What’s Bugging YOU This Spring?
Warm weather has arrived and, with it, so have a slew of pet health hazards!
We want to work with all of our patients to ensure each and every one enjoys this year to its fullest. So, let’s discuss some of the most common Spring-time hazards!
Right now, our biggest concerns are TICKS, with HEARTWORM being just around the corner.
- Ticks become active in temperatures as low as 3-5°C, which means there are active ticks right now!
- Tick nymphs are the first to become active in the spring, carry all the same risks as mature ticks, and are incredibly small (like a flea or a fruit fly).
- Lyme Disease is a real risk for people and pets, and is transmitted by ticks. Thankfully, there is a vaccine available to help protect dogs from infection and continuing the spread of this debilitating disease.
- Ticks carry a multitude of other harmful pathogens that can be contracted by pets and their people. Protecting your pets against the remaining tick-borne diseases involves daily tick checks, monthly parasite preventatives, and regular disease screening.
- Tick diseases can be asymptomatic (i.e. the pet may not show illness until it is severe). Testing helps us save lives by catching disease early-on and lets us know if the people in the area are at risk, as well!
MATTERS OF THE HEART
- Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes as they feed.
- Each mature heart worm can reach 12” or more in length and does not discriminate animals by size (Chihuahuas and Great Danes may carry the same heartworm burden). This makes treatment of infection very dangerous as killing large worms in a fragile heart puts the pet at risk for secondary heart complications.
- Prevention is significantly safer for your pet. Some products that protect again heartworm protect against ticks, fleas, mites, and intestinal worms, too, making your pet that much safer!
- A small error in your prevention program may leave room for infection, which may lead to complications with further use of preventatives. It is important to follow the instructions precisely.
MORE THAN JUST CATS AND DOGS
All species of pets can get internal and external parasites, and Spring time is still the most common time for these pets to be affected. Rabbits, mice, small and large birds, reptiles, and more, can harbor many different types of parasites without showing signs of illness; that’s why we recommend testing for our exotic critters, too!
To help keep our pets happy and healthy, Bank Street Animal Hospital recommends pets be tested for heartworm infection/tick-borne diseases/intestinal parasites every year around April, regardless of the use of preventatives the year before.
To inquire about these tests, or to get more information on other Spring-time, please contact us online or in-person. Follow us on Facebook for regular Spring tips for all species of pets, too!