Here at Mosquito Joe, we love any excuse to celebrate our four-legged friends, which is why we are excited that October is National Pet Wellness Month! Since the oppressive summer heat looks like it has finally said goodbye in many parts of the country and fall weather is making it’s way in, many of you may be spending more time outside with your pets before winter hits. Before the craziness of the holiday season sets in, this month would be a great time to take your pet for a checkup to rule out the presence of heartworm, fleas and ticks and begin preventative treatment. Keep an eye out for these symptoms as warning signs to get to the vet:
Heartworm is a parasitic worm that travels through the bloodstream, damaging arteries and organs before it settles in the lungs and heart. This journey can take up to six months, with heartworms known to survive for up to seven years inside an animal! And as if we don’t hate them enough already, mosquitoes are to blame, transmitting heartworm larvae into the bloodstream of unsuspecting pets at a microscopic level. Animals are usually screened for heartworm at their annual vet visits, but pet owners should be aware of symptoms such as labored breathing, vomiting, general fatigue, and weight loss in the meantime. This condition can be damaging and even fatal to pets, and you can read more about it on the national ASPCA website.
Fleas…much more than an annoyance, these pests can carry serious diseases to spread to your pets and family members. Living anywhere from 16 days to 21 months, fleas can consume 15 times their body weight in blood, leading to potentially serious blood loss and anemia in pets. The obvious sign of fleas is excessive scratching or licking of the skin, but owners should also be aware of hair loss, sudden appearance of scabs, pale gums, and “flea dirt” or dark spots on your pets coat. Fleas can usually be treated with a topical ointment, but regular washing and brushing of your pet, along with pest protection in your yard can go a long way!
Ticks – last but certainly not least, ticks are also parasites that feed on warm blooded animals. They usually lurk in tall grass or brush, so be sure to check your pets (and yourself!) thoroughly after spending time outside. The most serious side effect of ticks is Lyme Disease, a bacterial infection leading to potential depression, joint damage, and even organ failure. Signs of a tick include skin irritation and infection, anemia, and blood loss. Owners should aim to remove the tick and get to the vet as soon as possible to be screened for Lyme Disease and other side effects.
So, how can you protect your pet from these outdoor dangers? We always recommend flea and tick preventative because so does your veterinarian. But, Mosquito Joe also has your back! Our sprays not only take care of mosquitoes, but fleas, ticks, and some flies as well. The products we use are actually similar to those found in many pet shampoos and medicines, so you don’t have to worry for your furry friends! Check out these Mosquito Joe FAQs for more product information. Even though it’s officially fall, these 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!