of dairy products.

Goat milk accounts for about 2 percent of the world’s total annual milk supply. Here in Oklahoma, Langston University maintains several breeds of goats at the E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research including the Alpine dairy herd.

The 120-acre Main Farm is home to 90 lactating dairy goats. A creamery for dairy goat milk research and technology transfer is also housed on the Langston dairy farm.

Dog Bite Prevention

Friday, May 19 2017

black and white photo of a dog barring its teeth behind a chain link fence

National Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 21 – 27, 2017. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs each year.

More than 800,000 of those people receive medical attention for dog bites. At least half of them are children, the most common victims of dog bites.

Here are some tips from the AVMA to prevent dog bites.

Cytauxzoonosis in Cats

Monday, May 1 2017

cat lying down

Cytauxzoonosis is an acute, frequently fatal disease in cats caused by the red blood cell parasite, Cytauxzoon felis. Cytauxzoonosis is a devastating disease that often strikes previously healthy, young adult cats with outdoor exposure.

Approximately two weeks following transmission of the pathogen, the cat will become anorexic and depressed. A high fever, anemia, respiratory signs, and icterus or jaundice (yellowing of the skin) are common.

Heartworm Disease Prevention

Tuesday, April 11 2017


April is National Heartworm Awareness Month. What is heartworm disease and what pets does it affect?

The American Heartworm Society’s website provides owners with a wealth of information on the subject. Here are the basics for pet owners.

Snake Bites in Pets

Monday, April 3 2017

a crotalus atrox snake curled up

What should someone do if their pet gets bitten by a snake? Immediately take your pet to your veterinarian.

First aid on the way to the vet’s office may include:

  • Carry your pet rather than allowing it to walk
  • Try to keep your pet quiet and warm during transport
  • Do not apply a tourniquet as this can cause additional harm to your pet.

If you can safely take a picture of the snake, without putting yourself in harm’s way, this may be useful in identifying the type of snake, its size, etc. Do not try to catch or kill the snake.