We all know that April showers bring May flowers, but did you know how important it is to know what’s in your garden?
Whether outside as part of the landscaping, or looking decorative around the house, the importance of knowing what kinds of plants you have cannot be overstated.
This becomes critical knowledge when you return from the grocery store to find that your pet has gone to town in your flower bed or made a salad out of your houseplant.
Calling your veterinarian armed with the name of the plant your pet ingested can make for a smoother experience all around – for the pet, the owner and the veterinary staff providing treatment.
Unsure of what, exactly, your fur kid ate?
The ASPCA maintains a list of poisonous plants, including photos for identification and comparison. The list can be found at https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants.
The animal welfare organization also operates an animal poison control center 24 hours a day year-round that can be reached at (888) 426-4435.
So, the next time you break out the gardening gloves, remember: not all flora and fauna mix. Knowing what you grow can lead to better outcomes when plants end up as seasonal snacks.
… but, in the event that you have one, would you know what to do?
Though a trip to the vet is usually needed in an emergency, there are things pet owners can do to help the situation as they work on getting their furry family member in to see the doctor.
The American Red Cross offers pet owners a 35-minute online pet first aid course which provides training for common emergency situations.
The course covers understanding your pet's vital signs, breathing and cardiac emergencies, wounds and bleeding, seizures and preventive care for cats and dogs. It is desktop and tablet compatible and costs $25. The course can be found at https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/first-aid/cat-dog-first-aid.
For portable reference, the organization also has a pet first aid app that is free to download to smartphones in the App Store and Google Play.
With the warmer, wetter weather comes a timely reminder that it’s heartworm season.
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body.
The dog is a natural host for heartworms, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring. If left untreated, their numbers can increase, and dogs have been known to harbor several hundred worms in their bodies.
Spread by mosquitoes, heartworm disease is preventable by giving your dog a chewable tablet once a month, which, in addition to preventing heartworm disease, provides the added benefit of deworming them of intestinal parasites. While there are many different products out there, Greenwood Lake Animal Hospital recommends Interceptor Plus, which protects against heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms.
Heartworm disease causes lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries, and can affect the dog’s health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone. Because of this, heartworm prevention for dogs is by far the best option, and treatment — when needed — should be administered as early in the course of disease as possible.
If it has been a while since your dog was on heartworm prevention, they should be tested to make sure they have not contracted the disease while off the medication. Prevention can be restarted once the pet has tested negative.
When compared to the cost of treatment, heartworm prevention is the more economical option by far.
Don’t delay, protect your dog’s heart today!
As anyone who's been hiking recently can attest, the ticks are out and about and looking for their next meal.
For your dog, that means an increased risk of Lyme disease, among other tick-borne diseases.
Don't leave them unprotected this year.
In addition to their monthly flea and tick preventive, consider adding the Lyme vaccine to your pet's vaccine schedule.
Initially a series of two, the Lyme vaccine is boostered yearly and provides an added layer of protection against the disease.
Dogs can display several forms of Lyme disease, but the most common symptoms are lameness, swollen lymph nodes, joint swelling, fatigue and loss of appetite. In addition, serious kidney complications have been associated with Lyme disease in dogs.
Being that we are located in a highly wooded area, Greenwood Lake Animal Hospital recommends vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease.
Call to schedule your appointment today!