Summertime Pet Care: Safe Tick Removal
Ah, yes...for some people and pets in many parts of the United States the summer of 2014 was a most welcome change after a record winter of snow and artic cold. We couldn’t wait to hit the bicycle and walking paths through the woods and the dog parks to help work off the extra pounds gained throughout the harsh winter. But wait, there may be some critters lurking on the hairy bodies of our beloved dogs and cats that have the potential to cause problems as we move into the latter months of warm weather. Caution: your pet may have been in contact with nasty external parasites that can not only cause irritation and discomfort, but bring disease to both you and your pet. Here is a brief overview of what could be a problem. Your veterinarian can determine if there is cause for alarm.
Veterinarians Guide to Fleas and Ticks for Pet Owners
Everything You Need to Know About Fleas and Ticks
As any pet owner will tell you, our lovable balls of fluff are prone to bringing unwanted friends of their own home; namely fleas and ticks.
These common critters can find their way on to dogs, cats and even humans – sometimes with nasty consequences.
So, what can be done to treat these bloodsucking mites and how can you prevent them in the first place?
Fleas – what are they?
Fleas are small, wingless parasites that can feed on your pet’s blood. Cat fleas for instance are dark brown and 1-2mm long. They are often picked up outdoors, and there are over 2,000 different types in the word. Adept at jumping, they are easy to pass on to other animals, as well as owners. They can be picked up anywhere, from other pets, kennels and even from the great outdoors. They can be more common in warmer months, but exist all year round.
Ticks – what are they?
Ticks are tiny blood-suckers with a spider-like appearance. They have eight legs and can range from 1mm to 1cm in size. They are typically fond of woodland and grassy areas, where they latch on to your pet. They are known for transmitting bacterial diseases, the most common of which is Lyme Disease, borne from black-legged ticks. Much like fleas, they are more common in the warmer months, but present all-year round.
How can you prevent fleas and ticks?
The first measure is to protect your pets.
If you live in a house with a large unkempt yard, try and cut back the grass, which attracts these insects. Where possible, use flea spray to prevent any outbreaks, too. While indoors, pay attention to areas where ticks and fleas can thrive; on carpets and rugs – thorough vacuuming will help keep this at bay.
Secondly, make sure your pet’s bedding area is well cleaned. Anything that could attract unwanted visitors should be cleaned or thrown away. Where possible, deep clean toys in hot water regularly, to kill any lingering bugs.
Finally, there are many treatments on the market that you can use on your pets. Not just when they are infected, but as a preventative measure. From flea combs to sprays, along with regular brushing of their coats, to reduce pests from growing. If your pet has long hair, you may want to keep this short, particularly in the warmer weather, so it is less of a breeding ground for pests.
Flea and tick collars are worthwhile solutions to help repel fleas away using chemicals that are safe for your dogs and cats. These can be picked up in most vet clinics, drug stores and pet stores, and are inexpensive.
Signs of fleas and ticks
Scratching, writing and over grooming are common signs that your pet may be housing fleas or ticks. Sometimes these can be visible to the human eye, particularly during grooming, but not always. Therefore, if you suspect that your beloved cat or dog is infected, you may want to take them to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
If you experience a continual itching and bites in succession, or believe that you have been bitten by a tick (sometimes the tick is still visible in the skin), see a professional caregiver immediately.
Treating fleas and ticks
The good news is that these bugs are easy to treat, in many forms, from powders to medicated shampoos. In the first instance, visit your veterinarian. It’s also vital to ensure that you do not use the same treatment on your dog, as your cat, as in some cases these are known to be toxic to felines. Therefore, always seek professional guidance before treatment.
You will also need to consider treating your house, from upholstery to carpets, and bedding. Anti-flea and anti-tick treatments are commonly available.
EMERGENCY VET VISITS: KNOW THE SIGNS
As you know, pets need routine veterinary care for vaccinations, parasite control, dental care and grooming. But of course, pets can sometimes encounter health issues outside of their regular checkups, which may even necessitate an emergency veterinary visit.
What’s Really In Your Pet’s Food?
Feeding their pets with a high-quality diet is one of the top priorities of pet owners. As such, they don’t mind spending a good fortune on pet foods that claim to provide good nutrition to their beloved, close friends. Every cat or dog has unique nutrition needs because of variations in size, breed, age, physical activity and environment. That’s one reason why it’s important to discuss the best way to feed your dog or cat with your veterinarian. But, do these products really stand up to their claims? What to look for on the label before purchasing any pet food? What ingredients in these products are considered the most vital and least important for the pet nutrition? Well, in this article, we try to give answers to all these questions to help you make an informed decision on pet foods.
VACCINES FOR PETS
Vaccines are laboratory prepared substances acquired from killed or weakened forms of a causative agent of disease for the purpose of building the immunity of the body against infectious diseases. Puppies or kittens acquire passive immunity through lactation from the mother’s milk as well through the placenta. With time this immunity decreases and vaccinations are necessary to build the bodies immunity (active immunity). Most of the diseases vaccinated against are incurable, highly infectious and often lead to death.