The spring season has finally arrived, and it’s the perfect weather for you to go outside, bask in this beautiful season and have fun with your friends, families, and pets. However, before you can take your furry baby outside, it’s your responsibility as an owner to prioritize your pet’s health.
That’s why health checks are important for your pet, as they help you understand and make sure that your pet is ready for any season physically and mentally. With the help of this guide, you can find out the best spring-time health checks for your pet that will help it to enjoy this beautiful season risk-free:
Start Flea and Tick Prevention
One of the biggest concerns for pet owners during the warmer seasons is parasites. When you take your pet outside for walks or play around during the spring season, your pet will likely be exposed to parasites like fleas and ticks.
Ticks and fleas not only carry harmful diseases to your pet, but they can also get transferred to you. Some of the most common diseases that fleas and ticks carry are:
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Relapsing fever
- Tick paralysis
With the help of medication, you can help your pet avoid fleas and ticks that can help prevent the above-mentioned diseases. Vet’s suggest that you should ensure that your cat or dog takes its flea and tick prevention medication a few weeks before the spring season arrives.
This is because, during warmer seasons like summer and spring, your cat or dog has more chances of getting exposed to fleas and ticks. After all, these parasites are more active during seasons with hot temperatures than during seasons with cold temperatures, such as winter and autumn.
You can check for fleas on your pet with the help of a comb that is specifically designed to catch these parasites. Make sure to run the comb through its underbelly and back, especially where you can see its skin. Check the comb for black specs, as these specs are fleas or flea dirt, read more about ticks and fleas prevention here.
Ticks are easier to identify if you know which places to check-in such as:
- In and around the ears
- Around the eyelids
- Under the collar
- Under the front legs
- Between the back legs
Sometimes it may be more difficult to identify fleas on your cat than on your dog, but with the help of this blog CatQueries, you can be able to identify fleas on not only your cats but also the best remedies to get rid of them.
Heartworm is a parasite that is one of the most common and dangerous types of intestinal worms. A pet can get heartworm disease through a mosquito carrying the disease when it previously bit an infected animal.
It’s more common in dogs than in cats and very active in the summer and spring seasons, so you must ensure that your pet takes its heartworm preventatives before these seasons start.
In the early stages of infection, a pet might not even exhibit any symptoms, thus making it hard to diagnose. It takes 6 months for the parasite to develop and for the host to show symptoms fully. Here is a list of symptoms that indicate that your pet is infected:
- Mild persistent cough
- Fatigue after activity
- Decrease in appetite
- Weight loss
- Reluctance to exercise
You might also notice that your pet has gained a swollen belly due to excess liquid building up in its abdomen. If the disease is not treated, then the symptoms mentioned above could develop into something more concerning, such as heart failure.
This is why it’s important to get your pet tested for heartworm even if it’s taking its preventatives, because the earlier the parasite is detected, the quicker your pet can recover from it.
Keep a Lookout for Seasonal Allergies
Spring is the season that everyone loves. It’s not too hot and not too cold, making it the perfect weather for you to run around and play with your pets and loved ones. This season also brings out the beauty of nature around us with its beautiful flowers, trees, and plants.
However, this season also has its flaws, such as triggering not only our allergies but also our pets’ allergies. These allergies can be triggered by lots of things such as grass and pollen. How do you find out if your pet has any seasonal allergies? Here are symptoms that your pet might show which could indicate that your pet has seasonal allergies:
- Scratching and biting their skin or coat
- Excessive shedding
- Red, infected skin
- Boot scoots or licking their anal glands
- Paw licking (common in dogs)
- Ear infections (common in dogs)
- Respiratory issues such as coughing and wheezing (common in cats)
One way of ensuring that your pet doesn’t have an allergic reaction is when your pet comes home after playing outside, be sure to thoroughly wipe its paws and coat with a moist or hypoallergenic cloth. Bathing your pet is also key to keeping seasonal allergies at bay.
Another way to help your pet avoid allergic reactions is to limit its playtime outside when you feel or know that it’s a high-pollen day. You could also give your pet an allergy pill such as Benedryl, Zyrtec, or Chlor Trimton, depending on the severity of the allergic reaction but make sure to check with your veterinarian before giving your pet any of the pills.
While health checks might sound scary and stressful for some of you pet owners, they’re necessary to ensure that your pet’s health is in good condition.
They also help bring many health issues to light that can get treated before they become dangerous for your pet. By following this guide, you can spend the spring season with your pet happily and healthily.