Pet Wellness for the Fall

With October being National Pet Wellness Month, let’s take the opportunity to absorb some helpful tips on keeping our beloved pets healthy and happy this season (and year-round, too!). The simple preventatives below can help you know what to look for as a pet-owner and make sure your pets are around for years to come.

Wellness exams and vaccines

Are you taking your pet for a wellness exam at least once a year? Regular checkups are essential to a healthy, happy pet. Pets are genetically wired to hide illness and disease, so let your veterinarian detect and prevent things such as ear infections, dental disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. Making sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date is not only good for their overall health, but also yours. Ask your veterinarian about the vaccines your pet needs to prevent contagious diseases and illnesses. A vet visit can be scary, so be sure to hold their paw during the shots!

School and home project supplies

School is in session and it’s easy to avoid putting the supplies into the appropriate storage after use. School glues, permanent markers, and pencils can all cause upset stomachs for curious pets. Heavy-duty glues can cause serious blockage in the digestive tract and may even lead to pricey surgeries. Dogs in particular like the flavor of glue. To avoid a mess on the carpet and unwanted vet bills, make sure your family is cleaning up after those fun projects.

Look out for mushrooms

Although appetizing in warm fall meals, mushrooms can be toxic to our pets. Fall is the prime season for mushrooms, and pets cannot determine the difference between a toxic and non-toxic mushroom. If a dog consumes a mushroom and you are unsure of its toxicity, take them to the vet right away. They can experience some pretty awful side effects and will need to be treated immediately to avoid potential liver and kidney failure.

Check for fleas and ticks

Deer ticks are responsible for spreading Lyme disease, and the number of adult deer ticks is higher in the fall than it is during any other season. Fleas also transmit diseases and cause a painful itch for you and your pets. During the wellness exam, check with your veterinarian for flea and tick preventatives, and be sure to contact your local Mosquito Joe for an extra layer of protection for you and your pets from those pesky insects.

Nutrition and exercise

I’m sure your pet would LOVE to share that last slice of pizza with you, but you should reconsider. Providing your pet with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise is important for their quality of life. Consider adding pumpkin, apples, and carrots to your pet’s diet – these are tasty treats that are abundant during autumn months and they come packed with lots of nutrients! This time of year provides the perfect weather for a long walk or a game of fetch, but don’t forget to provide them with calories to account for the energy they’re expending. Your pet will love spending time with you and enjoy activities in the crisp, fresh air!

Although it’s officially fall, outdoor pests will remain active until temperatures consistently stay below 50 degrees.  Getting a Mosquito Joe spray now will allow you to enjoy your outdoor space longer while adding another layer of defense against ticks and fleas for your pets. Contact your local Mosquito Joe for more information, and let us help you make outside fun again!

Feeling creative this fall? Check out these adorable DIY Pet Costume Ideas for Halloween!

Back

Heartworm Awareness & Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month

April is a big month for us here at Mosquito Joe for two reasons: Heartworm Awareness Month and Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month. When we say our goal is to make outside fun again, that is for our four legged friends too. Since our barrier sprays also eliminate ticks and fleas, we take pride in your pets being safe and itch free, too. Not to mention, many of us Joes are dog and cat owners, and knowledge is power when it comes to insects causing sickness in our pets, so we’re honoring the month with some important information about Heartworm, ticks and fleas!

Heartworm in Pets

Heartworm is not something to take lightly with dogs and cats. If you are a pet owner you know heartworm testing is done yearly at your furry friend’s annual checkup, and preventative medicine is strongly recommended monthly. But, do you know how heartworm is spread to dogs and cats if they aren’t protected? Mosquitoes! That’s right, they don’t just make us sick, they can make our pets sick too. The mosquito plays a vital role in the heartworm life cycle. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up these baby worms, which develop and mature into larvae over a period of 10 to 14 days. Then, when the infected mosquito bites another dog or cat, the larvae are deposited onto the surface of the animal’s skin and enter the new host through the mosquito’s bite.

Ticks and Your Pets

Dogs of MoJo Heartworm Awareness
The Dogs of MoJo

We always associate ticks with the annoyance they can cause when they’re on your pet, but they can make pets and humans very sick. Humans can contract Lyme disease from ticks, but it can also cause the disease in dogs too. The symptoms are similar but present themselves differently in our 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

Fleas are more than an annoyance.

Now that we know how sick ticks and mosquitoes can make us, we can’t let the opportunity go to mention that fleas are much more than an itchy annoyance. 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! Not to mention, if your pet happens to get just one flea, that flea can lay eggs every 12 days, and under optimum conditions, those baby fleas can reach adulthood and multiply themselves. Flea infestations are notoriously difficult to get rid of in your house, so avoiding them before they begin is key.

Prevention and Treatment

If you have pets, veterinarians recommend a monthly flea, tick and heartworm preventative to be given 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 defend against fleas and ticks, so let Mosquito Joe be your first line of defense against these disease carrying pests. Contact your local Mosquito Joe today for a free quote. We have no contracts and no obligations, just mosquito, flea and tick treatment solutions.

Back

5 Tips for Pet Wellness This Fall

5 Tips for Pet Wellness This Fall

The changing of leaves, pumpkins, and Halloween costumes may be the first thing you think of when the calendar shows October has arrived. But did you know it is also National Pet Wellness Month? That’s right, there’s a whole month dedicated to the well-being of our beloved pets, and for good reason. There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with keeping a pet happy and healthy, and we’ve got five tips for you to follow this month to make sure you’re on the path to more wagging and purring and less barking and hissing.

5 Tips for Pet Wellness

  1. Annual Wellness Exam with your Veterinarian. This one might seem like a no-brainer, but taking your pet for regular checkups with your vet is extremely important. Our dogs and cats can’t tell us when they are sick, so it’s up to us owners to schedule regular checkups. Preventative care is vital to the health of your pets.
  2. Pet vaccines. While at the vet, discuss your pet’s vaccines. They can effectively prevent potentially serious canine diseases like distemper, rabies, and hepatitis.
  3. Oral Hygiene. Oral hygiene is an often-overlooked but important factor in your dog’s overall health. Just like humans, dental hygiene should be a part of routine and yearly care for your pet. It doesn’t have to be too tricky at home either. A good long chew can help scrape away plaque and dirt, and most dogs are happy to comply. Natural choices include rawhide or a knucklebone. Knucklebones are a softer bone that’s gentler on the teeth. To brush your pet’s teeth, make sure you purchase a special toothpaste that can be swallowed by dogs and cats. Human toothpaste is harmful! You can however use a human toothbrush, just make sure the bristles are soft.
  4. Exercise. Exercise your pet on a daily basis! Different breeds of dogs require different levels of exercise, so make sure you know how much activity your pet needs. Of course, our feline friends sleep 23 hours a day, so good luck there! You can also exercise their little brains with fun activities like the Muffin Tin Puzzle. It’s an easy activity you probably already have most of the supplies for!
  5. Check for fleas and ticks. Fleas and ticks can cause serious problems for your pets. Ticks can cause Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease while fleas can cause anemia and the annoying side effect of itching. Mosquitoes cause problems for pets as well as they can transmit heartworms. The good news is that heartworms, fleas and ticks are all preventable with medication your veterinarian can recommend. As an added layer of defense, Mosquito Joe services can help protect your pets, too with a barrier against mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks.

A healthy pet is a happy pet, so make sure you have a good relationship with your vet, stay vaccinated, and go for more walks! Even though it’s officially fall, outdoor pests are still very active until temperatures stay consistently below 55 degrees.  Getting a Mosquito Joe spray now will allow you to enjoy your outdoor space for a little bit longer while keeping your pets safe from harm.  Contact your local Mosquito Joe office for more information, so we can help you make outside fun again!

Back

Lyme Disease Awareness Month 2016

May is a great month for many reasons: Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and the flowers brought by April showers are just some of the beautiful things celebrated.  But did you know May is also Lyme Disease Awareness Month?  It might not be the cheeriest of topics, but Lyme Disease is an extremely important issue to be aware of as the weather turns and you start to spend more time outside.

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection spread primarily through ticks – known as deer ticks on the East coast and black-legged ticks on the West coast.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that over 30,000 cases are reported annually by state health departments. Known as the “Great Imitator,” Lyme Disease mimics many other illnesses, often leading to misdiagnoses such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and depression.

Transmission

Currently, Lyme Disease is only known to spread through the bite of an infected tick. Ticks normally rest on the tips of grass blades or shrubs waiting for a host to pass by. Black-legged ticks often attach to the host and can stay there for several days. The bacteria can take time to transmit to the host, so removing the tick within 24 hours will greatly reduce the chance of Lyme Disease. There is no evidence suggesting person-to-person transmission or pet-to-person transmission.

Symptoms and Treatment

Early signs of Lyme Disease can manifest much like those of the flu; fever, chills, headache, joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. Individuals may show signs of an Erythema Migrans (EM) rash, which starts at the site of the tick bite and gradually expands outward to look like a bullseye. Late stage signs showing days to weeks after a bite can be more serious: severe headaches, additional EM rashes, arthritis and acute joint pain, heart palpitations, nerve pain, and loss of muscle tone or drooping facial muscles.  Lyme Disease can affect any area or system of the body including neurological and nerve functions. If left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to nerves and joints and become Post-Treatment Lyme Disease or Chronic Lyme Disease.

Blood tests are usually used to diagnose Lyme Disease. Antibiotics help treat individuals with early Lyme Disease, and those with more progressed cases may need intravenous medication.


How You Can Help

Throughout the month of May, communities across America will be doing their part to raise awareness and funds for Lyme Disease.  Below are some ideas for how you can get involved!

  • Participate in a run/walk – Look in your local area for a Lyme Disease fun run or 5k.  This is a fun and active way to get involved in the cause.
  • Volunteer at a local pet shelter – Animals are also susceptible to Lyme Disease and other illnesses carried by ticks. You can help some four-legged friends by volunteering your time at a shelter or clinic. They are always in need of people to walk, feed, and play with the animals. Also be sure to check your own pets for signs of Lyme Disease as they can bring ticks into the house, posing a danger to you and your family.
  • State Support Groups – These groups offer support to those affected by Lyme Disease.  They also share information about local events and campaigns.
  • Make a donation – Organizations like LymeDisease.org strive to raise awareness and get people involved in the eradicating Lyme Disease permanently. Making a donation helps further their efforts in outreach, research, and education.

Don’t forget to contact Mosquito Joe while you’re at it! Mosquito Joe’s barrier spray services protect your yard from mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks!  We can help make outside fun again for you and your family this summer. Give your local Mosquito Joe a call for more information.

Back

New Tick Borne Disease Identified

Over the Christmas holiday some unsettling news came out of Kansas. Over the summer a farmer from Bourbon County, Kansas passed away after only 10 days in the hospital. With many tick bites from farming and his symptoms mimicking those of other tick borne illnesses, those were the first tests run. He tested negative for Rocky Mountain Fever and Lyme Disease. After more testing was done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Kansas it was confirmed he had a virus that had not been previously identified.

An otherwise healthy man, the virus has been attributed to ticks, and was named after the residence of the farmer, Bourbon Virus. “We don’t know the full spectrum of disease because it’s the first case,” says Dana Hawkinson, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at The University of Kansas Hospital. For example, no one knows whether or not the disease is usually deadly or if there could be more mild cases from which future patients could recover. Symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, muscle aches and a general feeling of malaise. But while similar tick-borne illnesses typically are treated with antibiotics, this disease is transmitted by a virus, and therefore won’t respond to the medication.

While we’re in the middle of winter, this isn’t really a concern as ticks are only active from around April to September. But, it is something to be mindful of as we all dream of warmer weather. If you’re someone who spends a great deal of time or works outdoors, it is important to keep yourself covered during prime tick season. If you have questions about tick control for your yard for the 2015 season,  just give us a call. As research continues and more information is revealed about the virus, Mosquito Joe will keep you updated.

Back