Warm weather has finally arrived! Unfortunately, ticks are active and can cause problems for ourselves and our pets. All the dogs and cats at Have a Heart Pet Shelter are treated with tick and flea prevention. Not only do the insects themselves cause issues (itching, anemia, allergies), but they can transmit serious diseases, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Bobcat Fever in cats and Ehrlichiosis in dogs are tick-borne illnesses that are serious and can be fatal. Infected ticks transmit a parasite into the bloodstream. It may seem like your pet is just “not feeling good.” The initial signs for Bobcat Fever include sluggishness, dehydration and loss of appetite. Once the onset of the infection starts, the cat will deteriorate rapidly.  Early symptoms are seen 5-20 days after the tick bite. After that, it takes only a few days for the disease to progress to the final stages and if not treated early, almost always results in death. The signs for Ehrlichiosis may not be as obvious, and include fever, sores in the mouth, lameness, coughing and eye problems. There are no vaccines available for these diseases. Tick control is the only prevention. Treat your pets year-round, especially from March through September, for fleas and ticks and check visually for ticks. Strictly indoor pets are not as high a risk as indoor/outdoor pets but should still be treated with tick preventative if there are dogs or other animals in the home that could carry ticks into the house. If your pet exhibits any of the early symptoms, take them to the vet as soon as possible. The earlier disease is detected and treated, the better the chance for survival.  We have information at the shelter if you would like to learn more tickborne diseases, and always consult with your veterinarian.

We had a busy week at the shelter. Several kittens and dogs were adopted, and we had well-attended yard sale last weekend. We plan to have another yard sale this weekend from Thursday through Saturday and will be bringing out more items from storage, so stop by and browse the new selection. In addition, we are sending 9 pre-adopted dogs on transport to Massachusetts Saturday and will be bringing in new dogs from our wait list for adoption. We are not featuring a dog or cat this week but are showcasing a couple of the beautiful kittens that are available: Blaze (black and white boy), Magnolia and Gardenia (calico girls). We have taken in many unwanted litters of kittens and have quite a selection of colors and coat patterns. These kittens are well-socialized and will be fully vaccinated, spayed or neutered, microchipped and tested for FeLV and FIV. You can call to make an appointment to see these cuties. Have a Heart Pet Shelter is located at 657 Highway 202 in Yellville. The thrift store is open this Thursday through Saturday 9am-3pm. Phone 870-449-7387.