Okaw Veterinary Clinic LLC

140 West Sale Street
Tuscola, IL 61953



Dog Flu - Not for You!


Storm Safety for Cats and Dogs - Videos
Grass Patch Hunting Box
Canine Influenza Outbreak
Dog Bites Bite
Fear of Thunderstorms



Storm Safety for Cats



Pet Storm Safety





Grass Patch Hunting Box by Petstages

Product testers: Ranger and Binx

Product evaluator: Rachael 

The Hunting box comes with 3 balls with bells inside. The cats really enjoyed trying to get the balls through the openings at the top of the box. Binx also tried to get the balls through the openings on the sides. The grass on top can be used for scratching. This toy can be used without humans. So your cat can play while you are at work or sleeping.

Who we recommend the Grass Patch Hunting Box for:  - any cat who needs some toys to use up extra energy   - someone who doesn't have dogs because the balls can come out and some dogs may eat the balls.



Canine Influenza Outbreak

You may have heard about the Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) that has been going around recently. Over 1,000 dogs in the Midwest have come down with CIV. One dog from Urbana was in a boarding kennel in a Chicago and has been infected by CIV. The dog is being treated and is under a voluntary quarantine at home.

We have recently learned that the virus making dogs sick, is not the usual virus strain we see. This new strain has been in Asia and causes both dogs and cats too become ill.

The virus is spread easily by dogs sneezing or coughing on other dogs or cats, coming into contact with contaminated surfaces (toys, food and water bowls, dog parks, kennels), and contact with people who are around sick dogs. The virus can live up to 48 hours on contaminated surfaces, 24 hours on clothing and 12 hours on your skin.

Once a dog or cat comes into contact with the virus, they will start showing symptoms within two to four days. During these first few days the dog or cat is most contagious to other animals. Symptoms of CIV include coughing, runny eyes or nose, sneezing, lethargy, fever and not eating. Call us if your pet has any of these symptoms. If CIV is caught early and treated, most dogs and cats will survive. 

Protect your pet from CIV by not visiting dog parks, boarding kennels, pet stores and other places visited by other dogs. If you are around other dogs, change clothes as soon as you get home and thoroughly wash your hands, arms, etc. A vaccine for the CIV strain we usually see is available. We have the vaccine in our clinic if you would like to have your dog vaccinated. We don't know if the vaccine will be affective against the new strain. The vaccine may provide some protection.

Read more about Canine Influenza Virus:

Canine Influenza FAQ
Canine Influenza: Pet Owner's Guide



Dog Bites Bite

Dog bites happen more often than you would think. Children and senior citizens are more likely to be bitten by dogs. Over 4 million people are bitten by dogs every year, and one in five of those bites require medical attention. Insurance companies have paid over $483 million dollars for treating dog bite injuries. You can help your friends, family and community be safe around dogs. 

What can you do to avoid being bitten?

  • Before petting a dog, ask the owner if the dog is friendly. If the dog is friendly pet the dog under the chin or on the back. Avoid petting the top of the head or ears, some dogs find this scary.
  • If you see a dog that is running loose, don't try to catch it, call your local Animal Control. Douglas County Animal Control's phone number is 253-4921.
  • If your dogs are fighting, throw a big blanket over one dog and pick up that dog or guide it to another room. Owners are often bit by their own dog when breaking up fights.
  • If a dog jumps up and bites at you, stand still and look away from the dogs head. Slowly walk backwards away from the dog. Staring at the dog or moving fast will often cause the dog to bite more.
  • Do not run from a dog that is biting and jumping up at you. The dog will often chase you and attack again.
  • Learn what your dog is saying with his or her body language.
  • Teach children how to interact with dogs and what not to do.


What do you do if you get bitten?

  • Wash the bite with soap and water
  • Identify the dog and owner, if possible. Is the dog vaccinated for Rabies? Have the owner show you the dog's certificate, or contact the dog's veterinarian or Animal Control.
  • Go to the doctor.


What do you do if your dog is bitten?

  • Get you and your dog to a safe place.
  • Identify the dog and owner, if possible. Is the dog vaccinated for Rabies? Have the owner show you the dog's certificate, or contact the dog's veterinarian or Animal Control. 
  • Call your veterinarian and take the dog in to clean the wounds. The vet may booster your pet's Rabies vaccine.
  • Watch your pet for any changes for the next 2 months. If your pet has never been vaccinated, keep him or her in a kennel and watch your pet for 6 months.


What do you do if your dog bites someone?

  • Get your dog into a room in your house, so no one else is bitten.
  • Check on the person who is bitten. Have them wash their bite would.
  • Give the person your name, address and phone number. Get your dog's rabies certificate information to show your dog is vaccinated. If you don't have this, give them your veterinarian's name and info along with your pet's name.
  • Your pet may be quarantined for 10 days. This may be done at home, if your dog is vaccinated. If your dog is not up to date on his or her Rabies vaccine, quarantine will be at a veterinary office or Animal Control.

For more information about Dog Bites:

Why Do Dogs Bite?
Recognizing Risky Situations
Dog Bite Emergencies
Dog Bite Prevention

Numbers and some information in this article are courtesy of the AVMA.



Fear of Thunderstorms 

Many dogs in the Midwest are afraid of thunderstorms. Maybe a dog was left alone during a bad storm and did not know where to go or what to do. It may be genetic, or it may be something that has been increasing over the years. Whatever the cause, thunderstorm phobia is very common and can range from mild to severe. There is help for your dog. Help is in the form of a plan to teach them to be calm with the help of antianxiety medication as determined by your veterinarian.

Thunderstorms have a lot of signals going on hours before the storm starts. Sensing the change in air pressure, wind speed, smell, humidity, and temperature changes stimulates fear in the dog. They associate these changes with the impeding storm. It is really difficult to mimic these events to train the dog to be calm during them. A dog may learn to be less anxious to the sound of thunder by using a recording, but all the other things cause as much fear as the noise. So the dog may be a little less fearful, but not much by training alone.

When your pet is young do train them to be rewarded for calm, non anxious behavior during a storm. Have a tornado drill on non storm days running into the bathroom, calling your pet in quickly and give them a yummy treat. Teach them to go down the basement stairs on command and reward them. Give them a bed, crate or in the bath tub to lie on and reward them for going there fast and lying calmly. Heavy beat rock music or Egyptian/Indian music is very helpful also. Print out Butterscotch's play list from our website for suggested songs that have helped many dogs. DAP collars are also helpful to reduce fear. Check out the Thunderstorm checklist to be prepared for storms.

For the dogs that are pacing, panting, drooling, circling, howling, pawing at their owners, climbing on to furniture, hiding under the bed, in the closet, digging out of doors or windows there is help for them. There are different levels of fear, and each level causes some physical pain. The dog may not be completely fearless in storms, but they can be more calm, which is much better for them.

Proper anti anxiety medication (not just tranquilizers) on storm days or through the season are very effective. These medications are not sedatives, although sedatives may be part of combination treatment in severe cases. Your dog will not be constantly drugged out. A check up and blood check are needed before starting treatment. Many dogs that have been on medications through a storm season needed significantly less meds or even none at all the next season.

A plan to help your pet have a better storm season is possible with the help of a veterinarian and staff offering behavioral help. Okaw Veterinary Clinic offers exams and consults to prepare a thunderstorm plan for your dog. Helping your dog will also help you. Contact Okaw Vet Clinic at 217-253-3221, look at the services we offer or read Dr. Foote's blog for more help.  


Okaw Veterinary Clinic
140 W. Sale
Tuscola, IL 61953
(217) 253-3221


Mon & Fri 8 am - 6 pm
Tues & Wed 8 am - 5 pm
Sat 8 am - noon
Closed Thurs & Sun

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