Exposure to Shelter Animals

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby hugapitbull » October 24th, 2010, 9:44 am

Our local Humane Society has a brand new doggie pool for exercise and recreation. I have contacted them about possibly using it for Trouble during times when they are closed (in exchange for volunteer work and/or donation).

I am looking for comments or concerns from some of you who are involved with shelters and or veterinary facilities about her exposure to disease. We've come this far the last thing I want to do is jeopardize her health trying to make her stronger.
Shanna & Spirit Trouble
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Postby airwalk » October 24th, 2010, 12:36 pm

Alisa's probably the best one to answer this, but I'll give you my take..it will depend on where the pool is and what her level of exposure will be. If she is current on vaccinations, if the shelter is well run and clean, if you don't have to go right by sneezing, coughing dogs...you probably would be okay.
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Postby airwalk » October 24th, 2010, 12:36 pm

FYI, at least one of my dogs is with me every day and I have only once in 10 years (it was in the old facility) had my dogs come down with KC
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Postby plebayo » October 24th, 2010, 1:09 pm

We have rescues come into our clinic all the time, we've treated severe cases of kennel cough, parvo, and distemper and our ISO ward is not really that isolated from the rest of the clinic. None of my dogs have ever caught anything, they are all up to date on vaccines. Out of everyone I'm the only one to have caught something - ringworm.

I can't imagine they would let a dog with a contagious disease/virus swim in the pool, as far as entering the facility she most likely shouldn't catch anything unless she comes into close contact with another dog. I guess if I was going there I just wouldn't let her sniff around too much, walk in, use the pool, and go home.
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Postby TheRedQueen » October 24th, 2010, 1:30 pm

I've had fosters/rescues with various health issues at the house...and I've never had any of my gang catch anything. If I'm a bit worried, I just give them some immune support supplements with their dinner. :)
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Postby Malli » October 24th, 2010, 3:42 pm

Pretty much what everyone else said. I'd check with your vet, or hear from Dr.Blabs, but up to date on vaccines she should be pretty safe; especially an older dog with a more experienced immune system that has been routinely vaccinated. If she goes to places that lots of other dogs go through or have been her immune system should have had lots of practice...

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Postby iluvk9 » October 24th, 2010, 6:03 pm

Do they chlorinate the water like public pools?
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Postby hugapitbull » October 24th, 2010, 6:59 pm

Thank you all for the feedback. I did send a note to Dr F to get his thoughts. I wouldn't do anything at this point for her without consulting him. She has not had vaccines since the year of her diagnosis (2008). I know he didn't think she would make it this far - no one did. Do vaccines build in the body and are 10 years worth enough to get her through the remainder of her life? When we travel with her, we have a letter from the clinic signed by the vet stating she is under veterinary care, has no contagious disease, but has not had vaccinations and it has all their contact information if anyone wants further information.

And Joyce, I'm sure it is chlorinated - it looks just like a cement in-ground pool, only scaled down in size. One end has a sloping incline so they can easily get in and out. The deepest part is 3 ft.
Shanna & Spirit Trouble
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Postby mnp13 » October 24th, 2010, 7:54 pm

Do you titer her? That's a good way to check for immunity - and I would definitely do that before I bring her into a shelter environment. There are many people diseases that are contagious before symptoms show up, so knowing that her immunity is as high as possible is not a bad idea.
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Postby plebayo » October 24th, 2010, 8:01 pm

mnp13 wrote:Do you titer her? That's a good way to check for immunity - and I would definitely do that before I bring her into a shelter environment. There are many people diseases that are contagious before symptoms show up, so knowing that her immunity is as high as possible is not a bad idea.


I agree with running a vaccine titer. Then you know what her coverage is. I personally think we over vaccinate and a dog who has been vaccinated most of its life should be covered. If you do run a titer please share the results/your experience because it might shed more light on the whole vaccine argument. I mean it obviously varies dog to dog but it still would be interesting!
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Postby hugapitbull » October 24th, 2010, 8:18 pm

plebayo wrote:
mnp13 wrote:Do you titer her? That's a good way to check for immunity - and I would definitely do that before I bring her into a shelter environment. There are many people diseases that are contagious before symptoms show up, so knowing that her immunity is as high as possible is not a bad idea.


I agree with running a vaccine titer. Then you know what her coverage is. I personally think we over vaccinate and a dog who has been vaccinated most of its life should be covered. If you do run a titer please share the results/your experience because it might shed more light on the whole vaccine argument. I mean it obviously varies dog to dog but it still would be interesting!


I will ask for a titer for sure. Thank you for the reminder. I'd be happy to share the results.
Shanna & Spirit Trouble
We beat osteosarcoma - 27 months 20 days cancer free
'Spirit' Trouble departed for the Bridge 3/16/2011 a victim of aging
Visit - http://k9cancer.org

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Postby mnp13 » October 24th, 2010, 9:11 pm

We just had Connor's rabies titer done, it came back with a 14. He hasn't had a rabies shot in four years. Or maybe longer, I just know he's way "over due." We have a waiver for him from the vet for rabies, but still got all of his titers done so that we know.

There are no "official" numbers for dogs, however, 5 is considered safe for humans. The higher the number the higher the level of immunity.

http://www.vet.ksu.edu/depts/dmp/servic ... rabfaq.htm
What does your titer tell you? The RFFIT test can be used in two ways: to determine a RVNA titer (e.g., 1:5) or to determine a value for RVNA concentration (e.g., 0.5 IU). The IU stands for international unit and is calculated from the titer by comparing it against a standard reference serum. If you do not have RVNA present in your serum it will not neutralize the virus and the titer will be LESS THAN 1:5 (the 1:5 diluted serum did not prevent the virus from infecting the cells). RVNA antibody will neutralize rabies virus to an “endpoint titer” – to a specific dilution where the virus is neutralized. For example, if you have a little RVNA in your serum low dilutions (e.g. 1:5 or 1:25) will neutralize the virus, but higher dilutions will not. In contrast, if you have a lot of antibody in your serum the virus will be neutralized by high dilutions of your serum (e.g. 1:1000 or 1:7000) and not infect the cells. Therefore the further your serum can be diluted and still neutralize virus, the more RVNA you have in your serum. Current ACIP regulations recommend evidence of complete neutralization at serum dilution of 1:5 is considered an adequate response to rabies vaccination (1). If your serum diluted to 1:5 cannot neutralize virus a booster dose may be recommended (for people determined to be at risk of rabies virus exposure - see ACIP recommendations). In summary, the bigger the denominator in the reported titer, the more antibody in your blood (e.g., a titer of 1:125 has more antibody than a titer of 1:5 because it still neutralized at a much higher dilution) and a reported RVNA titer of greater than 1:5 is considered adequate.
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Postby LMM » October 25th, 2010, 9:16 am

Hey Michelle, how were you able to get a waiver for the rabies? Because of his titer count? I would like to get one for Four but I understood it to be state law and even a veterinary waiver doesn't hold up. Is that not right?
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Postby mnp13 » October 25th, 2010, 10:37 am

LMM wrote:Hey Michelle, how were you able to get a waiver for the rabies? Because of his titer count? I would like to get one for Four but I understood it to be state law and even a veterinary waiver doesn't hold up. Is that not right?


Because he's had mange and has a crappy immune system. Your vet can write a waiver for rabies, they don't like to but they can. NYS can't force vaccinations on dogs that could be harmed. There are a lot of dogs that can't be vaccinated for health reasons. My vet would only do it if we titered him so that she could see his levels.
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Postby LMM » October 25th, 2010, 10:51 am

Hmmm okay. I'm asking because I know in other states where there is a law about vaccinating for rabies, even a waiver doesn't cover that. People have actually had to change legislation because even with a veterinary waiver they were technically breaking the law.

I'm totally cool with titering Four and making them write a waiver, I just wasn't sure if I would be breaking the law so to speak.
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