As the temperatures warm up and your pets spend more time outdoors, their chances of getting bitten by a snake increase. It's important to remember that not all snakes are venomous. In Western North Carolina, the two poisonous snake species that are pets are most likely to encounter are rattlesnakes and copperheads.
Snakes usually bite in self-defense, so your pet is most likely to get bitten on the muzzle or limb. You may be able to see two puncture wounds, but sometimes they can be hard to detect.
Ticks have become an increasing problem to people and animals in Buncombe County and North Carolina. In order to survive and reproduce, a tick must feed on the blood from an animal or human.
Ticks are not only creepy pests, but they can spread diseases to both you and your pet. Each year, as part of your pet's annual exam, we test them for three different tick-borne diseases as part of their heartworm test. These diseases include Lyme, Erlichia and Anaplasmosis. People and pets get the same tick-transmitted diseases. These diseases are not directly contagious between humans and animals (you won't catch Lyme disease from an infected dog), however, we are all exposed to the same ticks outdoors and one recent study showed that people with pets were more likely than those without pets to find ticks on themselves.
Nothing is more fun then having a new puppy and wanting to take them everywhere with you. Puppies go through a key socialization period up until around 16 weeks of age. During this critical time (and even after), it is important to socialize your puppy the right way.
What is socialization?
Good socialization consists of exposing your puppy to a variety of different people, sounds and environments and showing them that they have nothing to worry about. Remember, good socialization doesn't mean your puppy has to have an interaction with the stimuli. As long as your puppy is calm, happy and engaged, it means they are having a positive experience!
March was National Heartworm Awareness Month. Heartworms disease is severe and potentially fatal for pets like dogs and cats. Caused by a parasitic worm that is transmitted through infected mosquitos, heartworms live in the heart and surrounding arteries of many mammals including cats and dogs. They cause excess strain on the heart and lungs. Heartworm disease is expensive to treat but, thankfully, it's almost 100% preventable.
February is National Dental Health Month. Our pet’s oral hygiene is just as important as ours. According to the American Veterinary Dental College, periodontal disease, also known as dental diseases, is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult dogs and cats and by three years of age, most dogs and cats have some evidence of periodontal disease. Unfortunately, periodontal disease goes beyond bad breath and can present multiple problems in the oral cavity and internal organs.