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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

» Menomonee Falls boys basketball coach Ben Farley to step down 5/26

» Elm Grove Village Market Night to debut in June 5/26

» Brookfield committee again discusses TIF referendum option but takes not action Updated:  5/25

» Brookfield Central, DSHA play to 1-1 tie, share GMC crown 5/25

» Brookfield and Elm Grove go all out for Memorial Day 5/24

» Brookfield-Elm Grove Sports Notes: May 26, 2016 5/24

» Ben Farley named new Brookfield East football coach 5/24

» Bulldogs, Blue Sox lose in Land O'Lakes play 5/24

» Brookfield East boys second in Greater Metro Conference tennis tournament 5/24

» Brookfield East Sports Shorts: May 26 5/24

» Brookfield East girls win GMC Outdoor title 5/24

» Brookfield Central boys tennis team finishes third in GMC Tournament 5/24

» Brookfield Central Sports Shorts: May 26 5/24

» BROOKFIELD ACADEMY MAY 26 5/24

» Initial Reaction: Talking with star Waukesha soccer players Dani Rhodes, Emily Cervantes Updated:  5/24

» Brookfield East boys win GMC Outdoor and Triple Crown 5/24

» Brookfield Central boys track team fifth at GMC Outdoor Championship 5/23

» Elm Grove to rule on new parks plan tonight 5/23

» Brookfield Central girls finish solid second in GMC Outdoor 5/23

» Sports Authority to close Brookfield store, all stores nationwide 5/23

» Town of Brookfield Motel 6 a frequent stop for police Updated:  5/19

» Brookfield's Corridor and Corners projects are rising fast Updated:  5/19

» Brookfield committee directs police department to begin prescription drug drop-box program 5/19

» Brookfield committee to discuss prescription drug drop boxes in the city 5/18

» Brookfield Chick-fil-A proposal brings up discussion of city standards Updated:  5/18

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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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