With the days getting longer and the temperature rising we are all looking forward to sunny days outside, especially our four-legged friends. And, as always, with the fair weather come fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. These critters have the potential to cause serious harm to our furry companions and it is important to be aware of all the potential dangers.
Without proper protection, your pets are at risk of flea and tick bites that can infect them with Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Babesiosis. These illnesses can be serious, and some may even lead to death without proper treatment.
Another life-threatening illness is Heartworm disease. Heartworms are parasitic worms that grow inside the hearts, lungs, and associated blood vessels of cats and dogs. They are transmitted when pets are bitten by infected mosquitoes. Severe lung disease, heart failure, and organ damage can follow, but often pets do not have symptoms until the infection has been present for a long time. For this reason, annual testing is recommended. Those animals who do show symptoms can have a mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss before symptoms of heart failure or cardiovascular collapse. When infections are found, treatment options are available, but monthly prevention is safer and far less costly to keep your pet healthy.
Advantages of Annual Exams
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s just as true when it comes to the well-being of your pet. And there’s no better way to help your pets live long and healthy lives than to make sure they receive their annual veterinary exams.
Even if your pet seems perfectly healthy, a yearly check-up is always necessary. During the exam, our veterinarians might pick up early warning signs of a medical problem that can be completely corrected, or at least slowed in progress. That means a longer and healthier life for your pet—and lower medical bills for you.
Vaccinations: Another Form of Prevention
Why do we vaccinate? Vaccinations are another form of prevention. Vaccines can protect your dog and cat from contracting a variety of illnesses, some of which can be fatal. Vaccines boost their immune system to fight off viruses. Even if they are never exposed to the outdoors, they can still contract illnesses from something you may bring home unknowingly.
What do vaccines do? Vaccines prevent illness by enabling the immune system to create defenses against disease. A vaccine contains disease antigens that gently stimulate the immune system without infecting the patient. The immune system then creates antibodies to fight off the real disease, should your pet ever be exposed.
What immunizations are recommended? The core vaccines that your veterinarian will recommend are the DA2PPL and Rabies for dogs, which prevent serious diseases such as Distemper, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis and Rabies. The core vaccines for cats are the FVRCP and Rabies which prevent illnesses like Panleukopenia, Calicivirus and Rabies. Each one of these diseases can be fatal. Based on your pet’s home life they may recommend other vaccines such as the Bordetella, which prevents kennel cough, if your dog is very social or the Lyme vaccine if your dog loves to play in the woods or tall grass.
As we continue into the Spring months, with Summer not far behind, now is the perfect time to make sure your pet is up to date with their vaccines. Make an appointment for your pet today and get ready to enjoy the sunny days ahead!