What I learned at the Veterinarian this week

When it comes to my dog’s health, I give them medication only when it’s necessary. So if you read my recent blog about tittering, you know that I prefer to have a titer test done before having them vaccinated. If you missed that blog post, click HERE. I’m also cautious about giving them preventative medication. But I won’t skip it altogether when the side effects of the medicine out weigh any illnesses they might get. So when my dogs were due for their annual heart worm test, I asked my Florida vet about this. And I was surprised to learn what preventative medication I should be giving them year round.

Everyone knows that Florida is a warm climate. While we celebrate four seasons up north, in the south, there are really only two seasons - rainy and dry. Thus mosquitos are abundant year round, not just 7 or 8 months like they are up north. And because of that, heart worm is more prevalent in the south than up north. Heart worm is a serious and potentially fatal disease. It is spread when an infected mosquito bites our dogs thus making heart worm more prevalent in the southern United States. Thus, my vet recommended we give heart worm medication to our dogs year round. When we lived in PA, in the winter months I didn’t medicate them for it since mosquitos can’t survive in the cold.


I also learned that while there are ticks in the south, it’s not nearly as prevalelant as it is up north. I have always given my dogs flea/tick medication most of the year since ticks were a constant problem especially recently. After Izzy was diagnosed with Lyme disease when she was a puppy, I have always been a little more aggressive about being proactive in preventing her or my other dogs to contract this disease.

So, in short, I’ll be giving my girls heartgard year round and only treating for flea and tick medication if we’ll be in areas where ticks are found or if I find any fleas on them. I will keep Nexgard in my medicine closet so I’ll always have it on hand.

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

 
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golden retriever among ferns

Is it spring?

Life so far in the sunshine state has been fantastic! Who can complain about warm weather, abundant sunshine and frequent visits to the beach? Before I moved to Florida, I was told I would miss experiencing the 4 seasons. Since I’ve lived in Pennsylvania pretty much my whole life, I had no opinion and couldn’t agree or disagree. Now that it’s been six months and 2 seasons since my move, I can attest I now understand why people split time living south in the winter and north in the summer.

Most Floridians will tell you we have 2 seasons. I thought they meant spring and summer! But it turns out, it’s the wet and dry season. Others might say it’s tourist season and non-tourist season. But one thing is for sure, the arrival of spring isn’t quite the same in the south as it is up north. And honestly, while I didn’t miss a cold snowy winter, I do miss all the signs of spring’s arrival.

It was always exciting to see the grass come to life and turn from brown to green. I looked forward to listening to the sounds of the robins as they migrated back north. The pops of color as the crocuses and snowdrops peeked through the snow was a welcome sight. And if I could shed my winter coat, even for an afternoon, it was a great day! There’s just something magical about the earth coming alive again after being dormant for months.

Here in Florida, the grass has been green ever since we arrived in August and I don’t see any signs of that changing. We see birds every day on our walks, so there is no reminder that the wildlife has hunkered down or fled from the cold winter weather. After spending days, weeks and months cooped up indoors, it’s always a treat when we can spend some time outdoors once again without the fear of suffering from frostbite. But in Florida, with the warmer weather, it’s nice every once in a while to have a cool rainy day. Just so I can a spend an afternoon curled up on the couch with a good book or binge watch some of my favorite movies.

Do I miss the 4 seasons? Yes, without a doubt. I just wish our summers up north were longer and the winters shorter. Perhaps one day, I, too, will join the millions of folks who have become a snowbird.

Thanks for reading!
xoxo

 
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terrier mix in field of spring flowers