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…

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…

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.

Dog Days of Summer

We want to make sure you keep your pets safe during these hot, hot months. Please watch out for the following summer hazards:

  • Heat stroke: It may be the most obvious hazard, but don’t forget that pets can overheat and even die from high temperatures. Never leave an animal in a car, even for a short period. Make sure your pet always has access to shade and fresh water.
  • The sun: It may sound like a good idea to shave down your golden retriever, but your pet’s coat provides insulation from the heat and limits sun exposure which can result in sunburn.
  • Heartworms: Mosquitoes transmit heartworms, which are just what they sound like- worms that grow in the heart. Not a good thing. Keep your pet on heartworm prevention as recommended by your vet.
  • Fleas: These nasty little buggers are at their peak during the warm months of the year. Preventatives prescribed by your vet are very effective at keeping fleas at bay.
  • Parties: Fido may want to crash the neighborhood block party, but be sure you limit his consumption of extra treats that may make him sick.  Alcohol is also a big danger as well as garbage cans full of tasty treats like leftover bones.

Summer can be a fun time for your pet, but there are many dangers as well.  Keeping yourself informed and aware of potential risks can help to make sure your summer is a breeze.