Solivita’s dog park was closed for maintenance during our visit. It looked like they were pouring a new concrete pad at the entrance, power washing everything, and repainting the equipment. Looked really nice! Consequentially, we didn’t find many samples. In fact, we found two samples that were barely samples at all! With such small samples which were also very old, we didn’t expect to find anything in the lab tests.
Solivita's Dog Park
Fecal Float – nothing present (hookworms have been found in the past and are likely still present)
Direct – nothing present (Coccidia has been present in the past.)
What your pet needs to be their safest at the Solivita Dog Park –
- Be up to date on vaccinations including rabies, distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, leptospirosis, and Bordetella. You may wish to ask your veterinarian if the canine flu vaccine is recommended.
- Heartworm protection – mosquitos are definitely present in EVERY dog park. Mosquitos carry heartworms which can cause significant health problems for your dog! We usually recommend HeartGard or ProHeart products.
- Flea and tick protection – fleas and ticks are common when outdoors. They can also be carried by other dogs which share the dog park. They can live on plants, tunnels, and play items just waiting for your dog to come by! We usually recommend NexGard.
- Fresh water in a clean bowl – Most of the dog parks we visit have a source of clean, fresh water. That’s fine, but we recommend using a clean water bowl and not any which might be present. This will help minimize any exposure to Coccidia, a common microscopic parasite which can cause severe diarrhea. We have FREE collapsible bowls at the hospital. Stop by and pick one up!
- Attention – Dogs not only enjoy interacting with their favorite humans, but need that attention to make sure they don’t get in to other trouble! Among other things, pay particular attention to what they’re putting in their mouths or eating, when they’re around other dogs, and when they’re around possible points of escape/egress.
DOGGIE DRINKING FOUNTAIN: The fountain had been recently power washed when we visited! It couldn’t have appeared much cleaner!
We strongly suggest taking a clean bowl and fresh water with you for your dog to drink. Never use the existing still-water bowls there! This will minimize the risk for common waterborne diseases like Leptospirosis and Coccidia. These diseases are spread by wildlife like birds and raccoons. As noted above, Coccidia was present in previous samples we collected! The best way to prevent Coccidia is to prevent pets from drinking contaminated water. We have free collapsible bowls here at the hospital. Come on by and pick one up!
We frequently hear concerns about the water quality at the dog park. The water coming from the doggie drinking fountain is the same water that comes from your faucet at home. The water is not the concern. Sprinklers in the area may be using gray water, reclaimed water, or water from ponds or lakes on property. Dogs should not be allowed to consume any of the sprinkler water including any which may contaminate bowls or create puddles. While we did not see any signs of standing water from sprinklers, this is a common concern we get from Solivita pet parents.
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.
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, 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 certain times of year, the oak trees will drop lots of acorns. There are several beautiful oak trees in 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.