Summer Heat and Fleas

Flea season is just around the corner and pet owners should be especially vigilant to check for these nasty brown insects.  Fleas prefer temperatures of 65-80 degrees and humidity levels of 75-85%. Dogs and cats often get infested with fleas through contact with other animals or with fleas in the environment.  They have strong back legs and can jump from host to host or from the environment onto your pet. (Fleas do not have wings, so they cannot fly!) The flea’s bite can cause itching and for a sensitive or flea-allergic animal, this itching can be quite severe and can lead to hair loss, inflammation and secondary skin infections. Some pets, hypersensitive to the flea’s saliva, will itch all over from the bite of even a single flea!

If you have noticed a flea problem, consider oral or topical treatments.  I’d be glad to discuss the options for your pet.

Spay and Neuter Time

As most of us know, leaving pets intact and not using them for breeding, can cause behavioral and medical problems for them. Intact female cats, dogs and bunnies can have false pregnancies, develop infection of the uterus (pyometra) that can be fatal and show aggressive changes to name a few. Female dogs, if not spayed before their first heat cycle (about 6-8 months), have a higher chance of developing breast cancer even after they are spayed. Those spayed before their first cycle have almost no chance of developing the disease.

Male dogs, tomcats and buck rabbits that are not fixed have a greater chance of developing prostatitis, aggression (rabbits stamp feet, spray urine and bite) and less commonly, testicular cancer. Intact male cats can roam more, commonly get into fights and spray very strong smelling urine on their territory (your house!). Males, depending on size of breed, reach sexual maturity at about 8-12 months and should be neutered before then as this is a less invasive surgery and recovery is faster.

I do work with feral or stray cats to help residents trying to catch and neuter them. Call the clinic and ask for Dr. Wilson to get a list of what I need an “owner” to do and to check out my reduced prices.