It’s almost summer time again. This means beach vacations, fireworks, and potential threats to your large and small four-legged friends. We have already covered the threat of heartworms due to mosquitoes in an earlier blog. So now that our pets are all on prevention, what other dangers lurk in the summertime? I have some information for horse owners too so scroll to the bottom of the blog if you only have ½ ton fur babies.
For small animals, summer time usually means an increase in fleas and ticks. Visiting our homepage at satillaanimalhospital.com should provide you with all you need to know about managing fleas and ticks and some of the deadly diseases they can harbor. Fleas can also prevent a problem for dogs with allergies. Flea allergic dermatitis is common in our area. This condition can be present even when you aren’t seeing fleas. When your pet has flea allergic dermatitis only one bite from a flea can send your pet into a scratching and chewing frenzy. The best solution for this is to utilize flea preventative year round to protect your pet and its environment from an infestation. Flea eggs can lay dormant for a long time and may hatch now that the weather is warming up. If your pet is on flea prevention and still struggle with fleas or flea allergies, be sure you treat the environment with and IGR. An IGR is an insect growth regulator, this means that the product kills all stages of the insect and doesn’t allow eggs or larva to hang around and create problems later. In severe cases you may need to have a professional come to your home and treat your home and yard for fleas. If you have more questions about fleas or flea allergies, come see us so that we can make sure your pet is well protected.
Another major emergence in the summertime is the increase in snake sightings. About 25% of the emergencies we see in the summertime are snake bite envenomation cases. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can put on your pet’s back and there is no pill to prevent snake bites. Snake bites from a venomous snake often carries a guarded prognosis. While there is an anti-venom available, it is very expensive. Also, while giving anti-venom is the best treatment available, there are no guarantees that it will save your pet. If dogs see a snake, they usually try to get a closer look. Your dog will probably notify you by barking. Many dogs present with snake bites to the face and neck. Cats present for snake bite less commonly, this is because many cats may not survive a snake bite and because cats tend to be more cautious when encountering a snake. This is why I encourage you to try to keep an eye on your pets while they are playing outside.
Horse owners, if you have not already vaccinated your horse this year, now is the time. I also recommend vaccinating against West Nile Virus every six months. Several of the deadliest diseases in the Southeast are carried by mosquitoes. Many of them however are preventable with vaccination. EEE, or sleeping sickness, West Nile, and WEE. These viruses all cause neurologic disease and are all carried by mosquitoes. Additionally, they are all a threat to horses and they are all a concern for horse owners in our area. The American Association of Equine Practitioners considers vaccination for these viruses, as well as Tetanus and Rabies, which means every horse should receive them every year.
So before you fire up the grill and take the cover off of the pool, make sure you remember and consider some of the dangers lurking this summer.
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Waycross, GA 31501
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