Thursday, February 11, 2016

Danger in Our Own Backyards

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Sleuth, VNN's Reporter Dog Mascot

Walking and hiking in the woods near his house is a favorite past-time of Sleuth’s.  But, he knows that the wild areas really belong to creatures like raccoons, deer and foxes.  So, Sleuth plays it safe and follows these tips from the Veterinary News Network about staying safe around wildlife.

1) It’s a fact that more construction is happening in formerly rural and wild areas.  This will lead to more encounters between wildlife and our pets.

2) Although fascinating to watch, wild animals can be dangerous to us and can even carry serious diseases that can harm our pets and our families.

3) Illnesses like Rabies or Lyme Disease and parasites like Giardia or Baylisascaris (raccoon roundworms) can be transmitted to our pets.

4) You can still enjoy viewing wildlife, just follow some common sense rules.

5) First, don’t try to approach or handle wildlife.  It’s dangerous and increases the potential for disease transmission.   Watch them from afar!

6) Next, don’t feed wildlife (other than birds).  Wild animals will become accustomed to regular feedings and linger longer in your yard.  This also increases the potential for some transmission of parasites.

7) Don’t take in orphaned or injured wildlife.  Contact your animal control or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator to help.

8) Finally, check with your veterinarian about vaccines that can help protect your pets from some of these diseases.

9) You should also use a veterinary approved flea and tick medication as a means to prevent those parasites from feeding on your pet.

10) Be sure to bookmark and as your trusted sources for accurate and up-to-date pet health information.

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