Information about Your Dog
WHY HEARTWORM PREVENTIVE?
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Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs in the United States.
Many factors must be considered, even if heartworms do not seem to be a problem in your local area. Your community may have a greater incidence of heartworm disease than you realize—or you may unknowingly travel with your pet to an area where heartworms are more common. Heartworm disease is also spreading to new regions of the country each year. Stray and neglected dogs and certain wildlife such as coyotes, wolves, and foxes can be carriers of heartworms. Mosquitoes blown great distances by the wind and the relocation of infected pets to previously uninfected areas also contribute to the spread of heartworm disease (this happened following Hurricane Katrina when 250,000 pets, many of them infected with heartworms, were “adopted” and shipped throughout the country).
The fact is that heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states, and risk factors are impossible to predict. Multiple variables, from climate variations to the presence of wildlife carriers, cause rates of infections to vary dramatically from year to year—even within communities. And because infected mosquitoes can come inside, both outdoor and indoor pets are at risk.
Reprint from The American Heartworm Society
Hot Surfaces Burn Paws!
Hot sidewalks, asphalt and other surfaces can hurt a dog’s paws.
Dogs showing these symptoms may have burned paws:
Limping or avoiding walking
Licking or chewing feet
Paw pads are darker in color than usual
Pads are visibly damaged
Blisters or redness
First aid for burned paws
If you suspect your dog has burned paw pads:
Bring your dog inside right away. Carry your pet if necessary.
Flush the foot with cold water or use a cold compress.
Try not to let your dog lick the injured pad.
Take your dog to the vet as soon as you possible because burns can become infected. Your dog might need antibiotics or pain medication depending on the severity of the burn. The vet can also rule out other possible causes of the symptoms. Paw licking can also be a sign of other problems, such as allergies.
How do I protect my pet’s paws from the heat?
Dog booties and socks help shield against the hot pavement.
Try to avoid walking on streets or sidewalks in the middle of the day, when it’s hottest.
If your pooch seems uncomfortable on a manmade surface, head for grass, which stays cooler than pavement.
Do take your dog for walks on pavement when the weather is cooler. This will help your dog’s paws form calluses, which will make the skin thicker and less prone to burns and other injuries.
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Foxtail Grass: Awns of Destruction
for Western Dogs
Foxtail awns present the most insidious threat to the health of dogs in the Western United States. Here is how to identify foxtails, get them off your property, and protect your dog.
Foxtails Are Designed to Penetrate Anything
The seeds of this nasty grass seem to have a special affinity for invading dogs’ bodies. The three most common hazards are these: They get sniffed into dog noses, work their way into dog ears, and lodge between dog toes. Each of these sites is a mere port of entry for these sturdy seeds; once inside, they start a relentless crawl forward, traveling deeper into a dog’s tissue with every passing hour. They are sometimes found in exploratory surgeries years afterward; the durable seed and awn fibers resist breaking down in the body as if they were made of plastic.
Those common jumping-off points for the foxtail’s inner-dog journey are not the only ones, however. Foxtails can penetrate any part of your dog; all they need is a place to attach. In dogs with very short hair (like American Pit Bull Terriers, Vizslas, and Weimaraners), they need a fold in the skin of some kind (armpit, vagina, prepuce). To these bristly seeds, longer, thicker, or curly coats behave a little like the “loop” side of a Velcro-type hook-and-loop fastener; a foxtail can stick to the coat, and wherever it sticks, it will start to burrow, enabling the seeds to penetrate anywhere on the furry dogs’ bodies.
If your dog has been anywhere near foxtails, and has any sort of abnormal sign of discomfort or irritation – shaking her head, an uncharacteristic squint, repetitively licking her paw or other part of her body, sneezing, coughing, gagging – call your vet and make an appointment as soon as possible.