What comes with the warmer weather and isn’t a tick? HEARTWORMS!
In Manitoba we have a number of diseases to worry about: as we’ve talked about in previous newsletters, tick borne diseases, including Lyme disease, are a big one in MB. They are controlled by the monthly chews we recommend giving our dogs from April 1st to Nov. 1st.
We also have Heartworm disease in Manitoba! This is a nasty mosquito-borne parasite. The larvae are injected into a dog through a mosquito’s bite, travel through the tissues towards the heart, where they develop into adult worms up to a foot long. The tricky part is that the dog will not test positive for heartworm disease until the larvae complete their development into adults, which takes 6 months. An infection with adult worms in the lungs and heart can cause severe disease, and the treatment is intense. In extreme cases, surgery has to be done to remove the foot- long adult worms from the heart (for those with a strong stomach, check out this video of the procedure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_szQI4U2l0&has_verified=1). Fortunately, we can easily treat the tiny migrating worms before they grow into adults with a monthly preventative.
How and when do we treat: We treat for heartworm from June 1st – November 1st. The monthly preventatives kill any larvae that the dog may have picked up over the preceding month. Giving the last dose in November ensures we treat any heartworm larvae picked up at the end of mosquito season.
What about cats: Cats are much more resistant to Heartworm disease than dogs are, but they can be infected if they are bitten by a lot of mosquitoes. Cats are smaller than dogs, so it takes as little as one adult heartworm to cause illness in a cat. If your cat spends a lot of time outside, then doing a monthly preventative is a good idea.
Pets and COVID-19
As you will have likely read, the waters are becoming murkier in terms of COVID-19 and our pets: it still appears that dogs are not very susceptible to this virus, and do not become symptomatic nor seem to be able to shed enough virus to infect other people or dogs if they contract COVID-19. Cats, on the other hand, appear to be much more susceptible: They can be infected by owners who are positive for COVID-19, show respiratory symptoms, and transmit COVID-19 to other cats. There are not yet any reported cases of cats transmitting it back to humans. The risk to cats remains low, as the number of cases seen in cats is under 10 world-wide at this time, but many thousands of people are infected and have likely exposed their pets. Despite the low risk, caution should be taken with our cats if we are feeling sick.
Fur appears to be a very poor carrier of the virus. At this time there are no reports of a person becoming infected by exposure to the virus on the fur of a pet, but again, we recommend caution, and avoid cuddling pets whose owners may have COVID-19.
Until we know more, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Seasons Veterinary Clinic Online Store now available!
After much hard work on the part of our team member, Arleigh, we are very pleased to announce that our online store is up and running! You can browse the many items available, from food, to treats to dental products and much more! Our hope in getting the store up and running is that it can help with Social distancing as almost everything can be done from home: Log in to browse prices and place an order, the items are then shipped directly to Seasons Veterinary Clinic, we contact you when they are arrive in 1-2 business days, and then you simply come to pick them up via curbside pickup! As this is a new venture for us, we would love to hear your feedback on how you find it! You can find the link to our store on our website, www.seasonsvetclinic.com or seasonsvetclinic.clientvantage.ca/
Thank you to everyone who is also working hard to slow the spread of COVID-19. I know this is a very challenging time for many, from those who’s work has been impacted, to the First Responders trying so diligently to protect us. Keep up the incredible efforts! Together we are winning!