What Is Canine Influenza Virus?

jack russell dog sleeping in bed with high fever temperature, ice bag on head, thermometer in mouth, covered by a blanket

There are many causes of kennel cough, both bacterial and viral. Canine influenza virus (CIV) is one of the viral causes of kennel cough. This highly contagious respiratory disease has affected thousands of dogs in the United States. Because CIV is a relatively new virus, most dogs have not been exposed to it before. Dogs of any age, breed, and vaccine status are susceptible to this infection.

How Could My Dog Catch Canine Influenza Virus?
CIV is easily transmitted between dogs through a combination of aerosols, droplets, and direct contact with respiratory secretions. The virus does not survive for a long time in the environment, so dogs usually get CIV when they are in close proximity to other infectious dogs.

Which Dogs Are Prone to Canine Influenza Virus? 
Any dog who interacts with large numbers of dogs is at increased risk for exposure. Pet owners should consult their veterinarian for information about the canine influenza vaccine.

What Are the General Signs of Canine Influenza Virus? 
While most dogs will show typical signs of kennel cough, but a small percentage of dogs will develop a more severe illness. Signs of canine influenza virus include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Variable fever
  • Clear nasal discharge that progresses to thick, yellowish-green mucus
  • Rapid/difficult breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

Can Dogs Die From Canine Influenza Virus?
If CIV is quickly diagnosed and treated, the fatality rate is quite low. Deaths are usually caused by secondary complications, such as pneumonia. It is important that dogs with CIV receive proper veterinary care.

How Is Canine Influenza Virus Diagnosed?
Veterinarians will typically conduct a thorough physical examination and run a series of tests to diagnose the illness.

How Is Canine Influenza Treated?
Because CIV is a virus similar to the flu in humans, there is no specific antiviral medication available. However, supportive care and appropriate treatment of secondary infections are important. Your veterinarian may advise the following to soothe your dog while the condition runs its course:

  • Good nutrition and supplements to raise immunity
  • A warm, quiet, and comfortable spot to rest
  • Medications to treat secondary bacterial infections
  • Intravenous fluids to maintain hydration
  • Workup and treatment for pneumonia

Be advised, while most dogs will fight the infection within 10 to 30 days, secondary infections require antibiotics and, in the case of pneumonia, sometimes even hospitalization.

What Should I Do if I Think My Dog Has Canine Influenza Virus? 
If you think your dog has canine influenza virus, immediately isolate him or her from all other dogs and call your veterinarian.

Can I Catch Canine Influenza From My Dog?
So far there has been no evidence to indicate that dogs can transmit CIV to humans.

How Can I Help Prevent My Dog From Spreading the Disease? 
Any dog infected with CIV should be kept isolated from other dogs for 10 to 14 days from the onset of signs. Dogs are most infectious before signs are apparent, and can continue shedding the virus for approximately 10 days. This means that by the time signs of the illness are seen, other dogs may have already been exposed.

Source: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/canine-influenza-viruscanine-flu

Preparing a First Aid Kit for Pet Emergencies

Veterinary Emergency Group

When a pet emergency arises, will you be prepared? We recommend that all pet owners have a first aid kit available for a pet emergency, storing it in their home and vehicle just in case. We recommend including the following supplies:

Pet Supplies

  • A first aid handbook with information about basic first aid techniques
  • Phone number for your family veterinarian and our animal hospital
  • A muzzle in case your pet is in pain and is biting or snapping while you’re trying to help
  • A copy of your pet’s records
  • A nylon leash

First Aid Supplies

  • A self-clinging bandage
  • Absorbent gauze pads and gauze rolls
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder or spray
  • Blanket (a foil emergency blanket)
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting—do this only when directed by a veterinarian or a poison-control expert)
  • Ice pack
  • Non-latex disposable gloves
  • Petroleum jelly (to lubricate the thermometer)
  • Rectal thermometer (your pet’s temperature should not rise above 103°F or fall below 100°F)
  • Scissors (with blunt ends)
  • Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages
  • Sterile saline solution (sold at pharmacies)
  • Tweezers
  • A pillowcase to confine your cat for treatment
  • A pet carrier if your pet is small enough

Some more specific items may be recommended for advanced first aid treatment. We would love to talk with you about your pet’s needs and the first aid kit that you are putting together for them. We can help you make sure that you have everything you need in the event of a pet emergency. Please contact us today to schedule a visit or talk with our team members about the importance of being prepared.

Easter Pet Poisons


The veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline receive hundreds of calls this time of year from pet owners and veterinarians concerning cats that have ingested Easter lilies.

“Unbeknownst to many pet owners, Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “All parts of the Easter lily plant are poisonous – the petals, the leaves, the stem and even the pollen. Cats that ingest as few as one or two leaves, or even a small amount of pollen while grooming their fur, can suffer severe kidney failure.”

In most situations, symptoms of poisoning will develop within six to 12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Symptoms worsen as kidney failure develops. Some cats will experience disorientation, staggering and seizures.

“There is no effective antidote to counteract lily poisoning, so the sooner you can get your cat to the veterinarian, the better his chances of survival will be,” said Brutlag. “If you see your cat licking or eating any part of an Easter lily, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately. If left untreated, his chances of survival are low.”

Treatment includes inducing vomiting, administering drugs like activated charcoal (to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines), intravenous fluid therapy to flush out the kidneys, and monitoring of kidney function through blood testing. The prognosis and the cost – both financially and physically – to the pet owner and cat, are best when treated immediately.

There are several other types of lilies that are toxic to cats as well. They are of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species and commonly referred to as Tiger lilies, Day lilies and Asiatic lilies. Popular in many gardens and yards, they can also result in severe acute kidney failure. These lilies are commonly found in florist bouquets, so it is imperative to check for poisonous flowers before bringing bouquets into the household. Other types of lilies – such as the Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies – are usually not a problem for cats and may cause only minor drooling.

Thankfully, lily poisoning does not occur in dogs or people. However, if a large amount is ingested, it can result in mild gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Other Dangers to Pets at Easter Time

Pet Poison Helpline also receives calls concerning pets that have ingested Easter grass and chocolate.

Usually green or yellow in color, Easter grass is the fake grass that often accompanies Easter baskets. When your cat or dog ingests something “stringy” like Easter grass, it can become anchored around the base of the tongue or stomach, rendering it unable to pass through the intestines. It can result in a linear foreign body and cause severe damage to the intestinal tract, often requiring expensive abdominal surgery.

Lastly, during the week of Easter, calls to Pet Poison Helpline concerning dogs that have been poisoned by chocolate increase by nearly 200 percent. While the occasional chocolate chip in one cookie may not be an issue, certain types of chocolate are very toxic to dogs. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. The chemical toxicity is due to methylxanthines (a relative of caffeine) and results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and possibly death. Other sources include chewable chocolate flavored multi-vitamins, baked goods, or chocolate-covered espresso beans. If you suspect that your dog ate chocolate, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

Spring is in the air and Easter is a wonderful holiday. Remember that your pets will be curious about new items you bring into your household like Easter lilies, Easter grass and chocolate. Keep them a safe distance away from your pets’ reach and enjoy the holiday and the season.


SOURCE: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/seasons/easter/

5 Winter Safety Tips for Pets

Now that we’re in the middle of winter, there are new dangers for your pet to consider, especially with New York’s frigid temps. The Veterinary Emergency Group in White Plains and Nanuet, NY, doesn’t want to just treat emergencies; we want to help prevent them. That’s why we’ve dedicated this blog to five winter safety tips for pets. And remember, if ever your pet is need of emergency care, we’re available nights, weekends, and holidays.

Sidewalk Salt

Sidewalk salt and is the norm for New York’s winters, but did you know they can be dangerous to pets? Many sidewalk salt and other ice-melting products contain chemicals that can irritate your pet’s paw pads. To protect your pet, consider buying them a couple pairs of booties to wear while outdoors, or use a special paw protective wax/balm.


Antifreeze poisoning is one of the most common forms of poisoning we see in the winter time. This toxic substance can drip on garage floors and driveways from car radiators, and with its sweet taste, it lures hundreds of animals to drink it every year. But if your pet were to drink even one tablespoon of antifreeze, the results can be fatal if treatment isn’t sought immediately. You can protect your pet by using an antifreeze brand that contains propylene glycol, which is less toxic than ethylene glycol if accidentally ingested.

Car Engines

When temps drop, cats are known to seek out warmth wherever they can, even under the hoods of cars. This may seem like a safe place to a cat, but once that car is started, the cat can become seriously injured or even killed by the fan belt. If you’ve noticed any stray cats in your neighborhood or near your workplace—or even if you haven’t—try to get in the habit of knocking on your hood or checking underneath it to make sure there isn’t an animal nestled inside.


Cats aren’t the only animals out looking for a toasty place to retreat to this winter. The mice and other rodents will be searching, too, and sometimes, that toasty place can be a house basement. If you think a rodent has found its way into your home, think twice before using rodenticide, since it can attract your pet just as easily as a rodent. Many rodenticides are designed to have delayed effects, so if your pet were to ingest any, you wouldn’t know about it until hours or even days later. Consider a safer, more humane way to rid your house of rodents. Sometimes just having a cat in the house is enough to do the trick!


Pets are susceptible to frostbite, just like people are, and if the temperatures are cold enough, frostbite can take place in a matter of minutes. A pet’s ears and tail are usually the two parts that are most likely to get frostbitten, so always limit your pet’s time outdoors during the winter, and consider giving them a sweater or booties when they go outside to give them some extra warmth.

If you ever suspect your pet has been frostbitten or poisoned or is in need of emergency care for any other reason, contact the Veterinary Emergency Group immediately at 914-949-8779 (White Plains) or 845-536-5645 (Nanuet).

Second Location Added in Nanuet

New Veterinary Location in Nanuet

The Veterinary Emergency Group is pleased to announce the addition of a new location in Nanuet, NY, the first and only dedicated emergency veterinary hospital in Rockland County. In addition to our White Plains location, we now have a hospital in Nanuet at 123 East Route 59 between the Pet Nutrition Store and Chase Bank. After realizing the growing need for an emergency veterinarian in the Nanuet area, our team was happy to meet it. Now, the Veterinary Emergency Group is able offer emergency services to more patients every night, weekend, and holiday.

At our Nanuet location, you can expect the same philosophy, professionalism, and compassion of our White Plains location as well as the same caliber of care. We treat pets and their owners like family because you both deserve nothing less. Some of the most common emergency cases we treat at our new Nanuet location include:

  • Trauma
  • Poisoning
  • Chronic diseases
  • Wounds

Please give us a call at 845-536-5645 if you’d like to learn more about our new location or if you have questions about our emergency and urgent services. And although we hope your pet is never in need of emergency care, if the need ever DOES arrive, he/she will be in good hands at the Veterinary Emergency Group.


Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Holiday Pet Safety Tips in White Plains, NY

The holiday season is usually a fun, joyous time of year. While we’re busy decorating, shopping, and spending time with family and friends, our pets safety may sometimes go unnoticed. The Veterinary Emergency Group in White Plains and Nanuet, NY, can help you with the following holiday pet safety tips. And although we hope your holidays DON’T include any medical emergencies, if your cat or dog is need of emergency care, we’re open and here for you nights, weekends and holidays.

Real Christmas Trees

Did you opt for the real Christmas tree this year instead of an artificial one? If so, keep in mind that the pine needles of real Christmas trees are considered mildly toxic to pets if ingested and can also puncture the intestines. Always keep the floor area around your tree cleaned by checking it a few times a day, or simply make sure your pet doesn’t have access to it.

Tinsel Decorations

If you have a cat or other curious pets that may be drawn to the stringy, sparkly nature of tinsel and other similar items, it’s best to hang these decorations high on the tree or to not use them at all. Ingesting tinsel and other stringy items can result in an intestinal blockage and can often require surgery.

Dangerous Foods

Christmas time is a popular time of year for chocolate, so if you’ll be buying candy or baking cookies or brownies, remember that chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Raisins, macadamia nuts, and foods that include the sugar substitute xylitol are also toxic. Other potentially dangerous foods are those that are high in fat, such as sausage and poultry skin. Although not toxic, ingesting a large amount of fatty foods can result in pancreatitis and/or weight gain.

Christmas Lights

Whether they’re on your tree or framing your windows, Christmas lights can be a tangle hazard to pets that paw at them and knock them down. Another potential hazard is the obvious burn or shock risk if your pet chews on the wires. If you know your pet is the curious type, keep the Christmas lights high and out of their reach or consider some pet-friendly alternatives instead, such fiber-optic lights.

Toxic Plants

We know seasonal plants can make a home more festive for the holidays, but did you know there are some that are toxic to dogs and cats? Poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe are just a few of the ones on the list. So either keep these plants away from your pet or go with the artificial versions instead.

If you have any questions about these cat and dog holiday safety tips, or if your pet is in need of emergency care, give us a call in White Plains (914) 949-8779 or in Nanuet at (845) 536-5645.


Can This Food Harm Your Pet?

Believe it or not, there are so many dangerous foods which can affect our pets’ health and well-being and the animal care team at the Veterinary Emergency Group wants to help you keep them safe. Especially during the holiday seasons, there are many popular human foods that our pets may encounter, some of which can be dangerous for them, and it’s important for all pet owners to know the difference.

Dangerous Foods for Pets in White Plains, NY

Some popular foods that can harm or kill your pet include:

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Milk and other dairy products
  • Onions
  • Poultry bones
  • Raisins
  • Xylitol found in sugar free candy
  • …and more

How to Protect Your Pet During the Holidays

During the holiday season, it’s important to talk with your house guests to make sure that no one gives your pet treats without your consent. This is the best way to ensure that your pet doesn’t eat anything without your knowledge. It is also important to keep an eye on fallen table scraps which your pet could pick up and eat without warning. We recommend keeping your pet in a separate room during holiday mealtimes and parties to avoid this concern.

Remember that if your pet does consume food that is dangerous for them, the Veterinary Emergency Team can talk you through it and help you determine if emergency care is necessary. We are open and able to provide emergency care during all the hours your family veterinarian is unavailable, and that means weekends and holidays too!

Halloween Safety Tips

Happy Halloween! As you make the final preparations for the big day, The Veterinary Emergency Group in White Plains, NY wants to make sure your pet is safe. Halloween should be a fun holiday, but for pets, it might NOT be so fun if you’re not educated about the potential dangers. Consider the following five Halloween pet safety tips so your cat or dog can enjoy this holiday, and remember, should an emergency occur with your pet, we’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help.

 Halloween Pet Tips in White Plains, NY

  1. Keep Your Pet in Sight

Since Halloween is unfortunately the time of year when many pets go missing, it’s important to always know your pet’s whereabouts, both inside and outside. During trick-or-treat hours, keep your pet in an area where they can’t go running out through the front door as it opens for your guests. Limit your pet’s time outdoors to only a few minutes at a time at night, since there might be more people than usual walking around the neighborhood at this time of year. If you have an outdoor pet, keep them inside until a few days after Halloween for their safety.


  1. Don’t Give Your Pet Candy

 Although we know those big begging eyes might be hard to resist, avoid giving your pet candy this Halloween. Chocolate contains an ingredient that’s toxic to dogs and cats, and dark/Baker’s chocolate is even more toxic. Candy and gum made with xylitol is also poisonous. These sweet foods can leave your pet with pancreatitis or something worse, possibly landing them at The Veterinary Emergency Group for emergency treatment. Keep all the sweet treats out of your pet’s reach, and consider buying some new dog or cat treats instead to keep your companion occupied.


  1. Choose a Comfortable Pet Costume

 We know there are hundreds to choose from, but when making a decision on which costume to choose for your pet, consider the following: Avoid costumes that contain pieces that can be easily chewed off, become tangled, or caught on something. Choose a costume that’s comfortable for your pet, one that isn’t too tight or too big. Also make sure no parts can obstruct your pet’s breathing or sight. Have your pet practice wearing the costume in short time increments to get them used to it, but if your furry friend still refuses to wear it without throwing a fit, don’t force them. Carefully remove the costume and hope for better luck next year.


  1. Provide Sufficient Pet Identification

Whether in the form of an ID tag/collar or microchip—or both—it’s important to make sure that your pet has sufficient identification, in case they become separated from you this Halloween. Ask your local family veterinarian if they offer microchipping to provide your pet with a permanent form of identification and increase the chances of a happy reunion.


  1. Use Caution When Decorating

 Candles, lit jack-o-lanterns and several other Halloween decorations can cause hazards for your pet if you’re not careful. Use caution when selecting which decorations to use and where in your home to place them. Some pets—especially cats—have been known to bump lit candles and jack-o-lanterns and cause a serious fire hazard.


If your pet is need of emergency care this Halloween or any other time of year, remember that we’re available 24/7 to help. To learn more about these Halloween pet safety tips or to speak with a veterinary emergency doctor at The Veterinary Emergency Group, give us a call at (914) 949-8779.



5 Fun Things to Do With Your Pet

Fall is just around the corner, and you want to enjoy what’s left of the warm weather with your pet with more than just the usual walk around the block. If this sounds like you, consider these five activity ideas for summer fun with your four-legged friend that can boost your pet’s enjoyment level a few notches and strengthen the pet/owner bond. And although we hope it doesn’t happen, should an emergency occur, remember that Veterinary Emergency Group in White Plains, NY is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Fun Things to Do With Your Pet

  1. Dog Parks: Even if your dog has been to a dog park before, no two days at a dog park are exactly the same. There are always new dogs and people to meet and different squirrels and birds to chase. And perhaps the best part for your dog is that at many dog parks, dogs can roam free to play catch or hide-and-seek. Just be sure to keep an eye on your dog at all times, especially around dogs that are much larger or smaller than yours.
  1. Road Trip: This doesn’t necessarily have to be an extended road trip across state lines. It could be just a quick drive while you run your errands, visit your friends, or pick up some food at your pet-friendly pet store. Many pets love riding in cars and being able to spend time with you, instead of waiting at home for your return. Just make sure your pet is comfortable with car rides first before bringing them along. You know your pet better than anyone, so look for the visual cues they give you, and make your decision accordingly.
  1. Backpacking/Hiking: Pet sometimes need a change of scenery, so if you’ve been taking yours to the same places over and over again, try a hike through a trail in the woods for your next excursion. Your pet will love this outdoor adventure and get some exercise at the same time! Remember to fill your backpack with plenty of food, water, bowls, and a first aid kit, and make sure your pet is updated with their preventatives and vaccinations. Carry a first-aid kit for you and your pet as well, and know how to administer basic first aid if your pet becomes injured, and remember, you can call us at any time for emergencies at (914) 949-8779.
  1. Camping: If your dog enjoys the hiking and backpacking, why not turn it into a full camping trip?! During your planning, research the camp area to ensure that it’s pet friendly and to determine the best trails to hike on. Remember to bring an extra sleeping bag and/or blanket as well for your pet to sleep on. For their safety, it’s best to have them sleep in the tent with you, and make sure to keep an eye on them near the grill or fire pit.
  1. Kayaking:Kayaking might be an activity you’ve ever thought of doing with your dog before, but it can actually be very enjoyable for both of you, not to mention a great work out for YOU. If your dog enjoys the water, plan a kayaking trip with them! Just be sure to have a life vest for your dog, in case he jumps or falls out of the kayak.

We want you and your pet to have fun and bond this summer, so we hope these tips will help you do just that. And remember if an emergency should occur while you’re out enjoying these activities, please give us a call at any time at (914) 949-8779. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you and your pet.



Top 3 Pet Travel Items

Traveling With Pets in White Plains, NY

So you’re planning a week-long trip with your pet to sunny Florida this summer, or perhaps you’ll be driving a few hours away for a weekend camping trip. Wherever you’re going and however you’ll get there, Veterinary Emergency Group in White Plains, NY wants your dog or cat to be prepared for the trip.

In addition to food and water, there are many items that should accompany your pet when you travel, for their safety. Far too often, there are pet accidents and injuries that occur that could have been avoided with adequate preparation. We want to prevent these incidents from happening toyour beloved companion, so we have selected what we consider the top three items you need to travel with your pet.

  1. Emergency Supplies/First Aid Kit

Pets are curious by nature and can find themselves in potentially dangerous situations when they’re in a new environment. Hiking in the woods, playing in a dog park—you name it. As a rule of thumb, always bring a pet first aid kit when you travel with your pet. In addition to basic first aid supplies (gauze, scissors, hydrogen peroxide, etc.), your kit should include our phone number (914-949-8779) for local trips and the number of the nearest emergency pet hospital to your destination for long distance trips. Remember, Veterinary Emergency Group is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, should an emergency occur.

  1. Car Safety Harness/Carrier

A car safety pet harness is especially important for long road trips or trips on bumpy roads. Most pet safety harnesses are designed with a seat belt loop so they can be secured by a locked seat belt. A safety harness can keep your pet safe and seated while preventing any distractions caused by their roaming around the car. There are many sizes and styles available to accommodate most pet breeds. For air travel, all airlines that allow pets require pet carriers. Just be sure to check with your airline first for their pet policy, including the carrier dimension requirements.

  1. Pet Supplies

This may seem like an obvious item, but you’d be surprised at how many pet owners forget to bring their pet’s leash or collar during trips. Keep in mind that many places, such as parks and beaches, require that pets be on a leash at all times. Plus, many pets can be act unpredictably in a new environment and will likely want to explore, so keeping them on a leash will help keep them from chasing squirrels and rabbits, following the scent of another pet, etc. Make sure that your pet has identification as well, whether it’s in the form of an ID tag, a microchip, or both. Having a recent photo handy is also a great idea.