YARMOUTH, Maine, April 12, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Veterinarian Dr. Louise LeBoeuf of Yarmouth Veterinary Center urges pet owners to prepare their pets for spring and summer by taking a few simple, but important steps. She says that things like heartworm testing and prevention, flea and tick medications, a vaccination review, microchipping and slowly working back up to good physical condition after a long winter indoors are essential for preventing illnesses and injuries for pets. Dr. LeBoeuf also recommends pet owners be on the lookout for spring allergy symptoms in their pets.
"After a long, hard winter, pets and people are excited to get back to an active outdoor schedule," says the Yarmouth veterinarian. "But going out unprepared can lead to a lot of trouble, particularly with parasites. If your pet hasn't been on his or her heartworm or flea and tick preventatives over the winter, they need to start up again—but don't give heartworm preventatives until your pet has been tested first."
According to Dr. LeBoeuf, if a pet tests positive for heartworm infection, which can come from just one early mosquito bite, administering heartworm preventative after a winter lapse may cause a severe allergic shock. The infection needs to be treated and killed first, she says. Flea and tick medications can be started immediately, however, but she also recommends keeping pets on these preventatives all year round, especially since fleas can live indoors over the winter while adult, Lyme-disease carrying ticks can survive even freezing temperatures.
Dr. LeBoeuf also says pet's vaccination schedule should be evaluated and updated this time of year. In addition to core pet vaccinations, she says that if pets will be traveling or spending a lot of time in the woods or swimming in lakes, rivers or at the beach, she may recommend additional vaccines on a case-by-case basis.
Spring allergies are also an increasing issue for pets, says Dr. LeBoeuf. She says that if a pet seems particularly itchy, sneezes frequently or has a runny nose or red, teary eyes, these are all signs that a pet may be struggling with allergies. She says that a simple test can determine a pet's allergies and that special shampoos and medications can provide allergy relief.
"We also recommend pets be microchipped, especially if they'll be traveling or outdoors frequently," says Dr. LeBoeuf. "If a pet gets out of the yard, or gets lost, the microchip will boost a lost pet's chances of getting home safely. And if you and your pet haven't been terribly active over the winter, build up your activity level gradually to prevent injuries."
Yarmouth Veterinary Center provides full animal hospital services including vaccinations, parasite prevention, routine and urgent pet surgery, pet dental care, as well as grooming and boarding for cats, dogs, pocket and exotic pets. To learn more, visit their website at http://yarmouthvetcenter.com.
CONTACT: Yarmouth Veterinary Center, 207-482-0493Source: Yarmouth Veterinary Center