Clinic Corner: Heartworm Awareness Month

April E-NewsApril is Heartworm Awareness Month! The Butte Humane Society Clinic is a proud member of the American Heartworm Association and we are committed to keeping our clients informed and educated to best protect their pets. Did you know that both cats and dogs have been diagnosed with heartworm in all 50 states? While heartworm is more common in dogs, cats are at risk for contracting heartworms as well.

The best offense is a good defense when it comes to preventing heartworm infections! Because of the large mosquito population in Northern California, there are as few as 6 and as many as 25 confirmed heartworm infections per veterinary clinic in our region! Monthly heartworm prevention should be given for the life of your pet; we recommend that your pet starts on monthly heartworm prevention by the time they are 6 months old and have a heartworm test every year to make sure everything is working as it should.

Unfortunately, if left untreated, heartworm disease can be fatal. Heartworm disease affects the heart, lungs and pulmonary blood vessels of pets and can be fatal to both dogs and cats. Annual testing and monitoring is important- even if they are on heartworm prevention, because prevention (as with human flu vaccines, etc.) are not 100% effective, and infected dogs can be successfully treated. The earlier the infection is caught- the easier it is to treat! There are no approved treatments for cats, but supportive care can help manage complications.

Has it been over a year since your pet’s last heartworm test? Give our clinic a call today to schedule your exam and heartworm test with our vet and pick up your pet’s heartworm prevention prescription today!

Clinic Corner: Spring into Health

March E-NewsSpring is just around the corner! With the upcoming season change, now is the perfect time to prepare your pets for warmer weather and all that accompanies it! One of the biggest complaints we hear from pet owners as the weather starts to warm up is: the fleas are back! We recommend keeping your pet on a year round flea preventative which helps prevent fleas from ever entering your home- it’s important to make sure your pet is up to date on their flea prevention as warm weather makes them more susceptible to becoming a host for those pesky bugs. Warmer weather also often means spending more time outside for your pets, and specifically more trips to parks or other pet friendly venues for dogs. Make sure your pet is up to date on their vaccines before allowing them to visit areas frequented by other animals to help give them the best chance of being protected from catching a virus from a “carrier” or another sick animal. Not sure what treatments or vaccines are best for your pet based on your lifestyle? Has it been longer than a year since your pet’s last check-up with a veterinarian? Vet care for your furry family member isn’t one size fits all, contact our clinic for information on the best options for your pet! (530) 343-7917.

Heat Safety for Your Furry Friend

dog in poolSchool is out and summer is here.  Time to get outside and enjoy some fun in the sun, right?  Well not so much for Fido or Fluffy.  Sure your best friend loves to play outside with you and keep you company while you run your errands, but when summer temperatures in Butte County reach upwards of 115 degrees, now is good time to consider taking steps to protect your pet.

We love where we live, but it’s no secret that the North Valley is prone to dry, miserable heat.  Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause significant, irreversible harm to your pets. So, what can you do to help your pets in this heat?

 

Leave Your Pet At Home

Despite warnings, every year people take their pets shopping with them thinking, “I’ll just be a minute” or, “It’s okay because the windows are cracked.” But it only takes that “minute” for your best friend to overheat.

On an 85 degree day inside a car:
10 minutes = 102°F
30 minutes = 120°F
*At 107°F dogs begin suffering brain damage or even death.

Shelter and Shadedog water
Got a fancy doghouse?  If that dog house is not well ventilated, it might as well be an oven.  As for that shade, it moves.  Your dog might be chilling in the cool shade of your neighbor’s oak in the morning when you leave for work, but where is that shade several hours later in the hottest part of the day? 

Keep It Full And Keep It Cool
You remembered to fill that water dish, but has it been warming in the sun?  Is it in a heat retaining metal bowl? Just like you, dogs and cats prefer cooler water.

If The Ground Is Too Hot For Your Feet, It’s Too Hot For Theirs
A dog’s feet can and will burn, blister, or bleed if it’s hot enough.  If your dog is limping or refusing to walk while outside, that’s likely a warning sign.  Dogs that have just been rampaging through the water are especially at risk as the water may have softened their pads.

 

Summer Safety Do’s And Don’ts
Do:

  • get your pup a small wading pool to splash around in.
  • make frozen treats for your dog, or freeze a block of water and let them play with it.
  • consider shaving your dog’s heavy coat; just not too short as dogs get sunburns too.
  • consider how far you take your pet from the nearest emergency facility.
  • learn from Cesar Millan how to cool down a hot dog.

Don’t:

  • exercise your pet mid-afternoon.
  • encourage your pet to speed up when it wants to slow down.

Lost & Found Pets: Finding Strays

Written by Honey Souza, Humane Education Coordinator

PART THREE: Finding Strays
A three-part series of what to about missing pets.

Found a pet and you’re a wonderful person who would rather help than ignore it? What do you do? Well, that depends on a few factors. To make it easy, follow these flowcharts on what to do when you find a dog or a cat. If you find any other types of pets, follow the same steps you would if you found a dog.

butte-humane-stray-dogcat-stray-butte-humane

 

 

 

Lost & Found Pets: The Search

Written by Honey Souza, Humane Education Coordinator

PART TWO: Searching for Lost Pets
A three-part series of what to about missing pets.

lost pets

Last month we covered some helpful hints for preventing your pet from getting out and getting lost. Hints like ensuring your pet is spayed or neutered to reduce the urge to roam.

Unfortunately, even the most attended-to pets can go missing. If that’s the case, don’t panic. Take a breath, clear your head, then get to work because expedience is key.

  1. Look: First and foremost, get out and look around your neighborhood. Don’t be shy about going door to door asking permission to look in/around their yards. Don’t forget to look up in trees and on roofs. Pets are more inclined to return to familiar sounds… shouting out their names with a twinge of panic in your voice is not a familiar sound and may even make them more inclined to stay away. Traverse a five block radius while engaging in common conversation with the occasional yet normal recall cue. Bring a flashlight to look in dark areas like under porches.
  2. Call: Call your local animal control to ask if your pet has been turned in. Don’t stop there, go to the shelter to check for yourself. Two people can look at the same pet and see two different breeds. While you’re there, you’ll want to fill out a missing pet report in case your pet comes in later. Inquire with neighbor city shelters. If someone has stolen your pet, they might take it to another town.
  3. Access: Leave garage doors cracked and pet doors unblocked. Open your windows and keep noise down in your house so that you have a better chance of hearing their calls to come in, especially late at night.
  4. Check the Net: Check online. First stop: Facebook. The following groups listed below are dedicated specifically to returning lost pets to their families. Then you’re going to want to check Craigslist.org. Be sure to check, the categories of “Lost & Found”, “Pets”, and “Free”.
  5. Post It: Posters really do work. Post them around your neighborhood, library, and vet offices. Print out baseball type handbill of your pet to give to neighbors in the chance that they will see it later on. Of course you’re going to want to create your own “Lost Pet” posts on the internet, too. Be sure to use a variety of pictures with different angles and good lighting. Don’t forget to mention if your pet is on any medications or has dietary restrictions.
  6. Smell: Leave strongly-scented items outside such as your pet’s favorite pillow, toy, or favorite treat, even litter boxes. Cook up something meaty that has a strong aroma. While it’s still hot put it outside. You may attract the rest of the four-legged neighbors, but it’s worth it if your pet is amongst them. Then share some of that with your pet.
  7. Keep Looking: Check your neighborhood, local shelter, Facebook, craigslist, and other online sources every day. It might take hours, days, or weeks for a found animal to be reported. Many people assume that just because a loose animal doesn’t have a collar, it is unwanted or abused. They may think they are helping by taking it in and/or re-homing it themselves.

Stop to think “why”? Your pet could have run away from a fearful situation. Very often they’ve run off to answer nature’s call to mate. Often when animals who have free roam of the neighborhood run off, it’s because they are not feeling well or are injured. Regular check-ups and constant monitoring of your pet’s health could help prevent that. This is also why once your pet does come home, you’ll want to take it to the vet as soon as possible.

For Cats:

They are most often closer than you think. There’s a good chance that they’ve just discovered a new hiding place in your house, tastier food, and a warmer couch five houses down, or a new friend.  Cats are very resourceful animals and can do well on their own for days, or even weeks. Most cats eventually return on their own within about five days.

Many neighborhoods have their own neighborhood watch email/text alert system. While going door to door, find out if yours does and get the contact info to be part of it. If your neighborhood does not have a watch system in place, take the initiative and make one.