Be Aware of Invisible Parasites
Heartworms are very serious and potentially fatal parasites for dogs and cats—and you’ll find heartworms wherever you find mosquitoes.
“Unfortunately, natural disasters that result in heavy rains and flooding give mosquitoes the opportunity to multiply in standing water, further increasing the likelihood of the spread of heartworm disease to your pet in the weeks and months that follow,” says Dr. Schrock.
Preventing these parasites by using pet prescription heartworm medicine is key when it comes to heartworms. Monthly oral medications, monthly topical medications, and even a twice-a-year injection (for dogs only) are all available and should be used without a lapse in protection.
When it comes to post-storm pet safety dangers, some of the biggest ones can't be seen with the naked eye. Fungal agents, some molds and a host of bacteria, especially in warm, moist places, can all cause serious infections in people and pets, explains Dr. Carlson.
“Leptospirosis is a dangerous bacterium that can cause kidney and liver failure,” says Dr. Carlson, adding that you should also watch out for things like feces/urine waste contamination, which can result in e. coli and giardia (protozoan parasite) infections.
It is important to keep your pets up to date on vaccines and heartworm prevention, as rabies, distemper, leptospirosis and heartworm disease outbreaks tend to occur in these areas due to the wet environment.