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Is 2022 A Ticking Time Bomb?

You bet it is, in more ways than one. This year the risk of vector-borne diseases is very high. CAPC (Companion Animal Parasite Council) has released its 2022 forecast, and they expect the incidence of these diseases to be higher than average. This includes: Lyme, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and Heartworm. These diseases, spread by ticks and mosquitos, are serious health risks for your pet.

Sadly it's a perfect storm coming together that creates this problem. Due to short and long-term changes in climate conditions, many areas of our country now have shorter and more mild winters, which always increases the number of pests around. Another factor is the habitat loss for our wildlife, now these animals are moving into our suburbs and cities. These wild critters can then spread ticks into your area.

So now what? Our best advice is to be prepared. Ticks are small and easy to miss, and if you have a furry pet or one with a dark coat, these pests can be difficult to find. It is essential to use a flea and tick preventative Rx on your pet. There are many kinds to choose from - you may want to discuss which works best in your area with your veterinarian. There are topicals that you put on your pet's fur, flea and tick collars, and oral preventatives. Just be sure to use them on ALL of your pets, even if Fluffy stays in most of the time.

After a trip outside, you may want to inspect your buddy, even if they are on a preventative medication. Common spots for ticks are around the mouth, eyes, and ears. Ticks also gather on feet, between toes, legs, and around the tail area. But they can latch on to any part of your pet. Some preventatives repel ticks, which means that if your pet has a preventative and gets a tick, it won't want to stay on them. However, this means the tick may end up on you, so keep a close eye!

If you find a tick, the faster you get it off your pet (or yourself), the less chance it has to spread disease. It's easy, and after the first removal, you'll be an expert! At the end of this article is a link with written and video instructions on removing ticks.

Here are a few more suggestions for avoiding ticks. Stay away from tall grass and foliage, keep your grass cut as short as possible, and remove leaf litter in your yard. Keep your walks on sidewalks or streets if you can during tick season. If hiking, try and keep your dog (and yourself) in the middle of the trail. You may want to use bug spray on yourself or your clothing when in the woods. There is a Lyme disease vaccine for dogs; discuss it with your vet. It isn't 100% effective, but it may be helpful if you live in a heavily infested area.

Heartworm, like tick diseases, has been diagnosed in all 50 states. To keep your pet safe from Heartworm, use a preventative. Here is a great map, updated monthly, that shows the risk of these diseases in our state. You can change the map from Heartworm to the Tick forecast by putting your cursor on the dropdown menu on the blue menu bar where it says "Heartworm."

This year we need to be extra vigilant in fighting vector-borne disease. Once you get in the habit of tick checks, they will only take a few minutes. Let's keep both our dogs and cats disease free!

How to Remove a Tick

Help! My Dog Is Having Accidents Inside

What should you do if Sadie is fully house trained and starts having accidents inside? Management is the key to understanding what is going on. First, you need to assess the situation.

Are you taking your buddy out frequently enough? As Sadie gets older, she'll probably need to go out more often. Sometimes we get busy and forget. Try setting a timer for every daylight hour or so while you're retraining her.

Next don't just open the door and let her out if she's started to have accidents; go out with her. When she does pee, be sure to calmly praise and pet her after she's finished (don't interrupt her as she may not empty all the way). That way, you'll be sure she's actually pottied because sometimes, Sadie may get too busy with sniffing or chasing leaves and forget to go.

Once you're back inside, if you're sure she's empty, you can let her have the run of the house for a while. However, when you can't supervise her, you may want to confine Sadie to a laundry room or crate. 

Keep track of when she has accidents to see if there is a pattern. Is it immediately after she drinks water, mid-morning, or right before bed? If there is a schedule for her accidents, you may avoid them by taking her out before accident time.

She may be marking, so be sure that you clean up her accidents thoroughly. Use an enzymatic, natural cleaner because regular floor cleaner may not remove all the smell perceptible to your pup. Dogs like going in the same spot, so it is important not to leave any scents behind.

If these tips don't solve the problem in a week or two, it's time to head to your vet's office so they can determine if there is a medical problem.

Do NOT scold her or wack her with a newspaper. That won't help the problem; it will just make Sadie afraid of you. Remember, dogs are not considered fully house-trained until they are about a year old.

Follow these steps, be patient, and be consistent. Sadie should be back to house-trained in no time.

How Your Cat Sees The World

We've read all sorts of conflicting information about how our beloved felines see the world, so we've decided to take a closer look at cat eyes. Your cat will be the first to tell you that she's superior in every way to all other species, and while this is mostly true, their eyes and vision are quite different from ours.

Photoreceptive cells at the back of our eyes pick up light and relay it to our brains. These cells come in distinct shapes called cones and rods. Cones are responsible for daytime and color vision. Rods are for night vision, peripheral vision, and brightness. Both cats and humans have cones and rods, but their distribution is vastly different. Cats have about eight times more rod cells than people, which is why they see better than we do at night.

Cats also have different pupils than humans. Our pupils can dilate (get larger) by about 15 times. On the other hand, a cat's pupils can dilate to about 135 times their usual size. This lets in far more light to the back of the eye than we get, which increases their night vision.

However, because they have fewer cones in their eyes, they don't see color as vividly as people do. that being said, Fluffy is not color blind.

Cats have a far wider field of vision than we do. We can see about 180-degrees, whereas cats have a 200-degree field of vision. This wider field of vision makes them great hunters, allowing them to pick up very tiny movements.

Perfect vision in a human is 20/20; a cat's vision is more like 20/100. This means that Fluffy may not see things up close very well, but she has excellent distant vision. Just what a hunter needs.

Take a long look into Fluffy's eyes, and you can tell things about her mood and health. If she has her eyes half-closed, squinting, or blinking, that's a sign of trust, love, and affection. If her pupils are dilated (wide) in the daytime, that could mean she's surprised, excited, afraid, or in pain. During your regular checkups, your vet should examine her eyes as they can have glaucoma, pinkeye, or cataracts.

Fluffy's eyes are perfect for a cat and just what she needs to bird watch out the window. Tell her you love her by looking directly into her eyes and blinking!

Great Pet Links!

April is:

Heartworm Awareness
Prevent Lyme Disease
Greyhound Adoption Month

April 6: Siamese Cat Day
April 12: World Hamster Day
April 13: Scrabble Day
April 22: Earth Day

Pets Keep Our Brains Sharp!
7 Reasons Hamsters Make Good Pets
Siamese Cat Information
Celebrate Earth Day With Your Pet


April 2022 Newsletter