Suddenly, it’s warm. Too bad I wrecked my motorcycle. Even worse, the insects seem to have burgeoned almost instantaneously this spring. It’s made a week of firsts.
This wad of heartworms was removed from a Beagle who was only two years old and dying because of them, sad to say. Most dogs, even with no heartworm prevention at all (like this dog) would make it three or four years. We just have so many mosquitoes here (which is how you get them), and they are coming out already.
Here we have the first case of fly-bite dermatitis this year. Flys don’t have the needle-like proboscis of the mosquito. When they bite, it’s more like a knife and a sponge. They make a little cut, then sop up the blood that runs out. Get a few hundred tiny cuts, and you’ve got a big sore on the dog’s ear. On a floppy-eared dog, it will be the base of the ear like this guy. If the ear is erect (like a German Shepherd or Chow), the tips of the ears will be the damaged area. You need to put a first-aid cream with local anesthetic (like Neosporin Pain Relief, or a generic equivalent) on the spots, then cover with insect repellent, like VIP ointment. Don’t put the insecticide in the sore places – it burns and they won’t leave it on.
And here’s the first fully engorged tick of Spring. She looks a little wrinkled here, because I killed her with insecticide spray after I removed her from her dog. I guess I should’t be so surprised, but gosh, it seems early to have this kind of problem already. These bugs are not as pretty as the first flowers of spring, which are blooming everywhere around southeast Missouri now.
So, it’s not too soon to crank up your Frontline, put your VIP ointment on the ears, and keep that heartworm preventive going (like you should have been year-round).