Springtime Hazards in your Vail Valley Pet
Spring has arrived here in the Vail Valley! With the early thaw and onset of warmer weather far sooner this season, we as pet owners should prepare our pets and ourselves to face springtime diseases, parasites and emergencies far sooner!
There are innumerable hazards that come with the thaw and already we have seen an increased number of emergencies in our practice because of them.
Firstly, as the weather warms, our pets are out of the house enjoying the dog parks, the hiking and all other activities that would increase pet to pet contact.
The most common hazards I have already seen this year innumerable times this year in our practice have resulted from pets being off leash and loose. Pets are excited to be outside and are able to run free, but with that come the dangers that they see another dog, or a rabbit or any other distraction that causes them to run across the street and quickly be hit by passing motor vehicles. This has resulted in fractures, severe lacerations and multiple orthopedic and internal injuries! Secondly, pets off leash are also prone to dog bites and fights with other animals, resulting in deep infections and even “abcesses” , all which require immediate veterinary attention.
In conclusion, pets off leash are more prone to get into things such as trash, carcasses, and other edible hazards that can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea.
This time of year we commonly see intestinal bacterial and parasitic infections such as Clostridium, Giardia as well as common parasites such as tapeworms resulting from ingestion of carcasses of wild animals and contaminated feces and water. Also, we see a lot of intestinal blockages when Pets do get into any of these hazards and they can become ill very quickly!
So, in conclusion, please be smart and keep your pet leashed this spring!
In addition to the “off leash” hazards, come other issues with spring. This is a time we are all traveling South to warmer Climates, or we start planning our hiking trips in the mountains. With this warmer climate, the onset of common spring diseases such as tick –bourne diseases have already show up in our routine spring check ups for pets. Also, heartworm disease prevalence will increase earlier, do to the shorter cold season and arrival of mosquitoes. As you plan your spring/summer travel, be proactive and understand the potential for your pet to be exposed to both heartworm and ticks and be proactive about testing and preventative measures. So often folks here in the Vail Valley say to me “ we don’t have those diseases here,” yet as we test more pets, we are seeing a rise in the incidence. Just because we can’t see it visually , doesn’t mean our pets are not carrying it!
Lastly, it is critical to have your veterinarian advise you on proper vaccinations for your pet, based on the potential exposure to other pets and the diseases themselves. Already this year, Rabies is on the rise in Southern Wyoming as well as Northern Colorado, where multiple rabid skunks have been found.
Ask your veterinarian what is best for your pet and advise them on your travel plans this spring and summer!
Safe travels and Happy Spring