‘Tis the Season for Holiday Pet Safety Reminders

holiday pet safetyThe holiday season has finally arrived, and the excitement of shopping, baking, decorating, and planning is upon us. Pets are not likely to share in our revelry, as many of the seasonal delights we love can cause undue stress for them, or pose significant danger to their health.

Bone up on our holiday pet safety tips to make this the best season ever for your family (both two-legged and four)!

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Leptospirosis: Is There a Risk to Your Dog?

leptospirosisIt may not be a name that rolls off of the tongue, or one that is as common as parvo; however, Leptospirosis  (‘lepto’) is on the rise and is one of the more serious offenders when to comes to contagious illnesses in our pets. In cities across the United States, we have seen a steady increase in the number of lepto cases, including in the Arlington area.

The Arlington team wants you to better understand leptospirosis in dogs, what lepto is about, the signs of infection, and what you can do to prevent this serious disease.

Lepto 411

Leptospirosis is caused by the Leptospira bacteria, which is a spiral organism known as spirochetes, and is shed through infected animals (via water, soil, or direct contact). While dogs who spend time in outdoor or rural areas are more at risk, we are now finding an increasing prevalence of lepto in urban areas, too. This is due to several reasons, including an increase in infected rodents and other small mammals that spread leptospirosis in areas where pets play.

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The Enchanting World of Animals: Understanding Children and Pet Safety

In this world of increasingly grey areas, one thing is absolute: children adore animals. There’s nothing simpler or more meaningful than the bond between a pet and his or her young master/mistress/guardian/playmate/partner in crime.

That being said, many dynamic duos need a little help to make sure everyone remains safe. Wondering how to make the world of children and pet safety easier on the whole family? Arlington Animal Hospital is here to help!

The Cart Before the Horse

Welcoming an animal into your home has unlimited benefits. Pets tap into your child’s potential for learning trust, respect, compassion, empathy, and caring.  They can even boost his or her self-esteem. However, your child must be patient, understanding, and accommodating to the myriad needs of a new pet.

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Why Fleas, Ticks, and Other Parasites Aren’t Just a Seasonal Problem

While warm weather may bring out all of the fleas, ticks, and other pests of the summer season, leaving your pet unprotected from parasites during other seasons may put him or her at risk for a number of vector-borne diseases.

Despite the thought that pests are only active during warmer months, flea infestations can pose problems year-round and deer ticks (black-legged ticks) are often active during the winter months, as well.

Because sporadic treatment makes it difficult to prevent initial infestations, skipping your pet’s parasite preventative can be a dangerous gamble, no matter the time of year.

Fleas, Ticks…What’s the Risk?

Although many pet owners may consider parasites to be an itchy annoyance, the diseases they carry can pose serious risks to the health of a pet.

Fleas and ticks, for example, have a life cycle that perpetuates the risk of exposure through continuing to lay eggs and multiply. Fleas can also thrive indoors during winter months, going through the cycle of laying eggs which produce larvae, pupae, and then hundreds of adult fleas.

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Recognizing Signs of a Pet Emergency

When confronted with troubling symptoms, it can be difficult to know when to “wait it out” or when to call in a bona fide pet emergency. Your pet is also skilled at masking symptoms, leaving you to wonder whether he or she is simply having an “off” day…

That’s why Arlington Animal Hospital wants you to know how to recognize and handle a pet emergency. Your swift actions will enable your pet to get the life-saving help he or she needs.

Red Flags

When it comes to a pet emergency, there are certain tell-tale signs that indicate immediate medical attention is required. Please do not wait to contact us if you notice any of the following:

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