The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
Massachusetts reporter Joe Reppucci's news and resources for those who love pets
The Ruff Report: Dogs and Health
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About this blog
Joe Reppucci of Lexington, Mass., writes about dogs and keeping them a healthy part of the family. He has worked as a reporter and editor on major daily newspapers in the Boston area for more than 30 years and is a graduate of Lexington High School ...
The Dog Blog
Joe Reppucci of Lexington, Mass., writes about dogs and keeping them a healthy part of the family. He has worked as a reporter and editor on major daily newspapers in the Boston area for more than 30 years and is a graduate of Lexington High School and of Suffolk University in Boston. He writes often about nutrition, behavior and saving money on pet supplies and insurance.
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May 11, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Stop ticks from dogging - or even killing - your pet
Besides sprouting flowers and mild temperatures, spring also ushers in ticks that carry Lyme disease, and pet parents are being reminded about the importance of taking precautions to keep their dogs and cats safe from the potentially killer bacterial infection.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is urging pet parents to take actions to prevent their companions from being bitten and infected by the insects that carry Lyme.
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A book about a rescue dog
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THE HUNT OF HER LIFE, is a nonfiction book about Samantha, an unwanted rescue dog who the author adopts at age 2. This beautifully designed full-color book, by longtime newspaper journalist and MySetterSam.com publisher Joseph A. Reppucci, contains more than 60 color photos of dogs to help illustrate the compelling and uplifting story of Samantha - a pretty tricolor bird dog who uses her warm personality to win people over and build a new family after being put up for adoption by a hunter because she is gun-shy and afraid to hunt. Learn how she uses her special bonding abilities with people to help her eventually make a transition from the hunting fields to family life. While reading the The Hunt of Her Life, you will travel with Samantha and the author along a trail filled with surprising twists, sudden turns, mystery and even what some call a miracle. And when the journey is finished, you may never look at people and their pets, motherhood - and perhaps even God - in the same way. The Hunt of Her Life is must reading. It will take you on a captivating journey - a trip like no other - that will touch your heart.
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It recommends using topical treatments and prescription tick-control collars available from a veterinarian to keep the insects off their pets.
"Prescription tick-preventive collars obtained through veterinarians can be very useful aids in preventing infestation,” Dr. Louise Murray, director of medicine for the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, states in a media release. “Consumers should not confuse these with over-the-counter flea collars, which are often ineffective."Lyme vaccines are available for dogs, the ASPCA says, and owners should consult with a veterinarian about whether a vaccination is appropriate for a pet's lifestyle and geographic location.Lyme disease can affect individual pets differently, so pet parents must pay careful attention to changes in a dog's or cat's disposition for any warning signs, Dr. Murray said.
"Early detection of Lyme disease in pets helps ensure prompt and successful treatment,” she said. "It can also prevent potential organ damage resulting from unrecognized infection."
Dogs with Lyme disease may experience leg stiffness and limping, a high fever (103 to 105F), lethargy, loss of appetite, kidney damage or failure (which could cause vomiting, thirst or general malaise) or, more rarely, heart disorders. Neurological symptoms include aggression, overeating or seizures.
Cats may show loss of appetite, fatigue, lameness, eye damage or unusual breathing. While it is still unclear to what degree cats are at risk of becoming sick from Lyme disease, it is important to protect them from flea and tick infestation, since both parasites can infect cats with a number of life-threatening illnesses.
A dog or cat can be infected with the Lyme bacteria and show no obvious symptoms, so prevention is critical because the disease can be life-threatening if left untreated.
The ASPCA offers these suggestions to pet parents:
Ticks are most prevalent in the spring and fewer numbers are around in the dry, summer months. But they re-emerge in larger numbers in autumn, when the weather is cooler and wetter. For the most part, the tick season goes on in colder climates until winter settles in. In warmer climates, ticks can be a year-round problem.
The four kinds of ticks commonly found in the mainland United States are:
More reports about dogs and flea, tick control:
Pet deaths prompt tougher EPA rules for flea, tick items
Use of flea, tick products a must despite EPA warning
Your dog may have you sleeping with thousands of fleas
Get pets ready for invasion of blood-sucking insects
More reports about dogs and health:
A wonder drug guaranteed to help your pet
Try this fountain of youth for your pet
For pets, your dirty hands are really sickening
This formula is certain to sicken your pet
For your pet, there's a rash of trouble in the air
Your dog is at risk of getting the flu, too
Purebred dogs needlessly suffering, report says
Alarming rise in heartworm a threat to pets
Dog heart medicine research results promising
Cushing's drug receives FDA approval
Paralyzing diseases of dogs, people linked
More reports about dogs and health
Reports about dogs and oral health:
The stinking truth behind smelly dog breath
Simple home remedy can add years to your pet's life
Reports about dogs and cancer:
Major breakthrough in canine cancer treatment
First-ever canine cancer drug developed
Making strides in fight against canine cancer
Worldwide effort to cure canine cancer
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