Lyme Disease: Is Your Dog At Risk?

dog-in-fall

Fall is the season for football, pumpkin spice lattes, sweaters, boots and ticks.

Wait, TICKS?

Yes, ticks!  Iowa provides two ideal situations for ticks: cool weather and a high deer population.

 

So how do you know if your pet is at risk for Lyme disease?  Here are some risk assessment questions:

  1. Have you ever found a tick on your pet? On yourself or a member of your household?
  2. Does your dog live in a suburban home next to wildlife areas?
  3. Is your dog’s yard surrounded by tall brush or grass?
  4. Does your dog go walking, hiking, picnicking, fishing or camping in wooded areas?
  5. Does your dog frequent areas with lots of deer?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, talk to your veterinarian about Lyme disease.  You can also check out this prevalence map to see what tick-borne diseases you should be concerned about in your area.

deer-tick

The deer tick is very hard to spot on dogs.

Lyme disease is a growing concern because the disease is increasing in number and expanding geographically.  It is a potentially serious illness transmitted to dogs by the deer tick. Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs are:

  • Lameness
  • Not eating
  • Fever
  • Stiffness
  • Joint Pain/Swelling
  • Depression

Lyme disease in dogs is largely preventable by using a tick preventive and an annual Lyme vaccine.

 

 

Itchy Pet? We Can Help!

 

itchy-dog-and-cat

Has your dog or cat been itchy and uncomfortable lately?

Pets can display these symptoms any time of the year, but we tend to see an increase during this time of the year.  Thankfully, there are many things we can do as pet owners to help our pets find relief!

 

 

First things first: Are all pets in the home protected against fleas?

Even if your pets are 100% indoors, they all need to be protected.  We can carry fleas in just as easy as they can pick up fleas outdoors.  The cooler weather should not be an indicator that it’s okay to stop a preventive.  The fleas are still out in full force and ticks actually thrive in the 50-60 degree weather so tick protection is important as well during this time of the year. Click here for more info on flea and tick symptoms and preventive care.  If you see any of these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

 

Allergies:  Pets can get them too. 

While humans sneeze and have a runny nose, dogs and cats express their allergies through their skin.  If you notice your pet starting to itch a little more than normal, one thing you can do at home is give him a bath.  Make sure to use cool water and an oatmeal based pet shampoo for best results.  For dogs, you can wipe off his feet with a washcloth or baby wipe after going outside to eliminate some of the pollen he picks up outside.

 

Still uncomfortable?

If you pet is causing open sores from scratching or unable to settle down to rest, he should see a veterinarian.  There are a wide variety of medications that a veterinarian can prescribe to provide relief for your pet.

 

 

 

Back To School Time: How Are Your Pets Handling It?

Chelsey

School has officially begun!  Whether you are pushing your kids out the front door or still wishing summer could last a little longer, the change in our schedule is inevitable.  A change in routine can cause some stress on our furry companions, so it’s our responsibility to help them adjust.  Here are a few tips to make things easier for them while they wait by the door for the family to get home!

1.  Establish Play Times.  Schedule play times before school and after school with the kids to ensure your pets are getting enough activity.  If you have a dog, plan an evening walk with the whole family.  Walks are great for both exercise and stimulation for your dog.

2. Turn On Some Tunes.  Play some slow and soothing music for your pet while you are gone.  This will take away the quiet and help them feel more at ease.

3.  Enroll In A Training Class.  When things get busy, it’s easy to get lax on the rules.  A training class is both good for our pup and us, as well.  It helps us establish boundaries with our pets and reminds them what they can and can’t do.

4. Use Adaptil (for dogs) and Feliway (for cats).  These are synthetic pheromones designed to mimic those released by a mother to her offspring to help them feel more comfortable in potential stress situations.  These products are available in diffuser form and a spray for your convenience.

5.  Purchase A New Toy For Your Pet.  Your pet deserves to be spoiled every once and a while, right?  While the kids are getting school supplies and new sneakers, pick up a new interactive toy for your pet to spice things up!  Your pet will thank you!