Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pet Health Myths....

by: Michelle Hainer

Myth One: Parasite Prevention isn't necessary year-round
"I'd like to see people think of parasite prevention as preventive medicine," say Dr. Jay Stewart, owner of Aumsville Animal Clinic in Aumsville, Oregon, and a Companion Animal Parasite Council board member. Dr. Stewart adds that some parasites, like roundworms and those carried by mosquitoes, can infect pets at any time of the year, so only continuous prevention is effective against them. To keep pets safe from fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites, you'll need to administer broad-spectrum parasite prevention medication once every month.

Myth Two: Neutering Makes Dogs Soft.
Intact males are frustrated every time they smell a female dog in season and even males in single-dog households can detect the scent. Dogs exhibit this frustration in a number of ways, poor appetite for a few days, spells of breaking house training and mounting other dogs in the family or people's legs. Neutering can quiet these tendencies when done at a young age. At the same time, it won't diminish skills, such as hunting, that are characteristic of a breed, says Dr. Danielle Wehr with All Valley Pet Clinic in Meridian, Idaho. Neutering also protects against testicular cancer and an enlarged prostrate.

Myth Three: It's OK to Skip brushing pet's teeth.
Dental health impacts heart, liver and kidney function. Failure to brush regularly can lead to serious gum disease and significantly decrease your pet's overall quality of life. When started at a young age most pets enjoy brushing. Even older pets enjoy teeth brushing.

Myth Four: Itchy Ears Must Mean Ear Mites.
" The only ear mites I have ever seen in a dog came from a puppy living among others in a deplorable hoarding situation," Dr. Wehr says. " More often, a dog scratches its ear because of a yeast infection or bacterial infection that requires appropriate medication to treat. " Those infections typically occur as a result of food or inhalant allergy or as a direct result of water getting into the ear, which creates a moist environment for yeast and bacteria to grow. Over the counter ear mite solutions usually end up making the ear canal more inflamed.

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