Ash Veterinary Clinic


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It has been a long, long time coming, but we can finally say that spring has sprung in Michigan. The snow has melted, the trees have leaves and flowers are blooming. The weather is getting nicer, so it is great to spend time outdoors. Your pets may be begging to go too, but before you open the doors and windows, we want to make sure that all of your pets are ready for spring!

                Months of inactivity can make your pet more prone to weight gain and injury if activity is “too much, too soon.” Start with controlled exercise such as short leash walks, and work your way up to more strenuous exercise. A vigorous game of fetch before your pet’s body is ready will make them susceptible to injuries such as muscle strains, ligament damage and sprains.

Identification, on or in your pet, is critical. If your pet gets lost, they cannot ask for directions or tell people where they live. Protect your pet with proper identification. Collars with ID tags are helpful, unless the collar or tag falls off. In general, most pet’s collars are put on way too loosely. Make sure you can only fit 2 fingers snuggly under the collar and you cannot easily pull it from the neck and off the head. This is how a dog “slips its collar.”

Microchips are permanent identification and are inserted under your pet’s skin. Each chip contains a unique number that helps reunite you with your pet.  All shelters and clinics should have the ability to scan for microchips if someone brings in a found pet. It is your responsibility to register the chip in the national database and make changes if you move or change your phone number.

Some people think that in the spring, pets need to shed their winter coats. It is not a bad idea to treat your pet to a spa day or invest in a good brush. Do not automatically assume that your long-haired dog or cat needs a full shave down to stay cool. Many pets use their long coats to not only keep them warm in the winter, but to also keep them cool in the summer.

Parasite prevention is a must in Michigan. We recommend it year round! Whether we like it or not, we share our yards and neighborhoods with insects such as fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. These pests cause illnesses in pets, such as flea infestations, tapeworms, Lyme disease and more serious and sometimes fatal diseases like heartworm. Keeping your yard clean and free of stool can go a long way toward preventing intestinal parasites. If your pet is not on a monthly prevention, these organisms can infect them and some cause illnesses in people, too.

Not only are vaccinations a topic of dispute in human medicine, but in veterinary medicine, as well. These important vaccines save lives and halt horrible and fatal diseases. Before turning your pets loose to romp the great outdoors, taking them to the groomer or pet store or letting them play at the dog park, make sure their vaccines are up-to-date. In particular, check their rabies and distemper status. The rabies vaccination is mandated by state law.

Unfortunately, hit-by-car accidents are common in the spring. Pets are happy to run outside, and some owners forget the risks. Be prepared, and don’t let this happen to your pet.  Keep your dog confined, either on a leash or in a yard with a physical or invisible fence. Reflective gear — both for yourself and your pet can be a lifesaver during walks.

Some cats can be trained to walk with a harness or leash. Others are content having access to windows with bird feeders outside or screened porches with views of chipmunks and birds. This does not eliminate a cat’s need for vaccinations. Many diseases are transferred through screens by saliva or urine alone.

                With the weather finally getting nicer, everyone is eager to get outside and play. Take a moment now to check all of your pets’ vaccines or call your veterinarian and ask them to check for you. We are always more than happy to help you keep you and your pet safe and protected from disease. With a little planning and preparation, you and your pet can look forward to the dog days of summer.

[4:06:25 PM] Dianne Raftopoulos: