The Animal Health Bulletin
Healing Springs Animal Hospital
Serving Family & Farm Since 1979
Dogs, Cats, Equine, Bovine, Small Ruminants, Camelid
Healing Springs Animal Hospital
107 Nuckolls Curve Rd
Galax, VA
(276) 236-5103


Volume II, Issue VI

June 2006


        Deworming Clinic at Healing Springs

        Benefit Dog Wash

        Canine Parvovirus – Deadly to Puppies and Easily Preventable

        Foal Vaccinations



Pet Portals Login





Deworming Clinic


Most people do not realize that the worms that can infect your pet can also affect your family.  Healing Springs Animal Hospital will offer an educational deworming clinic on Thursday, July 11, from 8:30-4:30.


We invite you to schedule an appointment to receive FREE one on one consultation about deworming pets, FREE fecal screening, and discounted dewormers.


Please call and schedule an appointment for this informational clinic: (276) 236-5103




Benefit Dog Wash


Healing Springs H.E.L.P. fund, a fund created by Healing Springs employees to help families with very sick or injured pets, will soon hold a benefit dog wash.  Find the dog wash at Healing Springs Large Animal Receiving Facility on SAT July 29, 2006 from 1-5PM.  Rain or Shine.  Free dog wash.  Donations will be accepted.  Concessions and shopping available.




Buy specialized grooming supplies online at the Healing Springs Webstore.


Canine Parvovirus


Parvovirus is a common disease in our region.  It attacks non-vaccinated puppies less than one year of age.  Puppies contract the disease through fecal oral contamination.  This means that the virus is shed in the feces and contaminates the ground.  Parvovirus can live in the soil for 5 months or more.  Puppies can contract parvovirus in any environment where dogs commingle, such as parks, shelters, kennels and pet stores.


Parvovirus exhibits a broad range of symptoms: lack of appetite, lethargy or listlessness (lack of energy), vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, and fever.  These symptoms can range from mild to very severe.  Parvovirus attacks rapidly and aggressively.


Healing Springs diagnoses parvovirus by using a canine parvovirus antigen test kit.  This test kit requires a small amount of feces and takes about 10 minutes to run.  After a positive test, Healing Springs can implement treatment that will often save the life of an infected puppy.


Treatment for the parvovirus includes aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, intravenous glucose, broad spectrum antibiotics, anti-nausea medication, stomach protectants and attentive nursing care.  Typical hospital stays to treat parvovirus range from 3-7 days.  Puppies that are being treated have to be in an isolation treatment area because of the highly contagious nature of the disease.


Parvovirus is a preventable disease.  Vaccinations serve as the best method of prevention.  All momma dogs need to be up to date on their vaccines prior to getting pregnant.  If a bitch is pregnant and her vaccines are due, veterinarians can give her a killed parvovirus vaccine to help her transfer some immunity to her pups.  All puppies should receive vaccinations at 6 weeks of age.  Any puppy less than 8 weeks of age should receive a killed parvo-corona vaccine.  This vaccine should be followed by a distemper-parvo 7 way shot every 3-4 weeks until a minimum of 16 weeks of age.  Up until 16 weeks of age, a puppy’s immune system is fragile and still developing.  Because of the prevalence of parvo infected dogs in our region, Healing Springs recommends that all young puppies do not hike on the trail or go to parks where other dogs play.  Young puppies still vulnerable to parvo infection should be with other well-vaccinated dogs and isolated from dogs with questionable vaccine status.


Parvovirus is a prevalent disease in Southwest Virginia.  Healing Springs sees many cases a year of this preventable disease.  Practically speaking, timely vaccinations prove much more economical than treatment for this potentially fatal disease.  Puppy vaccines will PAY for themselves.  At Healing Springs Animal Hospital the 6 week puppy vaccine is $11.00.  The following three multi-purpose puppy vaccines are $22.00 and the last puppy vaccine is $25.00.  The last puppy vaccine is given at 16 weeks of age.  This totals at $102.00 to adequately protect your dog from parvo as well as other canine diseases.    Each vaccine comes with a complimentary physical exam to ensure the puppy is healthy, a free bag of Science Diet puppy food, free first dose of Interceptor, and information packets to help you maintain a happy and healthy puppy.  The average cost of treatment for parvo at Healing Springs is very low compared to state and national averages, but the cost still reaches $300-$600.  Healing Springs’ success rates average about 75% to save a dog infected with parvo.


At Healing Springs Animal Hospital, we enjoy playing with and vaccinating new puppies.  It is our hope that all puppies we see as patients live long and healthy lifes.  By beginning their first year with a good, solid vaccination protocol, we can give them the best start.


New strains of canine influenza do not pose exceptional threat to dogs.































Science Diet puppy food contains high levels of DHA for proper brain and vision development.



Foal Vaccinations


It is that time of year when there are foals everywhere.  Late spring/early summer is the time to start thinking about foal vaccines.  Vaccinations protect foals from a myriad of diseases.  The most important diseases are strangles, eastern and western equine encephalitis, West Nile virus, and Potomac horse fever.  Vaccinations, deworming schedules, and good nutrition are the cornerstones for raising a healthy foal.  In this article, we will summarize the primary diseases threatening foals and list the optimal vaccination schedule for foals.


Strangles is a disease of swollen lymph nodes that results in a high fever, loss of appetite, and draining lymph nodes.  This disease usually runs its course with veterinary treatment, but can be fatal.  Strangles is highly contagious and is a disease of young horses.  We do not recommend strangles vaccine unless your horses stay in an endemic area or have experienced a strangles problem. 


Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis are viruses that are passed by insects.  This disease is characterized by high fever and neurologic symptoms (i.e. an inability to walk or stand, head tilt, and seizures).  Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis are usually fatal.


West Nile Virus is also a neurologic disease that has the same symptoms as equine encephalitis.  West Nile Virus is also passed by an insect vector and is likewise fatal.


Tetanus is a organism that causes muscle stiffness, an inability to swallow, and a high fever.  In the beginning stages, these foals will experience muscle spasms in response to a surprising stimulus such as a loud noise, a clap, or a yell.  As tetanus progresses, foals lie down and become unable to rise.  This disease is also fatal.  Horses can carry the tetanus bacterium (C. tetani) in their feces.  These organisms get into animals through breaks in the skin or surgery sites.


Rabies is a virus that is carried by mammals.  Rabies is transmitted by rabid animals attacking and biting other animals.  The virus is carried in the saliva of infected animals.  This disease is fatal.  There are a wide variety of symptoms such as increased salivation, mental depression, and neurologic symptoms.


Rhinopneumonitis and influenza both exhibit flu symptoms.  These are contagious viruses that are passed from horse to horse in respiratory secretions (snot).  The symptoms include fever, fast breathing, coughing, and sometimes loss of appetite.  These diseases are rarely fatal, but highly contagious.  Frequent vaccines are recommended because of the foal’s immature immune system.


Potomac Horse Fever (PHF) is an organism spread by snails.  Potomac Horse Fever is usually found in horses that have access to ponds or running water.  Symptoms of PHF include profuse watery diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite, weakness, and dehydration.  This disease is fatal if left untreated.


The following is the GOLD STANDARD in vaccinations for a young horse:


Two positive Coggins tests in Pulaski

Three months:

Eastern & western encephalitis and tetanus / West Nile Virus, rabies.  Optionally, a foal may also need a Potomac horse fever vaccination at this point if the foal has access to a pond, waterway, or a wet place where snails might live



Four months:

Eastern & western encephalitis and tetanus / West Nile Virus, rabies.  Optionally, a foal may also need a Potomac horse fever vaccination at this point if the foal has access to a pond, waterway, or a wet place where snails might live



Six months:

Rhinopneumonitis and influenza


Seven months:

Rhinopneumonitis and influenza





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Healing Springs Animal Hospital

(276) 236-5103

107 Nuckolls Curve Rd

Galax, VA  24333


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