Hot Topics for Illinois Pet Owners
Heartworm, as its name implies, likes to set up house near, and potentially in, the heart. The adult worms sit mainly in the pulmonary artery — the blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs. The eventual result of an untreated animal heartworm infection is death due to heart failure.
Animals with a heartworm infection will often have a cough and difficulty breathing. Fainting and fatigue are other signs that go along with a heartworm infection. As the infection progresses, symptoms of heart failure progressively worsen.
It’s important to have your pet tested yearly for heartworm, because, sometimes, signs do not develop for several years after infection. Treatment can be risky, but, it’s so easy to prevent heartworm; usually it takes just a pill given once a month.
Pesky mosquitoes are the official airline of a blood-borne parasite that causes heartworm disease, a potentially deadly illness in dogs and cats. Canine Heartworm disease is definitely easier and cheaper to prevent than to treat.
Heartworm’s fancy name is Dirofilaria immitis, and the adult worms can reach over 12 inches in length. Mosquitoes pick up the immature worms when they bite an infected animal, and, when the mosquito bites another animal, the disease spreads.
Spring actually begins the time during which animals are at risk of becoming infected with heartworm. The immature worms need to incubate for several weeks inside the mosquito and can only do this when the weather is nice. Once the weather has been nice for several weeks in a row, the danger of infection increases dramatically.
Cats Can Get It Too! Your feline friend is also at risk from heartworm disease, even if it’s indoors.
Feline Heartworm Disease:
- is difficult to diagnose
- has no approved treatment options
- can be prevented with only one topical medicine: Revolution®
Available only by a prescription, Revolution® provides protection against:
- ear mites
Animal Intestinal Parasite Screening is one of the easiest ways that you can help your pet. Just bring in a fecal sample and let our techs test it. They will look for animal hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and other nasty parasites that can infect your pet. It is recommended that you get this screening done at least twice a year.
With the introduction of the first vaccine for canine influenza, only love is contagious. Now, you can provide more comprehensive protection against respiratory infection with this breakthrough vaccine. Learn more about dog influenza from Merck Animal Health, the experts on the Nobivac® Canine Flu H3N8 vaccine.
Canine distemper virus may occur wherever there are dogs; it is the greatest single disease threat to the world’s dog population. Younger dogs and puppies are the most susceptible to infection – among puppies, the death rate from distemper often reaches 80%. The disease also strikes older dogs, although much less frequently. Even if a dog does not die from the disease, its health may be permanently impaired, as a bout with canine distemper can leave a dog’s nervous system irreparably damaged, along with its sense of smell, hearing, or sight. Partial or total paralysis is not uncommon, and other diseases, particularly pneumonia, frequently strike dogs already weakened by a distemper infection.
Do you take your dog on walks? Take your dog jogging? Travel with your dog in the great outdoors? Let your dog tag along with the children in the back yard?
If you answered YES to any of these, then your best friend might be at a higher risk of contracting Lyme disease.
What you need to know about Lyme Disease:
- Cases have been found in all 48 contiguous states.
- Infection occurs from the bite of an infected “deer tick”.
- It is largely preventable by using tick control products, checking your pets for ticks and getting them vaccinated.
- One vaccination can help protect your dog all year.
- We have diagnosed over 15 cases at Green Trails Animal Clinic How is Dog Lyme Disease transmitted?
The carriers of this disease are ticks. Ticks are bloodsuckers: parasites that draw their life from other creatures. When an infected tick bites, the bacterium is transferred to the blood of the host animal.
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs?
- Sudden onset of severe pain & lameness
- Loss of appetite
What can I do to protect my dog from Lyme disease?
- Routinely check your pets after they have been outdoors, especially if they have been in areas with tall grass and brush.
- Cut the brush and mow the grass where your dog plays.
- Make an appointment today to have your dog tested for Lyme Disease.