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Oklahoma State University
Center for Veterinary Health Sciences

Healthy Animals - Healthy People

Continuing Education

Make Halloween Safer for Pets

Tuesday, October 24 2017

dog with pumpkin

Halloween can be scary for pets. Strange costumes, eerie noises and tempting treats that can be deadly.

The American Veterinary Medical Association, PetMD, and the American Animal Hospital Association offer these tips for pet owners.

Whisker Fatigue in Cats

Monday, October 2 2017

black and white cat

Whiskers are more than facial adornments on cats. Whiskers act as high-powered antennae that pull signals into a cat’s brain and nervous system.

A proprioceptor at the end of each whisker tells your cat a lot about its world. For example, a cat’s whiskers are about as long as the cat is wide and therefore act as a ruler of sorts. A cat can sense the size of an opening based on whether or not its whiskers are touching on either side.

Rabies and Pets

Thursday, September 14 2017

nurses administering a rabies vaccine

Rabies is a deadly, yet preventable disease in pets. Vaccination is key to preventing rabies. Here is some important rabies information from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Rabies is caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. The virus is secreted in saliva and is usually transmitted to people and animals by a bite from an infected or rabid animal. Humans can also be infected when saliva from a rabid animal comes in contact with the membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth of person or animal or an open cut on the skin.

Fleas: What You Need to Know

Friday, September 1 2017

cat scratching

Fleas are a year-round problem for both pets and their owners. Even indoor pets can be affected if the yard and home are contaminated.

Fleas are not only irritating to pets but they can cause dermatitis and spread intestinal tapeworms.

Several diseases can be transmitted by fleas. Humans may be bitten if there is a heavy infestation of the home and surrounding areas. An allergic response such a rash may occur. The rash can be mild to severe depending on the number of fleas and individual sensitivity.

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.