Feline Foe? Is Lyme Disease in Cats a Concern?

iStock_000075910907_LargeTick season is upon us. You probably know all about tick borne diseases like Lyme disease that can affect humans and dogs, but if you have a cat that spends time outdoors you may be wondering whether it is a worry for them as well. Thankfully, The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center have the answers for you when it comes to Lyme disease in cats. Continue…

NexGard: New Flea and Tick Control for Dogs

iStock_000024894111_MediumElmhurst Animal Care Center is very excited to be able to offer one of the newest flea and tick preventatives on the market: NexGard. This oral parasite preventative has recently been approved by the FDA as a safe, effective option for external parasite control for dogs. Our staff is pretty excited about NexGard – here’s why…

Why NexGard is Different

Until recently, pet owners had to rely on topical spot-on products or collars to provide good flea and tick control. This presented challenges for some pet owners:

  • Topicals can be messy
  • Bathing and swimming can influence effectiveness
  • Some pets with sensitive skin do not tolerate these well
  • Concerns about exposure to cats and children
  • Issues with applying topicals down on the skin as directed
  • Because NexGard is administered orally, none of these problems are a concern. NexGard is conveniently dosed as a tasty beef-flavored chewable that most dogs eat willingly. Continue…

    Itchy Skin

    Nothing is more frustrating than an itchy pet. And there are few things that look more miserable. There are many causes for a scratching animal, but here are some of the more common offenders:

    • Bugs!  Fleas are the most common offenders, but other organisms like mites can also cause your pet to scratch.
    • Irritation: That shampoo you bathed Fido with or the lavender scented detergent that you washed Fluffy’s bed in may smell great to you, but for some pets these things can be very irritating.  You are often best off to use fragrance-free products and gentle shampoos.
    • Allergies: Pets can be allergic to anything that people can, and most of the time their allergies rear their ugly head as itchiness. Food, grass, dust, even cat dander can cause your pet to be itchy.  If you suspect your pet may have an allergy, consult with your veterinarian for the best was to relieve the symptoms.
    • Skin infections: Infections can occur for a variety of reasons, but they most skin infections are irritating! Often medications are needed to get rid of infection and make your pet comfortable.

    If your pet is scratching, it might be a good idea to have a vet take a closer look. Feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment.

     

    Dog Days of Summer

    We want to make sure you keep your pets safe during these hot, hot months. Please watch out for the following summer hazards:

    • Heat stroke: It may be the most obvious hazard, but don’t forget that pets can overheat and even die from high temperatures. Never leave an animal in a car, even for a short period. Make sure your pet always has access to shade and fresh water.
    • The sun: It may sound like a good idea to shave down your golden retriever, but your pet’s coat provides insulation from the heat and limits sun exposure which can result in sunburn.
    • Heartworms: Mosquitoes transmit heartworms, which are just what they sound like- worms that grow in the heart. Not a good thing. Keep your pet on heartworm prevention as recommended by your vet.
    • Fleas: These nasty little buggers are at their peak during the warm months of the year. Preventatives prescribed by your vet are very effective at keeping fleas at bay.
    • Parties: Fido may want to crash the neighborhood block party, but be sure you limit his consumption of extra treats that may make him sick.  Alcohol is also a big danger as well as garbage cans full of tasty treats like leftover bones.

    Summer can be a fun time for your pet, but there are many dangers as well.  Keeping yourself informed and aware of potential risks can help to make sure your summer is a breeze.

     

    Fleas and Ticks, Oh My!

    Lions and tigers and bears aren’t the scariest things lurking outdoors for your pets!  Did you know that flea allergies are the number one cause of skin disease in dogs and cats?  And that they can transmit blood parasites and tapeworms?   Have you heard that ticks carry nasty diseases such as Lyme disease?  Have no fear, though!  A little education goes a long way in protecting Fido and Fluffy from these creepy crawly parasites.  For instance, while fleas and ticks are most common during the warmer months of the year, they are a risk throughout.  Also, did you realize that even dogs and cats that stay indoors can be a breeding ground for fleas?  Keeping your pet on year-round preventative can stop an infestation before it starts.  There are a variety of products on the market to protect your pet, which can make it difficult to know which to use.  Your veterinarian can help you to sort through the vast options and select the best product to meet your individual needs.  So follow the yellow brick road to see the wizard, er, your veterinarian to get your pet protected today!