Parasites can be a nuisance for pets and their owners any time of year, but they are especially problematic in the summer months. When you consider that parasites breed more often in warm weather and pets spend more time outdoors, this is easy to understand. Even your indoor pet is not immune from fleas, ticks, and various types of intestinal worms. Because of their microscopic size, these parasites can get into your home on someone's clothing or even through a screen door.
Fleas and Ticks
Fleas burrow into carpet and furniture and can survive for a long time without a living host. Since your dog or cat isn't immune to flea infestation during the cold weather months, it's important to provide him with year-round protection.
Ticks can be deadly when they carry Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever. They are often hard to spot because they are attracted to warm-blooded areas, such as the folds of your pet's ears. During the summer, be sure to check your pet from head to toe anytime she spends time in a wooded area or in thick grass.
Heartworms, hookworms, and ringworms are the most prevalent types of intestinal worms to affect dogs and cats. Symptoms of infestation may include lethargy, poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing. Untreated cases of heartworm can kill a dog or cat when they become lodged in the lungs and prevent normal breathing. They are also capable blocking regular blood flow to the heart.
The best way to prevent these parasites from infecting your pet is to administer monthly medication. It's easy to order heartworm pills, flea and tick powders, and several other types of medication directly from our online store.
Parasites Affecting Horses
The same parasites that threaten the health of dogs and cats are also a risk for horses. Because of their large size, horses attract additional parasites such as pinworms, tapeworms, and stomach bots. It's typically more of a challenge to keep horses free of parasites than smaller animals. At Grantsburg Animal Hospital, we publish a vaccination and de-worming schedule for horses every spring. Our equine specialists are happy to work with you to develop a parasite prevention plan for the summer.
It's an unfortunate myth that losing a pet is insignificant compared to losing a person you love. People naturally grieve the loss of anyone they spend so much of their life with, whether human or animal. At a time like this, you don't need people who belittle your very real feelings of grief by saying that your dog, cat, or other pet was just an animal and you shouldn't feel so bad about it. Instead, make it a point to surround yourself with people who understand how much your pet meant to you and how sad you feel now that he or she is gone.
Tips to Cope with Your Loss
You had a unique relationship with your pet, so it's important to honor your feelings after his or her death. If you ignore your feelings, they are likely to come out later in inappropriate ways. Sometimes the intensity of emotions like sadness or anger can overwhelm people, but that's okay. Allow yourself to feel them anyway. Never judge yourself for the way you feel, especially once you have reached the point where memories make you laugh more than cry. This is a good indication that you have come to terms with the loss of your beloved animal companion.
Other people who have recently lost pets can be an enormous source of support for you at this time. The staff at Grantsburg Animal Hospital would be happy to make a recommendation if you find yourself struggling with your grief. The Internet also offers a wealth of resources if you prefer to seek support online rather than in person.
Rituals typically reserved for people, such as a funeral and burial, may help you come to terms with the finality of your pet's death. You may also find it comforting to create a legacy, such as a scrapbook, planting a tree in his or her honor, or donating time and money to pet-related causes. When you feel ready, you may even want to consider adopting a new pet to love.
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