By: Dr. Heather Balmer, VMD
April showers bring May flowers and May flowers bring BEES!
Since many of our pets are curious about everything around them, it is only a matter of time before they encounter a less than understanding bee. Some have even been known to try and ingest the bees leading to a more painful (and traumatic) encounter.
If your pet does get stung, there is no need to panic. In most cases, the only treatment involved is some gentle reassuring that the big mean bee is gone and never going to hurt them again. However, it is important to watch for any swelling or hives. Like people, some animals are also allergic to bee stings. If you notice any swelling or itchiness, contact your veterinarian. Many of these cases can be handled at home with Benadryl but you should check with a vet as to a safe dose for your pet before giving it. With severe allergic reactions, there is the risk of throat/neck swelling and trouble breathing, much like an anaphylactic reaction. These are rare but if this were to happen, seek immediate veterinary care and be sure to contact the hospital on your way so they can be prepared for your pet’s emergency.
Still want to know more? Take a look at this Bee Stings 101
Think your indoor pet is safe from parasites? Think Again!
As many of you know, I am one that prefers the comfort of the indoors. However, that doesn’t mean I’m lax on my parasite prevention and awareness. There are many indoor sources of both external and internal parasites and I want to make sure all my friends are aware of these risks so they can protect their pets as well.
We animals love stalking and hunting those creepy crawlies, but that provides its own set of risks. Did you know that cockroaches can be infected and pass both roundworms and hookworms?! Flies also carry and spread roundworms when we catch the delicious pests. There has even been some early evidence the stink bugs may carry giardia. Like we needed another reason to hate these guys!
Outdoor cats have long known this fact, but the same hold true for us indoor hunters. Eating mice puts animals at risk for tapeworm and roundworm infections as well as they can carry fleas and ticks.
These bloodsuckers carry their own unique risk to my animal friends. Mosquitos carry a very dangerous parasite called heartworm disease which can be fatal, especially in cats. More than 25% of cats diagnosed with heartworm disease, were considered indoor only by their people parents! We’re not safe anywhere!
Did you know that 15% of commercial potting soil is contaminated with roundworm eggs?! Gross!
Like it or not, you are also a source of parasites for us. Not directly of course, but fleas and ticks can hitch a ride on your clothes. Fleas and ticks prefer our warmer body temperatures; so given a choice, they will leave you and attack us instead. And don’t forget, you can track dirt in from your shoes. 20% of the soil around here is contaminated with roundworm and hookworm eggs. These eggs are microscopic so you would never even know they were there. And lastly, if you have other pets that do go outside, they bring things inside to us also such as fleas and intestinal parasites. To add insult to injury, some pests even carry other pests. Fleas are a main source of one type or tapeworm. When we ingest them trying to get them off of us, we can become infected with tapeworms. Now that’s just plain rude!
For more info on these parasites, visit www.capcvet.org