Come Visit Us

6555 28th St SE

Give Us A Call

(616) 575-6520

So we seemed to have moved directly from rainy spring to sunny summer! Not that I mind, I’m more of a summer person anyways. Are there any fun animal events coming up around the city? We always love to be involved!

We currently have an event going on! It is our Annual Petacular Photo Contest! We are accepting photos from June 1- June 30. The photos must be larger then 8 x 10, in matte format and in a frame. After all submissions are in, everyone votes on their top 2 which results in the top 16. Keep in mind, people tend to vote for the funny and creative pictures! All 16 of those will be placed in the lobby for everyone to see for the next year. From the top 16, the Drs choose the winners. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place photos will win prizes! Winners will be announced on July 9th.

So… I know that I’ve talked a lot about parasites but they’re pesky little things! Parasites are not something that anyone wants to deal. Whether they are internal or external. Luckily, most parasites are microscopic- meaning you cant see them with just your eyes.

However, there are a few that you CAN see. Between creepy, crawly little bugs to squirmy worms, they’re all gross.

But, when you see them should you worry?

Yes and No. If you start to see any of the parasites I’m going to describe below, your pet should be seen. If you are seeing any of them and your pet is symptomatic (very itchy, pale gums, scooting, diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, etc.) they should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Ectoparasites (External) 

Fleas

Fleas and ticks are basically the vampires of the animal world. Fleas are a concern because they can transmit tapeworm when ingested and they can bite people!

How do I know if my pet has fleas?
They are usually VERY itchy! Especially around the legs, rump, and/or feet.

What do they look like?
When your pet has fleas, there are a few things that you may see. The first thing you may see is flea dirt. Flea dirt basically looks like little flakes of pepper or patches of dirt on the skin. Flea dirt is…. flea poop. Yea gross, I know. If you grab some in a paper towel and get it wet does it turn red? If yes, it’s definitely flea dirt. Flea dirt/poop is basically just digested blood.

You may also see actual fleas. Fleas look black to the naked eye but up close are actually brown. They are teeny tiny and incredible jumpers! Once you see them and try to catch it, it will likely jump or scurry away before you get to it.

How do I make them go away if I can’t catch them?
A flea and tick preventative is your best bet! Your pet will need to stay on a preventative for at least three months to make sure you are killing the entire population. You should also treat your house so your pet doesn’t continue to get re-infected.

http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-diseases-conditions-a-z/fleas-101

 

Ticks

Ticks are a very big concern! They can transmit quite a few diseases including Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasma, and Babesia.

My dog has a tick- now what?
The tick should be removed as soon as possible. There are a few options for removal. Firstly, you can try removing them on your own- there are tick removal products that you can pick up at the store or you can use tweezers. Make sure you get the head! The other option, just bring your pet into the vet and let a technician or doctor remove it.

What do they look like?
Take a look at the picture below. Basically, they have 8 legs and a round body. Most of the time, when an owner finds them, they are slightly engorged or a little fatter then normal. They can be tiny to start with though. The coloring is only important after the tick is off. The coloring helps us know what tick it is and what diseases that specific tick carries.

How do I prevent my dog from getting bit by a tick?
There are many veterinary prescribed flea and tick medications that kill them. There are also tick collars for animals that need and added layer of protection.

http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-diseases-conditions-a-z/ticks-101

 

Lice

Like people lice? Yes and No. They look alike and they act alike but they aren’t the same. Lice have very definitive hosts. Meaning, if they bite a dog, they stay on dogs or if they bite a human, they stay on humans.

What do they look like?
Lice are also very small parasites. It is difficult to see them because they are so small and they appear almost translucent. You will notice that their back half seems almost flat!  Lice don’t have wings so they can’t fly or jump around like fleas.

How do I get rid of them?
Revolution and Vectra are two topical products that we carry that kill Lice!

http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-diseases-conditions-a-z/lice-and-dogs-101

 

Ear Mites

See that black debris in your dog or cats ear? Haven’t gone swimming recently and your pet has no history of allergies, then they might just have ear mites.

Can you even see them?
Not really but you can see that gross black debris. Ear mites look like little crabs and we usually have to look under the microscope to actually see them. They mostly live in the ear canal but sometimes they will travel around the outer ear and head. They are very common in outdoor cats and kittens.

How do I get rid of them?
Revolution is a topical flea prevention for cats and there is a prescription medication available for dogs.

http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-diseases-conditions-a-z/ear-mites-dogs

 

Endoparasites (Internal)

Tapeworms

Tapeworms are spread by fleas. Once they are in your system, the tapeworms attach to the GI tract and steal your pet’s food.

How do I know my dog has tapeworm?
Likely you won’t… Unless you see the segments. The segments look like grains of rice, and are often times found around the rectum, stuck in fur, or on your furniture after your pet has been laying there.

How do I get rid of them?
Revolution and Interceptor Plus both cover Tapeworm. Droncit is a dewormer that kills tapeworms. When they die, you will also see the segments/ worms.

http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-diseases-conditions-a-z/tapeworm-infection-dogs

 

Roundworms

Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasite in both dogs and cats. Animals get them through puppies nursing and through oral fecal contamination (they eat a dog’s poop).

What will I see?
Roundworms look a lot like spaghetti in the stool. Yum. Why do we always compare things to food?

How do I get rid of them?
Revolution (dog and cats), Interceptor, Interceptor Plus, and Trifexis all kill roundworms. Panacur is a dewormer that also kills roundworms.

http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-diseases-conditions-a-z/what-are-roundworms-and-why-should-i-care