Spring Has Sprung

News

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. We are finally seeing the earth again here at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs. Spring is beginning & that means it’s time to share a few reminders of what comes with the warm weather.

Has your good dog been active over the winter, or was lounging by the wood stove more their thing? If it’s the latter, it will take a few days to get back into summer shape. So you might want to take play time a little easy at first. You’re walks & play time can get longer over time.

Once your out on the trails, you might discover things that have been buried in the snow that aren’t ideal to touch or eat. Garbage, rotting twigs or food wrappers should all be avoided. Puddles of melted snow should not be drank because they might have toxins like road salt, antifreeze or even parasites. Also, stay away from ponds or rivers. The ice may look solid but why chance it? The melt off can also cause flooding & fast moving waters.

Flowers will be blooming. Good dogs can get allergies from pollen just like you. A vet recommended, over the counter antihistamine or a natural antihistamine can bring relief if needed. Speaking of flowers, lilies, azaleas, sago palms & rhododendrons are toxic to good dogs. You might want to research what you’re planting to avoid growing something dangerous to your good dog.

Unfortunately Spring brings fleas & ticks. You should consult your vet about taking a flea & tick preventative. Even if you’re in a city, always check your good dog for ticks after a romp outside. If you find a tick it will be easier to remove if it hasn’t burrowed in yet. A plastic tick remover can remove a them, head & all. You can get one at a pet supply store or your vet.

Where I live there is a risk of Lyme Disease. You can check online if you live in a high risk area. If you do & find a tick, put it in a jar or pill bottle with alcohol & get it to your vet where they can test it. Also, if you’re not sure if you got the head out, you should see the vet to be sure because if left in the wound it might become infected. Never squeeze a tick, it will vomit into the wound & that’s not good either.

Finally, if you live rural like me, there are lots of critters waking up from the long winter. Skunks, ground hogs, porcupines or raccoons don’t make for good play dates. Always supervise your good dog & keep it on leash unless you’re at the dog park.

It’s been raining here & that melts away the snow, which reminds me, there are freshly uncovered stinks that need my analysis. Enjoy the warming days.

CEO Olivia

Lyme Disease

Health

Hello everyone, Olivia here. A few days ago I spoke about ticks, today I want to explain why they are such a threat. Where I live in rural Eastern Ontario, ticks are a big concern this spring. The shifting climate has made for ideal conditions for the tick population to explode.

Ticks can transmit something terrible called, Lyme Disease, which is caused by a bacteria called, Borrelia burgdorferi. It can be transmitted to canines through the bite of infected ticks. Not all ticks carry this disease, they contract it by feeding on infected animals such as deer, mice, chipmunks or even moose. Female ticks will pass the infection on to her offspring.

The symptoms of Lyme Disease in dogs can include arthritis (sudden lameness), pain, fever, lack of appetite, dehydration, lethargy, swollen lymph nodes & joints. These symptoms may not develop for up to five months after infection.

If you live in a high risk area, it may be wise to have a vet test your good dog even if you’ve seen no ticks. That being said, testing for Lyme Disease is difficult because false negative results are common.

If your good dog does contract Lyme Disease the good news is canines usually respond quickly to antibiotic treatments. Be sure to follow-up with your vet right away if your pet’s condition doesn’t improve. Left untreated, Lyme Disease can cause kidney damage & even death.

During these warm months, if you are out in nature with your good dog, it is vital that you check for ticks once back home. Run your hands over the whole body & do a visual inspection. If a tick has attached itself, you need it removed quickly. Put it in a jar or pill bottle with alcohol & have your vet send it away for testing.

CEO Olivia

 

It’s Tick Time Again

News

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. With the warm weather comes those nasty bugs called ticks.

I’ve only had to deal with a tick once, it jumped on my upper front leg while I was exploring in some tall grass by the roadside. Luckily my huMom spotted it moments later, & removed it safely before it had really dug in.

Ticks are small bugs that are related to spiders & scorpions. They are most active from spring through fall here in Ontario. Ticks can be found in forests, in tall brush or grass, where they may attach to animals walking by. They feast on blood & in doing so often transmit diseases & parasites.

Luckily, ticks are visible to the naked eye & grow as they feed. During these warm months, it’s a good idea to check your good dog regularly for them. If you do spot a tick, it is important to take care when removing it. Any contact with the tick’s blood can potentially transmit infection to your dog or even to you! Treat the area with rubbing alcohol & pluck the parasite with tweezers, making sure you’ve gotten the biting head.

Since it may only take a few hours for disease to be transmitted from an attached tick, it is wise for your dog to be seen by a vet soon after any ticks are found. Keep the tick in a jar & bring it with you to your vet. It can then be tested for Lyme disease.

There are medications you can give your dog both to prevent & kill ticks. There are many pills, spray’s, & shampoos. While these medications are great, you still need to be very careful about which one you use. Make sure you read all labels carefully, & if you have any doubts, seek advice from your veterinarian before application.

There is also a tool called a “tick Twister” that is specifically designed for removing ticks. They can be purchased at a pet supply store or ask your vet. I sniffed out a video on how a Tick Twister works, it seems very easy.

Let’s all be safe this summer. If you’ve been out & about, especially in tall grass or playing in the woods, be sure to check for ticks when you arrive home.

CEO Olivia