The vet’s office: Winter is over
Health tips for your pet as temperatures rise
By Dr. Roger Krogstad, DVM
Wildwood Animal Hospital and Clinic LLC
With these unseasonably warm days, one senses that spring is just around the corner. I have recently observed active ladybugs cruising through my home, announcing this seasonal transition.
A recent webinar on tick-transmitted disease stated that the deer tick could be active and “questing” in an outdoor temperature of only 45 degrees. Now is the time, therefore, to get back onto tick and flea protection if it had been discontinued during the winter months. Since mosquitoes are soon to emerge, monthly heartworm preventive should resume as well, though ideally both tick and flea as well as heartworm medication should continue year-round.
The winter has not only made softies of us but also of our pets. Some pets seem to bulk up during the winter, so a slow transition to spring activity will be easier on muscles and joints as spring and summer activities help to melt away the pounds. Long nails are prone to breakage and should be trimmed, and soft foot pads and weak muscles need to be slowly conditioned before that long jog on the pavement. Winter coats need to be thinned for comfort in the warmer days ahead.
Spring promotes social time for outdoor fun with neighbor pets or new friends at the dog park. Just like in day care, spring presents more opportunities for pets to come into contact with infectious diseases. Review your pet’s vaccine records and ensure that they are up to date. Infectious tracheobronchitis, or kennel cough, in dogs is the equivalent of whooping cough in people and is often overlooked in a vaccination program. Discuss the importance of this additional protection with your veterinarian.
As the snow melts, dormant allergens will once again emerge, causing such symptoms as ear itching, foot chewing, and bottom scooting. Be ready to begin your allergy management program, and visit your veterinarian before your pet’s allergies lead to more severe skin issues.
As always, your veterinarian is happy to answer your questions about any health concerns or how to prepare your pet for the coming spring.
Wildwood Animal Hospital and Clinic LLC is located at 210 Airpark Road in Marshfield and online at wildwoodanimalhospital.net.