In life threatening events, CPR, or rescue breathing, can be performed on pets. According to Dr. Wirth, taking a first aid class and learning pet CPR is a good idea. A first aid class and CPR training will inform pet owners what to watch for and when to seek veterinarian assistance.Not only will your pet and his or her veterinarian benefit from regular check ups, you will too! You will be knowledgeable about your pet’s health status, and know of any conditions that could lead to emergency situations. Regular check ups also provide the opportunity to diagnose any diseases or health problems early. Dr. Wirth says pets can be very good at hiding illnesses until advanced stages. More treatment options will be available when the problem is diagnosed earlier rather than later. Unfortunately, situations can happen that are out of your control. It is important as a pet owner to know when to contact your veterinarian. Dr. Wirth advises to contact your veterinarian in any of the following events.
Now you know what to do in situations requiring first aid. Do you have the resources available? A pet first aid emergency kit should always be accessible. Items that must be included in your kit are bandage material, nail clipper, cautery pen or powder (used to control blood loss), antihistamine, eye flush, your veterinarian and poison control numbers. By following these suggested steps, you can be confident your pet will receive the care he or she deserves. Contact your WVMA member veterinarian to learn more about first aid preparedness!
What You Need to Know to Prevent Lyme Disease As temperatures rise, so do the number of ticks and an animal’s susceptibility to tick-borne diseases. Whether you own a poodle or palomino, it is important to know about tick-borne diseases and what you can do to prevent them.Lyme disease is the most prevalent disease attributed to ticks. According to Dr. Chris Olsen, UW School of Veterinary Medicine, Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacteria, Borrelia burgorferi. The bacteria are transmitted mainly by deer ticks, through biting an animal.Lyme disease is most commonly diagnosed in dogs and horses. When dogs become infected they may show symptoms of decreased activity, loss of appetite, fever, and lameness. Although symptoms in equine are not as well documented as dogs, they show similar symptoms. In addition, horses may get eye infections.Specialized and advanced testing has made it easier to make a diagnosis of Lyme disease with a blood test than it has been in the past. Animals diagnosed with clinical Lyme disease are treated with antibiotics. Dr. Olsen stresses the importance of giving the antibiotic for the full duration as directed by your veterinarian. Animals are usually treated for a minimum of four weeks. Despite treatment, chronic symptoms and health problems may occur. Animals can develop advanced arthritis, kidney, heart, or neurological diseases. This is another important reason to follow through with treatment duration!On a positive note, Lyme disease is very preventable! For ticks to transmit the Lyme disease causing bacteria, they have to be attached to the animal for at least 24 hours. By being diligent and checking over your animal on a daily basis, ticks can be removed immediately, greatly reducing your pets chance to contract the disease. To remove a tick, grasp the tick firmly with your fingers and pull slowly and gently. This should encourage the tick to unlatch from the animal. Do not squeeze the tick, because it could break it in half, leaving the mouth attached to the animal and continue to transmit the bacteria. Dr. Olsen suggests wearing gloves during inspection for and removal of ticks, as the tick can give that same disease to you! Owners should refrain from using tweezers to remove ticks because it usually breaks the ticks in half. It is critical for small and large animals to have annual exams and checkups by their veterinarian. Not only will this benefit the overall heath of the animal, it will allow screening for Lyme disease.Other preventative methods are available to help reduce flea and tick infections. Discuss with your veterinarian safe and effective preventative products that will work best for your animal. Tick prevention should occur all year round. Extra care is needed when ticks are most abundant in March through November. Daily inspection of large animals is more difficult. Dr. Olsen recommends grooming with a curry comb, looking in hard to reach areas (such as behind ears and folds of skin), and keeping pastures down. Ticks prefer long grass because they are closer to animals, allowing them to “jump” on to the animal.As an animal owner, seek veterinary care if you suspect Lyme disease. By treating Lyme disease promptly, long term consequences can be prevented. Prevention, through diligent tick control and inspection of your animals, is the best strategy for dealing with Lyme disease.
Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association 2801 Crossroads Drive, Suite 1200 | Madison, WI 53718 | Phone: (608) 257-3665 | Fax: (608) 257-8989
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