It’s that time of year! Environmental allergies are rearing their ugly head. Stay ahead of the game by starting your pet on a management program before their symptoms peak. Come in and speak to Dr. Paterson, and she’ll come up with a game plan to keep your pet as comfortable as possible through their flare up season.
Environmental allergens, such as dust, pollen, and mold, can cause an atopic allergic reactions or atopic dermatitis. In most cases, these allergies are seasonal, so you may only notice your dog itching during certain times of the year. As with food allergies, the most commonly affected areas are the paws and ears (but also include the wrists, ankles, muzzle, underarms, groin, around the eyes, and in between the toes).
All skin allergies pose the risk of secondary infection. As your dog scratches, bites, and licks at his skin, he risks opening up his skin to yeast and bacterial infections that may require treatment.
Put your dog’s brain to work, and take the 5 game challenge!
Updates from the desk of Dr. Scott Weese:
“It’s pretty much full time COVID-19 around here, and I’ve gotten behind on posting. I figured it might be useful to recap some of the more common questions that are going around:
Does the SARS-CoV-2 virus (virus that causes COVID-19) infect animals?
…The virus likely originated in an animal of some kind, and has since been found in a relatively healthy dog, but we don’t know much more than that. From a transmission standpoint, this is a human disease. Whether it’s purely human or predominantly human is a lingering question. If it’s purely a human disease, we can ignore the animal side (except for their potential to be contaminated fomites, more on that below). If it’s predominantly a human disease with minor animal involvement, the focus still needs to be on people, but there are some animal aspects worth considering.”
Spring has sprung, and with the change of season, our thoughts turn to Easter celebrations, spring cleaning and much-needed home improvement projects. Before you embark on seasonal chores or outdoor revelry, take inventory of potential springtime hazards for your furry friends.
*If you suspect your pet may have come in contact with or ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian or the 24/7 ANIMAL POISON CONTROL CENTER 1 (855) 764-7661
Easter Treats and Decorations
Keep lilies and candy in check—chocolate goodies are toxic to cats and dogs, and all true lilies can be fatal if ingested by cats. And be mindful, kitties love to nibble on colorful plastic grass, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting and dehydration. Moreover, while live bunnies, chicks and other festive animals are adorable, resist the urge to buy them—these cute babies grow up fast and often require specialized care!
Many pet parents welcome the breezy days of spring by opening their windows. Unfortunately, they also unknowingly put their pets at risk—especially cats, who are apt to jump or fall through unscreened windows. Be sure to install snug and sturdy screens in all of your windows.
While most dogs love to feel the wind on their furry faces, allowing them to ride in the beds of pick-up trucks or stick their heads out of moving-car windows is dangerous. Flying debris and insects can cause inner ear or eye injuries and lung infections, and abrupt stops or turns can cause major injury, or worse! Pets riding in cars should always be secured in a crate or wearing a seatbelt harness designed especially for them.
Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition in many households, but be sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of your pets’ way! Almost all cleaning products, even all natural ones, contain chemicals that may be harmful to pets. The key to using them safely is to read and follow label directions for proper use and storage.
Home Improvement 101
Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pets and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Carefully read all labels to see if the product is safe to use around your furry friends. Also, be cautious of physical hazards, including nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools. It may be wise to confine your dog or cat to a designated pet-friendly room during home improvement projects.
Let Your Garden Grow—With Care
Pet parents, take care—fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients may be dangerous if your pet ingests them. Always store these products in out-of-the-way places and follow label instructions carefully. Many popular springtime plants—including rhododendron and azaleas—are also highly toxic to pets and can prove fatal if eaten. Check out our full list—of toxic and non-toxic plants for your home and garden.
Like us, pets can be allergic to foods, dust, plants and pollens. Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause itching, minor sniffling and sneezing, or life-threatening anaphylactic shock to insect bites and stings. If you suspect your pet has a springtime allergy, please visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Pesky Little Critters
April showers bring May flowers—and an onslaught of bugs! Make sure your pet is on year-round heartworm preventive medication, as well as a flea and tick control program. Ask your doctor to recommend a plan designed specifically for your pet.
Out and About
Warmer weather means more trips to the park, longer walks and more chances for your pet to wander off! Make sure your dog or cat has a microchip for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home address, cell phone and any other relevant contact information.
Our pets are curious by nature, and they explore the world through their nose and paws- making them prime targets for insect stings. In most cases there will be mild swelling and tenderness. Be sure not to squeeze the stinger (causing more venom exposure); rather, use a credit card to scrape it out. Some pets are allergic to bee stings and will need emergency medical care. If your dog or cat starts vomiting or becomes lethargic after a bee sting, it is a sign of anaphylactic shock, and a clear indicator that they need immediate care.