Miniature Schnauzer Rescue of Houston

Schnauzer & Pet Info

Zoonotic Disease in Dogs

A zoonotic disease is a disease that can be passed from animals to humans. Following are some related to dogs.


Cryptosporidosis is an infection of the gastrointestinal system caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium parvum. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Many infected individuals require hospitalization and IV fluid therapy. Infection in immunosuppressed individuals such as the very young, the elderly or those with HIV/AIDS may be life threatening. Cryptosporidiosis has been found in people, cats and dogs living in the same environment, suggesting the potential for zoonotic transfer between species exists. Most people get cryptosporidosis from contaminated water, but be cautious with pet waste. If you develop these symptoms, contact your physician. Be sure to inform him or her of your pet and whether it is also ill. If your dog has diarrhea, take it to your veterinarian for an examination.


Caused by the parasite Giardia, giardiasis is the most frequent cause of nonbacterial diarrhea in North America and the most commonly diagnosed intestinal parasite in humans in Oregon, with 600 to 800 cases reported each year. It is transmitted most frequently through contaminated water. The most common sign of giardiasis in dogs is diarrhea, which can be acute, chronic, or intermittent. If your dog has diarrhea, take it to your veterinarian for an examination.

Influenza (including H1N1 and H5N1)

While the highly-pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza has yet to be discovered in the US, it is expected to be found here in the future. In central Thailand, where the H5N1 strain has been found, dogs have tested positive for its antibodies, suggesting infection in dogs is likely. Keeping pets inside when possible and keeping an eye on what they might be consuming outside is their best protection.


Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease spread through the urine of infected animals. In people, the symptoms are often flu-like. The risk of getting leptospirosis through common contact with a dog is low; the primary mode of transmission is through contact with contaminated animal urine. Symptoms in dogs include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, refusal to eat, severe weakness and depression, renal disease, and liver dysfunction. Risk factors for dogs include contaminated water and contact with cattle, rats or raccoon urine. Leptospirosis can be treated with antibiotics. To help prevent leptospirosis, vaccinate your dog and keep rodents under control. A vaccine can protect your dogs against the four most common versions of Leptospirosis: L. canicola, L. icterohaemorrhagiae, L. pomona and L. grippotyphosa. Note, however, that a vaccine cannot provide 100% guaranteed protection due to the many strains of this bacteria.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial disease that can cause a “bull’s-eye” rash with fever, headache, and muscle or joint pain. In Oregon, a survey of deer ticks revealed that approximately 3-4% of those collected tested positive for the organism that causes Lyme disease. Ticks that carry Lyme disease live west of the Cascades, in areas near Hood River, and west of Klamath County. If you are in an area where there are ticks, such as the woods, wear light-colored clothing so that ticks can be spotted more easily and removed before becoming attached, wear long-sleeved shirts, and tuck your pants into socks. Insect repellants containing DEET and permethrin can be effective. After hikes or other outdoor activities in high-risk areas, inspect yourself and your dog for ticks and remove them promptly, and be sure to treat your pet on an ongoing basis with a flea and tick prevention medication.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

Transmission of MRSA infections between pets and humans are increasing, with the most common being infections of the skin, soft-tissue and surgical infections. Dog or cat bites can result in infection, caused by bacteria from the animal’s mouth and on the patients’ body. Animals are potential reservoirs of MSRA infection due to increasing prevalence of community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) in humans and domestic animals such as dogs, cats and horses. MRSA-associated infections in pets are typically acquired from their owners and can potentially cycle between pets and their human acquaintances. Treatment of MRSA infections in pets is similar to that used in humans. Resistant to penicillin and methicillin, CA-MRSA infections can still be treated with other common-use antibiotics. CA-MRSA most often enters the body through a cut or scrape and appears in the form of a skin or soft tissue infection, such as a boil or abscess. The involved site is red, swollen, and painful and is often mistaken for a spider bite. Though rare, CA-MRSA can develop into more serious invasive infections, such as bloodstream infections or pneumonia, leading to a variety of other symptoms including shortness of breath, fever, chills, and death. CA-MRSA can be particularly dangerous in children because their immune systems are not fully developed. You should pay attention to minor skin problems—pimples, insect bites, cuts, and scrapes—especially in children. If the wound appears to be infected, see a healthcare provider.


Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the nervous system. It is only transmitted by a bite from a rabid animal. If you are bitten by any animal—even a household pet—and especially if the bite is from a wild animal, such as a bat, it is important to consult with your health care provider. According to the law, dogs that bite humans should be quarantined for 10 days. Vaccinating dogs against rabies protects them and provides a “buffer zone” between humans and rabid wild animals. Oregon law requires all dogs to be vaccinated against rabies as early as three months of age; unvaccinated pets that may have been in contact with rabid animals (such as bats) must be quarantined for six months or euthanized. There are an estimated 5 million dog bite incidents per year; of those, approximately 10,000 require hospitalization and about 20 people, mostly young children, die. Rabies vaccination and proper dog socialization can reduce these numbers. Dogs who are well-socialized and supervised are much less likely to bite.


Ringworm is not a worm, but a skin and scalp disease caused by fungus. Ringworm usually makes a bald patch of scaly skin or a ring-shaped rash that is reddish and may be itchy. The rash can be dry and scaly or wet and crusty. Ringworm is transmitted by direct contact with an infected animal’s skin or hair. Dogs, especially puppies, can pass ringworm to people, so preventative care by your veterinarian is important.


Salmonellosis is caused by the bacteria Salmonella. It can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment, although it can be fatal to those with fragile immune systems. About 40,000 human cases of Salmonella infection are reported in the US each year. Dogs with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Well animals can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. It is possible to contract Samonella from handling contaminated pet food or treats.

Dog owners should wash their hands after touching dogs who are sick and/or handling their waste. If you have a cat, scoop the litter box daily and dispose of the stool in a tightly sealed plastic bag. If you have a dog, clean up the stool while on walks or from the yard and dispose of the stool in a tightly sealed plastic bag.

To reduce infection risks, you should:

  • Wash hands after contact with pets, pet food and pet bowls. Wash with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds, then rinse and dry your hands with a paper towel.
  • Routinely clean pet food bowls and feeding areas.
  • Keep children younger than age 5 away from pet food and feeding areas.
  • Clean pets’ food and water dishes in a separate sink or tub, not in the kitchen or bathtub.
  • Avoiding bathing infants in the kitchen sink.

Unfortunately, pet food can be contaminated by Salmonella, and recalls of pet food have occurred. Please check our Recalls & Warnings section for the latest information on current recalls.

More tips from the FDA

Toxocariasis (Roundworm)

Adult roundworms are an intestinal parasite that resemble strands of spaghetti. Their eggs are shed through a pet’s feces and, while fresh feces are not infectious, the eggs become infectious over time as they sit in grass, soil or sand. This is why picking up pet waste promptly is important. Roundworms can cause vomiting or diarrhea. Children are more prone to contract roundworm as they are more likely to touch infected dirt or sand and then put their hands into their mouths. Do not let children eat sand or dirt. Children should wash hands thoroughly after playing in areas where pet waste may have been deposited. Keep sandboxes covered when not in use. In rare cases, roundworm infection can cause an eye disease that can lead to blindness; such infections can be more serious in children than adults. Gardeners should wear gloves and wash hands after working outside.


One of the best ways to prevent zoonotic diseases is to promptly clean up pet waste. Many parasites or bacteria are not infectious in fresh pet waste, but become infectious over time and can contaminate the soil, sand or grass if allowed to sit.  Wash your hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water after playing with your dog or handling its waste.

If you have any questions about these diseases or concerns about your pet’s health, please consult your veterinarian. If you have concerns about your health, please seek medical attention from your health care provider.

Take your dog to your veterinarian for regular check-ups (at least once per year), and if your dog exhibits any of the symptoms of these diseases. In the vast majority of cases, these diseases are treatable.

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Shelter Myths & Facts

Shelter Myths and Facts

Sponsored By: 24PetWatch

Protect your pet. ShelterCare Pet Insurance Programs

Why Microchip?

Each year, thousands of lost and abandoned animals are taken in by shelters and humane societies across North America; some never make it back home because they can’t be identified.

Collar tags can break or become unreadable and tattooing can become illegible. So, if you want to improve your pet’s chances of getting home fast and safe in case it goes missing, microchipping is your best option.

Microchipping offers pet owners the security and peace of mind that comes from the only permanent pet identification technology and a safe and secure way to reunite you and your pet, via our Lost Pet Recovery Service.

There are four good reasons to microchip your pet:

  1. Permanent pet identification
  2. Best chance of recovering your pet
  3. Quick and painless procedure
  4. Lasts for your pet’s lifetime

PetPoint – Adoptable Search

“Crate Expectations” By Cheri Lucas

crate-1     crate-cheri-lucas

Reprinted With Permission

Have you ever wondered why your dog loves to worm his way under a chair, table or other tight space? Dogs are den animals by nature, and look for spaces in your home or yard that mimic a den. Dog crates make excellent dens and provide that safe, secure environment that dogs crave.

“Crate Training” has been proven to be the fastest and most effective way to housebreak a puppy.  A dog’s natural instinct is to avoid being near his own waste, so he’ll make an effort to avoid eliminating in his crate.

Begin by choosing a crate that is large enough for your puppy to stand up, turn, and stretch out. If it’s too large the puppy may choose to use one end as a bedroom and the other as a bathroom! If you prefer to purchase a crate that will work for your dog when he’s full grown, look for the type that has a divider panel.

Keep the crate in your common living area during the day so he can be part of family activities. If possible, move the crate to your bedroom at night or get a second crate for sleeping. Dogs instinctively want to sleep near their pack. This will also allow you to correct him if he gets fussy in his crate.

When a dog is released from his crate, he should be taken outside immediately and encouraged to eliminate. Praise him when he accomplishes this! Supervise your dog 100 percent when he returns to the house if he’s not completely housebroken. If you become busy or distracted, crate him with a special toy that he only gets while he’s confined.  If you keep your pup on a regular feeding schedule and use his crate religiously, you will be rewarded with a fully housebroken dog in no time.

Destructive chewing behavior is often the result of an unsupervised dog being bored or anxious. Using a crate during an owner’s short-term absence eliminates this possibility. Dogs sleep the vast majority of the time when their owners are away anyway. Crating your dog while you’re away keeps him from being destructive and prevents him from ingesting something that could potentially harm him.

Separation anxiety occurs when a dog becomes distressed over his owner’s departure. Because dogs are pack animals, they are not always prepared to cope with isolation, even if it’s temporary. Making your dog’s crate time a positive experience can help remedy this. Therefore the most important rule of crate training is to never use the crate as a place of punishment.  Never make a big deal about letting your dog in or out of this crate. Wait until he’s calm before releasing him from his crate, and avoid giving praise or affection until he’s relaxed.  If you plan on travelling with your dog, they have to be crated. So preparing him early for this experience is the best way to ensure a stress-free trip.

With proper training, it won’t be long before your dog’s crate becomes a wonderful sanctuary for him and the favorite training tool for you!

About Cheri Lucas
Cheri Lucas is the founder and president of Second Chance at Love Humane Society, a no-kill dog rescue in Templeton, California. In 1999, Cheri began mentoring under Cesar Millan. She has since appeared on five episodes of Dog Whisperer and has been a guest on Sessions with Cesar. Cheri is a member of the International Association of Canine Professionals.  Visit Cheri’s website at:

Benefits Of Adopting An Older Dog

Friends – Click on this link to learn about the benefits of adopting an older dog!  Benefits Of Adopting Older Dogs

Read This!


 By Isabel Hamel

As printed in USA Today, October 2, 2009


Acquiring a pet should be life-enriching, but as with any relationship with long-term expectations, a potential pet owner must take stock of what it takes to make a perfect match.

What’s Your Motivation?

Pets play many roles in our lives.  Think about your reasons for bringing an animal into your life and make your decision based on your needs.  Here are some typical situations that offer insights:

  • Loss of a loved one or a pet often motivates people to acquire a new pet in an effort to lessen the impact of the loss. Assess your feelings about what you are willing to invest emotionally under these circumstances. Appreciate your new pet’s individuality; don’t make comparisons.
  • Studies show that raising children with pets helps them to be more compassionate and sensitive. Teach children to respect the animal by interacting through daily care and appropriate play. An older pet experienced with children may be less challenging for a family.
  • You want protection. While some dogs can provide a level of security, the primary role of a pet should be that of a companion.

Think Long Term

Acquiring a pet can be a 17-year commitment.  Anticipate lifestyle changes that may present unique challenges for you and your pet and be prepared to make adjustments:

  • Starting out on your own may provide the impetus to acquire a pet, but being the animal’s sole caregiver can be socially and professionally restrictive.  A potential first-time pet owner can get a feel for this special bond before committing in various ways – volunteering at a shelter, fostering an animal or watching a friend’s or relative’s pet.
  • Moving often triggers temporary behavior problems requiring understanding and tolerance.  You might have to retrain your pet to adjust.
  • A couple’s first “baby” is often their pet treated like a child.  But behavior that is acceptable in the absence of children is often problematic when kids come along.  The pet’s world changes and, most likely, so does the rules.  Dogs are particularly sensitive to change.  Set rules and a routine in the beginning that won’t change even if your family does.
  • “Empty nesters” may feel loss when children leave home.  Caring for a pet provides a sense of purpose but can also impede newfound freedom.
  • Retirement provides time to spend with a pet but consider your plans and whether a pet can be included.  Will you relax at home, travel or possibly relocate?  A small dog is a wise choice for traveling.  A Husky would be a poor choice if kenneled often or you relocate to a warm climate.
  • As we approach the “golden years”, often our spirit is willing, but our bodies aren’t quite up to the task.  Caring for a puppy or kitten can be exhausting.  Seniors would do well to consider an older or smaller, more manageable dog.

Make The Perfect Match

Do your research.  Consider the age, size, weight, temperament, energy health and life expectancy of the new pet and the people in the household.

Assess the size and location of your residence.  If you live in an apartment, consider a cat or a quiet dog requiring minimal exercise.  A Mastiff or a Great Dane, although large, needs less activity that a Jack Russell Terrier.  All pets require exercise or they can become depressed, overweight or destructive.  The amount depends on the individual.  A walk around the block can seem like a marathon to a Bulldog but is just a warm-up to a Labrador Retriever.

Breeds have specific traits and tasks for which they were bred.  If the origin of a mixed breed is unknown, so are the traits, but most bad traits are extinguished in mixed breeds through natural selection.  An animal’s personality is based both on inherent traits and environmental influences.

The perfect match between a pet and owner is precious.  It’s your job to create it!

Won’t You Be A “Scotlund” ?


“What Your Dog Can Teach You” by Cesar Millan

Cesar Millan, known as the “The Dog Whisperer”, can be seen on National Geographic and is the author of several books including “A Member of the Family” and “Cesar’s Way”

 From Parade Magazine, January 11, 2009

 I am honored that so many people look to me to help them enjoy more fulfilling relationships with their dogs, but the truth is that the dogs themselves have been my teachers. The most valuable lessons I’ve received have come from animals. Here are some of the ways dogs have helped me become a better, happier, and more-balanced human being.

Live in the moment.
People often wonder how I get such quick results with the dogs I rehabilitate. The answer is simple: Dogs live in the moment. They don’t regret the past or worry about the future. If we can learn to appreciate and focus on what’s happening in the here and now, we’ll experience a richness of living that other members of the animal kingdom enjoy.

Nurture a balanced life.
I tell my clients to follow this simple rule with their dogs: Offer exercise, discipline, and affection every day. Do the same for yourself. We humans are happier if our routines include physical activity, a sense of structure, and the opportunity to give and receive love on a daily basis.

Trust your instincts.

Animals don’t care about words. They recognize that what’s really going on in any interaction is beneath the surface. Many of us have lost touch with this all-important instinctual part of our natures. By paying attention to nonverbal cues such as body language and energy, we can learn more about our friends, our loved ones, and ourselves.

Be direct and consistent in your communication.

Many of my clients only intermittently enforce rules, leaving their pets confused about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. Great relationships, no matter the species, begin with clear and consistent communication. This is a lesson we should carry into other areas of our lives-with our family, our friends, and at work. Remember: We teach people how to treat us.

Learn to listen.

Make the time to lend an ear to those you love or those who want to transform their lives. But don’t try to fix their problems, and don’t take their problems personally, either. A great leader is also a great follower and knows that everybody counts.

Don’t hold grudges.

There’s a remarkable lack of conflict in dog packs.  That’s because members resolve the situation when disagreements arise, then move on. Imagine what our world would be like if we dealt with our conflicts before they escalated out of control. Holding onto negative feelings tends to make them multiply and prevent us from moving forward.

Live with purpose.

When dogs are bored, they develop issues ranging from anxiety to aggression. But when given a job and a way to contribute to the pack’s well-being, they turn around almost immediately. All animals-including humans-have an inborn need to work for food and water. Ask yourself how you can contribute more to your job, your family, and the world around you. You’ll feel much better about yourself if you earn your food and water, too.

Celebrate every day. 

For a dog, every morning is Christmas morning. Every walk is the best walk, every meal is the best meal, every game is the best game. We can learn so much by observing the way our pets rejoice in life’s simplest moments. Take time every day to celebrate the many gifts that are hidden in the ordinary events of your own life.

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