Dr. Patten’s simple steps for a safer spring season.
Spring is here, which means it is time to get your pet ready to spend more time outside. With a few simple steps you can make sure your pet is prepared for the warmer weather.
Dogs should stay on heartworm and flea/tick preventatives year round; however, many people stop these medications in the winter. If you are restarting heartworm prevention this spring, your dog should have a heartworm test with your veterinarian to make sure he is negative before the heartworm prevention is restarted. Flea/tick preventatives can be safely restarted at any time.
Intestinal parasites become more prevalent as the weather gets warmer. All dogs and cats should have a fecal test performed at least once a year to check for intestinal parasites. If your pet does test positive for parasites, these can be easily treated with medication from your veterinarian.
Many infectious diseases can be prevented with vaccines. As the weather gets warmer, the risk of contracting a contagious disease increases. This risk is because dogs have more close contact with other dogs in the warmer months and because certain diseases last longer in the environment when it is warmer outside. Staying up to date on your pet’s vaccines will prevent many serious contagious diseases.
As the weather changes to spring many dogs may have a flare up of their seasonal allergies. A dog with skin allergies may lick his paws, scratch his skin, develop red skin, or ear infections. Tell your veterinarian if your dog has any signs of allergies. There are many different types of medications, from antihistamines to steroids, that can help relieve allergy symptoms.
If your pet likes to bask in the warm sun or spend a lot of time outdoors, consider sun protection. Pets can develop sun damage on areas of their body with little or no hair. Often these areas are the tips of the ears or on top of the nose. Most baby sunscreens are safe to apply to your pet. If your pet has hair thinning along their back consider placing a child’s t-shirt over your dog for sun protection.
About Dr. Patten
Dr. Patten, owner of Liberty Vet Clinic in Roxborough, has extensive experience in preventative care, dental procedures, emergency medicine, and soft tissue surgery. She lives on Fox Street in East Falls with her husband and their two sons.
8919 Ridge Ave (MAP)