Dog Park Check – Vance Harmon Park
By Jim Young, Manager – Bellalago Veterinary Hospital
This is one of the nicest parks around. It is handicapped accessible, has a wonderful shelter, has nice paved paths, and seems well kept. We really think this park is an excellent addition to the community. There was a lot of poop here, though! Please make sure you’re cleaning up after your pets or this great part of our community could become a nightmare!
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Vance Harmon Dog Park
Fecal Float – nothing present (hookworms have been found in the past and are likely still present)
Direct – nothing present
- Pick up after your dog!
- Up to date on all vaccines
- On preventatives for heartworms, hookworms, fleas and ticks (HeartGard, ProHeart, Sentinel Spectrum, NexGard, etc.)
- Use of a personal, clean water bowl
- Carefully monitoring your dog
POOP: We were disappointed by the amount of samples we were able to collect. In fact, we actually were unable to collect samples from each pile before our sampling bags were filled.
HOOKWORMS: Hookworms were not found this time, but have been found in the past. Hookworm eggs can survive in the soil for years so once they are present, they will always be a threat! Hookworms can be prevented with products like HeartGard, 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.
DOGGIE DRINKING FOUNTAINS: While we have posted concerns with the water vessels at the other dog parks, we have no concerns with the drinking fountains here! These are some of the nicest doggie drinking fountains we’ve seen! Their design prevents the drains from being easily plugged so contaminated water can easily flow away. There are also two of them on both sides of the park! Wow!
Unlike the other area parks, there are no bowls at this park holding contaminated water. We hope that continues! Such bowls can easily hold water borne diseases like Leptospirosis and Coccidia. Should these bowls appear, we strongly suggest not allowing your pet to drink from them. Draining them in to the grass and turning them over would prevent dogs from sneaking drinks. Do not empty them in to the drinking fountain as it may contaminate it.
Leptospirosis is spread by wild animals and can easily be passed to dogs. A simple vaccine can prevent it! This vaccine is usually included in the full vaccine series. (Remember that the vaccines need to be updated yearly to be effective.)
Coccidia is also spread by wild animals, but there is no vaccine for it. When dogs are exposed to Coccidia, it can cause intestinal issues including diarrhea. The only way to prevent Coccidia is to prevent your dog from being exposed to it. Use clean bowls and fresh drinking water. We have FREE collapsible water bowls available at the hospital if you’d like one! We’d also be happy to answer any questions you may have about the Leptospirosis vaccine and/or Coccidia treatment.
HEARTWORMS: Mosquitos are likely 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!
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!
ACORNS: During this time of year, the oak trees will drop lots of acorns. There are several beautiful oak trees providing shade to the park. Unfortunately, dogs like to eat acorns and these can make them sick. In fact, acorns can be toxic in larger quantities. Even single acorns can become an obstruction in the body and cause health issues. Much like mosquitoes, acorns are a fact of life in Florida. Again, it is important to monitor your dog to prevent eating acorns.
METHODOLOGY: We ran 3 samples randomly selected from the specimens we collected. With each of the randomly selected samples, we did a fecal float checking for parasites. We also randomly selected one sample for a direct screen for bacteria and other microscopic issues.