The Neighborhood Vet Blog
Are you ready to hop into spring? We sure are. In spite of the uncertainties of this unprecedented time, we are happy to see so many people (distantly) uniting and finding creative ways to be the community we’re proud to serve. From treasure-hunt style Easter egg hunts to the resurgence of “Victory Gardens,” it’s heartwarming to see folks looking out for each other while staying safe and healthy.
Thankfully, at the time of this writing, it appears that companion animals are not susceptible to COVID-19, but there are still everyday health concerns to consider as the season changes. If you’re tired of being cooped up inside and ready to get some fresh air with your dog or cat, be sure they’re protected with these three spring safety tips.
1. Prevent Heartworms
Did you know April is Heartworm Awareness Month? As the weather warms and mosquitoes begin hatching, pets need heartworm prevention to stay protected.
All it takes is one mosquito bite for a pet to become infected. Heartworms grow and multiply, eventually obstructing blood flow and making it hard for pets to breathe. Even after treatment, which doesn’t currently exist for cats, heartworm disease leaves lasting internal damage and is potentially fatal, particularly for dogs.
Cats are not the “ideal” host for heartworms so while they are less likely to experience severe symptoms, significant respiratory damage is still a concern. Indoor cats aren’t afforded much protection from their lifestyle, accounting for 25% of heartworm cases, since mosquitoes can easily get into your home.
By protecting your pet with a preventative in the form of a pill, topical medication, or injection, you’re giving them the best chance to avoid a life-altering disease. We have many options available to help you protect your pet’s heart. Give us a call and we’ll help prescribe and get the medication most appropriate for your pet.
2. Check Your Pet’s ID and Microchip
Tag! You’re it! It’s time to check or order your pet’s ID tag. Not only is April Heartworm Awareness Month, but National Pet ID Week and Lost Dog Awareness Day are on the calendar.
Based on a study from the ASPCA, it’s calculated that between 11-16% of dogs and 12-18% of cats are likely to go missing at least once in five years. How much difference does a microchip make? This tiny device has a massive impact! Microchipped dogs are 2.5 times more likely to reunite with their families and cats with microchips are 20 times more likely to come home.
Next time you’re snuggled on the couch, check your pet’s tag. If the information is out-of-date, order a new one. Make sure the ring securing it to the collar is strong. Then hop online to confirm your pet’s microchip information.
3. Don’t Get Ticked Off--Prevent Lyme Disease
If you’re planning a socially-distant hike, don’t expose your trail partner to the danger of Lyme disease. It’s the most common disease transmitted by ticks, painful for pets, and easily goes undetected by pet parents.
Ticks can hide in long or short grass waiting to latch onto your dog or cat (or you!). They’re difficult to find beneath your pet’s fur and they like to attach themselves in areas that often go unnoticed, like an armpit. Finding and removing attached ticks quickly is important, as Lyme disease only has the chance to spread if they’re able to feed on your pet for more than 24 hours.
Fortunately, there are many preventative options available to fit your pet’s lifestyle and budget. Give us a call today and we’ll help you find the best option.
Spring Into Spring with Reasons to Celebrate
Despite the uncertainty surrounding us, we hope you’re taking time to disconnect from the news and enjoy the company of your pets. Your pet may not know what COVID-19 is, but they will appreciate the extra attention. Schedule screen-free bonding sessions for some peace of mind during this troubling time.
We’re doing the same and looking forward to the future. We miss our clients and want to stay connected, so please share photos of your pets at home or on outdoor adventures on our Facebook page.
Stay safe and healthy!
Image credit: TZ/ Pexels