Spring Has Sprung: Dog Safety Tips

April 21, 2011

Heartworm infection

The American Heartworm Society recommends that all dogs be tested annually for heartworm infection. Transmitted by mosquitoes, this serious parasitic disease can be fatal. Fortunately, your veterinarian offers a variety of options for preventing heartworm infection, including an injection, daily and monthly tablets, and monthly topical medications.

Fleas and ticks

Fleas and ticks can cause a host of problems, from flea allergy dermatitis to Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. In large enough numbers, both ticks and fleas can also cause dangerous amounts of blood loss, especially in young dogs. While a number of flea and tick prevention options are available today, monthly spot-on topicals and oral tablets offer convenience and effectiveness in protecting your dog. Ask your veterinarian for more information.

 

Spring allergies

Blooming plants, grasses and flowers can trigger atopy, an allergy similar to hay fever. But instead of sneezing, a dog typically develops itchy skin and will persistently scratch, lick and bite to get relief. If you suspect that your pooch may be suffering from seasonal allergies, visit your veterinarian for recommended allergy treatments. These can range from oral medications to skin tests that pinpoint allergies in more severe cases.

 

Poisonous plants

Inquisitive dogs might see those fragrant spring blooms as a tasty snack, but dogs can become extremely ill or even die from eating poisonous plants. Ask your vet for a list of poisonous plants you’ll want to avoid having in your garden. You can also help prevent your dog from digging by not gardening with your dog present—he may conclude that digging is acceptable and enjoy digging to underground pipes or chewing on sprinkler heads.

 

Lawn hazards

If a lawn—yours or another’s—has been treated with fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides, do not let your dog walk on it until these potentially dangerous treatments have dried completely.

 

Unpleasant odors

If your furry friend has taken on an offensive aroma over the winter, find out where the smell is coming from. Odor in your dog’s mouth could mean dental problems, digestive problems or underlying internal diseases, such as kidney problems or diabetes. If his teeth are discolored or he has an odor worse than his usual doggie breath, have your veterinarian perform a dental exam. Next, check his ears. If the skin inside is red or sore, if the ear has a bad smell, or if your dog reacts in pain when you examine his ears, have your vet check him for an ear infection. Also check your dog’s skin for the common disorder seborrhea, usually characterized by flaky dandruff or an oily, waxy feel to the coat and a strong odor. You can prevent this by frequently bathing your dog with a medicated shampoo that your veterinarian can recommend. Finally, an infection or anal gland problems can also lead to odor and discomfort, in which case your dog will need to be seen by your veterinarian.

 

Enjoy the Outdoors and Reinforce Training

In addition to the above health and safety tips, take advantage of the longer days and warmer temperature to refresh your training skills and build upon your relationship with your dog. Remember that we all tend to hibernate a little over the winter. Spring is an invitation to renew our commitment to exercise and a more active lifestyle for us and our dogs. A long winter, your dog may have forgotten his manners about walking properly on leash. Start out slowly and reestablish the proper leash rules for you and your dog’s safety. Using basic obedience disciplines you can help reinforce the relationship you want to have with your dog. Walking to heel, coming when called, and gate manners are some of the basics that can sharpen your dog’s response to you and build a stronger relationship.

 

Community Watch

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» New Starbucks to anchor retail building at Sendik's Towne Centre in Brookfield Updated:  6/23

» OwnersEdge gives Green Bay business owner an alternative to selling 6/22

» Trainer allegedly sexually assaulted client at town of Brookfield fitness center Updated:  6/22

» Brookfield aldermen OK Artisan apartments, public funding Updated:  6/22

» Brookfield council reaffirms committee's denial of TIF referendum referral 6/22

» Judge orders mental evaluation of Brookfield man charged with shooting neighbors Updated:  6/21

» Brookfield East baseball has 6-0 week 6/21

» Brookfield Fire Department plans $1 million in renovations to one of its stations 6/21

» Improvements delayed at Pilgrim-Burleigh in Brookfield Updated:  6/21

» Brookfield East girls have another successful track and field season 6/20

» Brookfield East uses five-run first inning to beat Lancers 6/20

» Brookfield Central had solid season under new coaching staff 6/20

» Two pedestrians involved in Brookfield car crash Sunday night 6/20

» Watertown Plank Road to close in Elm Grove starting Monday 6/16

» Brookfield panel approves Wimmer apartment project, and TIF assistance for it Updated:  6/16

» Initial Reaction Podcast: MLB Draft's Wisconsin flavor and WIAA's postseason model Updated:  6/15

» Soerens Ford donates over $4,000 to Brookfield Central 6/15

» Elmbrook Swim Club: June 2 6/15

» Brookfield to finally test reduced streetlights 6/15

» Brookfield Central tennis coach Dave Steinbach earns 500th win as boys coach 6/15

» Brookfield East girls soccer team has winning season under first-year coach Derrick Banks 6/15

» Brookfield East baseball team has 1-3 week 6/15

» Brookfield Central boys track, fieldd team sees increased numbers 6/15

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Best Summer Ever

 

We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.

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