Heartworms

Come on Tullahoma, I've had a sharp increase in heartworm disease in the last yr. Please, don't let your pet's heart get full of long worms. Prevention is less than a coke a day and much cheaper than treatment.

Bobcat Fever on the Rise

I have had 3 cases of Bobcat Fever in domestic cats already this Spring. The real name is cytauxanosis. The disease is carried by bobcats and is transmitted to cats by the Lonestar tick. The disease is considered fatal although new treatments have shown some success. I have have saved a few using the newest treatment recommended. It probably depends on the strain, the cat's immune system and how quick we see them. If you see your cat lathargic and not feeling good get him to the vet immediately and for goodness sake keep a flea and tick preventative on your cats from your vet year round.
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Top 5 Flea Myths

1. Myth: A few fleas are no big deal.
Reality: You’ve heard the expression “breeding like rabbits”?
Well, rabbits have nothing on fleas—a few fleas
can turn into a massive infestation in a hurry. And if your
pet is sensitive to flea antigen, even one or two bites can
make him very uncomfortable. Your pet deserves to be
completely free of fleas.

2. Myth: Pets need flea preventive
only a few months out of the year.
Reality: In many warm, humid areas, fleas thrive yearround.
Even in more seasonal climates, a warm spring or
fall can extend the flea season to nine or 10 months of
the year. Plus, fleas can survive on your pet and inside
anywhere! Year-round flea control is best for your pet.

3. Myth: I’ve never seen a flea
on my pet, so she doesn’t need
flea control.
Reality: You may be in flea denial. Just because you
don’t see fleas doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Your veterinarian
can use a special comb to detect fleas and their
waste, so ask her to do this if she hasn’t already. Even if
your pet’s clean, she can pick up fleas at any time, so it’s
a good idea to protect her.

4. Myth: I can get good flea
products at the pet store.
Reality: Over-the-counter flea control products are not
as potent and therefore not as effective as the prescription
products you can get from your veterinarian. Some
are even toxic, especially if administered incorrectly. Your
pet’s doctor can prescribe the best product for your pet
and his lifestyle (does he swim? hunt rodents?) and show
you exactly how to apply it.

5. Myth: Once I treat my pet and
the fleas go away, my work is done.
Reality: One of the biggest mistakes pet owners make is
to stop giving a flea product after the fleas go away. One
of the reasons you need to provide continuous control is
this: Pets can become ultrasensitive to fleas if they’re intermittently
exposed. In other words, if you notice fleas,
treat them, and three months later they come back, and
then you treat them again and three months later they
come back again, your pet is more likely to develop flea
allergy dermatitis—a miserable condition that causes itchiness,
lesions, and hair loss. Don’t let the fleas come back
at all, and your pet is at a much lower risk for flea allergy.

Flea Biology & The Fall Flea Surge

The Twenty-Sixt Annual
George H. Muller Veterinary Dermatology Seminar
November 3 - November 10, 2010

Michael Dryden DVM, MS, PhD
Professor of Veterinary Parasitology
Department of Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, Kansas

Fleas are a common and important parasite of dogs and casts. They are voracious blood feeders consuming up to 15 times their body weight in blood daily and female fleas use that blood to produce 40 to 50 eggs each day. So it does not take very long before a flea infestation can get completely out of hand. These fleas can cause allergic skin disease, transit tapeworms and produce anemia in our pets. It is important for the health and well being of our pets that we eliminate these harmful parasites.

In order to achieve the first goal of flea control (providing pets relief from the existing fleas), proper administration of a flea product is essential for the rapid and prolonged kill of those fleas. We often do not understand how important it is to properly administer a flea product. The correct technique should be explained and demonstrated to the pet owner. Remember, correct administration varies depending upon the products selected. Next it is important to understand that veterinarian recommended products are going to kill all fleas that are currently on the pet and may take from 4 hours with some products or as long as 24 hours with others before all existing fleas are dead.

Many of these flea products not only kill the fleas that are currently on the dog or cat but also provide for prolonged residual activity, often killing fleas for up to one month. In addition some products can also provide prolonged activity against flea eggs, by killing the eggs or preventing eggs from developing or being laid. It is important to understand how these monthly products are going to help us achieve our second goal of flea control, preventing further infestations of immature fleas in the environment while driving the current infestation to extinction.

The pet owner must understand that it often takes several weeks to eliminate a flea infestation. That is because all flea infestations of dogs and cats originated from a flea infested environment and it takes time to eradicate the immature stages living in the carpet or outdoors. There are some basic aspects of flea biology that can have a direct impact the success or failure in the battle against fleas.

Proper administration of flea products to all dogs and cats every month means no more fleas reproducing and no more eggs dropping into the environment. Simply if fleas cannot reproduce they will go extinct in the home and yard. But if the clients misses treating one pet, skips a monthly treatment or applies the product incorrectly this allows fleas to live and lay eggs, continuing the infestation. It is important to remember that these products do not repel fleas and they do not kill fleas instantly. It often takes several hours, maybe more even up to a day, after these fleas have jumped on treated pets to be killed by the residual insecticide. Therefore clients should expect to see some fleas on their pets for the next 1 to 3 months and occasionally longer.

As good as the new veterinary labeled flea products are, there may still be a need for direct environment control with some severe flea infestations. Such as washing pet bedding, vacuuming carpets, washing area rugs and application of insecticides into the indoor and outdoor areas. This might include the use of pump sprays, directed aerosols, total release aerosols (commonly referred to as Bombs) or the services of a professional Pest Management Specialist.

While many pet owners think of the summer as the "flea season", n many temperate climates flea populations often peak in the fall. The "Fall Flea Surge" often causes increase pressure on flea control programs often leading to perceptions of failure and resistance. The reasons for the fall flea surge are multifactorial and not well documented. But some of the important aspects of flea ecology do provide some insights.