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Spring Health Care Tips

Heartworms are parasitic worms that live in the heart and lungs of pets and can cause permanent damage, and even death. The worms can reach a length of 14 inches and put stress on the heart, which restricts blood flow to various organs and can lead to organ failure. Heartworm is carried by mosquitoes and affects pets in all 50 states. Even dogs who do not spend a lot of time outside are at risk because mosquitoes can come into the house and infect your pet. Prevention of heartworm is easy, but treatment of heartworm disease is risky, expensive, and not always effective. Just ask us and we will recommend the best heartworm preventative for your pet.

Heartworm Prevention
Now is the time to start heartworm prevention. All dogs older than 6 months of age should go to the veterinary hospital and get blood drawn for a heartworm test. The blood test checks to see if your pet has been infected with heartworm from the previous summer. All dogs should be on heartworm prevention - no matter how much time they spend outside. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes and cause severe heart and lung disease. We recommend the monthly heartworm medicine given all year long.

 

Fleas are tiny insects that appear in the spring and survive until early winter outside and year-round indoors. They live about 30 days and spend their entire lifecycle on a pet. Female fleas lay up to 2,000 eggs during their life; eggs constantly drop off pets whereever the pets travel. Eggs are what cause a flea buildup within a person's home. Fleas cause a vicious cycle of biting, itching and scratching, and result in flea allergy dermatitis in some pets. If your animal has fleas, your house is probably infested. Talk to us about preventing flea infestation, treating pets who have fleas, and ridding your house of fleas.

 

Flea Prevention
The flea season is actually August to September, but now is the time to start your pet on a flea preventative. If dogs and cats are started on a preventative now, the number of fleas in their environment is greatly decreased. We recommend a monthly flea preventative given either orally or topically. Stop in and speak to one of our receptionists about which preventative would be best for you and your pets.

 

Ticks
The tick season has begun! Ticks are more prevalent in the spring and fall. There are many different ticks but the most common are the brown dog tick and the deer tick. Ticks can transmit disease, most notably Lyme disease, via a bite.

The best way to prevent tickborne diseases in your pet is to prevent the tick from biting. There are collars (dogs only) or topical lotions (for both dogs and cats) that kill the tick before they bite your pet. Be sure your dog is vaccinated against Lyme disease. Check your pet's coat each evening and remove any ticks you find. Remember: people can't get Lyme disease from their dog or cat, only from a tick bite. So make sure your pets are protected from ticks.

Chicks and Baby Bunnies

Don't buy chicks and baby bunnies for Easter! Many places sell these animals at Easter, but don't be persuaded to purchase them. Yes, they're very cute! But many people aren't familiar with the proper care of these animals and they're often neglected or relinquished at animal shelters. Bunnies are not good pets for young children. If rabbits aren't held properly, they can break their backs. If there is less demand for chicks and bunnies at Easter time, the dealers may stop selling them. If you are considering purchasing a certain type of pet or wonder what pet would be good for children, please contact our hospital and a member of our staff would be glad to help you.