2734 Calumet Drive, Sheboygan, WI 53083
(920) 458-3636 (920) 458-3636

Safety Tips for a Fun Summer with Your Pet

5/1/2017
Your pet is part of the family and you naturally care about her safety. You also want to include her in family activities whenever possible over the carefree days of summer. By keeping the following safety tips in mind, your entire family can have a summer to remember.
 
Swimming Doesn’t Come Naturally to All Dogs
Dog owners can become too relaxed keeping an eye on their dog near water because they assume all dogs possess an innate ability to swim. This simply isn’t true, particularly for dog breeds with small hindquarters and large chests. When bringing your dog to a pool or beach this summer, make sure you’re in the water with him and remain no more than an arm’s length away. If you decide to go boating with your dog, he should have a life jacket just like everyone else in the boat.
 
Parasite Control During the Summer
Internal and external parasites can be a problem all year long, but they’re especially prevalent in the summer. Fleas can survive long periods without a living host and may burrow in your carpet or furniture until one becomes available. Be sure to vacuum your carpet regularly, wash your pet’s bedding in hot water, and give your pet frequent baths during the summer to minimize fleas.
 
Ticks are more than just a nuisance because they can transmit serious or deadly diseases. Since they’re attracted to warm areas on your pet’s body such as the skin folds, they can be difficult to see. Be sure to check your pet’s body from head to tail every night, whether she goes outside or not. Ticks can easily get into the house through another pet or on someone’s clothing.
 
Intestinal worms such as heartworm, roundworm, and hookworm can cause serious illness or death in severe cases. Vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, breathing difficulty, and general lethargy are just some of the indications that your pet could have an intestinal worm.
 
You can find the parasite control products you need in our online store. Dr. Greetan, Dr. Kate, or Dr. Reed would also be happy to recommend a product based on your pet’s lifestyle factors.
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April is Heartworm Awareness Month

4/3/2017

Dogs and cats get heartworm disease when an infected mosquito bites them. The heartworm then gets inside of their body and can reproduce, which only worsens your pet’s symptoms. The illness is much more prevalent in dogs, but cat owners also need to know about the symptoms so they can prevent and treat it if necessary. Puppies can start on preventive heartworm medication at eight weeks old without any type of testing. As six months of age, a puppy needs to test negative for heartworm infection before a veterinarian can prescribe preventive medication.

Heartworm testing in dogs requires only a simple blood test. Testing is a bit more complicated in cats and requires several blood tests before a veterinarian can make a diagnosis. This testing is typically done at the request of the cat owner when he or she suspects the animal may have contracted heartworm disease.
 
Previously, it was common practice for pet owners to give preventive heartworm medication from early spring to the first frost of winter. However, the American Heartworm Society now recommends keeping up with treatment all year long. This has the added benefit of killing other parasites that may be inside of the animal.

Signs of Heartworm Infection
Cats and dogs show signs of heartworm infection differently. Because of a cat's smaller body size, it's more likely for heartworm to affect their lungs and make it difficult to breathe. In dogs, heartworms live in the ventricles of the heart and the heart itself. The following are common symptoms of heartworm disease, although some pets show no symptoms at all:

• Lethargy
• Coughing
• Vomiting
• Weight loss
• Fatigue unrelated to exertion
• Loss of appetite

Treatment can be long and painful for an animal infected with heartworm. Fortunately, heartworm disease is almost 100 percent preventable with the proper medication. We encourage you to speak to Dr. Greetan, Dr. Kate, or Dr. Reed at Critter Care Animal Clinic for specific recommendations. Our veterinarians take your pet’s species, age, weight, lifestyle, and several other factors into consideration before recommending one product over another.
 
Order Heartworm Medication Online
With a MyVetStore Online account, clients of Critter Care Animal Clinic can order their pet's heartworm prevention medication quickly and easily. We offer numerous dosing options and strengths for both dogs and cats. You can even have a single dose sent to your home monthly with the Easy Dose It! Program. When you’re proactive about heartworm control, it’s not something you have to think about often. 

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It's Flea and Tick Season

3/2/2017
After a long winter, it’s finally time for spring in Wisconsin. While most people gladly welcome the warmer weather, pet parents need to increase their flea and tick prevention efforts. These parasites become much more prevalent as the temperature rises. It’s also important to recognize the symptoms of flea and tick infestation so you can promptly treat it.

Fleas 101
Fleas are wingless insects with a lifespan ranging from 14 days to one year. Although tiny in size and not always visible to the human eyes, fleas can jump as high as two feet. They can’t survive and reproduce without a living host. The following symptoms are common indications of fleas or ticks in dogs and cats:
  • Droppings that resemble grains of sand or tiny white eggs on the fur
  • Excessive biting, licking, or scratching
  • Fur loss
  • Gums appear pale
  • Tapeworm
  • Scabs and hot spots
  • Allergies
Besides attaching to your pet’s fur, fleas can enter your home on the clothes, shoes, or body of people. Once inside, they seek bedding, carpet, and furniture because these places are warm enough to allow them to burrow. After successfully finding an animal host, fleas continually reproduce throughout their short lifespan. These parasites can consume up to 15 times their weight in blood, which puts your pet at risk for anemia. Some dogs and cats also develop dermatitis due to an allergy to flea saliva.
 
What You Need to Know About Ticks
You’re most likely to spot these blood-sucking parasites on your pet’s head, neck, ears, and feet. Ticks live in tall brush and grass, making it easy to jump onto your pet’s body. Unfortunately, indoors pets aren’t immune from ticks since they can get into the house from another pet or a person.
 
Dogs and cats typically don’t show obvious signs of a tick bite. To make matters worse, you often can’t see them until they have become engorged with your pet’s blood. In the meantime, they can transmit diseases such as tick paralysis, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If your pet goes outside, we recommend running your hands the entire length of his body every night. Be sure to check the underside for ticks as well.
 
Preventing Fleas and Ticks
You can reduce the flea and tick population in your yard by mowing the lawn frequently and picking up rake clippings and other yard waste. Using a flea comb and doing a tick check daily is the best way to ensure that these parasites don’t have a chance to do serious damage. We also recommend washing your pet’s bedding and toys in hot water weekly.
 
Dr. Greetan or Dr. Kornowski  is happy to recommend the most effective flea and tick prevention products based on your pet’s species and lifestyle. Keep in mind that we also offer a range of flea and tick products in our online store. 
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Critter Care Animal Clinic

2734 Calumet Drive
Sheboygan, WI 53083

(920) 458-3636

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