Is your family looking for something fun to do outdoors next weekend? Hartley Nature Center is holding a Spring Youth Outdoor Expo Saturday, May 4th from 9am to 1pm. Ages 7-15 welcome with an adult. Activity stations include archery, laser shooting, bird banding, fly tying and more! Call 724-6735 and pre-register today as it is limited to 125 participants. Check out their website for more information: http://hartleynature.org/
Today is National Kids and Pets Day, a day to celebrate that special bond that exists between our children and our pets. Here are some helpful tips to keep children and pets safe: http://bit.ly/XLzNF2
Tomorrow, April 26th is National Hairball Awareness Day. It is a day to educate people about hairballs. Hairballs, or
trichobezoars, occur when ingested fur builds up in a cat's stomach after grooming. Most of the time cats are able to pass the fur through their intestinal tract without any problems. However, some cats are not able to pass them on their own and often vomit them up. You can help solve this problem, by brushing your cat frequently, especially if they have medium to long fur.
To add a little fun to this pet holiday, the Furminator Company is inviting everyone to brush their cat, make a mustache with the removed fur and take a picture of your feline wearing the mustache, then post it on the furminator facebook:
For more information on hairballs and how to tell if your cat has them, check out this website:
The snow will be gone (eventually!!) and those of us who haven't been picking up after our dogs all winter will be left with a nasty surprise. If this scenario sounds familiar to you then you should check out the services of Duluth Dog Waste Removal. Charlie gave us a run down of the services of his new business.
They will do weekly, biweekly, monthly, and one-time cleanups--with free estimates--all year round. There's no commitment. The waste is bagged and disposed of in the client's trash receptacle, and tools are cleaned between each cleanup. Other yard work, such as raking, mowing, gardening, etc, can be done on request for an additional charge. Services are paid for by cash, check, or through Paypal.
Why does PetCare of Duluth care if you keep your yard picked up? Because keeping your yard free of pet waste is a key step in decreasing the spread of parasites from pet to pet and pets to people. Rates and other information can be found at www.duluthdogwaste.com or on www.Facebook.com/duluthdogwasteremoval
April 22nd is Earth Day. Check out this video for tips on how to go green and to be more energy efficient when dealing with your animals: http://exm.nr/11mh03X
April 15th-21st is National Pet ID Week so we'd like to send out a quick reminder to everyone that providing your dog with multiple forms of identification is the best way to ensure that they return home if ever lost.
One form of identification is a collar with a name tag. This tag should include the dogs name and the owners information. If a dog gets loose while wearing it's collar with a name tag the finder can easily call the owner and arrange to get little Fido home as soon as possible. A couple tips: make sure that the information is current and make sure that the dog is always wearing it's collar.
What if the dog is not wearing the collar, the collar falls off, or the tags get pulled loose?
Pet owners now have a more permenant identification option readily available to them. The microchip. Learn more about Microchips here. If a loose pet is found by a shelter or a policeman they will check for a microchip first. If the pet has a microchip they will get the owners information from the online database and give them a call. Simple as that! If a neighbor or individual finds a stray pet they probably wont posess a scanner, but they can head to any shelter or veterinarian clinic and have the pet scanned there.
Microchips last a pet's entire lifetime so all the owner has to do is make sure they always update their registry with any new phone numbers, addresses or other contact information.
Q: Ticks seem to be a big deal. Have they become more of a problem and a concern, or are we just hearing more about them?
Ticks are a big deal. Ticks once confined to certain geographic regions have expanded their ranges. The type of number of diseases that a certain species of tick may be carrying has changed dramatically in a relatively short time period as well.
For example, let’s look at Ixodes Scapularis, the deer tick, which we see in our area. When I moved to this region a decade ago, we were mainly seeing dogs infected with Lyme Disease. The majority of these dogs had the classic signs of fever, joint pain that shifted from leg to leg and lack of appetite. Gradually, we started seeing sick dogs that mimicked some of the signs of Lyme but weren’t testing positive. We began sending off blood panels to the lab to look for an expanded range of tick diseases and started commonly coming across another bacteria carried by ticks, Anaplasma.
Today, we are dealing with ticks that are co-infected, or carrying multiple bacteria capable of infecting us and our dogs. Prevalence maps of dogs in St. Louis County show one in six dogs test positive for Lyme Disease or Anaplasma or both.
Dogs are considered “sentinels” for tick diseases. In other words, the risk a dog has for contracting one of these diseases directly correlates to the risk to humans in the region. There is a vaccine to protect against Lyme Disease but nothing currently for Anaplasma. At-risk dogs should be vaccinated for Lyme Disease and placed on a tick preventative. Interestingly, there is no evidence that cats are susceptible to either of these diseases.
Q: Many pet owners are skeptical about the value of heartworm prevention in our northern climate. We don't get many cases here. Can I go without heartworm medicine for my dog?
I speak with many people who are skeptical about the need for heartworm preventative. In reality, we do have a low incidence of heartworm disease this far north because our mosquito season is so short and the conditions aren't ideal for mosquitos to harbor heartworm disease. But that’s not the case just a couple of hours south of here. Any dog traveling to the Twin Cities has a real risk of coming into contact with a mosquito potentially carrying the heartworm infection.
In my practice, based on the recommendation on the Companion Animal Parasite Council, we have moved toward recommending heartworm preventative on a year-round basis. Something that the majority of the public does not know is that most heartworm preventatives on the market treat not only heartworm but also the roundworm and hookworm internal parasites. Both of these intestinal parasites have the potential to infect people, something called a zoonotic disease.
When you look at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10,000 people annually are diagnosed with roundworm infections. These infections can lead to neurologic conditions and potential blindness in humans. The majority of puppies and kittens are infected with roundworms, as are raccoons that may be using our backyards as latrines which our pets can easily come into contact. Roundworms are spread through the fecal/oral route. Children are at the greatest risk of infection, as they tend not to practice appropriate hand washing, spend time in sandboxes that pets frequent and indiscriminately put items into their mouths.
Keeping our dogs on year-round preventatives deworms our pets on a monthly basis, stopping these infections, which have the potential to harm people. Heartworm preventative is just one of the benefits of using these products on a monthly basis.
'Fatboy' is a black and white, long-haired male cat. He went missing on 4/16.
He was last seen on Tree Farm Road, just off of Midway Rd, about 1/2 mile from I35.
His owner can be reached at 218-340-6224, or her daughter, Emily, can be reached at 218-310-1223. Thank you!
Many dog owners in the Northland spend a portion of their time in the woods. This may be on groomed trails at one of many parks located in the city, on slightly rougher trails while visiting the water falls or lakes, or simply out in the woods on no trails at all. Many Northland dogs have the great pleasure of going along with their owners into the woods.
Keeping in mind that April is National First Aid Month we'd like to remind you that it's important to not only have a first aid kit for your dog at your house, but to remember to bring it along when you and your dog go off on adventures.
What kinds of things should you bring along?
I never enter the woods with my dogs without making sure that I have a couple of dog booties, some gauze, tape, antibiotic ointment, and an extra long-sleeve shirt. This is a pretty makeshift first aid kit including only the bare minimum but it comes in handy when your dog ends up with a torn pad on their paw, a cut running up their leg or across their chest, or for some, even if your dog comes back limping.
I carry dog booties for small foot injuries. If it's small enough that I'm not worried about it I will cover it with a dog booty for the time being. If it's a little larger I will use some gauze and tape and wrap it before using the dog booty. I will use antibiotic ointment on all open wounds until I'm able to get home and wash it out. And the long sleeve shirt you ask? I could use it in a few different instances. If my dog cuts open his chest or belly I could use the shirt to wrap it and put pressure on it. If I had a small dog who started limping on a hike I could use the long sleeve shirt as a make-shift sling (even a 20 pound dog would get heavy if you have to carry them a mile or more).
Check out this website for more first aid kit ideas: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pet_first_aid_kit.html
If you don't want to carry your dog's first aid kit try getting them a back pack! Some dogs are more than happy to carry their own supplies, and maybe even some of yours as well!
The Canine Carnival will be held Saturday, April 27th from 12-3pm at Fitger's. There will be over 20 vendors/reps and local dog businesses. Bring your dog dressed in his/her finest to enter them in the Best Dressed Pooch contest, being held in the Fitger's courtyard at 1pm. Does your pet have an amazing trick? Enter them in the Stupid Pet Trick Contest, being held at 1:30pm in the Fitger's courtyard. You can also enter your favorite dog/owner "look-alike picture" by bringing the picture to A Place for Fido or emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org, before April 22nd. PetCare of Duluth will have a table at the carnival so make sure to stop by.
Dr. Amanda Bruce and staff