Every year in Long Island, in addition to seasonal landscaping risks, dog owners find themselves worrying about ticks and mosquitoes, especially in Suffolk County and on-the-water neighborhoods throughout the Island. This year, that worry is increased due to the mild winter and early arrival of spring in New York.
Unseasonably warm temperatures mean not only will there be more ticks and mosquitoes but also that these bugs arrive earlier–in fact, they’re already out in full force.
Lyme disease, brought on by ticks, and heartworm, caused by mosquitoes, can be extremely dangerous to your furry friend.
There are various, sometimes controversial, ways to deal with these problems. You can use prescription medication to handle the mosquito issue and prevent heartworm. Tick control is possible, too–but whatever methods you choose to fight these pests, it’s important to be vigilant when it comes to checking your pet for bites and not-so-friendly visitors.
If you do find a tick on Fido, you must carefully remove it. If you discover a bite, be on the lookout for early symptoms of heartworm, like lethargy and coughing, just in case.
Of course, always talk to your vet before administering any medications to your pet, topical or otherwise, and call the vet’s office immediately if you think your dog may have Lyme disease or heartworm.
If you’d like more information, Dr. Ellen Leonhardt, of Animal General in East Norwich, provides a great overview of heartworm, fleas, and ticks here, on the Long Island Dog Directory website.
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