As we enjoy our summer trips, barbecues, and outings with family and friends, we of course want our animal companions to participate. But what is perfectly safe for us can sometimes present a threat to our pets. We at Evergreen Animal Hospital want to help you avoid trips to the animal ER this summer, so below is some guidance on how to keep your furry friends safe.
A possible link to Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a life-threatening condition in which the heart muscle grows in size and the walls of the heart thin and weaken. The condition significantly decreases the heart’s ability to contract and effectively push blood throughout the body. Dogs with DCM may cough, show signs of exercise intolerance, and weight loss. In advanced stages of DCM, dogs can collapse or even die suddenly.
Dogs in contact with rivers, lakes, or streams, are at the highest risk of contracting leptospirosis as well as animals exposed to infected wildlife, even in your own backyard. This describes the majority of active Colorado dogs, especially dogs living in our mountain communities who are in contact with wildlife on a daily basis. Exposure occurs through contact with infected urine, water, soil, eating infected carcasses, and multiple other routes of transmission.
Let’s Start With Arthritis. When people think about arthritis, they tend to think about themselves (humans) or perhaps their dogs. Rarely do pet owners think about it as a problem for cats, partially because cats are so good at hiding their pain. Cats are solitary hunters and are also prey, so they do all they can to not appear vulnerable to enemies. You, as their caretaker, need to be aware of and watch for any signs that might indicate sickness or pain. An interesting fact is that arthritis, or degenerative joint disease (DJD), doesn’t only happen in old cats. Some cats as young as two to four years old may have it.
It has long been thought by residents and even some veterinary health professionals within Jefferson and Park country Colorado that we do not have significant issues with mosquitos and ticks.