The weather is starting to warm up for the summer, and for pet owners, that means both more outdoor fun and more potential hazards to watch out for. There are a couple main conditions that you need to be aware of that are most likely to be problematic during the warmer months of the year: heartworm and Lyme disease. Fortunately, heartworm blood testing in Saint Francisville, LA can help. Let’s take a look at both and the preventative measures you can take as a dog owner.
Heartworm has been diagnosed in every state in the U.S., and all it takes is a single mosquito bite for the dog to become infected with heartworm larvae. The condition can grow serious and potentially fatal.
For dogs, the larvae will quickly mature into adult worms that reside in the heart and blood vessels, which lead to problems with the heart and lungs. Dogs that have heartworm will show symptoms such as difficulty breathing, coughing and an inability to exercise or play. However, in some cases, dogs might not show any signs at all, which means you might not get a diagnosis until the disease has already progressed a substantial amount.
To prevent heartworm from becoming an issue, you should put your dog on a heartworm preventative product all year round, not just in the summer. Yes, the dog is most likely to experience mosquito exposure during the summer months, but year-round medication will ensure proper coverage. Talk to your veterinarian about an effective preventative option for your pet. Most of the time, these medications are developed in a way that makes them more like a treat for your pet than a medication.
You should also make sure your pet gets annual heartworm blood testing in Saint Francisville, LA, even if they’re on preventatives all year round.
Lyme disease is spread through ticks, and is particularly a problem in the Midwest and Northeast, but it can be an issue for dogs just about anywhere. Preventing exposure to ticks is the best way to prevent Lyme disease.
There are year-round preventative medications you can have your dog take to protect against ticks, just as you would do with heartworm. It’s going to be difficult for you to limit your dog’s outdoor time, so these products can be a life saver. You should also make sure to carefully scan your dog’s coat each time you bring them in from the outdoors. There are special tick combs you can use to run through your dog and pull ticks out of their hair. Even if they’re on tick preventatives, it’s a good idea to take these extra steps to get rid of the ticks before they latch on to your pets.
The summer months are full of fun and excitement for your pups, but make sure they can have that fun safely. For more information about some of the steps you should take this summer to keep your dogs happy and healthy, contact St. Francisville Animal Hospital to speak with a veterinarian in Saint Francisville, LA today.
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