In Your Own Backyard: Outdoor Pet Toxins

iStock_000013339738_MediumSummer is almost at an end, and you want to spend as much time outdoors with your pet as possible before the cooler weather sets in. Your pet will love the extra playtime outdoors, but he or she is also at risk of becoming sick if you don’t protect your pet from a number of outdoor pet  toxins that exist in the backyard, along the hiking trail, at the lake, or on the shore.

Outdoor pet toxins come in all different forms, which can make keeping your pet safe a bit tricky. Keeping your pet confined to a fenced-in area will help them stay safe, but there is more to it than that. If containers are present in the yard, make sure the lids are tightly sealed and stored out of your pet’s reach. Additionally, do your best to keep your pet away from that outside garden where all sorts of potential hazards like vegetables and compost can cause serious damage to your pet. Likewise, you’ll want to be sure that your yard is secured against escape-artist pets, so that your four-legged friend doesn’t stray.

Common outdoor pet toxins include: Continue…

Flea Life Cycle: Understanding Fleas and Protecting Your Pet

iStock_000002937031_MediumFleas can cause many problems for both your pet and your family. These troublesome parasites can cause skin irritations and transmit a number of harmful diseases, which is why regular, year-round treatment for fleas is highly advised for your pet.

First and foremost, though, it is important to be familiar with the life cycle of the flea in order to be effective at controlling or treating any flea infestations.

The life cycle of the flea consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, adult. Fleas are found throughout the country, and their total life cycle can range between a couple of weeks to several months. Ultimately, fleas thrive in environments where temperatures remain somewhere between 70-85°F, with a 70-percent humidity rate. Continue…

Coping with Pet Loss

VeterinarianThe grief that accompanies pet loss can be immense and difficult to bear. Whether your pet’s passing was unexpected or the inevitable result of a long life well lived, the fact remains that you must now learn to live with the void that has been left after the loss of your family member and friend.

At Schertz Animal Hospital, we know how difficult it can be to lose a pet. As pet owners and pet health professionals, we know the pain you’re experiencing and the loss you’re feeling. It is our humble honor to help you through the grieving process, however we can.

September 14 is National Pet Memorial Day. And we hope that you will join the nation in celebrating the lives of lost pets by celebrating and memorializing the life of your beloved pet. We know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to grief, but we believe that taking the time to remember your pet and celebrate the life you shared together is an invaluable part of the healing process.

Here are a few ideas for memorializing your pet: Continue…

posted in:  Pet Loss

Leptospirosis and Your Pet

Old sad dogOver the past decade, there has been quite a bit of media coverage dedicated to the increasing prevalence of zoonotic diseases; that is, those illnesses transferred between animals (domesticated and wild) and humans. While these diseases have always existed, and certainly many of us are familiar with rabies and why vaccination is so critical in protecting pets and people, some lesser known zoonotic diseases are just as perilous to community health.

Leptospirosis is a bacteria often found in contaminated fresh water sources. Leptospirosis is borne of and transmitted by wildlife, such as skunks and raccoons, and is transferred to fresh water through their urine. While some of us might question the likelihood of our pet contracting Leptospirosis, there is a strong correlation of infection through the ingestion of or exposure to contaminated water and soil. And, we all know how much our dogs, especially, love to lap up lake or stream water or snarffel in the dirt.

Although the disease has been relatively rare in the United States, reports of infected animals have been on the rise over the past two years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those living in tropical or temperate climates, such as what we experience in the Gulf and southern coastal states, are at greater risk of developing the disease. Continue…