Category Archives: heartworm

They Haven’t Gone Away!

Happy 2018!  Although Berks County has been in the deep freeze for the past couple of weeks, they are still out there!  What am I talking about?  Parasites.

The numbers are in for 2017 with 3.27% of dogs in Berks County having had roundworms (1 in 31).  Hookworms are in at 2.87% (1 in 35), whipworms — 1.07% (1 in 94), and giardia —  4.9% (1 in 21).  Cats fared no better with 3.29% (1 in 30) having had giardia, 1.12% (1 in 90) had hookworms, and 8.79% (1 in 12) had round worms.

So how do you prevent your family pet from being part of the statistics for 2018?  First, check a fecal at your next vet visit.  If you can’t get a sample, ask the technician or veterinarian to get a sample so we can test it while you are at the office.  That way we can address any issues while you are at Willow Creek.  Puppies and kittens should have at least 4 fecals tested in the first year of their lives.  This is due to the lifecycle of the parasites.  Adult dogs and cats should have 1-2 fecals a year depending on their lifestyles and health.

Kittens and puppies should be dewormed every two weeks until they are put on a broad-spectrum monthly preventative.  Adult dogs and cats should be on a year-round broad-spectrum parasite control.  The Companion Animal Parasite Council has a great website for guidelines for pet owners about parasites, the risks to people, and how best to protect your family pet.  www.petsandparasites.org

Let’s do our best to keep you and your pets as healthy as possible!

Ann E. Bastian, V.M.D.

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Boogie Monsters DO Exist!

Boogie Monsters DO Exist!

Boogie monsters are the stuff of childhood stories and Stephen King horror novels.  However, in the real world they are still out there, waiting to take advantage of the vulnerable cat or dog.  In July, Berks county experienced a rabid dog at another veterinary clinic.  The dog had its initial puppy shot, but the owner did not follow up with any additional vaccines.  The dog was kept outside, but had no history of injuries or bite wounds.  The dog developed vomiting, that progressed to seizures. Luckily the veterinarian tested the dog, and now the entire veterinary staff, and the family are having to endure the post-exposure treatment.

This year our clinic has had to treat several dogs for heartworm infection.  The disease is carried by mosquitos, and treatment involves several days of injections, along with exercise restriction for weeks after the treatment.  We have seen some patients that have not returned for their treatment, resulting in a source of infection in the community for other dogs.

The sad part is that all these situations were entirely preventable.  Rabies vaccines are readily available, and required by state law for any dog and indoor cat over 12 weeks of age.  Monthly heartworm preventative is inexpensive, and highly effective.   Please feel free to ask our staff if you have any questions about vaccines and heartworm preventative.  Don’t let the boogie monsters have their way with your beloved pet!

Ann E. Bastian, V.M.D.