Goosepond Newsletter Spring 2009

posted: by: GAH Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Greetings from all of your Goosepond friends! We finally made it to warmer weather. This has been one of the coldest winter seasons in a long time.

This spring has been tough on dogs and cats due the large amount of ticks in the area. They seem to be especially hungry this year. Some people have been telling us that frontline doesn`t seem to be working for their pets. Frontline actually is a very good product, but it does not repel ticks. The ticks must bite the dog or cat and then will die in 24 hours while still attached. Research states that it takes 48 to 72 hours for the deer tick to transmit lyme disease. Frontline has been shown to be 93% effective in preventing lyme disease when applied every 30 days. For dogs in heavily infested areas, we also recommend the Preventic collar which is an excellent product and may be used simultaneously with Frontline.

Ticks are active mainly during the spring and fall seasons. They seem to like the cooler temperatures. They are fairly active during the summer as well. Ticks can live up to 2 years and easily live through winter under leaves. Ticks are transported around mainly by birds and mice. Deer are also an important vector of ticks. Do not be fooled by the size of the tick. Deer ticks vary in size from the head of a pin to as large as your finger nail depending upon their age. Only female ticks transmit lyme disease.

Fleas, on the other had, love the high heat of summer. Late June through September is their most active time. They can persist in your house all year long.

Fleas live up to 1 year and spend their entire adult life on its host. Their eggs fall of the host in the house or outside and the life cycle continues. The pupal stage (when they are in a cocoon) may last for a very long time in the house or outdoors. This stage is resistant to any flea sprays, topical or oral medications, house sprays or bombs. They hatch when conditions are favorable which perpetuates the flea infestation. This is why it is so difficult to clear a flea infestation from the house. Continuous monthly use of frontline and repeated house treatments will be necessary.

You may have heard that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is re-examining all over the counter flea and tick products for safety. Results are pending, but Frontline is an extremely safe product which we have been using for over 10 years with no serious side effects to date.

There are no pyrethrums or permethrins in frontline which also makes it very safe.

A word about intestinal parasites:
Intestinal parasites like hookworms, roundworms, whipworms (dogs only), and tapeworms are common health issues for dogs and cats throughout most of the United States. Your pet may have intestinal parasites if it has been exposed to a contaminated environment. Exposing a puppy or kitten to an infected mother prior to birth or in nursing can also cause infection. Your pet may show no outward signs of infection. Severe parasitic infections may cause blood loss, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and weight loss.

Certain intestinal parasites of animals may be transmitted to people, causing health issues. The term for this transmission from animals to people is called parasitic zoonosis. It occurs by accidental ingestion of parasite eggs, accidental ingestion of an infected flea or by penetration of the skin by a parasitic larva (hookworms only).

Almost all puppies and kittens less than 3 months of age are infected with roundworms. Parasite eggs are shed in the intestinal tract and passed in the bowel movements. Large numbers of eggs can be produced by a single intestinal worm (up to 100,000 roundworm eggs in a day). Parasites are transmitted primarily from a contaminated environment, not from normal contact with your pet. Certain parasite eggs can survive and remain infective in soil for years.

Preventing parasitic zoonosis
  •     Deworm your pet on a regular schedule as recommended by your veterinarian.
  •     Practice good hygiene. Wash hands regularly, especially after cleaning pet waste and handling pets.
  •     Clean yard frequently.
  •     Cover sandboxes when not in use (a favorite place for cats to urinate and defecate)
  •     Do not allow children to go barefoot, sit or lie on playgrounds where they may be exposed to animal stools.
  •     Keep pets flea free. Ingestion of infected fleas may transmit tapeworms and other diseases to animals or people.
  •     Clean cat litter boxes daily and wash hands.
  •     Do not drink water from streams or other sources that may be contaminated with animal feces.
  •     Keep pets clean.
The following products are used to prevent or treat parasite infestations:

Heart guard: prevents heartworm disease (transmitted by mosquitoes), hookworm, and roundworm. Given monthly all year.

Drontal: kills roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm in dogs and cats.

Interceptor: prevents heartworm disease, hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm. Given monthly all year.

Revolution: prevents heartworm; kills hookworm, roundworm, ear mites, fleas and ticks in cats.
prevents heartworm; kills scabies, ear mites, fleas and ticks in dogs.

Frontline: kills fleas and ticks on dogs and cats.

Profendor: kills hookworm, roundworm and tapeworm in cats

Remember, your can have fun with your pets and stay healthy!

Canine and Feline Heartworm Disease:
It is commonly known that heartworm disease affects dogs in our area. Approximately 1% to 2 % of unprotected dogs will become infected. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquito bites, and can be fatal if untreated. There is a treatment for dogs, but prevention is much safer (Heartguard, Interceptor or Revolution). Heartworm does not cause illness in people.

We are also seeing heartworm in cats. Feline heartworm is far more prevalent and destructive than previously thought. All available evidence suggests that the disease is expanding throughout the United States. Feline heartworm disease may cause severe acute respiratory disease or chronic progressive respiratory disease and may be fatal. There is no treatment for feline heartworm disease. However, the disease can be prevented by monthly topical medication (Revolution) or oral medication (Heartguard). Pets that rarely or never go outside are also susceptible to heartworm. Mosquitoes can survive indoors year around. Therefore we recommend using preventative in the winter months as well.

Heartworm disease is fully preventable in dogs and cats, so please protect your furry friends.

Have a happy and healthy summer!