Playtime is Back: Even for Pets

April is Heartworm Awareness Month and Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month and if you’re an avid follower of our blog, then you know we’ve been blogging a lot about ticks in recent days and the illness they can cause in humans. If you were an avid follower of bulletin boards and framed pictures in our office, you’d see we’re pet folks here at Mosquito Joe and knowledge is power when it comes to insects causing sickness in our pets.

Heartworm is a serious illness with dogs and cats. So serious that monthly preventative medication is highly recommened from veterinarians to keep our pets healthy. But as you’re checking out and paying for that medication, do you even know how this disease would be transmitted to your pet if not protected? Mosquitoes! The mosquito plays a vital role in the heartworm life cycle. Adult female heartworms living in an infected dog produce microscopic baby worms called microfilaria that circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites and takes meal from an infected animal, it picks up these baby worms, and when the infected mosquito bites another dog or cat, the infective larvae are deposited onto the surface of the animal’s skin and enter the new host through the mosquito’s bite wound. Yet another issue to deal with when it comes to the mosquito.

Ticks and Your Pets

It is no surprise that ticks cause Lyme disease in humans, but it can also cause the disease in dogs too. The symptoms are similar but (as you can imagine) convey themselves differently in pups than in humans. Here is what you can be on the lookout for with Lyme disease in dogs:

    • Stiff walk with an arched back
    • Sensitive to touch
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Fever, lack of appetite, and depression may accompany inflammation of the joints
    • Lymph nodes close to the site of the infecting tick bite may be swollen

There is no central place for reporting cases of Lyme diseases in pets, but we do know that it is a concern for pet owners, so keep reading to get prevention tips for ticks and Lyme disease.

Crying for Fleadom?

We all know that ticks can make us all sick, but most people just think fleas are annoying. What many people don’t know is that fleas actually carry diseases just like mosquitoes and ticks. Fleas find “hosts” and those hosts are warm blooded animals. Naturally they are usually dogs and cats, but they can also be opossums, rats, and other rodents. According to the ASPCA, since fleas can consume 15 times their

own body weight in blood, they can cause anemia and a significant amount of blood loss over time. They can even cause tapeworm!

Prevention and Treatment

If you have pets, veterinarians recommend a monthly flea, tick and heartworm preventative to be given once a month during ALL seasons. Only giving your dog or cat flea treatments during spring and summer is not effective. What your vet might fail to mention is the first step in flea, tick and mosquito prevention is treating your yard. Our mosquito control services also kill and prevent fleas and ticks, so let Mosquito Joe be your first line of defense against these disease carrying pests. Contact us today for a free quote. We have no contracts and no obligations, just mosquito treatment solutions.

Give your pets their yard back this spring/summer!

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More Celebrity Gossip from Social Joe

This past weekend we were closed on Monday for a long Easter weekend, and I had the rare occasion of being off while my toddler’s daycare was still open. Mom day? Yes please! So off I went to get a pedicure, read gossip magazines and not think about work. Or so I thought…

As I flipped through my first magazine in the pile, I came across an article about Avril Lavigne and how she had been battling a mystery illness. It didn’t really catch my attention (unlike that song Complicated, THAT will get stuck in your head) until I saw what the mystery illness was a few paragraphs in. Lavgine revealed she had been battling Lyme disease. I couldn’t believe it. When I blogged about Real Housewife of Bevery Hills Yolanda Foster, I thought my days of celebrity blogging were over. But here I was reading yet another article about a notable person who has battled a vector borne diease. Lavigne admitted there were months that went by with misdiagnoses and fighting to get the correct testing done, and after five months is on the road to recovery. That got me thinking about all the people whose names aren’t up in lights that are battling this debilitating disease.

Turns out, that’s a whole lot of people, probably more than we’ll ever know. Of all the cases reported, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention tells us this is probably only 10% of actual contracted cases. Lyme disease is transmitted by the deer tick and the early stage of Lyme disease can include symptoms such as chills and fever, headache, fatigue, stiff neck, muscle and/or joint pain. If Lyme disease is unrecognized or untreated in the early stage, more severe symptoms may occur. As the disease progresses, severe fatigue, a stiff aching neck, and tingling or numbness in the arms and legs, or facial paralysis can occur. The most severe symptoms of Lyme disease may not appear until weeks, months or years after the tick bite. These can include severe headaches, painful arthritis, swelling of the joints, and heart and central nervous system problems.

I feel like this season has already held quite a few blogs about vector borne disease so it seems like the problem is getting much worse, but again, it is our awareness that’s growing. While I’m not one to celebrate celebrity gossip, I am grateful for those that are coming forward to talk about their health journey and advocate for vaccines and cures.

Tick season is here folks, so if you’re someone who spends a great deal of time or works outdoors, it is important to keep yourself covered. If you have questions about tick control for your yard for the 2015 season,  just give us a call.

Photo Credit: People Magazine

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