April showers bring May flowers and springtime also brings awareness to a number of pet health issues. Two very important health issues to learn about are Lyme Disease and Heartworm Disease. As a matter of fact, April is recognized as Lyme Disease Prevention and National Heartworm Awareness Month. These two diseases seem to have become just as serious in northern New England as in warmer parts of the country.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (www.avma.org) reminds us that March brings Poison Prevention Week, March 21 to 27.
While the focus is on raising awareness about household items that are poisonous to children, it’s important to remember that many things in the home are also poisonous to our pets – cats, dogs and yes, even birds and other pets. The AVMA advises that raisins and grapes can be fatal to our canine family members. Some plants, such as lilies are poisonous for our feline friends. Some kinds of nuts, such as macadamia nuts can cause paralysis in dogs and sadly, the most potent poisons for our pets are human medications. It’s important to know that many items commonly found in our homes can cause our loyal and beloved animal friends to become critically and perhaps even fatally ill. These items range from foods that they may enjoy eating, but shouldn’t, to cleaning chemicals and prescription drugs
February is National Pet Dental Health Month. More than just a cosmetic issue, yellow teeth and bad breath can be a sign of serious disease in pets. This condition can result in nutritional problems and can eventually cause damage to organs such as kidneys, liver and heart. Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets, with most dogs and cats becoming affected by age three years. You can help prevent disease and decrease emergency visits to the vet by keeping your pet’s teeth and mouth healthy.
February is Be a Responsible Pet Owner Month! There are a number of ways by which we can be “pawsome,” pet parents. It takes lots of love and commitment. Bringing a pet into your home is a lifelong relationship and there are a few basic steps to showing how much you care.
We continue to work under the guidance and protocols established by state and local health authorities. With this in mind, out of state adoptions are temporarily suspended and the shelter remains closed to the public. We hope you all understand that these measures are in place temporarily to protect everyone’s health and safety. Of course, we still welcome any inquiries regarding adoptions. If you are interested in adopting one of our many fine furry residents, please fill out an application and send it by mail to the shelter at 4473 Barton Orleans Road, Orleans, VT 05860. (Online applications are not currently available.)
Please call for an appointment to discuss adoptions and meet your potential new family member – 802-754-2228. If we are busy taking care of our animals and do not answer the phone right away, please leave a detailed message and someone will return your call as soon as possible. As has been the case for several months, please be prepared to wear a face-covering while meeting with a staff member in the shelter. Currently, surrenders are also by appointment only.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we all strive to successfully get through these challenges.