Dog Park Check – Bellalago
By Jim Young, Manager - Bellalago Veterinary Hospital
Our trip to Bellalago’s dog park was interesting. The dog park is beautiful, but we fear it is so beautiful because it isn’t be used. Remember that exercise is important to our furry family members! Possibly related to the lack of use was the lack of samples we found. Good job to the residents for doing such a good job of picking up!
While we didn’t have any samples and, therefore, any fecal results, we did have some concerns about coccidia and other water-borne issues. We made a brief video about what we found. Check it out!
Bellalago's Dog Park Results
Fecal Float – no samples available. Good job picking up! Remember that hookworms were found in the past and are extremely likely to be present in the soil.
Direct – no samples available.
WATER BOWLS: The drinking bowls at the dog park are not safe. They do not drain contaminated water. In fact, they add clean water to the dirty water in the bowl. Dumping out the bowls is not enough to prevent disease. The bowls themselves appear to be made out of plastic and would be very difficult to successfully clean as we did with the stainless steel drinking fountains at the other parks. Dogs drinking from the dog park bowls are at increased risk for common water borne diseases like Leptospirosis and Coccidia. These diseases are spread by wildlife like birds and raccoons. There were birds and wildlife present nearby. We have portable folding drinking bowls available for your pet at the hospital. Please feel free to stop by and pick one up. They’re FREE!
Coccidia is a tough one to prevent as it is so easily spread by wildlife. As wildlife often use water bowls and puddles as baths, dogs should not be allowed to drink from unclean bowls or standing water. Will result in diarrhea. Beyond not allowing pets to drink from contaminated sources, there is no prevention for Coccidia. Medical treatment is required.
Leptospirosis is a disease that can be spread to humans, but it can be easily prevented by making sure your dog is up to date on their vaccines. Also, providing clean drinking water and bowls to your dog will help reduce the risk.
HEARTWORMS: Mosquitos were present and are present just about everywhere in Florida. Mosquitos carry heartworms which are VERY present in the local area. We have a lot of patients who are heartworm positive which can have a significant negative impact on quality of life and life expectancy! Heartworms can be easily prevented with products like HeartGard, Trifexis, Sentinel Spectrum, or ProHeart 6. For more information about Heartworm prevention, give us a call!
HOOKWORMS: Hookworms were present during a recent check. Their eggs can survive in the soil for several years meaning that once they’re present, they’re always going to be there. Hookworms can be prevented with products like HeartGard, Trifexis, Sentinel Spectrum, or ProHeart 6. Having your dog on a preventative is important! Hookworms can be spread to humans! For more information, give us a call.
Prevention is the best strategy to keep your pet happy and healthy! Give us a call so we can ensure your pet's well-being before they head to the park!
Methodology: We were unable to collect samples for testing due to no samples being present. Good job cleaning up, Bellalago residents!