Pet Care A to Z by Atsuko Konishi
From Vaccination, Food, Oral Care, to Peaceful Departure
• Konishi was born in Kobe, Japan and moved to Australia
after graduating from high school. Animal lover Konishi decided to become
a veterinarian and entered Australian high school again to strengthen
her English ability. Finally she obtained a license in Melbourne and worked
as a veterinarian there.
• At the lecture, she spoke about animal diseases and vaccination, pet food, pet care and painless death.
• The first visit of a puppy or kitten to an animal hospital is 6 to 8 weeks after their birth to receive vaccination and health checks. The second visit is 10 to 12 weeks, and the third is 14 to 16 weeks from their birth. The three-time visits would complete their childhood vaccination.
Rabies Control Vaccination
• Rabies vaccination is an absolute necessity in the
U.S. It infects humans and cats, and it is no way to be cured. When a
rabies dog bites your foot, it takes 6 months for the viruses reach your
brain. The symptoms are excessive saliva, voice changes and aggressive
• An epidemic of canine influenza H3N2 has been hitting
the Chicago area for several years. Recently H3N8 type was founded among
greyhound racing dogs in Florida and has been expected to get into Chicago.
• Bacteria cause Lyme disease and infect through ticks,
fleas and other sources. It also infects humans. In the case of dogs,
the disease is not serious; however, if a human is infected, it causes
red skin and sometimes cramps in the nerve system.
• Filariasis infects through mosquitoes and imposes burdens on a dog’s heart. “Interceptor Plus” is effective to prevent filariasis, but using it with types of SimpleGuard is more effective. Konishi recommended taking a yearly blood test at a hospital.
• Cats tend to catch respiratory diseases with sneezing
and red eyes caused by the cat herpes virus. Humans are not infected,
but once cats are infected by the virus, it remains in the nerve system
of a cat’s face, causing sneezing and red eyes. This happens especially
when cats are stressed from moving or strangers visiting their homes.
• Konishi recommends taking the cat leukemia test. It
is so called “friendly cat disease”, and infects one cat to another though
cats’ saliva and body fluid when they play with each other.
Spaying and Neutering
• In the case of cats, their sizes are almost the same,
so spaying and neutering surgery are available when they become 4 months
to 6 months old.
• Konishi says, “Don’t be fooled by pet-food packages.”
The best way to find quality food is searching for reliable food makers
which have research facilities and quality control sections.
• A website is available for dog meals when your pet
is suffering from arthritis, diarrhea or other diseases. The website,
https://secure.balanceit.com, was created by veterinarians and is free.
• Dogs and cats develop gum diseases, and brushing their
teeth helps prevent tartar formation that causes gum diseases.
• In the case of cats, you can put cat-toothpaste around your cat’s mouth. The paste is delicious flavor for cats, so your cat gradually gets used it. If it is difficult to use a brush, you can use a piece of gauze or used stocking which is sopped in a watered tuna can. You can lure it with tuna flavor and wipe its teeth with a piece of gauze or stocking while it is enjoying tuna flavor. A key is not to offend your cat.
• A toothache is intolerable, so it affects pets’ behaviors. Konishi recommend taking an x-ray, scaling and cleaning once a year.
• Dogs, which have hair around ears or drooping ears,
tend to have ear diseases, so cleaning the ears should not be overlooked.
• There are dogs which don’t like cleaning their ears. When they get ear diseases, Konisi prescribes a tranquilizer and tells the pet owner to return to her hospital the next day. “There are long lasting medicines, which work for about 70 days, but once side effects occur, you can do nothing,” she warned.
• “Euthanasia is a very difficult decision, but when
your pet is suffering and no recovery is expected, peaceful death is one
of treatments for your pet,” Konishi said.
Veterinarian Atsuko Konishi