Lyme Disease In Dogs: The Facts & What To Do About
Lyme disease is something you may have heard about before but what exactly is it? Today we explore what Lyme disease is, what animals can get Lyme disease, how it’s transmitted, and more.
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is a bacterial spread by ticks that involves a skin rash and joint pain. Specifically it is the “bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and rarely, Borrelia mayonii” [Source].
Can only dogs get Lyme disease?
No. Cats, horses, deer, mice, chipmunks, opossums, squirrels, and raccoons can also get Lyme disease.
You should apply a vet-approved flea and tick prevention method to help prevent Lyme disease and discuss vaccination against Lyme disease with your veterinarian.
How are animals infected?
The bacteria is passed through the bite of an infected tick. In most cases, the tick needs to be attached for 24-48 hours before the bacteria can infect the animal. This means, whenever you come back from a walk you should make sure you and your pet do not have any ticks attached to yourselves. You can learn how to remove a tick on the CDC website. There also are tools designed to remove ticks from dogs and cats.
How does Lyme disease affect my dog?
Lameness, fever, or possible bacterial infection in the kidneys or heart can take as long as 5 months to appear. Issues tend to be focused around the elbows and joints. Lyme disease cannot be transferred from dog to dog or dog to human.
What do I do if I suspect my dog is infected?
Some of the common symptoms you need to look out for are:
Generalized stiffness, discomfort, or pain;
Lameness (can be shifting, intermittent, and recurring);
Loss of appetite;
Swelling of joints
If you have been in tall, grassy areas that may not be treated for ticks and notice these symptoms seek veterinary care.
Can humans contract Lyme disease?
Yes, humans can become infected with Lyme disease. Lyme disease cannot be contracted from your dog or cat that is infected. You can however be infected by a carrier tick that was attached to your pet. If you believe you have Lyme disease call your physician. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on a variety of factors – one of which can be laboratory testing.
Lyme disease isn’t the only disease or illness our pets can get. Make sure you’re aware of how to prevent rabies and heartworm.
https://wetnosespetsitting.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/4f7fd53f.png900600Liana Sandershttps://wetnosespetsitting.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/wet-noses-logo-420x120.pngLiana Sanders2021-09-11 00:27:032021-09-11 00:27:03Lyme Disease In Dogs: The Facts & What To Do About
What to Consider When Scheduling a Pet Sitter for Diabetic Pets?
When you have a cat or dog with diabetes it can be a tough decision when deciding to go out of town because there are a lot of factors to consider such as finding pet sitting for a diabetic pet. We want to walk you through these points of concern and discuss when you should make the choice to stay in town and skip that vacation instead. If you decide it is okay to leave, we have a list of suggestions for pet sitting schedules that we have found work out well for diabetic pets. All pets need amazing care, but without an educated and precise pet sitter, it can be easy for a diabetic pet to become ill.
Want to skip the article? Check out our video below that covers the same information.
Should You Travel?
We are always happy to help out, but there are some factors that need to be considered with diabetic pets before you make the decision to go on a vacation.
How long since your pet was diagnosed with diabetes? In the early days after diagnoses, you are trying to get your pet’s glucose levels stable. You are often speaking to your vet regularly and adjusting medication levels. This can be hard for a pet sitter to take on.
Is your pet stable? Meaning are you still needing to adjust medication often and watch your pet’s behavior for concerns?
How is your pet accepting the insulin injections and glucose testing? If it is hard for you, it will be harder for a sitter.
How is your pet about being handled by strangers? If your pet does not love being handled (especially cats) then it is going to be tough for a sitter to medicate your pet and do glucose testing.
Does your pet have any problems eating when you are gone? Pets need to eat before receiving their insulin. If your pet typically does not eat when you are gone then it is going to be hard for a sitter to manage the food and insulin levels consistently.
Are you going to be reachable on your trip? Whenever there is a problem with a pet, especially a pet with medical problems, we will reach out to you for suggestions and ideas. If you are not able to be reached it will be hard for a sitter to determine the next course of action.
If you are seeing multiple points of concern, then you should consider waiting to travel until your pet is more stable. We are concerned for both your pet, who is not feeling well already, and the safety of the sitter who will be handling your pet in close quarters. If you think this is a good time to travel then we have multiple steps to make sure it goes smoothly!
Pet Diabetes: Should You Travel Infographic – Click to enlarge 🔍
How do You Prepare to Leave Your Diabetic Pet?
You have decided you are going to travel and want to make sure it goes as well as possible. So do we! Here is what a sitter will need so you can have the best trip:
All the data from your veterinarian. All of it. This can include: normal and abnormal glucose levels, amount of insulin to be given, length of time after eating to give insulin, size of normal meal, what to do if your pet does not eat, any abnormal behaviors to watch out for, etc. The more information you give your sitter, the more educated decisions she can make.
Feeding instructions with contingencies. It is not unusual for animals to not eat if they are stressed or not feeling well. If your dog does not eat or your cat hides during a visit, think about what your sitter should do. Do you want the sitter to stay longer (and you pay for the extra time)? Should the sitter leave and come back? Can the sitter mix in some canned food or feed a different food altogether to get your pet to eat? We have been known to sit on the floor and hand feed pets if that is helpful, we just need to know what you think is best.
Normal animal behaviors. When your pet is not feeling well, what does she do? The better the list you make, the more we can look for.
How to reach you. We try to solve problems ourselves, but we never want to mess with the health of a pet. When pet sitting diabetic pets, we like to be able to reach you if we have concerns. This is especially true if you are a new client or your pet has recently been diagnosed with diabetes.
How to reach your vet, and permission for us to speak to them. You need to let know veterinarian know you will be out of town and who will be caring for your pets. If we cannot reach you, or the situation is urgent, we need to be able to reach a veterinarian quickly and not have to worry about any privacy issues.
We’ve put together a checklist to help you keep all of this information organized and to make sure you have all the information at the ready to provide your pet sitter.
Checklist – Click to enlarge 🔍
But what if I’m not sure how my pet will do with a sitter?
If your are unsure of how your pet will do with a sitter – we offer trial visits. At Wet Noses Pet Sitting, we require a trial visit for any cat receiving medication. We recommend trial visits for dogs, but only require it if the dog seems nervous during the meet and greet. During a trial visit, you will leave and your sitter will come just like you are on vacation. This will allow us all to observe how your animal reacts to a new person handling them and allows us to flush out any questions your sitter may have.
If you know your pet will have a hard time – schedule multiple trial visits! We are happy to come work with you for as long as it takes to get your dog or cat comfortable with us. We want everyone to be relaxed and have peace of mind when you do leave.
Petting sitting diabetic pets is something we love and if you can prepare all of this, then you can travel comfortably knowing that your diabetic pet will be well cared for. Now you just need to decide on a schedule! Unlike other pets, diabetic pets need medication every 12 hours. Below are our suggested schedules that are built with that in mind.
Fluffy ginger cat looking up from cardboard box by Konstantin Aksenov from NounProject.com
Diabetic Pet Option #1
This is an ideal schedule for diabetic pets who need eyes on them regularly.
30 Minute Mid-Day Visit
Your sitter will use this visit for a walk and/or playtime. It is a good time during the day just to check on your pet and make sure they are feeling okay. If you have a dog, this visit should be set at a time when your dog would normally need to go outside, so it is in line with their normal routine. A visit during the middle of the day like this means that your dog will only be alone for 6-7 hours, depending on the time of the visit.
12 Hour Extended Overnight Stay
A 12 hour overnight means your sitter will feed your pet and give insulin at the beginning and end of the stay. Your sitter will arrive in the early evening (around 7 pm) and take your dog for a walk or playtime (if you have one), whichever is normal for them. Then comes feeding and some time for relaxation. Right before bed, your dog goes out for the last outing, usually a potty break. Your sitter sends you a picture with an update so you can rest easy knowing your pup has company. In the morning there is time for another walk or playtime and feeding, as well as other pet chores. The Extended Overnight Stay is especially good for dogs and cats who are accustomed to having company and companionship during the evenings or if you have a large number of pets needing care.
Two cavalier spaniels lying next to each other on bed by Anna Fotyma from NounProject.com
Diabetic Pet Option #2
This is a good schedule for diabetic pets who are used to being home alone in the evening but like having company overnight.
30 Minute Dinner Visit
Your sitter arrives ready for a walk (if you have a dog) and dinner time! Your pets will be happy to see them after a day apart, so there is usually some happy greeting time followed by a trip outside to go potty for dogs. This visit will be scheduled during the time that your pet needs their evening insulin. After dogs get their evening walk, or cats have playtime, it is time for dinner and medication. Your sitter sends you a picture with an update so you can rest easy knowing your pet has company. Before leaving, your sitter turns on some lights so your pets are not alone in the dark, and to make your home appear lived in.
9-10 Hour Regular Overnight Stay
Your sitter will arrive in the evening (around 10 pm) and let your dog out for a potty break. Your sitter then settles your pup in for their normal bedtime routine. Maybe your dog sleeps in the bed with your sitter, or on a dog bed in the bedroom. If your dog needs a tuck in with a blanket or a late night treat, that will happen. In the morning there is time for a let out or a quick walk and feeding. Before leaving, your sitter will set your pup up for the day with her normal routine, including breakfast and medication. The overnight stay is especially good for dogs who are accustomed to having company and companionship overnight, and provides a level of consistency that dogs appreciate. It also allows your sitter to keep an eye on your pet’s behavior for any changes that indicate she is not feeling well.
Pet cat laying down on cat perch by Noun Project from NounProject.com
Diabetic Pet Option #3
This is a good schedule for pet sitting diabetic pets who are fine with being home alone overnight.
30 Minute Breakfast Visit
Your sitter will arrive in the morning (between 7-8:30am) and take your dog for a walk or playtime, whichever is normal for her. It is an exciting time to get up and stretch our legs first thing in the morning! Cats gets some cuddles and playtime, whatever they like. Then comes feeding, medication and other normal chores. Before leaving your sitter will set your pup up for the day with her normal routine, whether it be a stuffed KONG or leaving a radio on.
30 Minute Late Afternoon Visit
Your sitter arrives ready for a walk and playtime! Your pup will be happy to see her after a day apart, so there is usually some happy greeting time followed by a trip outside to go potty. Then they are off for their walk or playtime outside, depending on what your dog prefers. Your sitter sends you a picture with an update so you can rest easy knowing your pup has company. Before leaving, your sitter turns on some lights so your dog in not alone in the dark, and to make your home appear lived in.
15-30 Minute Night Visit
This visit should be timed to be 12 hours apart from your breakfast visit. The sitter will take dogs out for a last minute potty break and then feeding and medication. It allows your pup to close out the day comfortable and secure. Your sitter will let your pup out and settle her in for the night with her normal routine. At the end it is lights out and time for sleep!
Cavalier spaniel sitting under under purple blanket by Anna Fotyma from NounProject.com
Our Considerations for all Pets
When it comes to pet sitting diabetic pets, there are a few factors we like to consider when setting a schedule:
All diabetic pets need visits spaced 12 hours apart for insulin, so we stick to that when scheduling.
How long is your dog used to being home during the day? Do you work a full dog or do you work from home?
How often does your dog go outside during a normal day? It is easy to under-estimate so try counting for a few days to be sure.
Does your dog need a lot of exercise? If so, consider schedules for active dogs.
Where do your pets sleep at night? If your dog waits for you to go to bed and then joins you, you need overnight stays. If your dog wanders off at 9pm and you don’t see her again until 7am, you can probably get away with just visits, if you want.
For you – are you more comfortable having someone active around the house? If so, then you want an Extended Overnight.
Time to Customize!
We want to work with you to set up the best possible schedule for your dog, so you are all happy during your trip. We also know that each home is different, and a lot of people have more than just one dog!
After you have the basic idea of your schedule we sit down to figure out the nitty-gritty:
Are there any other pets in the home that need feeding, medication, etc? We make sure your visit has enough time to get everything done.
We like to allow enough time for feeding, changing water, walks and some cuddles (if your pet is so inclined).
There needs to be enough time to clean out food and water bowls, clean up any messes, toys, etc.
Many people who love animals, also love plants! Normal visits have time for a small bit of plant watering. If you have beautiful summer gardens, then we need to see how long they take to the water and add that on to your normal visits.
On your normal schedule, we can complete household tasks like bringing in the newspaper, collecting the mail, turning lights off and on and taking out the trash.
Do you want updates every visit? Many clients do, just keep in mind that your sitter will take 5+ minutes to send an update and that is time during your visit not focused on your pets.
It will take a sitter a bit longer to get the work done then it takes you, especially if you have extensive routines for your pets and home. You have had years to perfect your system! We always try to make sure your pet sitter will have enough time for everything so she will not feel stressed and your pets will receive the focus they deserve.
Work With Us to Keep Your Pets Healthy While You are Gone!
https://wetnosespetsitting.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/07_081021-copy-2.png900600Liana Sandershttps://wetnosespetsitting.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/wet-noses-logo-420x120.pngLiana Sanders2021-09-03 13:00:342021-09-10 15:42:52What to Consider When Scheduling a Pet Sitter for Diabetic Pets
Preventing Heatstroke In Your Dog This Summer: 3 Things You Can Do Today
It’s important that every pet parent know how to prevent heatstroke in your dog or cat. Even as temperatures start to cool, your it can still get too hot for your pets and cause heatstroke. But what exactly is heatstroke? “Heatstroke is a term commonly used for hyperthermia or elevated body temperature.” [Source] Heatstroke can be recognized by:
Elevated breathing rates;
Dry or sticky gums;
Abnormal gum color or busing in the gums;
Lethargic behavior or disoriented behavior;
While these aren’t the only visible signs of heatstroke it’s important to be able to recognize the more common ones so you can act quickly. If you feel your pet is suffering from heatstroke, get them into a shaded or cool area and contact your vet. But we never want your pet to get to that point!
Here are 3 simple things you can do to help prevent heatstroke in your pets:
Never leave your pet unsupervised outside on hot days.
Access to fresh water, shade, and shelter away from direct sunlight.
Never leave your pet alone in the car – even if you think it’s cool enough. Leaving a dog in a hot car without adequate ventilation is the most common cause of heatstroke.
If you know you can’t bring your pet with you inside or if you’re unsure you’ll be able to, it’s best to leave them at home. If you’re going to be gone for awhile, consider hiring a Wet Noses pet sitter to check in on your pets during the day.
By following these three simple tips you can help prevent heatstroke in your pets. Do you have any tips you think others should know? Let us know down in the comments or @WetNosesPetSitting or #WetNosesPetSitting.
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How do you deal with anxious pets? It’s a question a lot of pet parents ask – myself included. If I’m gone for more than 6 days one of my cats gets a urinary blockage. Here are some ways you can help with anxious pets.
1. Distractions, distractions, distractions
When does your pet seem to be the most anxious? Is it right after you leave? Or when they wake up from a nap and nobody is there? Sometimes having a distraction is the best thing for them. We have a whole blog on interactive puzzle games for both cats and dogs. These toys can provide just enough distraction to get you out of the house or keep your pet distracted from their anxiety.
You may have heard of ThunderShirt before. It essentially works the same way swaddling a baby calms them down. The biggest downside to ThunderShirt is it needs to be on your pet prior to the stressful situation so it won’t be as effective if their anxiety is unplanned. These work best for events like Fourth of July or New Years when you know stressors such as fireworks will be happening.
Pheromones are much different from essential oils. Essential oils can actually be toxic to pets, but pheromones (produced synthetically) can help provide an anxious pet relief. Adaptil is the dog version and Feliway is the cat version. The dog version will not work for cats and vice versa.
The classic diffuser is great for open floor plans or large rooms as they cover 750sqft. If you have a large house or many closed off rooms, you may need to invest in multiple diffusers. You can learn more about the Home Diffusers on their website.
They also produce a collar and travel sprays for pets on the go or when a diffuser isn’t a viable option.
4. Calming Sprays
Calming sprays can also be a good option if your pet likes to hang out in one specific area. These don’t require being changed out monthly, only when they’re empty, nor putting a collar onto your pet.
Calming chews can be bought over-the-counter at most pet stores. These chews aren’t as strong as something you’d get from the vet but provide a natural way to help calm your pet. Depending on which one you choose they may be hard or soft treats. Some brands also include hemp seed oil.
Pet owners have found varying success with CBD Oil helping their pet with anxiety and you may as well if you’re looking for a more holistic and natural approach to managing your pets anxiety. Before starting CBD Oil make sure to talk with your vet, especially if your pet is on any medication, to make sure it’s safe to give them. There’s lots of different brands out there and methods of delivery, you’re sure to find one that fits you and your pets needs. Some brands to start your research are:
Just like with people, some pets need anxiety medication to help manage their anxiety. Pets can’t articulate how they’re feeling but if you’ve tried all of the above ways it may be time to have a discussion with your vet. Make sure you discuss you and your pets needs. Do they need a slight sedative or something stronger? Is there a liquid option if your pet doesn’t take pills? Don’t have a regular vet? We have you covered. Here’s our 5 tips for picking a veterinarian you love.
Do you have an anxious pet? Let us know how you help control their anxiety and if there’s anything we forgot @WetNosesPetSitting or #WetNosesPetSitting
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It’s one of every pet parents worst nightmares. Your pet has gotten into something they shouldn’t have and it might be poisonous. So which household items are toxic to pets? The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) maintains a comprehensive online list but here are some items you probably have around your house.
One of the top household items that are poisonous to pets. Make sure to keep medications in an out-of-reach place and locked up to avoid curious pets (especially cats) getting into cabinets. If you can, keep the pills in their original container with a child safety lock.
2. Cleaning Products
Most household chemical-based cleaners are poisonous if ingested but some all-natural products can be poisonous as well. Products that contain essential oils such as lavender can be toxic to our feline companions.
This one is self-explanatory. Rodenticides are usually poison designed to kill rodents.
Additionally, this one is also self-explanatory. Insecticides are often chemical-based and can cause harm if ingested.
Antifreeze is toxic to ALL animals. If you see any spilled antifreeze make sure to clean it up and dispose of it properly. Antifreeze should be kept in an out-of-reach place and locked up.
6. Pool and Spa Chemicals
Chemicals can be poisonous if you pet ingests them. Make sure pool and spa chemicals are kept away from anywhere you pets may get into.
Fertilizer provides nutrients for plants, but they often contain chemicals that are harmful to pets. It’s one of the more common household items that are poisonous to pets. Fertilizer poisoning often happens because of accidental ingestion when a pet cleans themself after playing outside.
8. Lead Paint Chips
Lead is known to be toxic to humans, as well as pets. If you are doing some DIY are dealing with lead paint (we recommend hiring a professional however), make sure pets are not in the room and make sure you dispose of any lead paint chips.
From the AKC: “When a dog eats bread dough, the yeast in the dough continues to make the dough rise, distending his stomach and releasing toxic levels of ethanol into the dog’s bloodstream. The pressure of the rising dough can mimic and cause bloat, but the real danger is from the alcohol toxicosis.” This one is the biggest shock for me on the list as I had no idea, but it makes sense when you think about it.
If you suspect your pet has been poisoned contact the Pet Poison Helpline 1-800-213-6680 and seek veterinary help immediately.
Did any of these common household items that are poisonous to pets on this list shock you? Let us know in the comments or @WetNosesPetSitting
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What To Do If You Think Your Pet Has Been Poisoned
It’s every pet parents worst nightmare. Your pet got into something they shouldn’t have. Sometimes, this is fine. But what if they got into the medicine cabinet or under the sink? What about one of your plants? Here are steps to take if you think your pet has been poisoned.
Make a note of the toxin’s name and strength;
Make a note of the amount of toxin your pet has consumed or been exposed to;
Get your pet to fresh air if the poisoning is primarily from fumes or gas;
Remove topical substances with gloves if the poisoning is primarily from contact;
Use paper towels or old rags to clean up liquids;
Do not attempt to remove the poison with water, solvents, or anything else unless instructed to by your vet;
Never induce vomiting unless instructed to by your vet
If you suspect your pet has been poisoned contact the Pet Poison Helpline 1-800-213-6680 and seek veterinary help immediately.
If your pet needs veterinary treatment and you don’t have pet insurance, consider getting pet insurance. Pet insurance can lower the cost of unexpected veterinary expenses if you pet gets into anything again.
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No parent ever wants to have to use a first aid kit but it’s important to keep one on hand – not just for your human children but for your pets as well. While you can purchase first aid kits for pets, you might already have some of the items on hand or want to add to yours. Here’s what we recommend having in your first aid kit.
Cotton Balls or Swabs
Saline Eye Solution
Tweezers or tick key
Scissors with rounded tip
Oral syringe or turkey baster
Additional Pet First Aid Kit Equipment:
Towels or blankets
Always include contact details of your veterinarian and a list of medications & dosages taken by your pets.
Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments what you have in your pets kit.
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We all know the importance of drinking water daily. But did you know it’s just as important for your pets to stay hydrated as you?
Water maintains healthy cell function: Just like in humans, water makes up the majority of our pets cells and is essential to keeping healthy cell function.
Helps aid in digestion: Water plays a function in helping your pet digest food. Not enough water means they may have digestive issues.
Helps aid in nutrient absorption: Similar to digestion, water helps your pet absorb nutrients from their food.
Makes movement easier: Water helps to lubricate your pets joints and helps to cushion them. Without enough water your pet may have trouble moving and may be in pain.
As you can see, water provides essential functions for life. Make sure your pet is getting between .05-1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day to help maintain healthy functions.
Here’s some of our favorite ways to help keep your pet hydrated!
Add more water bowls: Want to change it up? Try out a fountain with your pet or add ice discs to keep the water cool.
Freeze wet dog food to create a pupsicle: Stock up on wet food that comes in a pouch this season. Cut a small hole into the pouch, add a bit of water (ideal for pâté food), and insert a popsicle stick. Let freeze until solid.
Add water to your pets food: A simple trick to get more water into your pets diet, add a few teaspoons or tablespoons of water to their food.
Fresh fruit as a treat: Blueberries, apple slices, seedless watermelon, and cantaloupe are all hydrating and healthy treats for your dog.
Have you tried any of these ways to keep your pet hydrated? Let us know your favorite methods in the comments!
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Heartworm In Dogs: The Facts and What To Do About It
What is heartworm?
Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) is a worm that lives in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of pets that have been infected by mosquitos. These worms get their name from where the adults live in the body: the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of an infected animal. Dogs are most susceptible to infection but cats and ferrets can also become infected.
Can heartworm be treated?
Yes! But treatment costs 10-15x more than preventatives and treatment can take months. It is not always 100% successful. Treatment usually involves Melarsomine dihydrochloride which is an FDA-approved drug used to kill adult heartworms in dogs. The medication is injected deep into the back muscles. This treatment is often only used for Class 1, 2, and 3 cases of heartworm. Class 4 of heartworm is risky and often fatal as the blood is being blocked by a mass of worms. Surgery is the only option for class 4 cases. There is no FDA-approved drug to treat heartworm in cats and ferrets.
Is my pet at risk?
Heartworm is found in all 50 states. Even if your pet is indoors, a stray infected mosquito that finds its way into your house can infect your pet.
Is heartworm in dogs deadly?
Potentially. Heartworm can cause: severe lung disease, heart failure, and damage of other organs especially if left untreated. There are 4 classes of heartworm with class 1, 2, and 3 being treatable with medication. Class 4 requires surgery that may not be successful.
Can I do anything to prevent heartworm in dogs?
Yes! Pets should be on year-round preventatives and get regular testing for early detection. Preventative care costs less than treatment and only takes a few minutes. If you have cats and ferrets, keep them indoors to help reduce their risk of being infected. For dogs, make sure to mosquito-proof your yard as much as possible. This includes removing any standing water, regular yard maintenance, and using fans when outside.
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