Do not assume your pet can and will swim
- Most pets were not bred to be swimmers. We assume because it is called the “doggie paddle” that all dogs can do it. This may not be the case. In order to keep your pet as safe as possible, please keep him or her inside or confined to a carrier if being transported.
Contaminated flood waters are not healthy for our pets to drink
- These waters may carry parasites that can affect your pet’s gastrointestinal tract and cause diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain
- Standing water is also more likely to be contaminated with certain bacteria like Leptospirosis. This bacteria can be transmitted from dogs to humans!
Mosquito-borne illnesses rise after flooding
- Mosquitoes transmit heartworm disease to our pets and this disease can cause death if not treated.
- This disease can be easily prevented, so we recommend a discussion with your Thrive veterinarian about the best time to test your pet if he/she is not already on a preventative medication.
- Our veterinarians can also discuss the best option for heartworm prevention and get your pet started on it right away.
Flea and tick populations flourish during natural disasters
- We recommend a thorough examination to look for external parasites like fleas and ticks. If your pet is not already on a preventative, our veterinarians can recommend the best option for your family and your pet. Prevention can and should be started right away.
Gastrointestinal issues arise from change in routine, diet and stress
- Your pet is very sensitive to changes in his or her daily routine (for example, not being outside as often as usual, not having access to normal pet food or not having normal interactions with their human or pet family members). Many pets may not even have access to fresh water or food or may have been transported to shelters or different houses.
- All of these changes can cause stress in our pets, too. And stress may cause diarrhea. (See tip #10 for more about stress.)
- We continue to encourage feeding your pet his/her normal diet if you can. If not, food made especially for pets is the next best choice. We discourage the feeding of human food, and it is important to ensure your pets don’t encounter any human foods that are toxic to them, such as chocolate/coffee, onions/garlic, raisins/grapes, macadamia nuts and sugar-free gum.
Wounds can develop and become infected by the dirty water
- Since hurricanes cause movement of water and debris, your pets may develop wounds on their paws and legs from walking in flood waters and other areas affected by the hurricane.
- We advise keeping your pet inside and out of flood waters as much as you can.
Excess moisture predisposes your pet to skin disease
- As you’ve probably noticed before, our pets’ coats don’t dry as quickly as our own hair. The chronic moisture that comes with rain and flood waters can predispose them to a moist dermatitis, or inflammation of the skin, so keep them dry at all times, if possible.
Dehydration results from a lack of fresh water
- Just like people, our pets need fresh water to survive, so continue to offer your pet his or her normal water amount daily to ensure normal hydration.
- If you are concerned your pet may not have received enough water during the disaster, we recommend a veterinarian evaluation to check your pet’s hydration status.
Disasters attract wildlife into places they wouldn’t normally inhabit
- Due to flood waters and other environmental changes, wildlife like snakes and insects (including fire ants) will be moving from their natural habitats. Consequently, there may be an increased risk of your pet encountering this type of wildlife post-Hurricane Harvey, so please keep your pets inside and keep a close eye on them during the recovery efforts.
Hurricanes, destruction and change make our pets anxious and stressed, too!
- It’s always important to remember that our pets can also feel pain, anxiety and stress. In these difficult times we must remember to calm, soothe and protect them as we do the rest of our family.
Recommended Post-Harvey Veterinarian Treatments
Option 1: Wellness Check-Up ($25)
At the minimum, we would recommend our clinic’s nose-to-tail exam, which is administered by a licensed veterinarian and available at just $25. Your pets’ vitals, skin, eyes, ears and overall health will be assessed as part of this exam.
Option 2: Post-Harvey Comprehensive Visit ($79.99)
This post-flood examination includes, but is not limited to:
- Thorough examination of your pets’ skin to look for wounds or skin infections from moisture
- Flea comb to check for fleas
- Hydration test
- Otoscopic exam to check for debris or parasites in the ears
- Assessment of weight and body condition score
- Fecal analysis to check for gastrointestinal parasites
- Heartworm test (for those not on a preventative medication). Please note that pets will need to return to be retested in 2-6 months.
- 1 dose of a deworming medication – to be given in the clinic
- 1 dose of Tri-heart (if not current). Proheart is available at a slightly higher cost
- 1 dose of flea preventative (more doses are available for purchase to take with you)
- Nail trim
- Microchip scanning (if your pet is not currently micro-chipped). We recommend this for the future, as many pets can go missing during natural disasters. (Microchip charge is an additional $35)
*During your appointment, we will also discuss appropriate vaccinations, as they can further protect your pet. Any vaccinations given are an additional charge.