One of the most common insects around in summer and Autumn is mosquitoes, and they can carry some lethal weapons: By biting a dog, a mosquito can infect the dog with heartworm. The immature stage of the heartworm is injected into the dog during the bite and begin their migration to the heart where they reside, grow and inevitably cause heart disease. The good news is heartworm is totally preventable with a once a year vaccination.
Mosquitoes can also spread myxomatosis between rabbits. As the vaccine for myxo is not available in Australia it is recommended that hutches be insect proof, especially early morning and late afternoon when mosquitoes are more active.
Ticks are an issue for animals all year around down here on the coast and evidence suggests that their range is increasing. There are some companies and universities doing some really good research on paralysis ticks and this has contributed to the new range of tick prevention products on the market over the last couple of years for dogs which are dramatically reducing the number of dogs that need to be treated. Now with Bravecto launching a spot-on for cats, we are hoping to see a reduction in the number of cats treated as well.
Snakes are around in large numbers this time of year. Red belly blacks, eastern browns and death adders which are all venemous and can be fatal to all animals, especially dogs and cats as they tend to not leave them alone if spotted. Snakes like places to hide so keep the yard free of piles of debris and long grass. If you suspect your dog has been bitten by a snake, this is an emergency as your pets condition can deteriorate dramatically in a very short time.
Bees and other bities
Cats and dogs are like targets for stings as they play and investigate their surrounds and so it pays to be aware and understand what can happen. Bees (and wasps) commonly sting dogs - especially puppies as snapping at the buzzing insects is fun. If stung, you may see swelling form at the sting site - which commonly includes the whole face - and you may see little bumps (hives) form all over the body. While stung dogs are distressed, it's rarely a dangerous situation unless the dogs' airways are involved. We treat bee stings to reduce the pain and swelling as quickly as possible.