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Posted on 03-15-2013

photo_1.JPGAs winter becomes spring, we at Eagle Animal Hospital are excited at the prospect of spending more time outdoors with our pets. I know our dogs, Henry and Hudson, can't wait to hit the wooded trails with us. As we start to enjoy our pets outdoors, it is important to remember that we share our environment with insects. These insects, especially fleas, ticks and mosquitos can carry harmful disease that we need to protect ourselves and our pets against.

Fleas, ticks and mosquitos are everywhere we go and very difficult to avoid. Therefore, it is important that we take measures to prevent these insects from staying on our pets, feeding on their blood, and transmitting disease. Fleas feasting on our pets can result in anemias (low red blood cell counts), skin rashes and allergic reactions, as well as transmit intestinal parasites such as tapeworms. Ticks can transmit a number of diseases to our pets including: Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasmosis, resulting in fevers, lethargy, joint pain, kidney failure, and bleeding disorders. Mosquitos can transmit heartworms to both our cats and dogs. This worm lives in the blood stream and hearts of our pets leading to heart and lung disease which can be fatal.

While we can not avoid these insects, we can prevent the damage they can inflict on our pets by using good flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives. Our doctors and staff at Eagle Animal Hospital apply these preventatives to our pets once a month ALL YEAR LONG. There are many flea, tick and heartworm preventative on the market from which to choose. These medications can be expensive, resulting in some owners not using them regularly. Although expensive, these medication help prevent diseases that could lead to much more expensive treatment, or even the loss of your pet. As the adage goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." While some preventatives can be cheaper than others, these are typically not as effective, and can lead to more toxicity. With this in mind, we recommend using a good preventative product recommended by our veterinary team. This way you can avoid potential pit falls of some over the counter medications. Eagle Animal Hospital currently recommends Vectra, Frontline or Revolution for flea and tick prevention and Interceptor or Heartgard for heartworm prevention.

Get ready to enjoy a great spring and summer. Wear plenty of sunscreen, stay hydrated, don't swim for 1/2 hour after eating, check yourselves for ticks after being in the woods.... and make sure your pets are protected, too.

If you have any questions regarding flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives, or having your pet tested for any of these potential diseases contact us at Eagle Animal Hospital. Our knowledgeable veterinary team will help to answer all of your questions.

Written by David Matunis, VMD

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