TICKS AND HEARTWORMS
With warmer weather just around the corner and more time spent enjoying the great outdoors with our furry friends, it is time to start thinking about how we can best protect our pets from their tiny enemies – ticks and mosquitos! Tick season in Manitoba runs from April 1st to November 1st, and heartworm season runs from June 1st to November 1st.
Ticks start to become active as soon as temperatures reach 0-4°C, at which time their bodies begin to thaw after the long winter months. Although unpleasant to find any form of tick on ourselves or our pets, the ones to be concerned about in Manitoba are the Deer or Black Legged Tick, which are considerably smaller than the more noticeable Wood or Dog Tick and can even be as small as a speck of dirt. Deer ticks transmit lyme disease, anaplasma, and ehrlichiosis to our pets. By using a monthly preventative chew, such as Nexgard, we can kill these ticks before they have a chance to transmit disease into the pet’s bloodstream.
Mosquitoes are another pesky creature that we could do without, and they pose a particular danger to dogs and cats. If an infected mosquito bites one of our pets, it injects the tiny heartworm larvae into their body. Left unattended, these larvae will eventually travel to the heart and will grow large enough and numerous enough to cause blockage of the blood vessels leading out of the heart. A simple way to prevent heartworm disease is to use monthly preventative medications that kill the heartworm larvae in the pet’s body before they have a chance to grow and mature.
BREED OF THE MONTH:
Rhodesian Ridgeback X Labrador Retriever
Native to Africa, rhodesian ridgebacks are recognizable by the ridge of backward-growing hair that runs in a stripe along their back, thus giving the breed its name. Driven by innate instincts to track and hunt, ridgebacks are fiercely loyal and protective of their family. Pair that with the loveable, outgoing, friendly personality of a labrador retriever, and you will likely get a high-energy, independent, yet affectionate dog who requires plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay physically and mentally fit.
Here is what Nora has to say about herself and her owner!
“Hi my name is Nora and I am a Rhodesian Ridgeback cross retriever. I am 4 months old and learning a lot. Apparently, I can’t just be a puppy forever — I have to learn to sit, stay, shake a paw, don’t jump, walk on a leash, come when called and do my business outside (which is really important according to Dad). I am doing really well — everybody tells me I am really smart, and I am a good girl and yet they say bad girl when I grab a shoe or dig a hole. I love to play catch, more with a stick than a ball. I like to play and roll in the dirt (that doesn’t make Mum happy). I love when my doggie friends come over, and I love people big and small. I am not terribly coordinated yet; I trip over my feet and legs because they are getting sooo loooong.
It is fun chasing rabbits and squirrels, but I haven’t figured out what the honking in the sky is all about. I love to sleep at any time — it is wonderful. They tell me I am going to be a tall girl which will be interesting and exciting for me — I won’t have to jump up to see what is on the table or counter (yes, I get into trouble for doing that already!). The phrase “obedience school“ has been mentioned a few times. I am not sure what that means or what I will be doing but I am thinking I will be going and they say it will be good for me. It has been a fun 4 months and I am surrounded by so many loving people and from what I can see my life is only going to get better.”
Congratulations to Franky’s owner for winning the trivia from our last newsletter!