April 2014 News & Views: Don’t ‘Be Bugged’ this Season!

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Don’t ‘Be Bugged’ this Season!


Happy April to ALL MY Friends!!

My bro Ulysses and I are just ‘itching’ to tell you about how to make sure you and your family members are ‘bug free’ this season!!

We want you to know that you can protect your favorite felines and canines at home from the ‘bug’ season. Check out this great picture of me, Ulysses, and ‘Fanny’ the flea bug. We are ‘dressed’ to kill the bad bugs this season!

Spring time means that fleas, mosquitos, and internal parasites emerge from cocoons and ‘cubby holes’ both indoors and outdoors.
Everyone at my house LOVES to be outside together in the spring!! We know that bugs are all around us so we are prepared!

First thing each month my Dad makes sure we take our Trifexis tablets, and that my ‘kitty’ bros get their dose of monthly Revolution on their coats.

Want to be a ‘bug’ expert? Just read the great info in this month’s newsletter and learn about how you and your pet can be ‘bug free’ this season.

Our IVS Vets recommend the products listed below. For more information, visit these websites! Preventative products for internal and external parasites can be really confusing! Please give us a call with any questions!


Special Warning to My Friends!
This is ‘bee’ season too! Check out our special ‘bee’ warning and ‘bee kit’ listed on our website on our emergency page!

Love and kisses from me Lizzie!

Fleas and Flea Allergies…Not Just a ‘Seasonal’ Thing!

Living in a warm climate like Southern California means ‘Flea Season’ is never ending. While fleas may be more prominent in the warmer Spring and Summer months, it stays warm enough here through the Fall and Winter to keep the flea population going strong. No one wants to battle a flea infestation, so it’s most important to keep up with a consistent flea prevention plan.

We associate fleas with itching and scratching, but they can lead to much more serious health problems for your pet. Tapeworms, Cat Scratch Disease, and Flea Allergy Dermatitis are just a few examples of the conditions your pet could contract from fleas.

According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), Flea Allergy Dermatitis is the most common skin disease in pets. The allergy can develop at any age, but typically develops when dogs or cats are young (under five years of age).

Flea Allergies are caused by a reaction to the saliva of the flea, and as few as one or two flea bites can cause severe itching and discomfort for many weeks. If you notice frequent and sever itching, scratching, hair loss, or scabs on your pet’s skin, we recommend you have your pet seen by their Vet to be tested for possible Flea Allergies.

Below is a story of ‘Paddy’ a 6-year-old Scottish Terrier who came to IVS to be treated for a Severe Flea Allergy:

Paddy is a dog who has a SEVERE allergy to fleas. He lost most of his hair, and his skin became thickened, black, and vulnerable to bacterial and yeast infections. More importantly, he was very uncomfortable and very itchy. With the help of oral medications, and frequent owner bathing with special medicated shampoo, he is now comfortable and has enough hair to have recently gotten a haircut at IVS! Paddy illustrates the importance of monthly flea prevention, and the significance of therapeutic bathing in skin diseases. Go, Paddy!

What is a Zoonotic Disease?

Diseases that can transfer between species are known as Zoonotic diseases. Many parasite species are zoonotic, threatening not only canine and feline health, but potentially their human companion’s health as well. Symptoms caused by parasites vary, including diarrhea, muscle aches, fever, and in severe cases, can be life-threating.

Implementing some simple steps into your routine will greatly reduce the risk of contracting parasitic diseases for you, your family, and your pets.

Below is a list of steps recommended by the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) for preventing the transfer of Zoonotic Diseases

Tips for Preventing Zoonotic Diseases:

  • Year-round prevention using a vet recommended broad-spectrum medication that can protect against most internal and external parasites
  • Annual vet visits for pet fecal examination, followed by appropriate antiparasitic treatment
  • Treatment of pets and their environment to control fleas and tics
  • Daily disposal of canine and feline feces, and compliance with pooper-scooper laws
  • Covering children’s sandboxes when not in use
  • Preventing predatory behavior (keeping cats indoors)
  • Feeding cooked, canned, or dry pet food
  • Washing or cooking vegetables for human consumption
  • Adequate hand washing after contact with anything contaminated with dog or cat feces
  • Pets should not be permitted to drink from toilet bowls

To Find Out More About Zoonotic Diseases, we invite you to watch our video featuring Northpark Head Technician Dave

What You Need to Know About Intestinal Parasites

WHAT-YOU-NEED-TO-KNOWIVS recommends annual fecal testing of your pets to ensure the health of your entire household. In addition to having health implications for the pet itself, some of the parasites shed in dog and cat feces can be transmitted to humans.

Common Intestinal Parasites Include:

  1. Roundworms – the most common type of parasitic worm to infect pets, especially dogs. Roundworms can be transferred between pets and humans, young children are at highest risk, as well as adult owners of dogs and cats. Typically, pets contract roundworms from their mothers before birth, or from her milk. They can be passed to humans, especially children, by contact with infected soil or other contaminated surfaces.
    Symptoms for Dogs: can cause a dog to vomit and have diarrhea. In very young puppies, a heavy infestation can result in severe illness or even death.
    Symptoms for Cats: may cause any of the following symptoms in cats: weight loss, or failure to gain weight, dull hair coat, vomiting, diarrhea, or cough.
    Symptoms for Humans: in most cases roundworm infections are not serious, the most severe cases are rare, and are more likely to occur in young children who often play in dirt. While rare, the movement of the worms through the body can cause VLM – a disease that causes swelling of the body’s organs or central nervous system, fever, coughing, asthma, or pneumonia. If the roundworms enter the eye, they can cause eye disease and blindness.
  2. Hookworms – are bloodsucking parasites that live in the intestines. They too are able to transfer between pet and human. Hookworm larvae live in contaminated soil and can be transmitted to humans through contact with skin. This is why it is a good idea to always wear shoes at the dog park or dog beach!
    Symptoms for Dogs: can be fatal, especially for puppies. Hookworms can cause anemia, poor appetite, diarrhea, constipation, and a cough (if the larvae get into the lungs).
    Symptoms for Cats: can suffer blood-loss anemia, a poor hair coat, skin irritation, itching (especially of the paws), and weight loss.
    Symptoms for Humans: some people may not show symptoms, while some have gastrointestinal symptoms. The more serious symptoms would include: blood-loss anemia, protein loss, intestinal inflammation, itching (usually on the foot or lower leg), lesions and blisters.
  3. Tapeworms – if your pet has fleas, your pet likely has tapeworms. Tapeworms are carried by fleas so the best prevention from tapeworms is strict flea control.
    Symptoms for Dogs:look for your dog ‘scooting’ around on their rear end due to irritation. You may also find moving segments of tapeworm your pets poop.
    Symptoms for Cats: may bite or lick the anus, or drag their hind quarters across the floor in response to itching.
    Symptoms for Humans: it is rare for a human to be infected with tapeworm, but it is possible. Some species of tapeworm, if ingested by a human, can hatch and form cysts in the liver, brain, and other organs.
  4. Coccidia – most commonly seen in puppies and kittens; human transmission is uncommon but can occur. Dogs become infected by swallowing soil that contains coccidian in any environment that may contain dog feces.
    Symptoms for Dogs and Cats: causes watery, bloody diarrhea, occasionally becoming severe enough to be life threatening. Other symptoms may include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, and weight loss.
  5. Giardia – pets can become infected with this parasite by drinking water contaminated with the feces of an infected animal. Human transmission is possible, so make sure to thoroughly wash your hands after contact with an infected pet.
    Symptoms for Dogs and Cats: intermittent or continuous diarrhea, weight loss, depression, and loss of appetite.
    Symptoms for Humans: diarrhea, stomach cramps, gas, and nausea. Sometimes symptoms are not present, or they may be intermittent.


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