Bark, Bang, Boom! Keeping Your Pet Comfortable This Summer

Fireworks can send your pet into a panic. If your best friend has an extreme reaction to the noise such as heavy panting, drooling, shaking, hiding, or trying to escape, If your pet reacts negatively when loud noise is happening, you’re not alone: it’s estimated 40-50% of dogs suffer from this phobia.

And, with Fourth of July approaching, the noise level is only going to go up. Fireworks, whether they’re at a distance or going off next door, can send your pet into a panic. The good news is there are a number of effective strategies you can adopt to minimize the impact of big bangs on your best friend, including:

· Putting your pet in a room and turning on white noise or soft music to dull the sounds
· distracting your pet with games and toys
· avoiding comforting or punishment—both reinforce the fear reaction
· consider getting your pet a Thundershirt

If any of the above approaches don’t work, we’re happy to consult with you about possible sedative medications and therapeutic treatments that are good for both short-term anxiety and long-term care.

Want to schedule a consultation or need more advice about how to minimize the impact of loud noises on your furry family member? Call (703) 348-9462 today!

Ticks Really Suck. We Can Help!

In our part of the country, ticks are an ever-growing problem—which means tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease are as well. We’ve already seen several patients come in with tick infestations, and that’s only going to get worse as the weather continues to warm up.

In dogs, Lyme disease typically causes recurrent lameness, itself a result of joint inflammation, and general malaise. Other symptoms include depression, lack of appetite, enlarged lymph nodes, an arched-back stiff walk, difficulty breathing, and extreme sensitivity to being touched.

Cats aren’t as impacted by Lyme disease as dogs are, but they, too, can experience joint pain, lameness, and lethargy.

The good news is that Lyme disease is preventable, both by vaccine and with easy-to-administer preventatives that we sell both in our clinic and our online store. The same applies to the illnesses carried by fleas and parasitic worms. Fleas, heartworm, and other parasites love the warm summer weather and treat your pet like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Contrary to popular opinion, these pests aren’t just annoying. Fleas can transmit tapeworm and cause anemia, while heartworm constrict blood flow, damaging internal organs and causing lung disease and heart failure.

If you need to stock up on tick, flea, or heartworm preventative, or if you’d like to schedule a Lyme disease vaccine, give us a call at (703) 348-9462!