Spring into Pet Health Hazards
It is Spring time in New Mexico. As our weather bounces back and forth from warm to cold, from sweaters to tank tops, we are all going outside more and doing our Spring clean up. I know I have been inspired by the sun, this weeks rain didn’t even deter me. But as we go through our spring cleaning routines, lets take some precautions to not send our pets, or ourselves, into a health crisis.
Ticks are nasty little buggers and we definitely have them here in New Mexico. They can cause horrible disease that affect people and pets: Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, anaplasmosis, tularemia, and babesiosis. Some of these disease can cause life long health issues or even death. Thankfully ticks are really easy to avoid, at least for your dogs and cats.
The best way is to use a monthly anti flea and tick treatment like Frontline. It is a once monthly treatment, that doesn’t hurt, and will keep all fleas and ticks off your pet. If your pet is already having flea issues, it will get rid of your issue. Because we are so warm here in Albuquerque, Vetco recommends doing a year round Frontline treatment. However, we know that a lot of people stop treatment in the winter. If you stopped, it is time to start back up!
If your pet is not using an anti flea and tick treatment, then we recommend keeping them out of deep leaves, tall grasses, and brushy areas. Ticks love to hide in ground foliage.
As we start to come into mosquito season, we also come into Heartworm season. Heartworm disease is transmitted via mosquito. It is a deadly disease that has no treatment. The only thing you can do it prevent it. Thankfully prevention is easy and affordable.
We recommend HeartGard Heartworm treatment. It is an easy monthly chewable that you give your pet and it will keep them safe from heartworm. Unfortunately there is no other way to protect your pet. Mosquitos are everywhere and your pet can be bitten even if they are covered in bug spray….which we do not recommend doing as it is not good for them.
Garden Goodies or Baddies
Many of us are already getting the itch to go dig in our garden. Even if we aren’t ready to plant, we can start getting our garden beds prepared with fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. All of these things are great for the soil but not always great for our plants. With any additive your use, ALWAYS check the label about pet safety. Most will give you warnings about how to keep your pet safe when using their product. There are products available that market themselves as pet friendly, but there are still potential concerns. In general:
- If it is wet, don’t let your pet near it until it dries
- Don’t let them eat fertilizer
- Don’t let them chew on recently sprayed plants, even if it is dry.