Posts Tagged ‘revolution’

Fleas Really Get Under Our Skin!!

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Every year pet owners suffer the same frustrations.  Warmer weather means more parasites, especially fleas!  And, despite good, veterinary approved products, some pets are still subjected to these nasty bugs!  What can we do to stop the infestation?

Fleas are truly a pet owner’s curse and worst nightmare.  Designed to survive and efficient at reproducing, these blood-sucking pests can quickly overrun house and home!  In addition to causing misery for our pets, fleas have the potential to carry serious, even deadly diseases.  In order to defeat this enemy, we need to understand their life cycle and dispel persistent myths that lead to ineffective control.

For every adult flea seen on a dog or cat, there are about 95 other fleas in various life stages (eggs, larvae and pupae) around the pet’s environment.  The failure to address the juvenile life stages is a primary reason why owners never seem to win any battles against fleas.  People also misunderstand how adult fleas interact with pets.

Once an adult flea finds your pet, there is very little short of death that will remove that flea from your dog or cat.  People want to believe that fleas jump from pet to pet, like it is often depicted in cartoons.  The fact is once a flea starts taking a blood meal from an animal, the flea will die within two hours if removed from the pet.  Pets acquire fleas by picking them up from the environment, not from playing with their canine and feline friends.

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Heartworm Disease is Spreading

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

With over 250,000 known cases across the United States, canine heartworm disease continues to plague our pets, causing emotional distress to the owners and financial worries to their pocketbooks.  The saddest part of all:   this disease is completely preventable.

We know what causes heartworm disease, we know how to treat it in dogs, and we even have safe, effective medications to prevent the disease.  So, why are more than a quarter of a million dogs and cats still getting this terrible disease?

According to a survey recently released by the American Heartworm Society over 250,000 dogs and cats tested positive for heartworm infection nationwide in 2004.  Since these cases only included dogs that routinely see the veterinarian, some estimates of the true incidence of heartworms in dogs range as high as 11 million canines infected with the parasite.  Throw in coyotes and foxes and one can easily see the huge reservoir of potential cases.

Heartworms are a parasite that reside in the vessels leading from the heart to the lungs of many different mammals, but are primarily suited for life in a canine.   The immature larva of the adult heartworms are taken in during feeding by mosquitoes and then spread from mosquito back to dogs after a short, 2 week maturation period in the mosquito’s stomach and salivary glands.  After returning to their natural host, the heartworm larva migrate through the dog’s body over the next four to six months, growing in length until they reach the heart.  Upon reaching the heart, the foot long parasite becomes sexually active, producing large numbers of larva, which, in turn, wait to be picked up by a feeding mosquito, continuing the disease cycle.  Infected dogs might have as few as 5 or 6 adult worms or as many as 250!

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