As summer turns into fall, many of us are enjoying that last rays of warmth and sunshine outdoors with our pets; hiking, camping, dog parks, swimming, you name it. Something to consider whilst exploring the great outdoors is deworming and tick prevention, depending on your pets exposure and risk levels.
Ticks can carry and transmit several diseases such as lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis. It does however, take some time for these diseases to be transmitted from the tick to your pet. While ticks can reside in the city and in grass/bushes, the exposure levels are highest in the bush and wooded areas. Avoidance and prevention are the best method to minimize the likelihood of your pet contracting some of these diseases. Avoid high risk areas, and if going to these areas, ensure you have treated your pet with tick preventative at least every 30 days, and regularly check them over for those pesky blood suckers.
Intestinal parasitism is always an uphill battle. We unfortunately can’t prevent these, and they are transmitted in a fecal oral fashion. Eggs and larvae are found everywhere in the environment and in the dirt. Whilst many of these are species specific, they can migrate and cause issues in other animals, including people. Given that our furry friends sniff and lick just about anything on the ground, they are constantly exposed. Most animals that go outdoors will harbor low numbers of parasites and shed eggs in their stool which are detectable on microscopic examination. It is rare to see worms visible to the naked eye unless the parasitic infestation is severe. Regular deworming is strongly recommended for any animal going outdoors regularly, especially those going to off leash dog parks, wooded areas, day cares, or kennels.
All of these are not reasons to avoid enjoying a bit of sun and fun outdoors!
Being prepared and preventing some of these common issues is the best way to be worry free whilst enjoying those fire roasted hotdogs and marshmallows!