Vet Blair: Heart Health Month and your pet


February is American Heart Month, and while it’s important to focus on your cardiovascular health, did you know that dogs and cats are also susceptible to developing congested heart failure?

Congestive Heart Failure is fluid retention due to severe heart disease. 
If the left side of the heart is diseased, fluid is retained in the lungs or space around the lungs.
If the right side of the heart is diseased, fluid is retained the the belly. 

Common Causes of CHF include:

  • Mitral or Tricuspid valve disease
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Pericardial disease
  • Congenital defect
  • Heartworm disease 

Signs of CHF

  • Decrease in exercise ability
  • WeaknessLoss of appetite
  • Coughing
  • Pale or blue gums
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Labored, opened mouth breathing (cats)
  • Fainting
  • Swelling of the belly with fluid

If you notice any of the above signs in your furry friend, take your pet to the vet immediately for chest radiographs and cardiac ultrasound. Medications are available for management.

Don’t forget, all pets brought on the show are eligible for adoptions! Contact the Sherwood Animal Shelter to learn more.

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How to Help Prevent Pests

Preventing pests from entering your home is one way that pet owners can help keep their pets safe. Below are some preventative steps you can take:

  • Regularly check your pet’s food, water and shelter for bugs
  • Remove bedding or toys if you see signs of insect activity
  • Store pet food in sealed containers
  • Fix leaky plumbing and remove areas of standing water
  • Seal cracks and crevices to help keep bugs out of your house, including your window frames
  • Keep outdoor pets contained in a fenced yard. If they enter an infested area, fleas and ticks can hop on board within seconds
  • Keep leaves raked, grass cut and bushes trimmed to reduce tick habitat
  • Check your pet regularly for fleas and ticks, especially when they are allowed outside of your yard or other controlled areas

If your pet has been affected by pests, then you should consult with your veterinarian before using any medication or repellent.


How Pest Control Professionals Can Help

Though taking preventative steps can help alleviate pest issues, DIY solutions often fall short of complete control. That’s where pest control professionals can assist, and the professionals at Terminix are here to help. Terminix technicians use pesticides according to the label and do not treat pets at all. However, for efficiency of service and as a precaution, you should always contain your pet and put food and toys away when a technician is treating your home.

When pests like fleas and ticks are prevented and controlled, that’s good for your pets. It creates a better environment for them, and you. Learn more about Terminix pest control today.

About Clear the Shelters

NBC and Telemundo stations are teaming up with hundreds of shelters across the country to host Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive on Saturday, August 17 to help find loving homes for animals in need. More than 250,000 pets found their forever homes since 2015.