The American Heartworm Society is a good source for information about this disease.  This disease mostly affects dogs, cats, and ferrets.  Mosquitos carry the larvae for this worms that enter the bloodstream and can grow in the pet's heart and lungs.  If you notice your pet is more lethargic that normal, coughing, or has difficulty walking then you may want to get them tested.  But really prevention is preferable.  Prevention medication costs can range from $100 to $350 annually and may be covered by your pet insurance plan.

Summer Heat

Our pets can suffer in the heat if we don't take proper precautions.

Parked vehicles:  We all know this can be dangerous, and in some places it is illegal.  If you absolutely must do this for a short period of time, you should leave the car running with the A/C on, and pet in a cage so they don't put the car in gear and drive off.

Swimming pools:  Don't leave your pet unsupervised around a pool.  Even if they are competent swimmers, they could have an accident or medical emergency in the pool.

Roads and sidewalks:  Try putting your hand on the sidewalk during the middle of a hot summer day.  Not comfortable, right?  Our pets can burn themselves walking or sitting on these surfaces.

Hair care:  You may want to trim your pet's hair, but never shave their hair entirely.  Their hair helps prevent sunburn and overheating.  It also protects them from scratches and skin diseases.  

Symptoms of overheating:  Look for excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate or respiratory rate, drooling, weakness or stupor, or even collapse.  If you notice this, get your pet to a cooler environment and provide water.  Seek medical help for more serious symptoms.