Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Fireworks and thunderstorms can be traumatic for pets, causing many to bolt in fear and become lost. There is a 30-percent increase in the number of pets reported lost in the week surrounding the Fourth of July. The following tips from Lost Dogs Florida will help keep your dog (or cat) safe during the summer months:
• If you don't have clear, current photos of your pet, take them today. This could be the key to finding him quickly. Take photos from all angles to include his entire body, face and any unusual features.
• Have your pet microchipped. This tiny device is the size of a grain of rice, and when implanted under the skin, can be scanned by a shelter or vet clinic to provide your contact information. Keep your information up-to-date, since the chip is only as effective as the information you provide. (The City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center offers microchips for $17.20 most weekdays and $10 during special monthly clinics. Call ahead for details: 850-891-2950. You do not have to be a Leon County resident to participate.)
• Both dogs and cats (even indoor-only cats) should have a properly-fitting collar with a legible tag with your current phone number on it. This will greatly increases the likelihood your pet will be returned to you. The person who finds him will immediately be able to contact you.
• Check your fence for loose boards or openings. Can you dog get over or under? Is your gate secure? Even if your dog is normally happy in the yard he might try to escape if panicked. If your pet has to go outside during fireworks, put them on a leash — even if your yard is fenced.
• Exercise your dog during the day so he's tired when the fireworks start. A tired dog is a better- behaved dog.
• Keep your pets in the house during fireworks. Secure them in a small interior room with a radio or TV playing to drown out noise. Windows and doors should be closed, not only to keep the noise out, but to keep your pet in. Neighbors may light fireworks during the day or other nights of the week also, so be prepared.
• Use baby gates to secure doorways if you have friends or family over. Talk to your guests and small children about the importance of keeping doors and gates closed at all times.
• Talk to your veterinarian about medication to help your pet feel more comfortable during storms and fireworks.
• Leave your dog at home when attending crowded events such as parades and fireworks shows. He doesn't enjoy loud, crowded events and will be happier at home where he is safe.
Accidents happen even in the most careful homes. If your pet does escape, don't panic. Immediately place food, water and an article of clothing you have worn next to your body in the area he was last seen. The familiar scent will often lure him back home. Pets who are lost during stressful situations often don't go very far unless they're chased. They may hide for several hours or days until things quiet down and they feel safe before trying to return to the area they went missing.
• Do NOT call, chase or whistle to your dog or let others do so, which may cause him to run farther from home or even into traffic! When it becomes quiet and things calm down, he may come home on his own.
• Do NOT let people congregate in your yard or "help you search." Any commotion will scare him more.
• Put your friends and family to work delivering fliers door-to-door in your neighborhood.
• Notify your local shelter immediately if you have lost or found a pet!
We hope these ideas help keep your pets safe this summer.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Ticks are most active from April to September, which means now is prime time for infection.
Every year, U.S. state health departments report about 30,000 cases of Lyme disease to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But theCDC says the true number of cases in the United States could be ten times as high.
Lyme disease is transmitted to humans from tick bites. The ticks that transmit the disease are most active from April to September, which means spring and summer are the prime times for infection. With the right steps, and regular tick checks, however, you can prevent Lyme disease.
Here are 10 things you should know about this tickborne disease:
1. You can only get Lyme disease from a tick bite.
There is no evidence that Lyme disease can be transmitted from person-to-person, according to the CDC. You also can’t get Lyme disease from your dog, but your furry friend can bring ticks into your home or yard, so check your pet for ticks before letting him in the house.
2. Not all ticks carry Lyme disease.
Blacklegged ticks are the ones you need to avoid. Also known as deer ticks, these parasites spread the disease in northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central states, while western blacklegged ticks transmit infection on the Pacific Coast. According to CDC data, in 2013, 95 percent of Lyme disease cases occurred in 14 states, most of which were on the East Coast.
3. You can probably remove the tick by yourself if you notice it in time.
To remove a tick before it’s too late, you can purchase a tick removal device, but a pair of fine-tipped tweezers will do the trick. The CDC recommends that you avoid “folklore remedies,” such as painting the tick with nail polish or using heat to detach it. The goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible after you notice it.
4. In most cases, it takes 36 to 48 hours for an infected tick to transmit Lyme disease after it attaches itself to you.
Nymphs, which are immature ticks that measure less than 2 mm in size, are theprimary transmitters of Lyme disease. Because they’re so small, nymphs can go unnoticed in difficult-to-see areas such as the scalp, armpits, and groin. Adult ticks can also transmit the disease, but because they’re bigger, many are noticed and removed before they can transmit the infection.
5. There used to be a Lyme disease vaccine, but it was discontinued in 2002.
The vaccine manufacturer said demand was insufficient, so production stopped. Because the protection given by the vaccine lessens over time, even people who received the vaccine in 2002 are no longer immune to Lyme disease.
6. The most common symptom of Lyme disease is a bullseye rash.
In 70 percent to 80 percent of infected people, the bullseye rash, also known by its technical name, erythema migrans, will appear 3 to 30 days after becoming infected. The CDC says the average time for the rash to show up is a week. As the rash spreads, parts of it might clear up, which is how the bullseye becomes evident.
But, says Phillip J. Baker, executive director of the American Lyme Disease Foundation, not all patients notice the rash, and a significant percentage will not develop a “textbook case” of the rash at all. He says other symptoms can be described as “flu-like,” and include fatigue, headache, joint swelling, and dizziness, to name a few.
7. Lyme disease is officially diagnosed with a blood test.
If done in the early stages of infection, however, most tests will come out negative. Baker says it usually takes four to five weeks for antibodies that fight Lyme disease to appear in the bloodstream, which means that anyone tested sooner may not get will not receive an accurate diagnosis.
8. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics.
Marina Makous, MD, a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University’s Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center, said antibiotics are effective for most cases of early Lyme disease if started in time, and the earlier the better. “It’s best if they’re started within the first two weeks,” Dr. Makous says. “But that can be difficult because tests won’t pick up on Lyme disease that early.”
9. There is controversy surrounding Lyme disease.
The CDC’s criteria for Lyme disease was established to make it easy for state departments to report cases back to the agency, Makous said. But she says it is too narrow, and doesn’t include an accurate representation of “post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome,” which the CDC says affects 10 to 20 percent of Lyme disease patients. Symptoms of post-treatment Lyme disease include extended fatigue, pain, and joint and muscle aches, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). “It can be hard to make a correct diagnosis because the symptoms are too similar to other diseases,” Baker says. However, “if people continue to have symptoms, they should persist and not give up,” says Makous, who is opening her own clinic in Exton, Pennsylvania, specifically to treat post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.
10. You can take precautions to prevent Lyme disease.
If you’re going outdoors in a shady grassland or densely wooded area, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease recommends wearing light-colored long-sleeved pants and shirts to make ticks easier to spot. Spray clothing with permethrin repellent, and spray DEET directly on your skin. Once inside, you should check for ticks in hairy areas of your body, and be sure to wash all clothing.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Monday, June 1, 2015
CAPC predicts ticks to be a menace in 2015
Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and other tick-borne diseases continue to spread; year-round parasite control urged for pets.
Apr 30, 2015
By dvm360.com staff