Lyme Disease in Dogs:  Symptoms and Solutions

iStock_000091288905_MediumIt is tick season here in Illinois, and you are likely no stranger to these creepy crawly critters. It is no fun to find a tick on you or your pet, but the concern goes far beyond a case of the heebie jeebies.

Ticks are known to carry a wide variety of infectious diseases, not the least of which is Lyme disease. So what is a pet owner to do? How can we protect our canine companions? The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital are here to help you learn how to recognize the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs and offer some great ways to prevent tick problems.

A Little About Lyme

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by the deer tick. It is caused by the organism Borrelia burgdorferii, which lives in the tick’s digestive system and becomes activated during feeding. Lyme disease can infect people and pets alike. Continue…

The Not-So-Subtle Problems with Fleas and Ticks

iStock_000047785894_Large (2)Fleas and ticks (and other parasites) seem to be the bane of summertime fun. Our  pets are not exempt from the plague of blood-seeking disease carriers. From off-the-shelf-products to hiding in our homes, we may have tried every tactic to keep them at bay, but they still are a problem. And, now what!

To understand the ways fleas and ticks can become risky to the health of our pets, it’s important to explore effective ways to prevent them from ever posing a threat to our pet family members. Continue…

Pet Parasite Preventatives Matter

iStock_000001647782_MediumKeeping your pet healthy and parasite-free is a continuous responsibility of pet ownership. Fleas, ticks, and heartworms are yearlong threats to your pet, and the diseases they carry can cause your pet serious discomfort and illness, even beyond their recognized “season”.

At Naperville Animal Hospital, we encourage you to be proactive with your pet’s health. If your pet is not already on  parasite preventatives, the time to start is now. If you have already started a preventative treatment plan for your pet, be sure to continue with a parasite preventative throughout the course of your pet’s life. Parasite preventatives matter to your pet’s longevity and well-being; here’s why… Continue…

Whipworms in Pets: Protecting Your Pet Against Intestinal Parasites

A cut of soilSome intestinal parasites are easier to get rid of than others, and perhaps none is quite as formidable as the dreaded whipworm. A relatively common parasite of the dog (as well as coyotes and foxes), the whipworm, or Trichuris vulpis, can be hard to get rid of. Continue…

Know Thy Enemy: Heartworms in Pets

 

Heartworms are a parasite that every pet owner should be familiar with. How much do you really know about this serious and formidable foe? See if you can answer the following questions.

 

Q:  True or false?  Heartworms only affect dogs.

A:  False. While heartworm disease is mostly a dog problem, cats, ferrets, wolves, coyotes, foxes, and sea lions can all be infected. Continue…

Lyme Disease: What you need to know

dog on lawnIt is no coincidence that April is National Lyme Disease Prevention Month.  Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks, and the nasty little parasites are at their height during the spring months.  Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the organism Borrelia burgdorferi that is transmitted by the bite of an infected tick.  The disease is most common in the northeastern, upper Midwestern, and West Coast states, however the area of concern appears to be spreading in recent years.

Infected animals may not develop any symptoms at all.  Some will develop fever, lameness, swollen joints, depression, and/or loss of appetite.  If the infection persists kidney failure and permanent lameness can ensue.  If Lyme disease is suspected, we may suggest running a blood test to confirm infection.  Luckily most pets with Lyme disease respond well to antibiotic therapy.

In endemic areas (like ours), vaccination of dogs for Lyme disease is recommended.  Disease can also be prevented by using tick preventative products recommended by your veterinarian and by removing ticks promptly before disease transmission can occur.  Avoiding tick infested areas and keeping shrubbery and grass closely trimmed can also lessen the likelihood of exposure.  If your dog is at risk for contracting Lyme disease, so are you!  Use care in areas with a heavy tick population.

Call us if you have any questions, or if your dog is showing symptoms.

Heartworm Disease: How Much Do You Know?

Dog and CatHeartworm disease is no joke.  It is a very serious problem for pets that, with a little effort, is almost completely preventable.  Here are a few facts regarding heartworm disease so that you can better understand how to protect your pet:

  • Heartworms grow inside the heart, lungs, and associated vessels.
  • Heartworm disease is transmitted by female mosquitoes.
  • Both dogs and cats can become infected.
  • Heartworm disease has been found in ALL 50 states.
  • Pets that are infected may not exhibit any signs until serious problems and even death occur.
  • There is a treatment for heartworm disease in dogs, although the treatment is expensive and can have a high risk of complications.  No treatment is currently available for cats.

Contact us and we can help you to decide what the best preventative plan is for your pet.  By educating yourself you can protect your dog or cat from this scary disease.

Arm Yourself for Flea and Tick Season!

With flea and tick season on the horizon, don’t forget that the best defense is a good offense!  Advances in parasite prevention options and a little knowledge can go a long way towards defeating these nasty little buggers.  Don’t forget the following important aspects of protecting your pet:

  • Choose your weapons wisely:  Use safe, effective, high quality preventative products.  Some products work better than others.  Don’t waste your money on something that isn’t going to work.  We can help you analyze your specific needs and pinpoint the best product for your situation.
  • Be punctual: Treat your pet every 30 days or as directed.  Many products loose efficacy toward the end of the treatment cycle.
  • Bathe with caution: When using spot-on products, be sure to avoid bathing your pet 48 hours before AND after application.
  • Every pet, every month: All pets in the household should be treated with flea prevention.  Should the rogue flea get into the house, even that old indoor kitty can become a virtual breeding ground for the little varmints. Be sure to consult with us before using spot treatments on your cat, though — some of them are canine only.
  • Don’t give up hope: If you have a bad infestation, things may look worse before it looks better.  Continue utilizing the products recommended as instructed.

If you need refills on any of your flea & tick prevention or would like to talk to us about some options, give us a call or just stop in!