Stop Parasites in Their Tracks!

As we welcome summer back, we unfortunately have to deal with all those pesky parasites again. Since your pet will probably be spending more time outdoors to enjoy the sunshine, it’s important to make sure they’re up-to-date on their annual vaccinations. Ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas are linked to many serious and potentially-fatal diseases, such as Lyme, heartworm, and dermatitis, and now that we’re seeing more ticks in the Windsor area, it’s even more critical to keep your pet protected.

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More on Lyme Disease 

With the recent tick epidemic in our area, we want you to be educated on the dangers of Lyme disease now, more than ever. Lyme is one of the most common tick-borne diseases in the world, caused by a bacteria species that is transmitted by ticks. About 18 hours after an infected tick attaches itself to an animal, the disease begins to take effect. Ticks tend to thrive in areas with brush and tall grass, so always get in the habit of checking your pet for ticks after those strolls through the woods. Some of the most common symptoms of Lyme disease include lameness, lack of appetite, and depression. In more severe cases, the disease can result in kidney damage and even kidney failure.

Below is a list of other symptoms associated with Lyme disease:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Stiffened walk with arched back

Parasite Prevention Options for Your Pet

Clearwater Animal Hospital offers a number of parasite control products to protect your pet from ticks and other parasites. These include tablet, topical, and injectable preventatives as well as sprays and collars. To provide your pet with the pest protection, we recommend that you keep your pet on a preventative product all year-round. Schedule an appointment today, and we’ll be glad to give you our product recommendations to keep your pet protected from parasites.

Protect Your Pet During Winter and Cold Weather

Dog on a winter walk

Keep pets indoors and warm 

The best prescription for winter’s woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time.

 

Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. 

During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater. No matter what the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet’s life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.

 

Take precautions if your pet spends a lot of time outside

A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

 

Help neighborhood outdoor cats 

If there are outdoor cats, either owned pets or community cats (ferals, who are scared of people, and strays, who are lost or abandoned pets) in your area, remember that they need protection from the elements as well as food and water. It’s easy to give them a hand.

 

Give your pets plenty of food and water 

Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

First walk in the snow

Be careful with cats, wildlife and cars 

Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine.

 

Protect paws from salt 

The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.

 

Avoid antifreeze poisoning 

Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and keep antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Coolants and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and family.

 

Speak out if you see a pet left in the cold 

If you encounter a pet left in the cold, document what you see: the date, time, exact location and type of animal, plus as many details as possible. Video and photographic documentation (even a cell phone photo) will help bolster your case. Then contact your local animal control agency or county sheriff’s office and present your evidence. Take detailed notes regarding whom you speak with and when. Respectfully follow up in a few days if the situation has not been remedied.

 

 

SOURCE: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/protect_pets_winter.html