Unleashed – PAWsitive Stories from Salt Lake County Animal Services
Protect Your Pet from Heartworm
Spring is here and with spring we see buds popping out,
flowers beginning to blossom and our pets getting to spend more time enjoying
being outside. April is National Heartworm Awareness Month, and Salt Lake County Animal Services wants pet owners to be ready to protect their pets year round!
Spring brings with in an invasion of mosquito
larvae which grow to adults that spread heartworm disease from dog to dog and
cat to cat. A grown adult mosquito can drink 1 1/2 times their body weight. Salt Lake City is # 1 among the top 10 cities in the country
for a percentage increase in the number of dogs testing positive for the
Heartworm infection has been detected in all 50 states. In
January 2019 in the Salt Lake Area, 666 dogs were tested, of those only one dog
tested positive for heartworm. In February, 675 dogs were tested, 11 tested
positive. These may not be high numbers but there is an increasing prevalence
that is very concerning.
The disease is caused by a foot-long worm that lives in the
heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of the affected animal. When a
mosquito bites an infected animal and then bites an uninfected animal, the
larvae are deposited onto the surface of the animals’ skin and enter through
the wound. Once inside the host, it takes approximately 6 months for the larvae
to mature into adult heartworms. Once mature, heartworms can live for 5-7
years. This can cause lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs.
If left untreated several hundred adults will infiltrate the heart and lungs
and eventually will result in death.
In the early stages of the disease, animals show few or no
symptoms. That’s why prevention is the best approach. Initial signs of
heartworm disease in dogs may include: Mild persistent cough, inactivity,
fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss
Initial signs of heartworm disease in cats may include:
Coughing or asthma like symptoms, periodic vomiting, lack of appetite, and/or weight
It only takes one heartworm infected animal to substantially
increase the number of infected mosquitoes that can transmit heartworm
With changing climates that are extending the mosquitoes
breeding season heartworm disease in dogs and cats will only continue to rise.
There are currently 70 varieties of mosquitoes that spread heartworm disease.
Heartworm disease is almost 100% preventable. You will need
to have your dog or cat tested for heartworm disease before administering a
preventative. It is a simple test that is administered by your veterinarian.
The test requires a small blood sample and works by detecting the presence of
You need to test annually even if your animal is on a
preventative. The medicines are highly effective, but it is necessary to test
to confirm they are working. Heartworm disease is a dangerous and progressive
For more information on the top 10 cities that have
experienced an increase in heartworm disease follow this link: http://www.petsandparasites.org/about-capc/top-ten-cities-reports/
If you are interested in having a heartworm test done for
your animal, please contact your veterinarian.
To find out more information on Heartworm disease : https://www.heartwormsociety.org/
Where Are They Now: Fifi
At Salt Lake County Animal Services we love getting updates on our pets that have been adopted from the shelter. Here is Fifi's story. If you have a story you would like to share about your pet that you adopted from us please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fifi came into our family in 2010. We adopted her from Salt Lake County Animal Services.
She was a great older puppy...we got her at around 5 or 6
months if I remember correctly. She was smart, learned where/how to potty train
quickly and was an always ever present little chica with our 4 boys... 2 of
which were 3 and 2 yrs old when she came into our home. She loved to go to the
park and run everywhere with the boys as they practiced for basketball,
football, and baseball. She was a tiny speeding bullet as fast as she was!! She
always loved to tag along with the boys.
Life has been great with Fifi. She loved to play and had lots of fun as a puppy. She even loved to stay up late and watch late night
movies on weekends.
Now... at 9 years old... Fifi is an older lady and just
wants to lounge. She is still playful now and then...but not for very long. She
loves to lay in the sun on the backyard grass on warm summer days... but most
of all, she loves her bed and blanket. She loves her naps and loves her people
but she is slowly heading toward her twilight years and she now loves the
slower pace of naps and good food from her boys.
Even as an older gal, she is ALWAYS quick to defend home and
hearth from anyone who knocks at "her" front door or comes into her
house. The years just melt away... she becomes the feisty quick footed girl that
she was as a youngster when someone knocks at our door or comes into the house.
When we let her know that all is well, she walks back to her bed with a little
side eye for whomever is visiting our home at the moment. She is our little
guard dog and has lots of heart. In her youth she once tried to defend one of
the boys from a large dog who she thought was a threat. Eventually she was picked
up off the ground and held out of reach of the bigger dog, and the owner
caught their dog but we've always known that she does not lack courage.
We love Fifi and hope she is around in 10 more years so we
can let you know that shes still around... at the moment, she is loving her
life of ease and contentment 😊😁
Verlinda & Family
Volunteer of the Month: Karen Seifert
Pet Poison Prevention Month
Understanding what potential and harmful pet poisons exist
in your home and yard is the first step in keeping your pets safe. At Salt Lake County Animal Services, we want to help you keep your pets healthy and happy!
Pets can become ill by ingesting many common household
foods, product and plants. Inspecting your home (Outside included) can help
reduce the risk. Pets are curious and often cannot resist smelling, tasting
and even sometimes swallowing foods, plants and other items that are of
interest to them.
“Poison-proofing” your home is important, and you can take
some very simple steps to secure areas and significantly reduce the chance of
your dog or cat coming into contact with a toxic substance. There are numerous household food and products that can be
toxic to pets.
Here are a some of
*Grapes and Raisins
*Medicine/supplements (IE: Ib profen, acetaminophen)
*Unbaked bread yeast dough
*Mice and rat poisons
*Glue (IE: Gorilla Glue)
The ASPCA has put together a list on their website of
poisonous substances including plants, human foods, human medications and
Symptoms of accidental poisoning. Some symptoms will result
in an immediate reaction while others may take several days. Here are some
general symptoms to looks for:
*Drooling, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea
*Pale or yellowish gums,
*Nervousness, hyperactivity, muscle tremors, seizure, coma
If you think your pet has ingested something harmful please
act immediately. Contact your Veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline for
assistance. Timely and accurate identification of the substance is very
important. If you have the container or package in hand it can save very
valuable time and may save your pets life.
Where Are They Now: Max & Thunder
Max and Thunder were adopted from Salt Lake County Animal Services in 2014. Here's an update from their family and how much they love them! Our staff loves to hear how adoption has changed lives of both pets and people.
We got these two about 5 years ago. Max is the black and
white one. He used to be Martin and his adoption photo showed him cowering in
the back of his kennel. He was skinny as a rail and estimated to be 3 years in
age. He was friendly and purred instantly when pet. His first couple of months
at home we had to hide the loaves of bread because we used to find them ripped
open in the living room and the bread eaten. What kind of life had he
previously had that he knew how to do that? He's fatter and still kind, but
turns his nose up at anything but his Purina cat chow. We've had to take him to
the vet a time or two and we always get complimented on what a good cat he is.
He"s never growled, hissed, bit, or scratched a vet tech even
during the uncomfortable parts of an exam. He's been absolutely lovely to my
Thunder is the tabby. His name used to be Poseidon and he
had one of those glam photo shots. He was standing, eyes wide, ears
perked, with shiny Mardi Gras beads draped about his neck. In person he
was cute, fluffy, and soft. We found out he had been adopted but recently
returned after a few days. We took him home and marveled how anyone could take
this lovable guy back. Turns out Thunder is a furniture scratcher. He tore up my brand new couches and chair that I had saved up for months to buy. Alas, kitty
claws, double sided tape, and a brand new 5 foot tall cat tree did nothing to
help. I even bought some cat calming spray. To be fair he does use the cat
scratchers. It's just too bad he equally uses my couches. We love him though. He's
unique in that he doesn't mind being touched or held. He'll rest his head on
you like a dog. I've never known a cat to let you touch him on your
terms, not their's. He's a sweet boy.
We love hearing about how pets adopted from Salt Lake County Animal Services are doing. If you've adopted from us and want to share your story, please email email@example.com.