Lyme Disease in Dogs: What to Watch for This Year

Lyme disease in dogs is cause by ticks and is on the riseWhen the weather turns nice, we’re all itching to get outside with our dogs. Whether that means hiking, camping, or backyard barbeques, keeping our best friend safe from pests tops the list of dangers to watch out for during outdoor season. One such pest, the tick, can be particularly irritating.

Ticks can cause a host of illnesses, including Lyme disease. Lyme disease is one of the most insidious and complex diseases that veterinarians deal with on a regular basis. Let The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital give you the details of Lyme disease in dogs, so you’ll know what to watch for this summer and beyond.

Lyme Disease in Dogs 101

Lyme disease is a common, stubborn, and problematic tick-borne disease for dogs and humans alike. Transmitted by the deer tick (sometimes referred to as the black-legged tick) and the western black-legged tick, Lyme disease in dogs is an infection that often leads to lameness. Continue…

Lyme Disease and Dogs:  What You Need to Know

Andro_iStock_000062813774_LargeTick season runs from April to October every year in Illinois, and living in an endemic state we need to be conscious of Lyme disease in both people and pets. The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital want to help you understand how to protect your pets and why Lyme disease and dogs just don’t mix. Continue…

Fleas and Pets: What You Need to Know to Deal with the Foe

wheaton-iStock_000011148368_LargeFleas are a drag. They cause rashes, itchy bite wounds, and carry an array of parasite-borne diseases. When they invade the home, they are next to impossible to get rid of without resorting to chemicals or serious cleaning duty. Yet, fleas and pets seem to coincide, especially in the spring and summer months.

More than just an annoying pest, fleas also have the capacity to create allergic responses, transmit diseases, and cause skin rashes and other dermatological problems for people and pets alike. Continue…

Battling Pet Allergies At Home

Cat scratchingSpring has finally sprung! But with it has come a slew of pollens, grasses, and weeds; and pets and owners alike are suffering from allergy issues, full tilt.

Unlike people, who have mostly respiratory problems related to allergies, dogs and cats often have skin problems known in the veterinary world as allergic dermatitis. While some pet allergies can be managed at home, others have severe enough issues that they need medical attention. If your pet’s allergy issues are relatively mild, there are several things that you can do at home to help them make it through allergy season.

Say No to Fleas

Did you know that the number one pet allergy is flea allergies?

All pets should be on a quality flea preventative every month. Waiting until you see fleas is not a good idea, as one flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day. By the Continue…

Importance of Year-Round Parasite Prevention for Pets

Itching Tabby Cat, CloseupYou may think that you only need to worry about parasite prevention for pets when you see evidence that your cat or dog has contracted has them. Or, maybe, you believe that parasites are only a threat during certain seasons of the year. Unfortunately, many pets get ill, or even die, because they aren’t protected from these pests, including ticks, internal parasites, and heartworm, year round.

Flea and Tick Prevention

One of the most common misconceptions is that fleas and ticks have a “season” and that you can skip your monthly preventative during the cold, winter months.

But that simply is not true.

Even in the coldest regions of the country, pet owners and veterinarians will find fleas and ticks on pets all year long. In the winter months, the Continue…

Know Thy Enemy: Heartworms in Pets


Heartworms are a parasite that every pet owner should be familiar with. How much do you really know about this serious and formidable foe? See if you can answer the following questions.


Q:  True or false?  Heartworms only affect dogs.

A:  False. While heartworm disease is mostly a dog problem, cats, ferrets, wolves, coyotes, foxes, and sea lions can all be infected. Continue…

The Problem with Online Pet Pharmacies


You may be asking yourself, “Why shouldn’t I order my pet’s prescription online?  Good prices, direct shipping, what’s to lose?”  Be aware that it may not be as good as it sounds though. Take the following into account before choosing where to purchase your next veterinary prescription:Screen shot 2012-12-26 at 3.53.39 PM

  • When your veterinarian prescribes a medication, he or she can dispense it in a safe manner, ensuring your pet has had any recommended screening performed, looking out for drug interactions, and keeping the product in an appropriate manner.  This does not always happen with online pharmacies.
  • The FDA says, “buyer beware” about online pharmacies.  There has been much concern about the quality and authenticity of drugs that can be obtained online.
  • If you have a problem or question, your veterinarian is able to address it directly.  Not all veterinary pharmacies can claim the same.
  • Websites that sell prescription veterinary products without the need for a prescription are breaking the law, plain and simple.  If they are ignoring the law in this respect, where else are they cutting corners?
  • Many drug company warranties such as those for heartworm prevention are invalidated when the product is purchased through such venues.

Talk to us or to your veterinarian.  He or she truly has your pet’s best interest at heart. And you may be able to walk out the door with your pet’s medication for little more than ordering online.

Our on-site pharmacy is well stocked and able to fill prescriptions before you leave. We are also a compounding pharmacy which means that we can tailor your pet’s medication to their unique needs. This gives us the ability to adjust the dose and method of delivery or to offer solutions for pets that are difficult to medicate, such as adding flavors or ordering transdermal medications.

Talk to us or to your veterinarian about the options they offer. Sometimes convenience is not worth the risk, and your pet’s medications fall into that category.

Lyme Disease: What you need to know

dog on lawnIt is no coincidence that April is National Lyme Disease Prevention Month.  Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks, and the nasty little parasites are at their height during the spring months.  Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the organism Borrelia burgdorferi that is transmitted by the bite of an infected tick.  The disease is most common in the northeastern, upper Midwestern, and West Coast states, however the area of concern appears to be spreading in recent years.

Infected animals may not develop any symptoms at all.  Some will develop fever, lameness, swollen joints, depression, and/or loss of appetite.  If the infection persists kidney failure and permanent lameness can ensue.  If Lyme disease is suspected, we may suggest running a blood test to confirm infection.  Luckily most pets with Lyme disease respond well to antibiotic therapy.

In endemic areas (like ours), vaccination of dogs for Lyme disease is recommended.  Disease can also be prevented by using tick preventative products recommended by your veterinarian and by removing ticks promptly before disease transmission can occur.  Avoiding tick infested areas and keeping shrubbery and grass closely trimmed can also lessen the likelihood of exposure.  If your dog is at risk for contracting Lyme disease, so are you!  Use care in areas with a heavy tick population.

Call us if you have any questions, or if your dog is showing symptoms.