Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control urges pet owners to seek preventive care to protect animals from serious disease problems

Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control reports seeing a lot of animals coming into the shelter currently that are suffering from serious but easily preventable health problems. (Courtesy of FreeImages.com)

Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control has been seeing a lot of animals coming into the shelter with serious health problems that also are easily preventable.

Pet owners are encouraged to seek vet care to prevent some of the problems and to address others quickly if they develop, said Holly Pasquinelli, Animal Care & Control’s community relations and education specialist.

Prevention or quick treatment typically involve minimal cost, while helping animals after they get seriously ill is expensive, Pasquinelli said.

Animal Care & Control typically must rely on donations to its Angel Fund to pay for veterinary treatment for seriously ill animals that arrive at the shelter, she said. The shelter treats veterinary problems before making animals available for adoption.

Here are the pet health problems currently being seen most regularly:

Parvovirus

This disease affecting dogs is extremely contagious and can be deadly within 72 hours, Pasquinelli said.

Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stools and lack of energy, she said. The disease can be spread when one pet comes in contact with the feces of an infected dog.

A series of vaccines given when your dog is young can protect it from getting parvovirus.

Heartworm

These worms live inside dogs and some other animals, where they can damage the heart, lungs and arteries, it said on the American Heartworm Society website.

Heartworms less frequently grow in cats, but the heartworm medication for dogs doesn’t work for cats, so they are best protected from infection, the website said.

If heartworms develop, the treatment is expensive and rough for the dog to endure, Pasquinelli said.

Fleas

If left untreated, a flea infestation can cause hair loss in a pet and can cause other dangers because the bugs are sucking so much blood from the pet, Pasquinelli said.

A big caution: Don’t use dog flea treatment on a cat. The treatments use different chemicals for dogs and cats, and using dog flea treatment on a cat can harm it, Pasquinelli said.

Animal Care & Control just wants people to know these three pet health problems are easily preventable, she said.

People who think they can’t afford veterinary care can contact Hope for Animals, which has a wellness clinic that can help people for whom normal veterinary costs may be a problem.

Animal Care& Control also welcomes donations to its Angel Fund to help pay for veterinary care for sick animals arriving at the shelter. To donate to the various funds at Animal Care & Control, click here.

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