The cold weather is here—and if you’re cold, your dog or cat is too! Here are some tips to help keep your pet safe and warm in the winter months ahead.
Keep your home humidified if you can and towel-dry your pet as soon as he comes inside. Dry, cold air and rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaky skin. So pay special attention to his feet and in-between his toes.
Don’t shave your dog down, a longer coat provides warmth. If they don’t have their own long coat, consider getting him a coat or a sweater.
How prevalent is canine Lyme disease in the U.S.?
According to the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University, Lyme disease is the most common arthropod-borne disease in dogs in the U.S. The Banfield State of Pet Health™ 2014 Report cites that the prevalence of Lyme disease in dogs has increased by 21 percent since 2009. As you can see in the map below, Lyme Disease risk in NJ is HIGH.
We have been seeing a large number of external parasites in the past few weeks and we want to make sure your pets are protected.
FLEAS: Typically September, October and November are the worst flea months of the year. The symptoms of flea infestation vary from pet to pet. Some animals only display mild discomfort and itchiness. Other pets can be allergic to flea saliva, causing intense itching, redness of the skin and even skin infections. Fleas can be the cause of tapeworms. During grooming or in response to a flea’s bite, the dog or cat can ingest the flea carrying the infective tapeworm egg, which grows in the pet’s intestines into adult tapeworms. Fleas can also cause anemia in young or emaciated animals. A single female flea can take up to 15 times her body weight in blood over the several weeks of her adult life.
TICKS: Ticks are skin parasites that feed on the blood of their hosts. Ticks like motion, warm temperatures from body heat, and the carbon dioxide exhaled by mammals, which is why they are attracted to hosts such as dogs, cats and other mammals. Ticks hibernate and do not die in the winter. They are present all year long in New Jersey and New York and on a forty degree day in the middle of winter ticks can burrow up a blade of grass through the snow and find a host- wow! The bite itself is not usually painful, but the parasite can transmit diseases and cause tick paralysis, which is why tick control is so important. It takes several hours for an attached tick to transmit disease, so owners can usually prevent disease transmission to their pets by using tick preventatives that act quickly and effectively.Ticks transmit more than just Lyme Disease- they can also transmit Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichia, Babesia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and more- yuck!
Prevention: The good news about these parasites is that there are many products that can prevent and kill them. We recommend using preventatives ALL YEAR ROUND. For dogs, we recommend ORAL medications such as Bravecto which prevents fleas and ticks for 12 weeks or Nexgard, which prevents fleas and ticks for one month. We also carry Frontline Gold for cats and dogs, which is a safe and effective topical medication that prevents fleas and ticks for one month. For our feline friends, we now carry topical Bravecto, which prevents fleas and ticks for 12 weeks. In addition, we have topical Revolution, which prevents fleas as well as heartworm disease, ear mites and intestinal parasites for one month. Ask us about our money saving specials and rebates for these products, which often cost less from us than online sources!
The staff of PRAH wishes you and your four legged family members a healthy, happy and parasite free holiday season!