Did you realize June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month? Our team at Grantsburg Animal Hospital is excited to give you some background information on this awareness event and give you some reasons to consider changing your life with the adoption of a feline companion!
The Spirit and Motivation of the Month
Adopt a Shelter Month is promoted by the ASPCA to help our vulnerable and beloved cat friends. Why do shelter cats need awareness targeted on them? Over 3 million surrendered or abandoned cats make their way into shelters each year, with June being one of the busiest times of the year.
Why Should You Consider Adopting a Cat?
1. If you already have a cat, it's an opportunity for a new companion!
Solitary cats can become lonely. Cats with buddies have a build in companion to play with. Not only does this help both of them stay more physically fit, but it also helps with their mental enrichment, as well!
2. Purrs, snuggles and a companion for YOU!
Cats can be amazing emotional support to humans. Studies even show that they can reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack!
3. You will save a life.
There’s no mystery behind this one. Especially choosing to adopt an older or black cat, cat adoption provides a cat a home when he or she may otherwise be euthanized. Shelter resources are limited, and often the cats that are not adopted early fall into those two categories.
4. Cats are a great companion in small spaces.
Are you a townhome, apartment or condo dweller? Or do you have limited backyard space that may not be conducive to dog ownership? When provided opportunities for enrichment, a smaller space isn't a limiting factor for a cat's happiness. As long as they have opportunity to hunt and play, you'll find them quite content.
If We’ve Piqued Your Interest, Here Are Some Some Final Thoughts on a Cat Adoption!
There are many shelters full of cats searching for a family. Take your time, and ask the shelter workers about the cat's temperament to help assess if this is a good fit for you. Once you have your new companion home, give them plenty of space to take in the new setting. Adjustment takes time, so also give your new cat time to acclimate.
Ensure you’re financially able to bring a cat into your life. There will be expenses such as food, vaccinations, and veterinary care. However, you can rest assured that our Grantsburg Animal Hospital staff will be here to help provide veterinary advice and the very best in veterinary care for your new companion!
Photo Credit: Pexels
According to Pets and Parasites, whipworm is one of the four most common types of intestinal parasites founds in dogs. They make themselves at home in the cecum of your dog, which is the part of the body where the large and small intestines come together. Your dog can easily acquire whipworm by digging in soil and consuming whipworm eggs or parts of feces from herself or other dogs that contain whipworm. Whipworms are approximately one-quarter of an inch long and can survive for up to five years. They can also reproduce multiple times inside of your dog’s body.
Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Whipworms in Dogs
This parasite can cause severe irritation to the lining of your dog’s intestines. When that happens, you are likely to notice at least some of these symptoms:
- Bloody and watery diarrhea
- General fatigue and listlessness
- Infection and death in severe cases
- Weight loss
Diagnosing whipworm in dogs can be tricky. That is because a veterinarian must spot at least one microscopic egg in a dog’s stool, and whipworms don’t mix with a dog’s stool every time he defecates. Another issue is that it can take up to 12 weeks after hatching for a female whipworm to lay eggs inside of your dog’s body. These two problems can often cause false negative results. Even if a result is negative, there is a high likelihood your dog actually does have whipworm if he continues to struggle with bloody, watery diarrhea.
At Grantsburg Animal Hospital, we often recommend a heartworm medication called Interceptor to treat whipworms since it is effective at killing them as well. We may use a different type of medication if your dog’s symptoms and unique lifestyle factors call for it. If that happens, we will need to space the treatments up to four weeks apart. Once a dog has tested positive for whipworm, it’s a good idea to continue to treat every several months as a proactive measure.
How to Prevent Your Dog from Getting Whipworm
The most effective thing you can do to prevent whipworm is to routinely remove your dog’s feces from your yard and stop him immediately if you notice him trying to eat the feces of another dog. It’s also important to keep up with your dog’s routine preventive care so we can take periodic stool samples to check for the presence of this parasite.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 715-463-2536 with additional questions or to schedule an appointment.
Image credit: Annetics | iStock | Getty Images Plus