In Our Own Backyards
In summer and spring months temperature within a vehicle parked in the sun rapidly rises to dangerous levels. In only 5 to 10 minutes, pets left outdoors in the sun, without shade or inside of a car, can become victims of heat stroke. The greenhouse effect traps heat within a car with closed windows even in mild ambient temperatures; the situation is compounded by high humidity.
Dogs become intolerant of heat as they age and are susceptible if they fall asleep in the sun and don’t have adequate shade. The solution: never leave your pet in an enclosed car, or in a confined unshaded space outdoors, during the spring and summer months unattended.
Heatstroke can also happen anytime you dog is outside during hot summer days. Whenever you take your dog out this summer for more than just a walk – and most especially if you are camping, or hiking – remember to bring along a fresh source of potable water for them to drink.
Dogs need approximately 1oz of water for every pound of their body weight at rest; a ten poung dog needs at least 10 ounces of water.
When exercising in warm temperatures you should plan on having at least 50% more water on hand. A soft or
collapsible bowl in your travel kit will make it easy to give your dog water anywhere they rest along the road.
Eastern Timber Rattlesnakes
Commonly found on hiking trails in the northeast these snakes have been frequently sighted in nearby Harriman State Park. Use caution and be alert when hiking.
In the Northeast, timber rattlesnakes den in precise locations, microclimates, where the heat of the sun warms southeast, or southwest-facing, rock outcroppings. These are usually steep, above exposed ledges.
More information on the venomous snakes, where they live and how to recognize them can be found in the U.S. Guide to Venomous Snakes and Their Mimics and other references.
This infectious disease has experienced resurgence in our community in the past five years. Pets can be at risk of contracting this disease if there is significant exposure to the urine of wild rodents; hiking and living adjacent to wetlands pose a significant risk. A vaccination is available and is recommended for those pets that may be exposed.
Ticks, Fleas, and Mosquitoes
Tick born diseases, like Lyme Disease, are common throughout the country, although the endemic species varies by location. Professional strength tick control products should be used to provide the maximum protection against these annoying parasites both at home and away.
While it is always important to keep the flea population down at home, flea infestations are particularly severe in Florida and other warm and humid southern states. You may need to modify your prescription for flea prevention if traveling outside of Rockland County. Speak with one of our doctors, or licensed veterinary technicians, to determine if any adjustments need to be made in your pet’s current parasite prevention program inorder to travel.
Heartworm is a mosquito borne disease found throughout the country which is on the rise. It is particularly severe in the warm and humid climate of the southern USA. Although dogs are the natural host for this parasite, cat’s can become infected too, oftentimes with catastrophic outcomes. Treatment options are limited so if you are taking your cat to Florida or the surrounding area and he/she is not already on prevention, be sure to start a heartworm prophylactic treatment protocol before departing. Prevention is the best treatment for cats as no other treatment is safe or effective.
Before making your hotel reservations, be sure your pet’s vaccinations are current. Also, inquire with local health departments, or area veterinarians, about any additional precautionary measures that should be taken regarding infectious diseases that maybe unique to the area(s) where you are planning to travel.