How to keep pets safe during summertime - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

How to keep pets safe during summertime

MOUNT JULIET, TN (WSMV) -

Pets are part of the family, and when they get sick, it can be devastating. There are few things you can do to make sure they stay healthy, especially during the summer months.

Judy Wallace is getting her cat Ginger checked out.

"It's very important that she not get fleas and ticks," Wallace said.

Ginger is one of five cats that Wallace considers part of her family, so it was devastating when one of her other cats passed away.

"That was pretty tough, and it's one of those things that you feel guilty about, oh I could have done something to prevent that, but I didn't know it was such a problem," Wallace said.

Wallace's cat had heartworm disease, something she didn't know cats could get.

Dr. Noel Lucas with Blue Oasis Pet Hospital says it's a problem for both cats and dogs.

"We are still seeing a high incidence of heartworm disease. Wilson County is one out of 47 dogs tested for heartworms is testing positive," Lucas said.

Middle Tennessee has a high number of cases reported each year.

Another thing to watch out for in the summer is tick-borne diseases. Just like people, animals can get very sick from a tick bite.

That's why vets are reminding pet owners about these dangers through a campaign.

"When your pet goes outside, there are bugs out there, you don't know which one will have a potentially fatal disease. You need to prevent those infections by doing good preventative medicine," Lucas said.

Click here for more information on some of these common illnesses, including warning signs of heartworm disease.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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