Tick Born Diseases Are On The Rise

Trojan on a tree stumpSummer arrived quickly approached is just about done, September is a few weeks away. With the rise in temperatures come the increase in ticks.  But we are in the height of summer and this means that mountain trails, bucolic meadows and forested thickets, and even your own backyard beckons you and your dog to romp and explore. Depending on your area, Heartworm Disease, Lyme Disease,  Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis are on the rise due to the increase population of ticks.

At the beginning of spring I heard reports of Lyme Disease and Ehrlichiosis we already on the rise.  I know a family whose dog picked up Ehrlichiosis despite all their attempts to keep the dog tick free.  It was sick for weeks and they were not sure if the dog was going to pull through, but he did.  Last year we had a friend whose spouse had died from Ehrlichiosis despite their attempts to keep ticks away.

This year as my own dogs went to the vet for their check up, Trojan and Gitli had their heartworm tests and I noticed these test were more expensive this year.  I found out that vets can now check for Heartworm, Lyme Disease, several type of  Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis.  Except for the Heartworm the others are all tick borne diseases.  Their test results were all negative.

To learn more about these diseases click on Heartworm Disease/Lyme Disease/Ehrlichiosis/Anaplasmosis “SNAP” Testing in Dogs from Vet Street Your Pet Your Vet.

To learn how to better protect yourself and your pet click on Lyme Disease – An Emerging Problem.

Did you know humans can get Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever even if they have never been to the Rocky Mountains?  This disease is named after the location it was first found but Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is carried by the Lone Star Tick.  So anywhere a Lone Star Tick, could be that it might be carrying the disease.

Don’t let the ticks ruin your fun outdoors, educate yourself on what species of ticks are in your area, what they carry that could affect you and your pets, how to get tested for it, what remedies are available and how to protect yourself and your pets.

Top Toxins That Can Poison Our Pets, Do You Know What Is Or Is Not Toxic?

Trojan and Gitli near the fireplace


“Happy National Poison Prevention Week! In 2013, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, Illinois, handled nearly 180,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic substances, many of which are everyday household items.”


Read this great article from the ASPCA and learn more about common household items that results in frequent calls to APCC.

Pets and Poison


Protecting our pets from being poisoned can be tricky.

“We animal care givers can find it difficult to even *think* about our beloved companions accidentally getting into poisonous or toxic substances.  However, should this happen, here is a listing of the information the medical care giver will be asking you.”

Tips For Preparing For Hurricanes

Image courtesy of Mike Trenchard, Earth Sciences & Image Analysis Laboratory , Johnson Space Center.

Everyone faces the possibility of various forms of disasters depending on their regions. Hurricanes are one of the most widespread possibilities and fortunately occur with warning, unlike most disasters. All the same, you should be prepared in advance and make sure that your clients are as well if you live in areas that hurricanes are a possibility. As this year’s hurricane season wraps up in November, now is the time to make sure you are prepared and start thinking about next year as well.


Stay tuned to  www.NOAA.org keeping up with current hurricanes condition

Having a plan for what you will do when a hurricane is bearing down on your town is the most important thing you can do. Everyone in your area will be buying supplies, rushing to prepare and trying to make decisions on what to do next. If you are ready in advance and know what you will be doing, you can give yourself critical time to take care of as much as possible before the storm makes landfall. Here are some of the most important measures you can take to prepare for a hurricane:

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

  • If you don’t already have one prepare an emergency kit, this needs to include toys, food, water, first aid for both human and pets. Don’t forget their bedding, leashes, cat litter, trash bags……..
  • Have a family communication plans including where to meet if you are separated.
  • Know your surroundings and evacuations routes and have more than one. If the authorities are advising evacuation, leave immediately.  Don’t Wait!   You could be trapped.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property including flood-prone lands. Know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you or to an escape route.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground and determine where you would go for high grounds, and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.

Once you know exactly what you will do in the event of a possible hurricane, the next step is to make plans to secure your property. You may not have much time to batten down the hatches once you are certain you are in the path of the storm. Having a list of things that you will need to be done will help you get them accomplished rapidly. These are some of the most important tasks to tackle before the storm:

  • Cover all of your home’s windows either by boarding them up with 5/8″ marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit and ready to install or by permanent storm shutters, these offer the best protection for windows.  Tape will  not prevent windows from breaking.
  • To reduce roof damage Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well-trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage doors because wind entering your garage can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • If you own a boat, determine how and where to secure it.
  • Install a generator for emergencies just in case you lose power.
  • If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
  • Consider building a safe room, someplace where everyone will be safe from any broken glass or debris.
  • Make sure EVERY HUMAN and PET has documentation, especially to show that you are the owners of those pet and they pets are current on shots.  Gather up the documents and take them with you.
  • Find pet friendly places to stay if you need to evacuate.

Having an advanced plan for the possibility of a hurricane can give you the extra time that you need to get everything prepped and give you the best chance of weathering the storm. You don’t want to find yourself in position to have to leave things behind and in disarray. The last thing you should do is leave your pets behind, which could endanger their lives. If you have a plan in place you will not find yourself panicked and scrambling to get things together. Instead you can prepare for the worst and if necessary, get your family and pets to a safe place.


Joyce Rheal is Emergency Planning Committee chairwoman of the National Association Professional Pet Sitters and with Pets-life. Joyce is also a federally certified for FEMA’s “Animals in Disasters” program, and a certified pet care consultant based in Southern Illinois.