Compassionate Care for Your Animals

Dr. Stephen Krumm, D.V.M.

Open: Monday to Friday  8:00 AM to 5:30 PM

185 28th St. NE

Owatonna, MN 55060

507.451.0960

  Saturday:  8:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Health Announcements and Specials

Early Bird Heartworm, Flea and Tick Discount includes Lyme+Lepto vaccine this year!  Everyone has heard about Lyme disease in dogs but what is it?  It is a bacterial disease that is picked up when deer ticks feed and in that process actually inject the Borrelia burgdorfori bacteria into the dog.  They are called deer ticks here but actually a better name is the black legged tick or Ixodes scapularis. Female ticks lay eggs after a blood meal from deer, dogs, or other large mammals.

Those eggs hatch into larva, they latch onto mice to get a blood meal, molt into nymphs, feed again, and then molt into adults.  The adult ticks are most active in early spring and again in late September and October but will be active any time it is above freezing.  Adults are tiny and only 1/8” in size (the standard dog tick is three times that size) and the nymphs are only the size of a speck of dirt.  The highest risk to your dog are the nymphs and they are most active from mid-May to mid-July.  With dogs only 25% of those infected become ill but those who become ill show a very high fever and joint inflammation and lameness.  In humans, it is harder to diagnose as often it mimics a flu like disease until deeper damage is done.

 

Early Bird Heartworm, Flea and Tick Discount includes Lyme+Lepto vaccine this year!  Everyone has heard about Lyme disease in dogs but what is it?  It is a bacterial disease that is picked up when deer ticks feed and in that process actually inject the Borrelia burgdorfori bacteria into the dog.  They are called deer ticks here but actually a better name is the black legged tick or Ixodes scapularis. Female ticks lay eggs after a blood meal from deer, dogs, or other large mammals.  Those eggs hatch into larva, they latch onto mice to get a blood meal, molt into nymphs, feed again, and then molt into adults.  The adult ticks are most active in early spring and again in late September and October but will be active any time it is above freezing.  Adults are tiny and only 1/8” in size (the standard dog tick is three times that size) and the nymphs are only the size of a speck of dirt.  The highest risk to your dog are the nymphs and they are most active from mid-May to mid-July.  With dogs only 25% of those infected become ill but those who become ill show a very high fever and joint inflammation and lameness.  In humans, it is harder to diagnose as often it mimics a flu like disease until deeper damage is done.

 

Lyme disease used to fall into a Lyme Belt that ran from Bemidji to Door County Wisconsin.  Deer ticks and Lyme disease are spreading.  One thing we have done at OVS is to monitor the status of Lyme disease along with other conditions.  For the past five years we have been doing an internal study of tickborne diseases.  This study was not done on “at risk” dogs that spent time in the Lyme Belt either at the family cabin or hunting but local stay at home dogs were tested.   We have been running a tick disease panel on 10% of these local dogs to see what the exposure level is.  In 2012 we had zero positives.  In 2013 we had 3 but last year we had 11 positive cases.  Remember these numbers were obtained on a small percentage of the heartworm tests we completed and these were dogs that live in Steele County and not known to travel with their owners on a frequent basis.  Dogs can be protected through a very effective vaccine but it also requires an effective tick prevention product.  Lyme Disease is spreading and is now a disease of local concern!

 

Also of concern is Lepto disease caused by Leptospirosis bacteria.  Wildlife that are infected shed the bacteria through their urine and those bacteria live in those pools of standing water that no dog can ignore.  The disease is of low incidence but of high mortality.  We saw a spike in these cases last year also.  A vaccine exists and is recommended.  It does not cross protect between all serovars of the bacteria but it does minimize the rate of disease and reduce the death loss to a great degree.  We do recommend vaccination against this disease also and the vaccine we use is in combination with the Lyme vaccine.

 

Vaccine protection for Lyme and Lepto require two doses of the Lyme+Lepto vaccine the first year and an annual booster after that.  Puppies require two doses starting as soon as nine weeks of age, a booster at six months of age, and then an annual booster.  Adult dogs should have a 4DX test prior to vaccine which tests for heartworm, Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Erlichia disease exposure.  Lyme disease protection also requires an effective flea and tick product.  For years we have offered our Early Bird Discount of 10 % on heartworm tests, heartworm preventative products, and flea and tick protection products.   Because of the importance of this updated core protection protocol, this year we have included the Lyme+Lepto vaccine in the 10% Early Bird Discount Program for this year.  Also if prepaid at the time of the first vaccination, we will give an additional 25% off the next two doses of the vaccine.  That would cover the booster after the primary vaccine and the next year booster for an adult dog or the two boosters for a puppy at one month later and at six months of age.  Vaccines need to be given every year and not just the first year to maintain protection over the life of your family member.

 

Heartworm, Flea and Tick Products

 

Dr. Krumm has been recommending Heartgard brand for many years for heartworm prevention because of its efficacy and its palatability. Dogs love to eat these chewable tablets which are made from real beef! It is given once per month throughout the seasons when there is a risk from mosquitoes. Heartgard not only prevents heartworm disease, it also treats for roundworms and hookworms.

 

Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal disease that affects the heart and lungs if not prevented. A mosquito may transmit immature heartworms after biting an already infected dog and then biting your healthy dog. Symptoms, such as coughing and difficulty breathing, may not develop until more than a year after infection so it is important to test your dog annually for this disease. If left untreated, the disease may be fatal or permanently damage the heart and lungs. If heartworm disease is detected, treatment is expensive, difficult and sometimes unsuccessful. However, prevention is simple and relatively inexpensive.

 

For prevention of external parasites there are a lot of products out there. Ideally because of the life cycle of the black legged tick, these should be used twelve months out of the year.  We recommend the use of Vectra 3D which is a liquid applied to the skin.  This product provides not only excellent kill but also is a good repellant for not only fleas and ticks but flies and mosquitoes.  This is waterproof and lasts for an entire month.  With the repellency and the kill factor it provides a good shield against many vectorborne diseases like Lyme disease.

 

We also recommend Bravecto and it is useful for those of you who do not like those smelly greasy spots on your dog.  It is a flavored treat that is given every three months.  It does provide great coverage for that entire time and makes those monthly meds a thing of the past.

© 2016 Owatonna Veterinary Services

Dr. Stephen Krumm, D.V.M.

185 28th St. NE

Owatonna, MN 55060

507.451.0960