When we say “urban wildlife” we are not talking about the rowdy neighbors down the street. This term applies to the wildlife many of our New Tampa communities observe in own their backyards. Our Tampa Bay veterinarian wants to inform you of the potential dangers your pets make encounter.
The main concern from these woodland creatures is rabies. Raccoons, bats, skunks, and coyotes are all susceptible to the fatal virus. Rabies is spread through the bite of an infected animal. In 2018, alone Hillsborough county has reported four rabies cases within miles of the New Tampa area. Making it important now more than ever to protect your pets. A rabies vaccination provided by your veterinarian is not only required by State law, it could save your pet’s life if they encounter an infected animal.
Similar to rabies, leptospirosis is a common danger among wildlife. This potentially fatal bacteria is found in the urine of infected animals such as rats, raccoons, opossums, and deer to name a few resulting in kidney and/or liver failure. If a dog walks through an area where an infected animal has urinated and licks their feet, or drinks contaminated water they can contract the bacteria. Our veterinarian recommends a leptospirosis vaccination yearly to protect your canine companion.
Lastly, parasites play a large role in wildlife hazards. Heartworm disease is spread from an infected animal to a non-infected animal via mosquitos. Controlling the mosquito population is nearly impossible but we can protect our pets with monthly heartworm prevention to protect against heartworm disease. Monthly preventatives for fleas and ticks are equally as important. Unfortunately, our furry outdoor friends are usually infested with these pests. Treating your environment is another great way to reduce the chances of a flea and tick infestation.
The ways to reduce exposure of these majestic beast is to protect our pets with vaccinations, parasite preventions, and making our environments less desirable. You may also fence in the backyard, close off crawl spaces in the attic, and most importantly do not feed them regarding to their charming begging eyes. If you have additional questions on protecting your pets please call out office today and one of our knowledgeable staff members will be happy to assist you.