summer PROTECTING YOUR PETS FROM
PESTS & WEATHER
Dr. Marnie Dasher at Case Veterinary Hospital and Dorian Bryant of Tailsspins give answers to summer pet care.
ummertime is for relaxation and joyful memories for you to share with your pet. Following some simple safety tips insures that you and your fourlegged family members can have a happy and healthy summer. Make sure you visit your vet, use flea and heartworm preventatives, and be mindful of how the heat is affecting your pet.
How is heartworm contracted?
DR. DASHER: By mosquitoes. It only takes one bite so pets (dogs and cats) should be on year-round prevention since mosquitoes are so prevalent.
why is it dangerous for my dog?
DR. DASHER: Heartworms cause cardiac and
pulmonary changes which can have long-standing and life-threatening effects. Even when treated, some changes may not be reversible. Left untreated, heartworm disease eventually leads to heart failure and death. Always check with a veterinarian before restarting heartworm preventative medication after missing doses on a dog where heartworm status is unknown. Using the wrong medication can be fatal in a heartworm positive dog.
what are treatment and prevention methods?
DR. DASHER: Prevention can be found in an
oral, topical or ingestible methods. Preventative medication is given monthly to every six months depending on what type is used. For a heartworm positive dog, the best method clears infection through a series of injections and oral medications. Owners should remember that a preventative should be used during treatment also but only certain types are recommended for heartworm positive dogs. Preventative medications are certainly an expense but heartworm treatment ranges between $600-$1200 depending on the weight of the pet and severity of the disease.
are there other risks posed by the environment that I can inoculate my dog or cat against?
DR. DASHER: In our area we should always target flea and tick control. In addition, zoonotic (diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans) diseases such as Leptosporosis, rabies and intestinal parasites can be prevented with proper veterinary care. Photo Credit: Michell Botetano
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