Nothing makes me happier than being able to announce that spring is on it’s way! We are heading for mud puddles, fog delays, and (dare I say it) driving with the windows down. Soon our clothes will be covered in hair from our pets shedding their winter coats, and spring cleaning will be jump started by muddy footprints across the kitchen floor. However, being prepared for spring is going to take a little more than a FURminator Deshedding Tool, and some floor cleaner. There are some health issues that can become more prevalent as we move into warmer weather that you should be aware of.
FLEAS and TICKS– Is there anything more irritating or hard to get rid of than these pests?! “Fleas rarely jump from one pet to another, as is often thought. Instead cats and dogs pick them up from infested environments. This could be your garden, the local park, a friend’s house – any place where an animal that has fleas, such as a rabbit, hedgehog, fox or another cat or dog, may be found. Infested animals leave flea eggs behind wherever they go. New fleas hatch from these infested environments once they sense the warmth,carbon dioxide and vibration an animal such as your pet creates, and jump onto them.” (uk.frontline.com) The FDA has a lot of helpful information on fleas and ticks that I would recommend reading up on to become more familiar.
HEARTWORMS– Our clients are so good about coming in for their yearly heartworm check, but many are only purchasing prevention for the summer months. We highly recommend treating for heartworm year round. The Heartworm Society has some great information to help you understand what heartworms are and why prevention is a better option than treatment.
INTESTINAL PARASITES– These are what we test for when we have you bring in a stool sample. Not your favorite pastime, I’m sure, but it is important. Some symptoms of internal parasites include vomiting and diarrhea, lack of appeite, skin and coat problems, lack of energy, pot bellied appearance, itchiness in the rectal area, and anemia. Even more alarming is the fact that some internal parasites, such as roundworms and hookworms are transferrable to humans! Here is a list of common parasites for you to peruse.
LEPTOSPOROSIS– Leptosporosis is a bacterial infection that dogs most commonly contract from muddy, marshy areas heavy with wildlife. Dogs will typically come into contact with the leptospira bacteria in infected water, soil, or mud, while swimming, passing through, or drinking contaminated water, or from coming into contact with urine from an infected animal. You can find some handy information about Leptosporosis and the Lepto vaccine here.
BORDATELLA– Bordatella, more commonly known as “Kennel Cough” is very highly contagious among dogs. It is inflammation of the trachea and bronchi in the lungs. Symptoms include a dry, hacking cough (may sound like honking), retching, watery nasal discharge, and sever cases may experience lethargy, pneumonia and death. Unvaccinated puppies and dogs are most likely to experience severe symptoms. A breakdown of Kennel Cough can be found by clicking the link.
As you can see, there is a lot to be aware of in the coming months. MAC is here to answer any questions that you may have about your pet’s health. You can call us at (989) 631-0220 or visit our website, and we would be happy to schedule you an appointment for your pet’s wellness visit, or answer any questions you may have. We hope to put your mind at ease, and protect your furry friend so you can enjoy the beautiful weather that is to come!