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Early Spring Means Dogs Are At Risk For Lyme Disease, Heartworm

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CBS Minnesota (con't)

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INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO)  — It’s no secret that we have an early spring going around here. That means that mosquitos and ticks are out much earlier than usual.

So your dog is at risk of getting Lyme Disease and heartworm as well as other illnesses from bug bites. That means now is the time to get your dog the medications they need to stay safe.

Tick checks are routine at the Snowshoe Goldens Kennel in Inver Grove Heights. Some dogs have already had their medications to prevent deer ticks from infecting them with Lyme disease.

“We have seen an emergence of ticks already. We’ve been pulling ticks off client’s dogs, so we are recommending starting that April 1,” said Veterinarian Dr. Brittney Brock.

Inver Grove Heights Animal Hospital has notified all their clients that flea and tick medications should be given a full month earlier than last year.  Frontline is one of the best known names, and there is also a new product this spring.

“A new medication on the market that actually has Amatraz in it, it’s a medication that kills the ticks more quickly,” said Brock.  “And that one is called Certifect.”

Your dog is also at risk for heartworm, which can be contracted from a mosquito bite.  So it’s time to get your best friend treated for that as well.

“There are a few options for heartworm prevention. Most of them are oral products that you give once a month. There is one that is a topical product called Revolution that you can apply once a month, just like Frontline,” Brock said.

Because of our unusually warm weather, some pet owners have started giving heartworm preventative year-round instead of just during mosquito season.

“They just think they’re getting a treat. They have no idea we’re keeping them from getting sick,” Brock said.

If you have a mostly indoor dog, you might be tempted to skip these medications. Veterinarians say don’t do it: It takes only one bug bite to make your pet very sick.

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