Summertime Pet Issues
It's finally summer! For many of us, that means outings, camping, and vacations. For our pets, it can mean added stresses that don't appear for the remaining 9 months of the year.
First, let's just consider the heat. Our biggest fear is heat stroke or overheating. This may sound benign, but can actually be fatal. Even if you take your dog everywhere, consider leaving her home for those short trips to the store. I know you've heard this before, but even 10 minutes in a hot car can kill a dog. We see heat strokes every summer, always just from that innocent, I was just going into the store for a minute. So I will repeat: Dogs can die from overheating. If you are traveling with your pet, be sure to leave someone in the car with your pet with the air conditioning on while your travel partner leaves the car. If you are removing your pet from the car, be sure that the leash is attached or our cat is in a secure carrier BEFORE you open the door.
It's Always Flea and Tick Season!
For many pets, fleas and ticks are an occasional annoyance. They can transmit bacterial and parasitic infections including Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tapeworms. Heavy infestations can cause anemia due to blood loss from feeding.
Until recently, fleas and ticks were a seasonal concern, first appearing around March or April and gone with the snow in December. As our New England winters become progressively more mild, fleas and ticks are better able to survive and thrive over-winter.
Adult fleas, for example, can remain protected in a cocoon for up to 30 weeks after reaching maturity and will emerge when the temperature rises can survive for up to 10 days at 38°F. Ticks will become active and feed at temperatures above 32°F, regardless of whether or not there is snow on the ground. In addition to less environmental help in controlling fleas and ticks, some of the familiar old products we’ve been using as preventatives don’t seem to be as effective anymore.
Even though recent studies have shown that fleas and ticks have not developed resistance to common preventatives, our pharmaceutical suppliers have produced several new or updated products to help protect our pets from these pests.
Traveling With Your Pet
Are you planning to travel with your pet? Whether you are journeying by plane or driving, it is advisable to keep with you a signed copy of your pet's current rabies certificate as well as a signed health certificate issued within 30 days of travel.
North Windham Animal Hospital is now accredited by the USDA to issue pet health certificates for both for domestic and overseas travel! We also provide Pet ID cards at no cost (the card includes pet information as well as a list of vaccines).
Having your pet microchipped prior to travel is also a good idea (and may be required) should your pet become lost or separated from you en route. Be sure to update your information with the microchip company to ensure your pet finds his or her way home!
With a few exceptions, the majority of states require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection if a pet will be residing in a state for any length of time. If flying, you should check with the airlines as they may have additional requirements for your animal and more stringent time requirements.
My Itchy Pet – A Simple Approach
If your pet is exhibiting itchiness, allergies could be the cause. Or is it? Here are five questions you should answer:
Is My Pet on Flea Control?Before pursuing extensive (and expensive) diagnostics, consider if ALL pets in the household are on flea prevention. If not, start there. In many cases, owners don't notice fleas, because they aren't being bitten — that's because they're biting your pet. Flea control should include both pets AND environment.
Is My Pet Wormed Regularly?Both internal and external parasites can cause your pet to itch. We may wish to run a fecal exam and/or skin scrapes to look for parasites.
Does My Pet Itch All Year?If so, consider home environment and food. Statistically speaking, very few pets have a food allergy — but it's worth ruling out. If a food trial is suggested, remember, NOTHING ELSE goes into the pet's mouth except the recommended diet. Heartworm prevention will need to be topical. Commit to 3 months before calling it quits.
Does My Pet Have an Infection or Underlying Disease?Blood tests and/or skin cultures or biopsies may be recommended to rule out an infection or disease.
Is My Pet Allergic to Something?Many pets are. Consider allergy testing to identify the source and subsequent immunotherapy to help manage the outbreaks. This doesn't work for everyone, but it does work for the majority of cases.
In the mean time, here's what you can do to sooth your pet's itchy skin:
- Buying An Exotic Pet
- Canine Influenza – A New Threat for Your Dog
- Could Your Pet Be Senile?
- Diabetes in Cats
- Dispelling Your Fear of Anesthesia
- Feeding Pets Table Scraps – Another Holiday Pet Health Hazard
- Hormone Cream
- My Itchy Pet – A Simple Approach
- Pet Dental Health – Two Methods for Identifying Oral Disease in Pets
- Protect Your Pets, and Family, Against Harmful Parasites
- Should I Buy Pet Insurance?
- Should Pet Parents Worry About Heartworms?
- Summertime Pet Issues
- Taking A Trip With Your Pet
- Winter Pet Safety Tips
North Windham Animal Hospital's Dedicated Team
Our team of caring professionals is devoted to you and your pets!
Linda — Hospital Manager
Linda has been with North Windham Animal Hospital since 1993. She loves working with people, their pets, and the staff. Linda enjoys being outside at home in her perennial garden. She lives with her husband, Walter, and their four dogs, three Golden Retrievers and a Wire Fox Terrier.
Steve — Head Veterinary Technician
Steve is a Rhode Island transplant who recently moved to Connecticut with his wife and their three dogs, six cats, and three-legged bearded dragon. Before he found his passion in veterinary medicine, Steve was an E-6 in the Air Force and Army for 12 years where he worked as a medic and electronic countermeasures technician. Between deployments to Afghanistan, Germany, Guam, and Diego Garcia, he attended several colleges and earned his associate's degree in applied science with a focus on Avionic Electronic Systems, his bachelor's degree in psychology, his EMT-basic certification, and, as of 2016, his bachelor's degree in biology. As an avid musician, cinephile, cook, and gamer, Steve spends his free time watching movies, anime, collecting comics, and playing drums, guitar, and Xbox controllers.
Kelly — Head Receptionist
Kelly joined our team in October of 2015. She is a certified dog trainer. In her spare time, she loves to hike all around New England and read. She lives with her husband and two daughters. She also shares her home with her lab/hound mix, Josey, as well as her two cats, Tahiri and Luna.
Jessica — Veterinary Technician
Jessica is a veterinary technician at North Windham Animal Hospital. Since she was little, Jessica always had a deep affinity for animals and has been working in the veterinary field since 2006. At home, she lives with multiple pets including her dog, Koda, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. In her spare time, she loves fishing and being outdoors.
Lizzy — Veterinary Technician & Receptionist
Lizzy has been working with us since early 2016. She has always wanted to work animal and couldn't picture herself doing anything else. She plans to go back to school to become a certified technician. All of her pets, Lilly Ann, Jenny, Princess, Chloe, Toby, Daisy and some African Cichlids are rescues that live with her. In her spare time, she is a self-taught artist, drawing, paints, crafts, likes bird watching and training and spending time with her new rescue puppy, Lilly Ann.
Paula — Veterinary Technician & Receptionist
Paula began working at North Windham Animal Hospital in January of 2018. She has been working in the veterinary field since 2013. In her spare time, Paula enjoys all things outdoors. Her favorite things to do are kayak, hike, and horseback ride on her horse, Jazzy. In addition to Jazzy, she has a cow named Chester, two cats, Martin and Boots, and a new puppy, Louie.
Autumn — Veterinary Technician & Receptionist
Autumn has been a member of the North Windham Animal Hospital since March of 2018. She has been working in the veterinary field since 2005.
Outside of the hospital she enjoys running, biking, hiking, and anything that involves being active. She loves traveling and exploring new places with her husband and daughter. At home, Autumn has two cats, Spencer and Sebastian, that she adores very much.
Christie — Veterinary Technician & Receptionist
Christie is currently an animal science major on the pre-veterinary track at the University of Connecticute (UCONN). She began her career at North Windham Animal Hospital as an intern and was offered a part-time position in August.
When not at the animal hospital or studying for her classes, she enjoys riding horses and skydiving. She is a member of both UCONN’s equestrian team and skydiving team. She is also an ambassador for UCONN's College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. Christie is a member of the Sigma Alpha Eta chapter at UCONN, serving as their horse show chair this year. She is also the event coordinator for the skydiving team.
Danielle — Receptionist
Danielle is a receptionist, who happily joined our team in the beginning of May of 2014. Danielle has had a variety of pets throughout her life. She is very adventurous and really enjoys being at the beach or in the woods in her Jeep! Danielle shares her home with three cats, Mit Mit, Chauncy, and Bentley, a bird named Hary, and her dog, Bootsie.
Jamireliz — Receptionist
Since she was a young girl, Jami always wanted to work with animals. She plans on going back to school to become a certified veterinary technician.
Jami has a bearded dragon named Ozuna and a French Bulldog named Jake. In her free time, she enjoys reading, poetry, and going on long hikes with friends.
Pam — Post Surgical & Hospital Cleaning
Pam has been keeping North Windham Animal Hospital's surgery rooms and equipment clean and in top shape for 13 years. In her spare time, Pam works in her gardens, plays with her grandson, and spends time with her family. She has a cat and a Pomeranian Shih-tzu mix.