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

Prevent Heartworm to Prevent a Tragedy

4/19/2016

preview full Prevent Heartworm

 
Heartworm disease, which infected mosquitos transmit to dogs and cats upon biting them, can cause serious complications and even death. A single adult heartworm can grow up to 12 inches and live for up to five years inside the body of a host animal. Female heartworm can also reproduce inside of your pet. A mature heartworm typically lives in the pulmonary arteries or right ventricle of the heart. When multiple heartworms are present, they invade the right atrium as well. Some of the common symptoms of heartworm infestation include:
 
·      Persistent Coughing
·      Fatigue not caused by exertion or relieved by rest
·      Appetite loss
·      Weight loss
·      Vomiting 
·      Lethargy
 
However, some animals don’t display any symptoms at all until it is too late to treat the infestation. That is why heartworm prevention is so important. At Grantsburg Animal Hospital, we can start a puppy on heartworm medication at eight weeks of age without testing him first. By age six months, we need to obtain a negative heartworm test in order to prescribe preventive medication. Dr. Palmquist can determine if a dog has heartworm with a simple blood test. We diagnosed 11 positive cases of heartworm in 2015.
 
Although heartworm infestation in cats is far less common, it does occur. Because of their smaller size, cats can have serious affects from a single worm. In some cases, the first indication that a cat has heartworm is her sudden death. Coughing and breathlessness are the most obvious clues of the presence of heartworm in a cat. An infestation is more difficult to detect in cats and requires several blood tests to rule out other conditions. If your pet tests positive for heartworm, we customize our treatment approach depending on the number of worms and the severity of the symptoms.
 
Let Us Help You Select the Best Heartworm Preventive for Your Pet

It can be challenging to know which type of heartworm medication to choose for your dog or cat. Typically, we only recommend oral heartworm medication that also controls internal parasites. A topical spot-on or an injectable medication are additional possibilities. Some of the factors Dr. Palmquist considers when making a recommendation are your pet’s species, age, lifestyle, and whether he normally accepts medications without a fight. After visiting Grantsburg Animal Hospital, you can easily order heartworm medications for dogs and cats from our online store. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions or concerns about heartworm prevention or treatment.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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How to Keep Your Pet Safe During Lyme Disease Season

4/7/2016

 

According to the American Lyme Disease Foundation, the disease is abundant throughout most of Wisconsin and either abundant or common in at least half of Minnesota. Now that spring is here, your pets have the opportunity to spend more time outdoors and in wooded areas where the ticks that carry Lyme disease thrive. Grantsburg Animal Hospital encourages you to learn about this serious and sometimes fatal tick-borne illness so you have all the resources you need to protect your pet.
 

How Ticks Transmit Lyme Disease to Dogs and Cats
Several species of ticks carry Lyme disease, including the American dog tick, black-legged (deer) tick, brown tick, and the Rocky Mountain tick. Some of these species are so tiny that you cannot see them, even when they are fully engorged with your pet's blood. Since these ticks require blood to survive and reproduce, they bite the host animal and can remain lodged in the body. The bacteria that causes Lyme disease is transmitted through the tick's saliva. 

A tick needs to remain attached to the animal for at least 48 hours for Lyme disease transmission to occur. Fortunately, many drop off after they feed and before they can infect the animal with Lyme disease. Another positive is that only a small percentage of dogs end up developing the disease even when the tick remained on their bod past 48 hours. The disease is rare in cats. Pets that do develop Lyme disease typically do not show any symptoms for two to five months.

Recognizing Lyme Disease in Your Pet
Be sure to check your pet daily for ticks, especially if you live in a wooded or rural area. Due to their tiny size, you need to run your fingers down your pet's back and tail as well as check her underside. It’s essential to check the head and ears since these are the most common areas for ticks to lodge. If you find one, pull it out with a pair of tweezers and place it in a jar of rubbing alcohol to kill it. The most common symptoms of Lyme disease in companion animals include f
ever between 103 and 105 degrees, lethargy, loss of appetite, joint swelling and stiffness, swollen lymph nodes, lameness, and frequently shifting weight between legs.

Preventing Lyme Disease
In 2015, we confirmed 259 cases of Lyme disease at Grantsburg Animal Hospital. Because Lyme disease can be deadly in some animals, we encourage you to contact us immediately if you suspect that your pet may have developed it. This is true even if she is not yet displaying any symptoms.

The easiest way to prevent your pet from developing this disease is to keep ticks away from him. We recommend Bravecto flea and tick prevention for dogs, which is available in our online store. This comes in the form of a chew that you only have to remember to give four times a year. Ticks die when ingesting the Bravecto and fall off your pet's body. We also carry several flea and tick options for cats in our online store. Lastly, be sure to discuss the possibility of getting the Lyme disease vaccine with Dr. Palmquist. He will evaluate your pet's lifestyle and risk factors to determine if the vaccine would be appropriate. 

Photo Credit: Dobric/iStock Photo

 
 
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