Spring will arrive on Friday March 20th! A welcome relief from the long winter we suffered through! Along with a warm up comes some nuisance, namely ticks & mosquitoes. These are not only pesky to us but can create bigger problems for our pets. This is the time to revive your flea and tick prevention, as well as heart worm preventatives.
For some of you, heart worm is given year round. In that case your Vet likely has a protocol for testing for heart worm and prescribing the monthly product. If you don’t give year around now is the time to make an appointment with your vet. The purpose of the heart worm check is to make sure that your dog was not exposed since the preventative was stopped last season.This is done by a quick blood draw and in house test. If adult heart worms are found a specific treatment regimen is followed. If the test is negative it is safe to resume use of the preventative products. Heart worm is transmitted by bite of an infected mosquito; it takes 7 months for the heart worm to mature and at that point will inhabit the heart & lungs, vessels and will reproduce. Treatment is expensive and difficult for the pet, prevention relatively inexpensive and safe.
Ticks have already been spotted in the area. Arm yourself with a tick removal tool and conduct routine if not daily tick checks if you live in an area where ticks thrive. Monthly topical treatments can be effective for both fleas & ticks but a visual inspection of your pet is still a good idea. Topicals are powerful chemicals so be on the look out in case your pet has a reaction to them. Luckily,there are gentle and natural products available to repel these pests. We stock several of them that use essential oils of peppermint, clove, eucalyptus and tea tree. Most of these will also be effective against other flying insects like flies/gnats. All repellants work best on a coat that is clean & free of matts and undercoat. A short clip may be in order for some pets to make them more comfortable in the warmer weather, provide easier detection of ticks/fleas and for more efficient use of repellants .
An informative article on Lymes disease can be found here: Lymes disease by Dr. Karen Becker renowned holistic & integrative veterinarian.
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