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Posted on 07-09-2018
We visited summer weather tips in our last blog, but you may be wondering about about warm weather creepy crawlies. Are there any vaccines or preventive medications that can help? Why, yes there are! Our Tempe veterinarians offer information on important preventative measures all pet owners should be taking this summer.
Rattlesnake, Leptospirosis, and Lyme disease vaccines are important to consider for your dog when engaging in an outdoor lifestyle, in the summer as well as year-round. Rattlesnakes are a fact of life in a desert landscape, and dog’s curious nature may result in unfortunate encounters and snake bites. If your dogs accompany you on desert hikes or camping trips, the rattlesnake vaccine is recommended. This vaccine of course does not prevent snake bites, but it does lessen the severity of any potential rattlesnake bite – bringing your dog to an emergency veterinary clinic would still be the best course of action in the event of a snake bite.
What is Leptospirosis? Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can cause serious illness, resulting in severe kidney damage and even death. How do you catch Leptospirosis? It is passed from the urine of infected animals, and thrives in the standing water of lakes and puddles. The Leptospirosis vaccine is important for your dog if you travel to lakes or rural areas where standing water is common.
How do you get Lyme disease? Lyme disease, which can be quite serious, is transmitted by tick bites. Having your dog vaccinated for Lyme disease, as well as administering a once-monthly flea and tick preventive, is wise if you travel where ticks are common.
Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are summertime standards, even in parts of the Phoenix metro area. All three transmit disease to both people and pets. National Public Radio reported in 2017 that tick-borne diseases are on the rise. These diseases can be very serious. Luckily, flea and tick preventive medications are very effective if given regularly every month. Deadly heartworms are transmitted to pets from the bites of infected mosquitoes – it only takes one! Heartworms are also prevented by once-monthly chewable treatments. All of these preventive medications are best purchased from your veterinarian, as the proper storage temperatures in the warehouses of large online pet pharmacies cannot be verified.
We hope you enjoy these tips for summer safety with your pets, as far away as vacation takes you or even just as close as the backyard sprinkler and kiddie pool! A little planning and caution can help give you and your furry family the best summer ever. Stay cool!
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