Spring Safety Tips

Pet Health and Safety  •  Pam Karkow  •  Tuesday, May 19, 2020

A couple of summers ago, my mom spent two nights in the hospital after being bit by a snake while she was gardening.  A few years before that, my parents’ neighbor’s dog was bit on the mouth while sniffing around in the leaves behind their house.  My own neighbor had to keep her rescue dog calm and quiet (he’s a boxer!) for six weeks while he went through the deworming process, after being diagnosed with heartworms.  

Spring dangers for pets

These springtime nuisances are real and they can cause a lot of trouble for our furry friends and for their human moms and dads.  Spring is a time of long walks in the park and hours spent playing in the yard.  More time spent outside means more risk of the following…

  • Heartworm - Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes and is widespread throughout the US.  Worms can cause damage to the arteries and lungs and can be expensive and difficult to cure.  

  • Fleas - There are many species of fleas, and they can be very irritating to your pet as they make their home in your pet’s fluffy coat.  Pets can also contract tapeworms through the ingestion of fleas.

  • Ticks - They can cause Lyme Disease, which is a serious condition, causing lameness, fever, and depression in dogs.  Untreated, Lyme Disease can lead to kidney problems.

  • Snakes - There are many different types of venomous snakes in the United States, and they are responsible for the roughly 8,000 snake bites recorded in the US annually, according to PetMD.  (This statistic is only for people, since there is no central database for keeping records of dogs bitten by snakes.)

Protect your pet from spring dangers

  • PetPartners has you covered by offering reimbursement towards preventative care such as your annual wellness visit and flea/tick and heartworm preventatives to safeguard against diseases. 

  • Frequent cleaning can help keep your pet safe! Vacuum often, wash your pet’s bedding, and use a preventative medicine on your pet’s skin to destroy fleas and their eggs.  Spring cleaning your home?  Go ahead and give your pooch a good cleaning as well. 

  • Use a monthly topical medication to ward off ticks, and make sure to check your dog’s coat thoroughly after any romps through trails and among trees.  A tick must be removed within 48 hours to prevent Lyme Disease.

  • Always walk your dog on a leash.  If your dog seems unusually curious about something off the path you are walking, investigate before letting him sniff.  If your dog is bitten, take a picture of the snake, or note its markings, colors, and patterns.  Look for fang marks.  If your dog is bitten on the leg, tie a cloth above the bite wound, to slow the spread of poison.  Take him to the nearest emergency vet.

Springtime can and should be fun for you and your pet, and by being proactive and preparing for springtime pests, you can still enjoy frolicking through the open fields with man’s best friend.

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