Are There Added Disease Risks from Pets Rescued from Hurricane Harvey?

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Are There Added Disease Risks from Pets Rescued from Hurricane Harvey?

Rosalie was relinquished by her family after the hurricane. She has tested positive for heartworm, hookworm and has a mammary tumor. She was rescued by Fetching Tails Foundation.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, many local rescue organizations have taken dogs and cats abandoned prior to the storm or relinquished afterward to help ease the burden on the Texas animal welfare community. There has been discussion in various online forums about diseases that had been prevalent in southeast Texas prior to the storm. We reached out to the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) for verification so that we all will have a better handle on what some of the rescue organizations could be facing.

After Hurricane Harvey, rescuers stepped up to rescue animals from the flood waters. Photo courtesy of Dana Deutsch.

Canine Influenza – H3N2 – There had been confirmed cases of H3N2 around Webster, TX earlier this year with most confirmed cases connected to one boarding facility. There have been no confirmed cases in recent months.

  • Parvovirus – There has been continued confirmed cases of parvovirus throughout the community. According to the TVMA, parvo is an ongoing concern in their community.
  • Leptospirosis – The area affected by the hurricane was already considered a hotbed for Leptospirosis.
  • Rabies – There have been more confirmed cases of rabies particularly in areas with a heavy coyote population and in some other wildlife.
  • Heartworm – Heartworm is very common in Texas for dogs and cats that have not been on preventative care.
  • Other diseases that have been diagnosed in Texas include Heterobilarzia, Pythiosis, Histoplasmosis and Coccidiomycosis. There have also been confirmed cases of Chagas disease in the evacuated areas.

    As is our recommendation with any newly rescued animal, it is important to isolate those dogs and cats in the shelter environment or foster care for 14 days to prevent the potential spread of disease to any animals or people where they are being housed.

    Abilene was relinquished by her family to Fetching Tails Foundation after Hurricane Harvey. She also is Heartworm positive.

    Proper precautions should also be taken when handling animals as well to prevent the spread of any diseases. Routine practices to control disease transmission include:

    Josephine was relinquished by her owners after Hurricane Harvey. She is available for adoption from One Tail at a Time.

    Setting up an isolation area for new animals that is away from other pets in the home or other animals in the shelter. This area should have easy to clean flooring, be pet proof, have a stock of cleaning supplies and be a low traffic area.

  • Use good hygiene practices before and after handling animals or objects in the isolation area. Wash hands, including fingertips and between fingers, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry hands thoroughly.
  • Use appropriate cleaning fluids to clean and disinfect the area.
  • Keep areas clean using soaps and detergents to suspend dirt and grease and disinfectants to kill germs.
  • Use dishes and toys that are either disposable or can be thoroughly cleaned.
  • If an animal becomes sick, please give the veterinarian as much information as possible, including where an animal originated from.



    2018-07-03T02:54:16+00:00 September 8th, 2017|Blog, news|0 Comments

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