Deb and her little Juno are ready for summer!
Check your dogs for ticks! They can get Lyme disease, too!
It’s the height of tick season, which means people should take extra care to prevent the spread of Lyme disease – not just to people, but also to their dogs.
Lyme disease, as well as another tick-borne ailment called anaplasmosis, can be just as harmful to dogs as to humans. Symptoms can include fever, joint pain, lethargy, loss of appetite, neurologic disorders and difficulty walking. Lyme disease may also cause kidney damage and can be fatal if left untreated.
Dog owners should be especially watchful if their pets become feverish or start to limp, especially if they limp on different legs at different times. A dog with those symptoms should be taken to the family veterinarian or to an emergency veterinarian.
Any dog who has fever and is limping should be evaluated.
One of the best things dog owners can do is to give their dogs anti-tick medicine, not just in the summer but year-round. The medicines are available over the counter and from veterinarians.
It’s probably not realistic to keep dogs inside throughout tick season. Dogs will be dogs, they love hiking, they love the woods. So after dogs go outside, make sure to check them carefully for ticks.
Here are some more tips for making sure dogs are protected:
Talk with your family veterinarian about vaccinating your pet against Lyme disease.
Talk with your veterinarian about the best way to prevent fleas and ticks from latching on to your pet.
Your veterinarian may suggest an oral medication so that your pet is simply given a pill once a month. Or the vet may encourage spot-on medications, medicated shampoos, powders or tick collars.
Consider having your yard and home treated for ticks.
Inspect your dogs for ticks if they have been outside near wooded areas.
If you find a tick, take tweezers and remove the tick as close to the body of the pet as possible, trying to get the head of the tick out.
Watch your pet carefully over time and look out for any changes in behavior.
If your pet is not acting right, take him or her to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Traveling with pets
Travel can be stressful for both pets and people. These tips will make your trip a more enjoyable experience for everyone, whether they have two legs or four:
Never leave your pet unattended in a car, even with the windows cracked. If it’s 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can rocket to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes.
Always make sure you have plenty of your pet’s medication packed. Take extra to be on the safe side.
Pack a first aid kit for your pet: tweezers to remove ticks, bandaging material for any cuts, hydrogen peroxide, etc.
If your pets have any ongoing medical conditions, take a copy of their medical records with you.
Identify the nearest animal emergency hospital to where you are staying and have the phone number handy.
Make sure your pet’s heartworm and flea prevention medications are current.
Don’t feed a large meal before leaving; simply allow periodic snacking.
Carry collapsible bowls for food and water.
Make sure that dog tags are clearly visible because people are more likely to catch pets if they can return them to the owner. Having your pet get a microchip for identification is a good step, too.
If your pet has implants (e.g. plates or screws from orthopedic surgery), and he or she will be flying, you should bring a note from your veterinarian.
When flying, be sure to have wheels for your carrier. Even a 10-pound animal can get heavy when carried in a shoulder carrier walking through a long airport terminal.
If your dog is one of the 17 percent who get sick when traveling, ask your veterinarian about an anti-vomiting medication. Dogs get motion sickness either because they are anxious while traveling or because their balance is affected by movement.
Special considerations for kitty:
Rosalie’s April on Independence Day!
Cats can be particularly sensitive to traveling. Here are tips for keeping your cat calm:
Try placing some catnip in the carrier 30 minutes before your trip; this may have a calming effect.
Don’t use tranquilizers or sedatives in cats for travel due to potential complications such as hypotension or paradoxical hyper-excitability.
Always keep your cat confined in a carrier while traveling. A frightened feline can easily escape through an open car window or door without anyone noticing.
Be sure to carry some moistened and dry paper towels and plastic bags for potential carrier accidents.
Have a safe and fun summer with your companion animal!