Keoki's Corner

Fisher’s Tale

We recently got to meet Fisher when he came in for an exam with Dr. Cheryl Stiehl and were able to get some great pictures of this happy cat.  This is his story.

Article Courtesy of HRSA Office of Communications.

Malnourished, trapped and obviously in trouble, “Fisher The Cat” was nervously looking at the last of his nine lives on a recent chilly morning when HAB staffers chanced to spot him from their office window. Fisher The Cat was the subject of a multi-agency rescue effort during the recent holidays.

Monica Sivills was the first to notice the tattered tabby on the roof of the old daycare center next door – and it wasn’t long before she told Tina Trombley, a nurse by training, who quickly diagnosed the imperiled puss at a distance and declared him nearly at death’s door.

One Sad Tabby: On Dec. 26, HAB staffers spotted a starving kitty from their office window. There wasn’t a moment to lose.

Gene Robinson of the Indian Health Service was enlisted to obtain a ladder from a local construction crew. And soon enough, a coordinated, cross-governmental, public-private, rescue initiative was underway.

After repeated calls to various emergency numbers, Montgomery County Animal Services Officer Jennifer Gill arrived on the scene.

Photo courtesy of HRSA Office of Communications

“Big hearts from throughout the government were involved,” recalled HAB’s Elizabeth Goodger.

Officer Gill soon had matters in hand, and named the frazzled feline “Fisher,” in honor of the lane that runs in front of HRSA headquarters and the adjoining daycare center.

To The Rescue:  (Left to Right) Monica Sivills (HAB); Hanna Endale (HAB); Tina Trombley (HAB); Gene Robinson (IHS); Off. J.E. Gill (Montgomery County Animal Services Division); Stephanie Stines (HAB); Elizabeth Goodger (HAB). Not shown, Wendy Cousino.

To The Rescue:  (Left to Right) Monica Sivills (HAB); Hanna Endale (HAB); Tina Trombley (HAB); Gene Robinson (IHS); Off. J.E. Gill (Montgomery County Animal Services Division); Stephanie Stines (HAB); Elizabeth Goodger (HAB). Not shown, Wendy Cousino. Photo courtesy of the HRSA Office of Communications

“He was in terrible condition and didn’t even put up a fight when he was scooped into the crate,” Goodger recounted.  “We would later learn that he was delivered to the vet with a Put-to-Sleep designation.”

Not so fast!

Limp and lifeless Fisher quickly rebounded, chowing down in his pen at the vet’s office, passing time by curiously watching the antics of the dogs boarding nearby. As days passed, and he continued to rally, his condition was upgraded to stable.

He is now happy at home with the Goodger family.

Fisher at OSSVH

Fisher at OSSVH



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Why We are Making Strides

The doctors and staff of Olney-Sandy Spring Veterinary Hospital are excited to be participating in The American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” for the third year in a row!  The walk is a OSSVH proof0001fundraising event to support breast cancer research and increase breast cancer awareness.  Team OSSVH will walk on Sunday, October 18th in Mount Airy at Watkins Park. We are inviting our clients, families, and friends to join us for the walk and/or to donate if you wish.  If you would like to register, please join “Team OSSVH”.  We would love to see you walk with us!  If you cannot join, but would like to help, you can donate through our team.  Our goal is to raise $5000. Continue…

New Strain of Canine Influenza Outbreak in Chicago Area

Over the past few weeks, there have been increasing reports of a new canine influenza outbreak in the Chicago area.  This influenza outbreak afflicting more than 1000 dogs in Chicago and the Midwest, is caused by a different strain of the virus than previous United States outbreaks.

Dr. Edward Dubovi at Cornell University speculates that dogs rescued from meat markets in Asia may be responsible for bringing the new strain (H3N2) of the virus to the United States. This is in contrast to the previous outbreak in Montgomery County, Maryland in August of 2013, which was caused by the canine influenza virus strain H3N8. That local outbreak resulted in 22 confirmed cases and several confirmed deaths. The outbreak was contained and there have been no confirmed cases in our area since then.

The following are facts that dog owners need to be aware of:

  • The influenza virus does not affect people
  • Dogs at risk are dogs that go to day care, boarding facilities, grooming facilities, dog parks, or dogs going out into the rescuecommunity interacting with other dogs.
  • Vaccination against kennel cough (Bordetella) will not prevent dogs from contracting the influenza virus but will prevent or lessen the severity of kennel cough.
  • The current canine influenza vaccine is for a different strain (H3N8) and may not protect against the new strain (H3N2) of the virus.
  • This strain of canine influenza can cause infection and respiratory illness in cats according to Cornell University but there have been no reports of feline illness in the Chicago area.

Canine influenza causes an acute respiratory infection and is a highly contagious virus. Mild cases mimic kennel cough- but the cough persists for 10-21 days despite treatment. Most dogs have a soft, moist cough, while others have a dry cough. Many dogs will have a nasal discharge and a low grade fever. The more severe cases will present with clinical signs of pneumonia, such as a high fever (104 – 106F) and increased respiratory effort.

The incubation period is typically 2-5 days after exposure before clinical signs appear. Infected dogs may shed virus for seven to ten days from the initial day of clinical signs. Many infected dogs will not display clinical signs and become silent shedders and spreaders of the infection.

Confirmation of the diagnosis requires polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing at one of two major national laboratories.

Because the source of this new strain of the canine influenza virus is thought to originate in rescued dogs from Asia, it is possible that these dogs could be brought into multiple major cities in the United States. The extent of the exposure is not known at this time.

We recommend using caution if you plan on travelling to the Midwest with your dog.  While it is unknown if there is cross protection between the new strain and the old strain of the virus, you may want to consider vaccination or boostering your dog if previously vaccinated with the currently available canine influenza vaccine.

Please call your veterinarian should you have any questions or concerns.

For additional information regarding this outbreak, we have included some informative links below.

NPR news report April 15, 2015

Cornell media relations office release April 12, 2015

More information about the source of the new strain:

The HSUS and Humane Society International (HSI) are aggressively fundraising and importing dogs from Korea away from the meat trade.

Humane Society International Rescue Report

Alexandria Animals Article

A Humane Nation Article


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