2013-08-02 / Community

Cooling Off The Dog Days Of Summer

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), five very common and dangerous conditions could affect your pets this summer. These conditions can cost thousands of dollars to treat, but they can also be prevented, or their likelihood minimized, for less than the cost of an emergency veterinary visit. "Quality preventative care not only protects your pet's health, but can protect your wallet as well," said Dr. Kristen Frank, staff internist at the ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in Manhattan. "Nearly every day, I treat patients who are at the vet because of something that could have easily been prevented for a fraction of the cost it takes to treat the condition. By following some simple steps, pet owners can save thousands of dollars in unplanned trips to the animal hospital."

According to the ASPCA, the top five preventable summer conditions are:

1. Heat Stroke: Estimated cost of care: $400 to $1,000. Cost to prevent: FREE.

How to prevent: Keeping your pets cool and hydrated is as simple as giving them access to shadeand cool water.

2. Fleas/Ticks: Estimated cost of care: $300 to $2,000 for the treatment of Lyme disease or flea dermatitis.

Cost to prevent: approximately $150 for a three-month supply of preventative treatment.

How to prevent: When taking your dog hiking or for a run in the park, always be sure to check for ticks. Call your veterinarian if you find a tick attached to your pet.

3. Sand/Saltwater Ingestion: Estimated cost of care: $150 for an emergency visit or more for treatment, depending on the severity.

Cost to prevent: FREE.

How to prevent: Always keep an eye on your pets if you bring them to the beach. If you can’t trust them not to eat or drink everything they see, then it might be best to leave them home.

4. Over-ingestion of fatty/rich foods or alcohol:

Estimated cost of care: $2,000 to $4,500.

Estimated cost to prevent: FREE.

How to prevent: If you are having a barbeque, tell your guests to not give your dog any table scraps, no matter how cute their puppy eyes are.

Alcohol has the same effect on animals as it does on humans and can cause decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

5. High-rise syndrome (cats falling out of opened, unscreened windows from tall buildings):

Estimated cost: $1,500 to $4,000.

Cost to prevent: $20.

How to prevent: Protecting your cat from injuries such as ruptured lungs, broken limbs and a broken jaw is as affordable as purchasing a screen for your windows at any local home improvement store.

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