April Showers Bring May Flowers and Spring Has Sprung!

Our snow has thawed and the insects are coming out of hibernation just in time to start feeding on our furry companions. Many diseases can be transmitted from insects (like mosquitoes!) or arthropods (think ticks!) to our dogs and cats. Ticks transmit debilitating diseases like Lyme, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia while mosquito bites can give our dogs and cats Heartworm disease!

The best treatment is not to have to treat at all. Prevention is the best medicine! Whether that means a recommended topical anti-flea, anti-tick medication applied to the skin every month or a flea and tick collar that can last several months, you don’t want to give those critters a biting chance! At our annual check-ups your dog is screened for these tick diseases and heartworm disease to ensure he or she didn’t get a sneaky hitch-hiker that bit and infected him or her, and also to make sure that the medicines we use to prevent heartworm disease and ticks are still working!

There are benefits and advantages to using recommended Veterinary products for the protection of your pets. Topical medications applied directly to the skin sold through the veterinarian are guaranteed by the company against reactions and also guaranteed to work, where those sold over-the-counter at stores are not guaranteed in the same way. If you have any problems with these medications, the company will work with you to resolve those problems. Those carried in our office are:

  • Vectra 3D:

    repels and kills fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks for dogs only – don’t let your cats groom your dogs and don’t get any of this on your cats while it’s wet!

  • Front Line Plus:

    a classic that kills fleas and ticks – available in cat or dog formulas

  • Revolution:

    for cats or dogs: Protects our pets from fleas, ear mites, heartworm disease, and some intestinal worms.

Ask our front staff about rebates associated with each of the above products to help make them more affordable!

The newest collar available:

Seresto can last 5-8 months, and repels and kills fleas and ticks for both dogs and cats. (Bathing no more than once per month and infrequent swimming will yield longer duration of the collar. Bathing more than once per month or pets that swim frequently may only get 5 months’ use from this collar). Seresto is a very affordable option for multi-month protection!

Equally important this time of year (and all year-round!) is heartworm prevention. For some, Revolution is the answer. For others who need the tick protection, too – a topical labeled for ticks or a Seresto collar will keep them tick-free and a chewable tablet or treat given every month will keep them from the disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Mark your calendars or put it into your smart phone as a recurring reminder and never forget again to give your dog Heartgard or Sentinel!

Remember- we can treat heartworm disease, but we’d rather not. It’s expensive, risky, and is a long, arduous process for your dog! Isn’t it easier to give a chewable treat monthly? It’s certainly much more affordable than treating after infection occurs!

For cats that go out and therefore are at an increased risk for heartworm disease – Revolution applied every month is recommended. Cats can suffer serious heart disease with just one heartworm making it to the adult stage in their tiny bodies, and the only treatment is surgery!

Refer to www.capvet.org for more information regarding ticks, fleas, mites, and other biting bugs and the diseases they cause in dogs, cats, and their people. (Companion Animal Parasite Council)

Spring is also one time of year our dogs and cats tend to seek out a mate if they are not neutered or spayed. They may try to escape the home and are at increased risk of being hit by automobiles, getting into fights with other intact dogs or cats, or coming home pregnant with unwanted litters. Shelters are overfilled with unwanted dogs and cats. Remember to spay or neuter your pet to prevent unwanted litters and protect your pet from behavior that could be very undesirable or dangerous. Spaying and neutering by six months of age reduces risk of certain types of cancer, reduces the risk of adopting bad behavioral habits such as marking, and at that age your pet is at the ideal point to minimize risk under anesthesia.

We hope everyone has a safe, happy, and parasite-free spring season!