886 S Pine St, PO Box 277

Grantsburg, WI 54840

Phone: (715) 463-2536

1(800) 924-0588

140 Evergreen Square SW

Pine City, MN 55063

Phone: (320) 629-7474

Not-So-Fascinating Facts About Fleas and Ticks

4/26/2019

Did you know that fleas can pull 160,000 times their own weight? That’s proportionally more weight than you pulling a skyscraper! Did you also know that fleas can jump 30,000 times repeatedly without stopping! Talk about Leg Day! While these facts can be fascinating, fleas feasting on your pet are not. Both fleas and ticks can make life for your dog or cat pretty miserable.

What Is It Like for a Pet with Fleas?
 
A day in the life for a pet with fleas can be both physically and mentally uncomfortable and draining. As your dog falls into a deep slumber and finally reaches REM sleep when he begins to dream, he will be startled awake by flea bites followed by an irresistible need to scratch. He’ll wake up, scratch his ears, around his collar, maybe chew on his lower back above his tail, then snuggle down again. Of course, this cycle happens over and over again throughout his sleep.
 
And fleas don’t just keep your dog or cat from receiving rest. They will continue to bite throughout the day, each time your pet will stop, scratch or chew, and carry on. One flea can bite your pet 400 times per day and lay up to 50 eggs per day. Can you imagine how many daily bites that can lead to? It’s no wonder so many dogs and cats end up with bald patches and areas of their skin that they chew raw. 
 
This problem is even worse for cats and dog with flea allergies.
 
Fleas don’t just bother your pet, they prevent your pet from enjoying his day-to-day activities. They bother pet owners, too. Fleas can be costly and difficult to get rid of. Only 5% of fleas live on your pet, the rest hide throughout your home in the carpet and bedding. And here’s another fact, it takes two to three weeks for flea eggs to hatch, making the infestation reappear after one finally thinks they’ve solved the problem.

Ticks Can Cause Serious Damage to a Pet’s Health, Too

Ticks also cause discomfort for pets and lead to severe illnesses such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme’s Disease. These arachnids can practically be microscopic when they first a hitch a ride on your pup, but soon enough, they will fill with blood and drop off. 
 
Fleas and ticks can lead to anemia, internal parasites like tapeworms, diseases, and infection.
 

Here are the real facts:

  • Ticks often hop on a dog or cat after clinging to stalks and grass.
  • Ticks love areas where deer and other wild animals live.
  • Ticks go through four life stages and live up to three years.
  • Fleas can jump 150 times their height.
  • There are 2,000 species of fleas. The cat flea is the most common.
  • Fleas can survive 1-2 weeks without eating.
  • Ticks can cause a disease called Alpha-gal which causes human to form an allergy to red meat.

How Can You Prevent Your Pet from Getting Fleas and Ticks?

 
We know there are endless ‘natural’ solutions out there for fleas and ticks, but none will completely safeguard your pet. Just one tick can infect your dog or cat with a painful and life-threatening disease. The same is true of fleas. If your dog or cat swallows a flea with tapeworms, they will likely contract tapeworms (an owner's least favorite problem to deal with).
 
If you’re considering essential oils, sprays, or homeopathic remedies for fleas and ticks, please consult with us first. We offer a wide range of safe and effective flea and tick preventions that will keep your pet safe and your home bug-free.
 
With adequate flea and tick prevention, you can enjoy the great outdoors worry-free with your pet this spring. (And these intriguing facts about fleas will be more fascinating than frightening!)
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Heartworms: Not so Heart-Warming this Spring

3/27/2019

Spring is here! Dog parents all over the country are thrilled to not have to bundle up in layers just to walk their dogs. Cats are happy to watch the birds flutter by the windows, and we all love the beautiful flowers that light up our yards this time of year. As the birds return and the weather warms up, so do the pests, including the mosquitos that could potentially be carrying heartworms.

Before you let your dog frolic in the backyard for hours on end, make sure you keep her protected from hazards that come along with pests: one of the most threatening being heartworms. In order to protect your pup, it’s essential that you understand what causes heartworm disease, how it affects dogs, and how to prevent it.

And trust us, you do not want your dog to get infected.

What Causes Heartworms?

If you’ve ever smacked a mosquito that took a bite out of your arm, you should know how easy it can be to contract heartworm disease. While humans cannot get infected with heartworms, it only takes one mosquito bite for a cat or dog to get infected.

There are 30 different species of mosquitos that can transmit heartworms. Mosquitos become infected by biting an infected mammal. The heartworm larvae then develop in the mosquito’s stomach for about 10 to 30 days. Then, if an infected mosquito bites a dog, they will enter the dog’s bloodstream and migrate to a dog’s heart where they will mature, mate, a reproduce for about six months. Disgusting, right? And to make it worse, each heartworm can live five to seven years!

How Does Heartworm Disease Affect Dogs?

Yes, heartworms are gross. In fact, thinking about them makes our skin crawl, too. They look like long threads. As they mature, they get longer and longer and eventually clog a dog’s heart and surrounding vessels. As you can imagine, these threads get in the way the valves that pump blood through the heart to the body.

Developed heartworms reduce blood flow and block blood vessels. Eventually, heartworms will block blood flow to the lungs and other organs so dogs wind up struggling to breathe. As the heartworms reproduce, they create more larvae that move around with the dog’s blood and block smaller blood vessels. Both of these create significant a risk to a dog’s health. 

Heartworms are life-threatening. The most common health issue for dogs infected with heartworms is heart failure.

While we check your dog’s lungs and heart at regular checkups, you should also know the common symptoms many pet parents recognize. 

Symptoms of Heartworms Include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Lethargy
  • Shortness of Breath
  •  Reluctance to Play and Run

If you suspect your dog is having trouble breathing, make sure you bring your pup by for a checkup. We can run blood tests if we hear any abnormalities that we may suspect as heartworm disease.

How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Prevent Heartworm Disease

While a mosquito seems harmless enough, heartworms are not. Not only is heartworm disease deadly, but heartworm treatment is costly, painful for dogs, and can be dangerous. Don’t risk your dog’s precious heart, life, or safety this spring.

The reality is you can’t prevent heartworm disease on your own. Luckily, we’re here to help! We offer a wide range of preventative medicines that will keep your pup safe all spring, summer, fall, and winter-long while you enjoy the sunshine and a few good games of fetch! Make an appointment to learn more about what heartworm medicine will work best for your best friend!

Photo Credit: LARISA SHPINEVA

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