A woman hugging a dalmatian dog on a pink background.

By Dr. Scarlett Magda

Greetings fellow animal lovers. I am Dr. Scarlett Magda, a local veterinarian living in Sagaponack who practices at East End Veterinary Emergency Center in Riverhead, and runs the global charity Veterinarians International.

I graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2009, completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery in 2010 and moved out East shortly afterwards.

This column will be focused on giving practical tips and information on how to care for your pet, as well as some interesting stories on international veterinary medicine and global health.

I would like to start by making sure you and your pet are ready for summer.

The first thing you should do is buy pet insurance if you haven’t already. Working in a busy emergency practice I can tell you there is no shortage of critical cases ranging from hit by cars to rat poisoning to kidney failure.

A good place to look for plans is: www.theinsuredpet.com, common preventative medicine plans include: Embrace, ASPCA, Healthy Paws, Pet Plan, and Trupanion for emergencies.

The second is to get your pet tested for heart worm every year. Heartworm is a parasite which is transmitted by mosquitoes and sets up spaghetti-like worms in your dog’s arteries or organs especially the heart, and can also affect cats but to a lesser degree.

Have your dog on a monthly heartworm preventative such as heartgard or interceptor, or if your cat goes outdoors monthly revolution.

Third vaccinate your dog for lyme and leptospirosis if they are spending time outdoors where wildlife such as deer or rodents pass through.

Lastly don’t spray your yard for ticks, it really doesn’t help and the environmental damage to our waterways and other important insects like bees and butterflies is disastrous. Consider a preventative such as bravecto or nexguard for your dog. And spray yourself if you are spending time in wooded areas.

If your pet is having an emergency please call 631-369-4513 for immediate assistance.

Also by Dr. Scarlett Magda:

Preventing heat stroke and pet beach safety

Fireworks and Pet Safety