Finally, we are blessed with some nice temperatures! Get outside and enjoy
as much as you can. Your fur baby will love getting out in the sun & grass too.
Play catch, toss some frisbee, & maybe even jump in the lake! We have all been through a tough, long, drawn-out Winter!
With the nice weather, comes some not-so-nice things that have to be
talked about (yes, I know you saw where I was going here Other "things" like to get out too. Their lives depend on it! Namely, Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, they all need blood to survive, UGH! I have never talked to anyone that can answer the question as to why these pests exist except to spread disease & cause us all grief. Unfortunately, all it takes is 1 of these pests to wreak havoc for our pets.
One flea bite can drive your pet crazy with the itching. Some pets don’t have a flea-bite allergy, but the ones that do can be just miserable from flea bites. The problem of fleas isn’t just the itching problem though. They breed like crazy AND suck your pet’s blood. Yes, the females of these lovely little creatures (NOT!) lay bundles of 40 to 50 eggs a day, but first they must drink some of “Fluffy’s” blood! The eggs can hatch in just a few weeks, or, in certain conditions can lay dormant for up to a year.
The eggs roll off your pet easily and develop a sticky coating that makes getting them with a vacuum difficult. They stay in carpet and bedding going through 3 larva stages, then spin a cocoon to develop into a pupa stage. The cocoon stage is almost impossible to treat, until they hatch into a flea.
When you see fleas on your pet, they represent only 5 to 10 % of the population in your house. I could go into our recommended treatment protocol, but it’s all under the “Client Center” on this website. www.mylakeanimalhospital.com Please check that out.
We are still fascinated how some people don’t think it’s a big deal that their pet “Has one or two fleas.” It IS a BIG DEAL! Take it from professionals that see them every day! Some of the clients that had them & stated they were ready to burn their houses down because of a bad flea infestation, could probably tell you how much of a big deal it is too.
Like Barney Fife would say”Nip it, Nip it in the bud!” (some of you won’t get that, but in my world, we say it quite often.)
**Side note: To me, the Andy Griffith Show should be mandatory TV for everyone! If anyone has time to start some sort of march, rally or whatever to get this done, I would SO be there 💗 just saying **
Tick can cause several “tick borne” illnesses. We are seeing Lyme positive dogs at our hospital. The test we run also tests for erhylichia, & anaplasmosis. We have also seen a ehrlichia positive dog. Experts are telling us, it is going to get worse.
Did you know, exposure to ticks increase the risk of kidney disease in pets? There is a 43% increase in kidney disease in dogs with Lyme disease and a staggering 300% increase in dogs positive for Ehrlichia! We all only have 2 kidneys, when they are diseased, they don’t recover.
Heartworms are real people! All of us at the office can tell you. Some are milder cases, some so severe, we know treatment isn’t even an option. It is devastating & it’s true that if one dog in the family has them, chances are great all animals in the family might have them. Believe me when I say prevention is the ONLY way to go here. The other pests listed above are somewhat treatable, albeit still a big risk, heartworms are truly deadly. Heartworms in an otherwise would-have-been healthy dog, is just terrible for us to see. There is a treatment, it is a 60 day (plus) expensive protocol. The animal will need to be given certain antibiotics and take the monthly heartworm preventative throughout the treatment. We try to treat and kill off the smaller larvae first, then start warfare on the adult worms. Usually there are a lot of other drugs given to counteract problems that can arise from the dying worms. There is only 1 drug approved to kill adult heartworms and it is a arsenical compound that is injected into the dogs back muscles. This treatment is hard on everybody, but of the hardest things is, the dogs cannot be allowed to run. They need to be in a crate or on a short leash for “potty walks” for up to 6 months. They can’t be allowed to get their heart rate up.
Really, doesn’t it just make more sense to get them on a preventative? I can tell you, owners of animals that we have successfully treated, never miss a dose again!
I closing, we just want you to be aware. The lady that brought her dog in from another clinic was NEVER talked to about heartworms. Her beautiful, 2 yr. old collie/shepherd mix dog was so full of them, treatment wasn’t an option. Symptoms are coughing, fluid in the belly and really all the same symptoms as Congestive Heart Failure.
Also, we are all for animal ADOPTION, and I mean, ALL FOR ADOPTION, but be careful and ask where the dog came from. Some humane societies are shipping dogs up from the south and a lot of them have, or have had and been treated for heartworms. Find out all the information. Don’t adopt if they can’t show you that they have been tested and/or treated. IF they were treated for actual heartworms, know that the treatment might not be over. They need to get a NEGATIVE heartworm test (maybe even 2) before they are considered cured. This can be 6 months after they started treatment.
So, that nice romp in the park (on a leash of course, because it’s the LAW!) You may be bringing extra “friends” home. Make sure your pet is protected!
Hope this gave you “Something to chew on.”
Until next time…….