How to Recognize Hot Spots
If your dog or cat has developed hot spots, she will exhibit at least a few of these symptoms
- Lesion that appears red or raised
- Unexplained swelling
- Constant licking or chewing a certain spot of her skin
- A red or brown color around the hot spot
- Unpleasant smell coming from the affected area
- Pus and oozing
- Displaying obvious signs of discomfort or pain
Keeping your pet’s skin healthy is the easiest way to prevent him from developing hot spots. We recommend using year-round flea and tick protection in addition to grooming his coat regularly. Matted fur traps moisture and can attract fleas, ticks, and other parasites. Occasionally, a pet may have a behavioral issue that causes the biting, scratching, and licking that leads to hot spots. If that’s the case with your pet, speak to Dr. Greetan, Dr. Kate, or Dr. Reed to help determine what could be causing the unwanted behavior. They are happy to recommend a specific product to prevent parasites as well.
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.
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.
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:
• 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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Critter Care Animal Clinic
2734 Calumet Drive
Sheboygan, WI 53083