Monthly Archives

June 2019

♫ Summer Time, Summer Time, Sum-Sum-Summertime ♫♪♫

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Finally the weather is warming up. After what seemed like an eternity of rain we have sunshine and blue skies.

This is the time of year to remember that we need to take special care of our four-legged friends when it’s hot outside.

Leaving your pet in a hot car, even for a few minutes, can be life threatening. Researchers have studied how long it takes for a car to heat up on a hot day. The findings were alarming: in less than an hour the inside temperature of a car parked in the sun on a day that reached 35 degrees C or hotter, hit an average of 47 degrees C!

Cars parked in the shade on a hot day had lower – but still scorching – temperatures. After 1 hour, the interior temperature of these cars reached an average of 38 degrees C.

The dashboards of these cars averaged 48 degrees C, the steering wheel averaged 42 degrees C, and the seats averaged 41 degrees C. It is never safe to leave a pet unattended in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down.

If you see a pet left in a car you can call 310-SPCA (7722), your local SPCA or Humane Society, or your local police.

 

Another thing that we need to be careful of is the temperature of asphalt. Unless you’re walking around barefoot it’s easy to forget just how hot the pavement can be. Use the “5 second rule” to determine if it’s cool enough for your pet’s feet. Place the back of your hand on the pavement where you want to walk your dog. If it’s too hot to leave it there for 5 seconds it’s too hot for the pads of your dog’s feet. Serious burns can occur.

Stay safe and have a great summer! 

magnified Mosquito

Heartworm testing

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4DX Plus. This test shows a blue dot for a positive control only. The test is negative for heartworm and tick-borne diseases.

Each year starting April 15th we begin drawing blood samples from dogs 6 months of age or older. With the antigen test that we use we are actually looking for the presence of adult heartworms that your dog may have picked up the previous year. Heartworms need to be at least 6 months old for our test to detect them. The test also screens for exposure to 4 different tick-borne diseases., the most well known being Lyme disease. We use Idexx’s Snap 4DX Plus test and each dog is tested individually, usually while you wait. All we need is 3 drops of blood and 10 minutes.

Heartworm is an insidious disease that is spread by mosquitoes that carry the heartworm larvae. It can take upwards of 3-5 years for your dog to show any symptoms of the disease.

Immature heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) seen under microscope in our own lab using Difil method and stain.

We’ve had a few dogs this year that have tested positive for tick-borne diseases, and one dog that has tested positive for heartworm disease. Heartworm is very serious in our area, with pockets of it all along the Grand River all the way to Lake Erie. Heartworm disease can be easily prevented, but treatment for a positive dog can be very expensive and just as dangerous to the health of the dog as the disease itself. Untreated dogs will eventually succumb to the disease, as it will progress to pulmonary and cardiac failure.

If you have any questions about heartworm, or tick borne diseases such as Lyme, please let us know.

Snap reader shows results and saves them in patient file.