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Dr. Jon's Fireside Chat

Straight from the Victorian chair of Animal Mansion's living room, Dr. Jon takes a moment to share with you information regarding your pet and their overall well being.  Now that the summer months are upon us, Dr. Jon would like to share with you specific information regarding what issues you might expect as a pet owner this summer and how to prevent them. 

 
 
Photo by Schlegelfotos/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Schlegelfotos/iStock / Getty Images

LYME DISEASE

There are several tick borne illnesses that your pet can contract, one being Lyme disease.  Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) is typically rare in cats, but dogs can be symptomatic.  Symptoms can manifest in a variety of ways, perhaps the most noticeable is joint discomfort and arthritis.  Some dogs may never even show obvious signs of the disease.  The spirochete that causes Lyme disease can not live outside the body of a host, so it binds to the connective tissue of a host organism.  Oftentimes you can not see the infected tick because it is so small.  It takes a minimum of 48 hours for the spirochete to be transmitted via the infected tick to the host mammal.  That is why it is so important to protect your pet with tick preventative in order to keep the tick from infecting your furry family member.  I recommend Bravecto chewable or topical for dogs and Bravecto topical for cats.  It lasts up to 12 weeks and the active ingredient, fluralaner, kills fleas and ticks within hours.  In addition, an annual Lyme vaccination could also help protect your pet from Lyme disease.


HOTSPOTS

Also known as "Summer Sores", hotspots occur on the surface of the skin when moisture gets trapped underneath the fur. This can happen after your pet takes a swim, has a bath, or even licks excessively.  Often the area will get red and painful, and bacterial sores can form.  The best way to avoid skin irritation is to make sure your pet is thoroughly dried off after a day of playing in the water! 

Photo by carebott/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by carebott/iStock / Getty Images

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STAY COOL

On hot summer days, it is important to keep your pet cool and hydrated.  Make sure to keep the water dish full and your pet in an environment that is not too hot.  Cats and dogs cannot regulate their body temperature as well as humans can. They can only control their body temperature through panting and by perspiration from the pads of their feet.