While we at BuckHaven Veterinary Clinic, LLC welcome Spring and a departure from the cold gloom of this past Winter we would like to make you aware of some of not so wonderful things heating up in the pet world. As our weather makes a turn toward the warm side some creatures which are better left in hibernation are starting to make their presence known. Most noteworthy of these are fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and the lesser known protozoal parasite Giardia. We hope you will find the following information of value and as always please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.
Around since the time of the dinosaurs, fleas and ticks are not just a nuisance, but pose animal and human health risks. They suck your pet's blood, they suck human blood, and they can transmit diseases. Some of the diseases that fleas and ticks can transmit from animals to humans (zoonotic diseases) include plague, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, bartonellosis and others. That's why it's critical to protect your pets from these pesky parasites and keep the creepy crawlies out of your home.
Wild and feral animals serve as a continual source of fleas and ticks and as such essentially every pet has exposure to these parasites. While tick exposure in urban areas is not horrible, fleas remain as an ever present challenge to pet owners.
Environmental treatment for fleas and ticks is a notable uphill battle and as such the success of controlling ticks and fleas lies in prevention. Fortunately, there are many effective flea and tick preventives on the market to help control the pests and prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases. Knowing what kind of product to use, and how to use it, is critical to the health and safety of your pet. Products vary from spot-on (topical) products that are applied directly to your pet's skin, oral products (given by mouth), products that repel, products which kill fleas and/or ticks, and products which interfere with parasite reproduction.
All medications have potential side effects and even the best product has a 1 in 10,000 adverse reaction rate (Tylenol included.) Although medicines and pesticides must meet U.S. government-required safety standards before they can be sold, some products are only considered a pesticide and as such are more readily available in a variety of retail outlets, while others are considered true prescription products and are therefore only available with a veterinary prescription. It is critical that pet owners carefully consider their flea and tick preventive options and consult with their veterinarian before they treat their pets with one of these products. Remember the old adage you get what you pay for? As cheap generally isn't good, or in the case of flea and tick products? Cheap generally isn't safe and/or effective.
It's not a Stephen King horror story -- We have had multiple cases of Giardia come through our doors this season. As your pets spend time outside, and around other animals they become more likely to pick it up. It is important to know the signs of Giardia, because it is possible for your pet to spread it to you or your family.
Giardia is a nasty parasite that can affect dogs, cats, and even people. This video talks about the life cycle of Giardia and how both pets and people come into contact with it. - Learn more here: Giardia
Most people know they should not leave their pets unattended in a parked car when the weather is hot. What many do not realize is how quickly a park car becomes dangerously hot. Even if the temperature is only 85 degrees and you leave your car windows down, your car can heat up to 102 degrees within 10 minutes - See more tips of how to avoid the hazards of warm weather at this link: Keep Your Pets Safe in Seasonal Heat!