Maintaining Foster Pet Health
There are three types of stool: normal, soft and diarrhea. Normal stool is firm and has a definite shape. Soft stool is not firm but still has some shape. Diarrhea is liquid, with or without color to it. Diarrhea is common and can be caused by parasites, viruses, bacteria, food changes, stress, overfeeding and other issues.
Diarrhea must be monitored as it can lead to dehydration. If the foster is active, mild diarrhea that occurs for 24 hours is not a concern. Feed the foster less at a time but more often. If the
diarrhea is severe, lasts more than 3-4 feedings or contains blood/ parasites, call the Foster Coordinator to schedule a recheck..
Fosters are dewormed upon intake and at every recheck. Parasites are commonly found in the stool of puppies and kittens. Tapeworms may look like grains of rice. Roundworms look like spaghetti and can be seen in the litter box or in vomit. If you notice worms, call the Foster Coordinator to schedule a recheck.
Vomiting is not serious unless it happens continuously or accompanied with diarrhea. It can lead to dehydration. If vomiting occurs 2-3 times in a row, call the Foster Coordinator right away.
It is normal for animals to have little pieces of crust in their eyes after waking up. If you see continuous yellow or green discharge, swollen or closed eyes call the Foster Coordinator to schedule a recheck. You can use a warm, damp towel to wipe the affected eye(s).
Ear mites are parasites that live in the ear canal. You may notice a bald spot behind their ears due to continuous scratching. They may also violently shake their head. The ears may smell bad and you may see brown discharge that resembles coffee grounds. Ear mites are contagious to other animals and need to be treated. Call the Foster Coordinator if you notice any these symptoms.
Animals that have fleas will scratch themselves often. Topical and oral flea prevention are given to fosters over 4 weeks of age. Flea prevention for puppies under 4 weeks includes daily brushings with the flea comb and daily bedding changes. If you still notice signs of fleas, you can wash the puppy in a small amount of Dawn® dish soap followed by using a flea comb to remove any remaining fleas. Be sure to thoroughly dry him/her following a bath. Baths should not be given more than once every 1-2 weeks. If you still notice signs of fleas, call Foster Coordinator to schedule a recheck.
Ringworm is a contagious fungus that that can spread to other animals and humans. A sign of ringworm is thinning hair or patches of hair loss. Ringworm is difficult to remove from your house. To help with prevention and spreading maintain cleaning protocols and a good hand washing routine. Call the Foster Coordinator if you notice any hair loss.
Mange is caused by parasites that infect the skin of animals. Some forms of mange are contagious to other animals and humans. The symptoms include itching, hair loss and sores. If you notice these symptoms, call the Foster Coordinator for treatment.
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URI)
URIs are common and are caused by contagious viruses and bacteria. Signs to look for:
- Sneezing and discharge from eyes/nose
- Congested breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy (lack of energy)
If you notice any of these signs, please contact the Foster Coordinator to schedule a recheck.
Parvovirus is a deadly and contagious virus that attacks a dog’s gastrointestinal tract. Once parvovirus is present in an environment it is difficult to remove. It is transmitted through direct contact with contaminated feces.
Signs to look for:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain and bloating
- Low body temperature
- Severe diarrhea with or without blood
If you notice any of these signs, immediately contact the Foster Coordinator to schedule a recheck.
Distemper is a highly contagious and fatal disease that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. It is transmitted through direct contact with contaminated saliva, blood, or urine.
Signs to look for:
- Severe Upper Respiratory Infection or Pneumonia
- Neurological signs such as seizure activity, convulsions, and partial or complete paralysis.
Occasionally, a puppy that appeared healthy will suddenly stop thriving. They will stop growing, socializing and crawling. They will begin to lose weight and may cry continuously. When this happens, they fade quickly and, even with medical intervention, may not survive 48 hours.
There is not understood cause for this condition. Occasionally, puppies die in foster care. If this should occur contact the Foster Coordinators for information concerning the disposition of remains.
Loyal Dog Breeds: Golden Retriever | West Highland White Terrier | Rough Collie | Great Dane | German Shepherd | Pug Dog | St. Bernard | Pekingese | Havanese | Old English Sheepdog | Great Pyrenees | Labrador Retriever | Miniature Schnauzer | Chihuahua | Beagles Dog | American Cocker Spaniel | Irish Wolfhound | Kuvasz Dog | Akita Dog | Bichon Frise