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          Caring for Your Foster Animal

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Cats and Kittens (over eight weeks)

   *Introduction

  *Supplies needed

  *Behavioral issues

  *Health issues

INTRODUCTION

For many people, cats and kittens are the easiest kinds of animals to foster. They don’t require a lot of time and yet they give plenty of love in return. Many foster homes find that they are even comfortable fostering more than one cat at a time. Whether you are interested in fostering one cat or many cats over time, the information in this chapter will help you to familiarize yourself with some of the common needs, behavioral issues and health concerns that are associated with fostering cats and kittens.

 

SUPPLIES NEEDED

The following is a checklist of items that you will need to foster a cat or kitten. Our rescue does provide the necessary supplies, food, and medical care for your foster cat or kitten. Please take care of and keep track of the supplies given to you as we do reuse them for the next foster animal. Thank you!

 

Checklist

  • A large crate to keep foster kitty separate from personal pets for at least two weeks following rescue.

  • Litter box

  • Food and water bowls

  • Scratching post and/or toys to help keep your foster kitty busy (and away from your furniture and carpet!)

  • Litter

  • High-quality cat or kitten food (it’s a good idea to have both dry and canned food on hand in case you have a picky eater)

  • Cat bed, blankets, or towels to provide your foster kitty with a comfortable place to sleep

BEHAVIORAL ISSUES

It is common for a cat to experience some behavioral problems and need a period of adjustment when placed into a new environment. The following is a list of common behavioral problems as well as suggestions for behavior modification.

Problem #1: Aggression toward other cats

Solution: Prevent aggression before it occurs by introducing cats gradually. You will keep them separate for two weeks if the foster cat or kitten is not up to date on shots, is sick, etc. Take that time to get the cats used to each other. If quarantine is not necessary, we still recommend the foster cat stay in a separate room for a while. There are steps to getting the cats used to each other. For instance, try placing the two cats on opposite sides of a door. Let them get used to each other’s smells and sounds before opening the door. You may even want to try pushing small treats under the door from one cat to the other. The cats will think that the treats are coming from the cat on the other side of the door. If you can do that without the cats hissing and growling, you can then open the door a crack and do the treats, and then build upon that. This may take a couple days to a couple of weeks depending on the cats. Patience is the key! When your foster cat is no longer in quarantine, we recommend letting it out to explore, while your cat is safely kept in another room. When you do introduce the cats, try to make sure that they are away from any area in your home where one cat may feel territorial (i.e., a favorite sleeping or eating place or a favorite toy). Taking these extra steps in the beginning will help ensure a smooth transition into your home.

ADDITIONAL HELP:

  1. Aggression in cats

  2. How to introduce cats to each other

  3. How to introduce a cat and dog

Problem #2: Scratching furniture or carpet

Solution: Provide something appropriate for the cat to scratch. All cats scratch. The scratching motion allows the outer, frayed layers of the cat’s nails to be removed. While it is very difficult to try and teach a cat not to scratch at all, it is quite easy to redirect the cat’s scratching to a designated scratching post. Cats like to do most of their scratching activity right when they wake up. Keep this in mind and make sure that the scratching post you provide is near where the cat naps. If the cat insists on scratching in an inappropriate place, try using a squirt bottle to deter the cat from that location. For behavior modification to be successful, do not scold the cat; just provide a quick squirt with the squirt bottle. You want the cat to associate the squirt with scratching in the inappropriate place, not with you. You can also try placing double-sided tape on the area where the cat likes to scratch. Cats don’t like sticky surfaces and will usually leave the area alone. We are against declawing as it is very hard surgery to recover from and carries risks. Instead we recommend you get your cat used to having its NAILS CLIPPED. Go slowly (try doing just one paw if your cat is unhappy) and give lots of treats while you try to clip the cats nails. Eventually it will become routine for the cat and you will be able to clip without resistance.

 

Problem #3: Not using the litter box

Solution: There are several common reasons why cats don’t use their litter boxes. When introduced to a new environment, a cat may simply not know or remember where the litter box is located. Make sure to confine a new foster cat to a small area (like a laundry room or bathroom) for several days before allowing the cat to have more space. This will help ensure that the cat knows where to find the litter box when he needs it. It is also very important to keep the litter box as clean as possible. In general, cats are extremely clean animals and most cats will do their business elsewhere if their litter box becomes too soiled or if the litter box is too close to their food and/or water. If more than one cat is using the same litter box, it may be necessary to provide extra litter boxes so each cat can have his/her own. If none of these suggestions help, the source of the problem may be a medical condition. Urinary tract infections are fairly common in cats and almost always result in litter box problems. If you suspect a urinary tract infection, contact our rescue to set up a veterinary appointment.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE:

ASPCA Virtual Cat Behaviorist - Litter Box Problems

Problem #4: Chewing on plants or other inappropriate items

Solution: There are a number of taste deterrents available on the market. Some companies even make formulas specifically for plants, furniture, and other items. Taste deterrents aren’t that expensive and are usually pretty effective. You can also try using a squirt bottle to discourage cats from chewing on inappropriate items. Be aware that many plants are toxic to cats when ingested. It is very important that you find an effective deterrent or move the plant(s) to an area that is not accessible to the cat(s).

NOTE: Cats do not respond well to punishment. When dealing with behavioral problems, focus on behavior modification, not punishment. Physically punishing a cat won’t do anything but damage the bond between human and cat.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Basic kitten care and socialization

Unsocial/Feral kitten handling

HEALTH ISSUES

Because many foster cats are strays, or rescued from shelter environments, it is very difficult for us to ensure that they will always be healthy. A cat that appears healthy at the time of rescue could easily begin to show signs of illness several days later. For this reason, it is very important that foster homes keep their own cats up to date on vaccinations. Because cats are relatively easy to keep separate, we encourage foster homes to isolate foster cats in a large crate (we provide) for a period of at least two weeks following rescue. Most illnesses should be apparent within those two weeks. We also suggest that foster homes provide foster cats with separate food bowls, water bowls, and litter boxes for those two weeks. Also, ALWAYS wash your hands thoroughly after handling your foster cat/kitten. Oftentimes if we know a cat or kitten is sick, we will quarantine them at the veterinarian's office.

 

Common Illnesses in Cats

The following information is intended to help you better understand and recognize some of the more common illnesses in cats. These illnesses are not life threatening if treated early or if the animal has been vaccinated. We do recommend that when bringing in a new kitten/cat with an unknown medical history, that you quarantine the new animal for 2 weeks.

 

  • Panleukopenia (Feline Distemper)

Panleukopenia (sometimes called feline distemper) is a viral infection that most commonly affects kittens and young cats. Left untreated, panleukopenia is almost always fatal. Even with intensive treatment, the majority of cats showing signs of panleukopenia will die. Unfortunately, this illness can be frustrating to deal with because the virus can survive in the environment for up to a year. This means that other unvaccinated cats can become infected with panleukopenia simply by coming into contact with places where an infected cat has been. A bleach solution is the best way to disinfect areas that may have been contaminated. The vaccine for panleukopenia is considered very effective. Our rescue screens every cat 8 weeks and up (the test can be less effective when the cat is younger than this) for this disease so that we do not place a cat with this disease into a foster home. If the kitten(s) are younger we recommed quarantining until they reach 8 weeks.

  • Signs & Symptoms: Fever, diarrhea, lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite

  • Treatment: Veterinary care, including fluid therapy and antibiotics

  • Transmission: Very contagious to other cats, especially through contact with infected feces or vomit, can be transmitted through contaminated objects

 

  • Upper Respiratory Infection (URI)

The term “upper respiratory infection” is used to refer to any illness that affects a cat’s upper respiratory system. URIs are very common in strays and shelter cats. Some of the more serious URIs (for which there are vaccines) are listed separately in this section. Following below is information that applies to all upper respiratory infections.

  • Signs & Symptoms: Sneezing, runny nose and eyes, fever

  • Treatment: Veterinary care, including antibiotics

  • Transmission: Very contagious to other cats, transmitted through infected nasal secretions, can be spread through contaminated objects

  • Additional Resource:

  • Rhinotracheitis

Rhinotracheitis is a type of upper respiratory infection. Rhino often infects cats that also have calicivirus. The vaccine for rhinotracheitis is considered very effective.

 

  • Signs & Symptoms: Sneezing, coughing, fever, runny nose and eyes

  • Treatment: Veterinary care, including antibiotics

  • Transmission: Very contagious to other cats

 

  • Calicivirus

Calicivirus is a virus that attacks the lungs and lower respiratory tract, usually causing pneumonia. Ulcers are often seen on the tongue and lips. The vaccine for calicivirus is considered very effective.

 

  • Signs & Symptoms: Loss of appetite, sneezing, runny nose and eyes, oral ulcers

  • Treatment: Veterinary care, including antibiotics

  • Transmission: Very contagious to other cats

 

  • Chlamydia

Also called pneumonitis, chlamydia attacks the respiratory tract and produces conjunctivitis. Chlamydia is a bacterium. The vaccine for chlamydia is considered very effective.

 

  • Signs & Symptoms: Loss of appetite, fever, nasal discharge, red eyes

  • Treatment: Veterinary care, including antibiotics

  • Transmission: Very contagious to other cats

 

  • Ear mites

Ear mites are tiny parasites that live in the ear canal.

  • Signs & Symptoms: Itching, scratching, head-shaking, dark brown discharge in the ears

  • Treatment: Veterinary care, including an injection or ear meds

  • Transmission: Contagious to other cats and dogs, but usually requires direct contact with the infected animal

 

  • Ringworm

Ringworm is a fungus related to athlete’s foot, not actually a worm.

  • Signs & Symptoms: Irregularly shaped areas of fur loss; the skin in these areas will usually appear rough and scaly

  • Treatment: Veterinary care, including an injection and/or topical treatment

  • Transmission: Very contagious to other cats, dogs, and people, but usually requires direct contact with the infected animal

 ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: 

 

  • Fleas

Fleas are tiny insects that feed on the blood of cats, dogs, humans, and other animals. Although each flea only consumes a small drop of blood, fleas usually attack in large numbers.

 

  • Signs & Symptoms: Intense itching and scratching

  • Treatment: Veterinary care, topical treatment

  • Transmission: Very contagious to other cats and dogs

 

  • Round, Tape, and Hook Worms

Worms affect a cat’s digestive system. They are most commonly seen in kittens and young cats.

  • Signs & Symptoms: Large belly, diarrhea, an inability to gain weight

  • Treatment: Veterinary care, including de-worming medication

  • Transmission: Contagious to other cats and dogs, but only through contact with (and subsequent ingestion of) feces.

 

  • Coccidia

Coccidiosis is a parasitic type of infection, caused by the Coccidia parasite. It most commonly causes watery, mucus based diarrhea in animals. If it is not treated, over time it can cause damage to the lining of a cat's intestinal tract.

 

  • Signs & Symptoms: watery, mucous like diarrhea sometimes bloody, not gaining weight

  • Treatment: Veterinary care, usually treated with Albon

  • Transmission: Contagious to other cats, but only through contact with feces

  • Giardia

Giardiasis is a medical condition that refers to an intestinal infection caused by the protozoan parasite giardia, and this parasite can also infect animals, including cats. Giardia is the most common intestinal parasite found in humans.

  • Signs and Symptoms: Symptoms are more apparent in younger animals than in older animals and can be either sudden, temporary, intermittent, or chronic in nature. In some cases, cats will exhibit diarrhea that is soft, frothy, greasy, and with a strong, awful odor or excessive mucus

  • Treatment: Veterinary care-Prescription drugs, along with thoroughly bathing your cat, should be sufficient for removing the parasite from your cat's body and reducing the likelihood of repeat infection.

  • Transmission: One of the methods by which this parasite spreads is through the ingestion of infected fecal material, as the cysts are shed out of the intestines through the feces. But, the most common cause of transmission is actually waterborne, as the giardia parasite prefers cool and moist environments.

Fading Kitten Protocol:

Fading Kitten Syndrome is a life threatening emergency in which a kitten, sometimes one that was previously healthy, “crashes” and begins to fade away. Symptoms include:

- Low body temperature – the kitten feels cool or cold to the touch

- Extreme lethargy - not getting up, unable to stand, not responding to touching/petting

- Gasping for breath

- Meowing/crying out

Fading Kitten Protocol

 

Cleaning Procedures

It is important that all items and areas used by a sick foster animal be cleaned thoroughly. You can use a 10% bleach solution to reliably kill most viruses and bacteria. Items to be cleaned should be thoroughly wetted with the bleach solution and allowed to stand for at least 15 minutes before rinsing. Because clothing can become contaminated, keep a shirt that you only use while handling foster animals in quarentine. Foster homes that have recently fostered a cat or kitten with panleukopenia (feline distemper) or another extremely contagious disease may be asked to wait several months or more before fostering another unvaccinated cat or kitten.

 

 

Routine Veterinary Care

Our rescue will provide foster cats with routine veterinary care prior to placement in our foster homes. The following schedule outlines the various types of routine care provided. If we know a cat/kitten is sick, we will sometimes quarantine them at the veterinarian.

 

  • Procedure Schedule

         1.FIV/FeLV test: A blood test for kittens 8 weeks and older to determine if the cat is positive for either disease

 

         2.“Distemper combo” vaccine (panleukopenia,rhinotracheitis, and calicivirus)

               Initial dose given shortly after rescue to cats 8 weeks of age or older

               Booster given 3-4 weeks later

               Additional boosters given every 3-4 weeks until the kitten is at least 16 weeks of age

        

         3. Rabies vaccine at 12 weeks

 

         4. De-worm (Panacur)
               Initial dose- given for 5 days shortly after rescue
               Second dosage two weeks later

 

          5. Spay/neuter
               Done shortly after rescue to kittens 4-6 months or older

 

          6. Frontline or Revolution: to protect from fleas and ticks for kittens 8 weeks and up

          7. Many times a stool sample will be taken if kitten/cat presents with certain symptoms.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

.

 

 Dogs and Puppies over 8 weeks

  • Introduction

  • Supplies needed

  • Behavioral issues

  • Health issues

INTRODUCTION

Fostering a dog or puppy can be an extremely rewarding experience. While perhaps slightly more involved than fostering a cat, fostering a dog can be very satisfying and a lot of fun. By providing a little training and a lot of love, foster homes can drastically affect the “adoptability” of the dogs they foster. The information in this chapter will help you familiarize yourself with some of the needs, behavioral issues, and health concerns that are associated with fostering dogs and puppies.

 

SUPPLIES NEEDED

The following is a checklist of items that you will need to foster a dog or puppy.

Our rescue will provide the necessary supplies, food, and medical care for your foster animal. Please take care of and keep track of the supplies given to you as we do reuse them for the next foster animal. Thank you!

Checklist

•Food and water bowls

•Leash/collar/tags

•High-quality dog or puppy food (it’s a good idea to have both dry and canned food on hand in case you have a picky eater)

•Chew toys

•Crate or kennel (for keeping dogs safe and out of trouble while you’re away and to help with house-training)

•Dog bed, blankets, or towels to provide your foster dog with a comfortable place to sleep

 

 

BEHAVIORAL ISSUES

It is common for a dog to experience some behavioral problems and need a period of adjustment when placed into a new environment. Foster homes are in a unique position to help increase the “adoptability” of their foster dogs by providing some basic training. The following is a list of common behavioral problems as well as suggestions for behavior modification.

 

Problem #1 Lack of House-Training

Chances are your foster dog will need at least a refresher course in house-training. Many rescued dogs have spent most of their lives outside and never learned the rules of living indoors. Other dogs may have once been house-trained, but may still have an accident or two when transitioning into a new home.

The most important element of effective house-training is extensive supervision, to minimize accidents. There will, of course, be times when you are unable to watch the dog constantly. During these times, you can confine the dog to a crate. The crate should be just large enough for the dog to be able to comfortably stand up, turn around, and lie down. Because a dog will try not to soil the area where he sleeps, he will usually not urinate or defecate in a crate. Our rescue tries to have all of our dogs crate trained.

When the dog is allowed out of the crate, he should be taken outside- always to the same place immediately. If the dog eliminates outside, give him lots of praise and a treat RIGHT WHEN HE ELIMINATES. Do not wait to give your dog a treat inside as he will associate the treat with coming inside, not the act of elimination. If the dog does not eliminate, it is important that you put the dog back in the crate for 15 minutes and then try going outside again or supervise the dog closely once you re-enter your home. If you catch the dog having an accident in the house, take the dog straight outside and give him a chance to finish eliminating outside. If the dog does eliminate, give him lots of praise and a treat. It can also be helpful to tether the dog to you with a leash in the house to keep an eye on him

When house-training a dog, please use common sense. Give the dog a chance to eliminate outside following meals and naps. Pay attention to the dog’s behavioral signals. If you observe the dog circling, sniffing the floor, general restlessness, or moving toward the door, take the dog outside.

House-training Don’ts:

Dogs should never be punished for having an accident.

  1. Do not rub the dog’s nose in it! This method of training has been proven ineffective by trainers and behaviorists. The only message a dog gets from this type of “training” is that you are angry. The dog will likely not learn to eliminate outside and may instead learn to fear you. Studies have shown that if you can catch a dog just as he is beginning to initiate an unwanted act, then that immediate punishment may prevent the dog from performing that behavior in the future. However, if you punish a dog after he has already performed the unwanted behavior, or even while he is already committed much of his misbehavior and is in the middle of the act, it simply won't work. Instead the dog learns to be afraid of the entire situation, but will still do the unwanted behavior.

  2. Do not correct the dog after the fact! Again, this method of training has been proven ineffective. Punishing a dog for something she did much earlier will not yield the results you are looking for. Yes, the dog will behave submissively and perhaps look guilty, but this is because the dog knows you are angry, not because she knows that, earlier, she did something wrong. Studies have shown that if you can catch a dog just as he is beginning to initiate an unwanted act, then that immediate punishment (never physical) may prevent the dog from performing that behavior in the future. However, if you punish a dog after he has already performed the unwanted behavior, or even while he is already committed much of his misbehavior and is in the middle of the act, it simply won't work. Instead the dog learns to be afraid of the entire situation, but will still do the unwanted behavior.

House-training is not a process that happens overnight. Be patient. Any progress you can make with your foster dog on house-training will make your life easier and help improve the dog’s chances for successful placement.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/housetraining_puppies.html

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/crate_training.html

 

Problem # 2 Chewing

Destructive chewing is a phase that all puppies go through. It usually starts around three months and can last until the dog is one year old. During this time, the dog’s adult teeth are coming in and chewing helps relieve the pain. Adult dogs may also have problems with chewing, but for different reasons. Adult dogs usually chew on inappropriate things because they are anxious or bored, or because they have never been taught what is appropriate to chew on.

The best solution for destructive chewing is providing your foster dog with something that is acceptable to chew on. Have plenty of chew toys available at all times. If you catch the dog chewing on something inappropriate, tell the dog “NO” in a firm (but not angry) voice, and replace the item with something more appropriate.

If the destructive chewing occurs when you are away, consider confining the dog to a crate. A crate will help keep both the dog and your home safe. It is also important to make sure that your foster dog is getting plenty of exercise. A tired dog will sleep, not chew!

 

Problem # 3 Separation Anxiety

It is pretty common for foster dogs to experience some separation anxiety when left alone. The severity of the anxiety can range from pacing and whining to much more destructive behavior. A dog may experience separation anxiety simply because he has a very dependent personality, or because she is reacting to a history of abuse or abandonment. Whatever the reason, separation anxiety can be difficult to deal with because you are not around when it happens.

The most common sign that a dog may be suffering from separation anxiety is destructive behavior when left alone. A dog may scratch frantically at the door or make other attempts to get out of the house, or the dog may chew on things or engage in other destructive behaviors.

If you do have the time to work with your foster dog, there are several things you can try to help alleviate separation anxiety. Start out by leaving the dog in your home for very short intervals. Tell the dog to wait and then walk outside for a few minutes before returning. When you return to the house, praise the dog for waiting. Begin to gradually leave the dog for longer and longer periods of time. It is important that, when you leave, you remain calm and not make a big deal out of leaving. It is also important that you not be too excited when you return. You want to praise the dog, but calmly. You don’t want your return to be such an exciting event that the dog anxiously anticipates the moment of your return. Perhaps the most effective treatment for separation anxiety is time. Be patient. As your foster dog spends more time with you, he will begin to feel more secure in knowing that when you leave, you always come back.

 

Some destructive behavior that appears to be related to separation anxiety may, in fact, be the product of boredom. Try providing chew toys or other play items that will entertain your foster dog while you are away. There are several products on the market that work quite well. One of the more popular toys keeps dogs engaged by making them work for food or treats. Once the toy is filled with some kind of small food item, the dog must work by rolling and tipping the toy until a treat falls out. Most of these products allow you to adjust the level of difficulty, and can keep a dog entertained for significant periods of time.

 

Don’t forget to make sure that your foster dog gets plenty of exercise. A tired dog is much less likely to engage in behaviors associated with anxiety or boredom.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Safety and Behavior: 
Behavior Issues: Aggression 
Dog Bite Prevention
Dogs and Kids
Dog and Child Safety

Training:

Training with Positive Reinforcement
Training: Nothing in Life is Free

 

Enrichment and Exercise:

Dog Enrichment
Excercise

 

How to Introduce Dogs to Each Other:  
Chill Out & Decompression
Introducing Dogs to Each Other


How to Introduce a Dog to a Cat:  
Option 1. Slow and steady desensitization

Basic Puppy Care and Socialization 
Puppy Care
Puppy Socialization

Nursing Dog and Puppy Care:  
Nursing Puppies

Health Issue

With foster dogs that are strays, or rescued from shelter environments, it is very difficult for us to ensure that they will always be healthy. A dog that appears healthy at the time of rescue could easily begin to show signs of illness several days later. For this reason, it is very important that foster homes keep their own dogs up to date on vaccinations. Most illnesses should be apparent within those two weeks. You will need a seperate room where you can put the dog's crate. Also, ALWAYS wash your hands thoroughly after handling your foster dog/puppy. 

 

Common Illnesses in Dogs

The following information is intended to help you better understand and recognize some of the more common illnesses in dogs.

  • Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a viral disease that is often fatal. Distemper is most commonly seen in puppies 3-6 months old. Early signs resemble a severe cold. The vaccine for canine distemper is considered very effective.

 

  • Signs & Symptoms: Eye congestion and discharge, loss of appetite, vomiting, weight loss, nasal discharge, and diarrhea

  • Treatment: Veterinary care including fluid therapy and antibiotics

  • Transmission: Very contagious

  • Parvovirus

Parvo is a disease that is most common in puppies and young dogs. It causes the sloughing of the lining of the intestinal tract. Parvovirus can survive in the environment for six months or longer. This means that other unvaccinated dogs can become infected with parvo simply by coming into contact with places where an infected dog has been. A bleach solution is the best way to disinfect areas that may have been contaminated. The vaccine for parvovirus is considered very effective.

 

  • Signs & Symptoms: Lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea (usually bloody)

    Treatment: Veterinary care, including fluid therapy and antibiotics
    Tra
nsmission: Very contagious to other dogs, especially through contact with infected feces or vomit

  • “Kennel Cough”

Kennel cough is a respiratory tract infection that has been linked to several different viral and bacterial causes. Coughing is usually stimulated by physical exertion or by touching the throat area. Kennel cough is self-limiting, usually lasting 1-3 weeks. Antibiotics are often given to prevent secondary infections. Kennel cough is very common in shelters and other boarding facilities. There is a vaccine for bordetella, one of the main agents responsible for causing kennel cough.

 

  • Signs & Symptoms: Cough, runny nose and eyes

  • Treatment: Veterinary care, including antibiotics and cough suppressants

  • Transmission: Very contagious to other dogs, spread by nasal secretions and contaminated objects

  • Ear Mites

Ear mites are tiny parasites that live in the ear canal.

  •  

  • Signs & Symptoms: Itching, scratching, head shaking, dark brown discharge in the ears

  • Treatment: Veterinary care, including an injection, topical medication, or ear drops

  • Transmission: Contagious to other dogs and cats, but usually requires direct contact with the infected animal

 

  • Ringworm

Ringworm is a fungus related to athlete’s foot; it’s not actually a worm.

 

  • Signs & Symptoms: Irregularly shaped areas of fur loss; the skin of the areas will usually appear rough and scaly

  • Treatment: Veterinary care, including an injection and/or topical treatment

  • Transmission: Very contagious to other dogs, cats and people, but usually requires direct contact with the infected animal

  • Fleas

Fleas are tiny insects that feed on the blood of dogs, cats, humans and other animals. Although each flea only consumes a small drop of blood, fleas usually attack in large numbers.

 

  • Signs & Symptoms: Intense itching and scratching

  • Treatment: Veterinary care, including an injection and/or topical treatment

  • Transmission: Very contagious to other dogs and cats

  • Round, Tape, and Hook Worms

Worms affect a dog’s digestive system. They are most commonly seen in puppies and young dogs.

  • Signs & Symptoms: Large belly, diarrhea, and an inability to gain weight

  • Treatment: Veterinary care, including de-worming medication

  • Transmission: Contagious to other dogs and cats, but only through contact with (and subsequent ingestion of) feces

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Heartworm Disease  
Ringworm
Demodectic (Demodex) Mange 
Sarcoptic Mange

 

Cleaning Procedures

It is important that all items and areas used by a sick foster animal be cleaned thoroughly. You can use a 10% bleach solution to reliably kill most viruses and bacteria. Bleach is not effective if the item is soiled. You MUST thoroughly clean the items before you soak them in bleach. Items to be cleaned should be thoroughly wetted with the bleach solution and allowed to stand for at least 15 minutes before rinsing. Foster homes that have recently fostered a dog or puppy with parvo or another extremely contagious disease may be asked to wait several months before fostering another unvaccinated dog or puppy.

Routine Veterinary Care

Our rescue will provide foster dogs with routine veterinary care prior to placement in our foster homes. The following schedule outlines the various types of routine care provided.

Procedure Schedule

  • Distemper combo” vaccine (distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, and caronavirus)

          Initial dose given shortly after rescue to dogs that are at least 6 weeks of age
          Booster given 3-4 weeks later
          Additional boosters given as needed every 3-4 weeks until at least 16 weeks of age

  • Rabies vaccine

          One dose given shortly after rescue to dogs that are at least 12 weeks of age

  • De-worm

          Initial dose given for 5 days shortly after rescue. Second dose given if needed two weeks later. Panacur

  • Spay/neuter

          Done shortly after rescue (puppies must be at least 4-6 months old)

  • Frontline or Revolution: for fleas and ticks

To help ensure the health and safety of your foster dog, we ask that you adhere to the guidelines set forth, including the following:

1. Always keep an ID tag attached to a properly fitted collar that will remain on your foster dog at all times.

2. Keep your foster dog under your control at all times, going outside only on a leash or into a securely fenced area.

3. Let us know as soon as possible if you are no longer able to care for your foster dog or need to leave temporarily (vacation, etc…). Do not give your foster dog to another person or agency without first receiving permission from BCPRL.

4. If your foster pet is up to date on shots, the quarantine time is over, and your dog feels comfortable around strangers, you are welcome to take them out in public. Please keep them on a leash at all times and watch for signs that the dog is uncomfortable (yawning, licking lips, whale eyes, etc..)