Check Out Our March Special!
Vector-borne diseases are illnesses that are transmitted by vectors, which include fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.These vectors can carry germs such as viruses, bacteria and protozoa. The sickness caused by these vectors are some of the most important diseases known, like Zika virus, Malaria, West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease. And certainly when there is an outbreak of a vector-borne disease or when the human cases are increasing, there are plenty of news media stories and CDC announcements to let us know.
The two most significant vector-borne diseases we see in pets in this area are Heartworms and Lyme Disease. There were 70 dogs that tested positive for Lyme in 2019 at our veterinary hospital. We see a case of Heartworms every month or two. Most of our clients know that Lyme is spread by ticks and many say that they know of someone who had Lyme or is suffering from its affects. Heartworms is spread by mosquitoes and is arguably the most important canine disease. I say that because the heartworms can cause the most damage to the patient. And cases of Heartworms have increased by 21% since 2013 even though effective and easily administered preventives are readily available.
Meet Our March Pet of the Month
Our Pet of the Month is Bella Wetzler. She is a 7 year old, spayed Schnauzer belonging to Barbara Wetzler.
Periodontal Disease in Pets
Periodontal disease is the most common health condition in pets; it is also one of the most under-treated conditions.
Think of each of your pet’s teeth as an iceberg. The visible area of the tooth (the crown) might show a little plaque, but do you know what is lying underneath the surface? A small amount of damage on the crown may mean there is much more damage being done around the roots of the tooth. Plaque, bacteria, and saliva harden to make a substance called tartar. This tartar squeezes its way underneath the gum line which causes pain and gingivitis (swelling of the gums.) The longer the tartar is allowed to sit under the gums, the more damage it does to the surrounding tissues. Not only is the tartar poking and prodding at the gums, bacteria are also secreting toxic chemicals into the bloodstream and are taken to other areas of the body.
How Do Parasites Affect the Health of Both Pets and Humans?
In our last column, we learned how heartworm disease in dogs is on the rise. We learned that tick-borne diseases are affecting more and more people than ever before. We also know that fleas can carry diseases and that they are a nuisance every year. The old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is a reality that also applies to our pets when it comes to parasites.
But what about the parasites that are already here? What is the impact on our heath, the health of our children, and our pet's health? How can we mitigate the potential suffering caused by these opportunistic beasts?