The dog days of summer are here. For many, this season comes with endless possibilities for having fun with your pets, like picnics, nature walks, and swimming pools. After being stuck at home for so long due to COVID-19, we bet you’re looking to break up the boredom with some outdoor adventures.

As temperatures rise, so do the risk factors for heat and summer-related dangers. We want to share with you some of the hidden hazards associated with summer activities that pets and their owners adore.

1. Blue-Green Algae

If you’re like many dog owners, you plan your summer walks to include a water source for your hiking buddy to cool off and rehydrate. Staying cool and drinking enough is vital during these scorching hot days, but many of our freshwater ponds and lakes host a deadly and dangerous toxin: blue-green algae.

What are blue-green algae? It’s not a form of algae at all, actually, but a microscopic bacteria called “cyanobacteria.” These bacteria thrive in water sources when temperatures reach 75º or warmer.

What you see as “pond scum” is more than just gross – it’s deadly. Blue-green algae are highly toxic for pets when ingested, leading to seizures, neurological damage, liver failure, and death. Most frightening of all, dogs and cats often die within hours of becoming poisoned.

How can pet owners protect their pets from this deadly bacteria? Never let your dog or cat drink from a water source that has green scum floating on top or near the shoreline. This includes pools and garden ponds.

While you’re out on the trail, provide your pet with fresh, cool water from home. Rinse your dog off if they go for a swim. They could later ingest blue-green algae that cling to their fur and become very sick.

Don’t let your pets explore freshwater ponds and lakes unsupervised. When in doubt, keep your dog out.

2. Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is another bacterial threat, but it cannot be seen with the naked eye. This bacterial disease has been on the rise as temperatures climb. We know the last thing you want to think about is another zoonotic disease, but leptospirosis can affect pets and humans.

Leptospirosis is caused by spring-shaped bacteria that can be found in water and soil and is commonly spread through urine. The bacteria are picked up from a pet drinking contaminated water, or sniffing or digging in an area where an infected host urinated.

Once inside your pet’s body, leptospirosis causes flu-like illness and can damage the kidneys, liver, and other organs. Young pets, senior pets, and those with weakened immune systems are at risk of dying from leptospirosis.

What areas are high-risk zones? Leptospirosis infects domestic and wild animals. Your pet risks contracting this disease at the dog park, in your yard, and almost anywhere an animal could urinate.

Protect your pet by not letting them drink from unknown water sources, preventing them from exploring areas where mice, rats, and other wild mammals frequent, and asking us about the leptospirosis vaccine.

3. Hot, Hot, Heat Stroke

Each year dogs and cats die from heat stroke. This hidden killer is heartbreaking because many pet owners don’t realize their pets are at risk.

Also known as hyperthermia, heat stroke happens when the body is too hot for too long. Heat stroke occurs frequently with pets because dogs and cats cannot regulate their temperature through sweat, relying on other means such as panting or lying on a cool surface. When they’re on a hike, locked in the car, or fenced in the backyard, these methods may not be enough to bring their body temperature down to a safe level.

Heat stroke is extremely dangerous, leading to stroke, organ failure, and death. Some pets are more susceptible to heat stroke than others, such as dogs and cats with short snouts, senior or overweight pets, and those with thick coats.

To keep your pal from reaching an unhealthy temperature, supply them with ample cool, fresh water. (Are you seeing a pattern yet?) Always provide them shade when outdoors. Watch for signs of overheating like excessive panting, shivering muscles, and weakness. Don’t let your pet exercise in the middle of the day when temperatures are the highest. And NEVER leave a pet in your car.

What should you do if you suspect your dog or cat is overheating? Immediately bring them inside to an air-conditioned location and provide them with cool water. Hose them down or put them in the shower, using room-temperature water. Do not use cold water, which can send them into shock. Wrap them in a damp towel, call us, and bring them in.

Don’t Let These Summer Hazards Turn Your Summer into a Bummer

Make a splash, have a blast, and keep the fun in summer fun! Protecting your pet takes a bit of proactive planning but can be the difference between life and death. We hope these tips help keep your furry family members safe all summer long.

Megan Olmscheid, Receptionist

One of the newest people to join our team is Megan. She’s been with us since 2019, and she fits right in with her positive attitude and love of animals. In fact, her favorite aspect of her job is helping sick animals and preventing healthy animals from becoming ill. Megan’s fur family includes creatures of all shapes and sizes. There’s her horse with a big attitude, Hazel, who adores apple-flavored treats and has a knack for escaping, her Rat Terrier, DJ, who is convinced he’s a cat, Lucy, a kitten that sneaks inside whenever Megan’s dad isn’t home, and Miley, Megan’s newest bundle of joy, a Australian Shepherd-Blue Heeler puppy, who has more energy than she knows what to do with. Megan studied early childhood special education at Minnesota State University and St. Cloud State University. 

Emily Achman, Certified Veterinary Technician

Emily joined our team in 2007 and has enriched our practiced with her skills and kindness. She’s one of our talented veterinary technicians who thrives on variety and excels when faced with challenges. In 2014, Emily graduated from the Minnesota School of Business with an Associate of Science degree. Her favorite part of working here is that each day she gets to see and help a wide variety of animals. Abscess appointments and similar issues tend to be her favorite. Koda, Emily’s dog is her pride and joy. He loves food, going for a swim, and taking naps. Even though Koda is not lightweight (he’s 90-pounds!), he thinks he’s a lap dog. During her downtime, Emily loves spending time with her family and friends. And her favorite hobby is reading. How much does Emily like reading? She and her friends regularly participate in a book club!

Rachel Ramacher, Veterinary Technician

Rachel is one of our veterinary technicians. She started here in 2015 and has since graduated from Ridgewater College in 2019. She’s a model for patience, kindness, and understanding. She works hard to help patients and their pets live long lives, and she loves helping all kinds of species: big and small, stay healthy. Rachel has two rabbits and a dog. Her rabbits, Cinder and Asher, love nibbling on apples and other treats. She loves spoiling her dog Jeezy with squeaky toys, treats, and cuddles with his favorite fuzzy blanket. She also finds as much time as she can to spend with friends and family. Her favorite hobby is photography.

Janelle Schlangen, Lead Receptionist

Time flies when you’re part of a team that helps pets feel their best and stay healthy, at least, that’s what our lead receptionist, Janelle Schlangen, thinks. Janelle has a huge heart, and she’s been able to fulfill this mission with us since 2008.  Janelle isn’t just talented when it comes to assisting clients, their pets, and her co-workers, she earned her surgical technician certificate from St. Cloud Technical College, and she studied cosmetology at Regency Beauty Institute. Janelle loves spending time with her beautiful family, which includes her husband Scott, and three amazing children, Carson, Cameron, and Cali. She’s also a sports enthusiast who likes watching and getting in the mix by playing.  When Janelle clocks out and arrives home, she’s greeted by her friendly and loving pets, Boston, a Cocker Spaniel and Josie, a tabby. Her pets adore her family almost as much as Janelle does. Boston and Josie both love treats and taking naps when they’re not snuggling with the kids or playing.

Tammy Lehner, Receptionist

Tammy has been with us since 2017 and is a fixture here at Lake Country Veterinary Services. She greets clients on the phone with her friendly voice or in-person with her glowing smile. She loves each pet that walks through the door, and her favorite part of being part of our team is interacting with clients and their pets. When she’s not at work, she loves cooking and spending time with her family, including her Chocolate Lab, Daisy.

Janice Hommerding, Certified Veterinary Technician

Janice Hommerding, our adept and caring certified veterinary technician has provided our clients with her kindness and skill since 2011. Janice dreamed of working with animals long before becoming a vet tech, and she excels at, and thrives on, the variety of tasks her position requires. Janice earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology in 1999 from Ridgewater College in Willmar Minnesota. After Janice clocks out, she tries to find as much time as possible to dive into her many hobbies. From reading to gardening and scrapbooking, Janice stays busy. And when she’s not tending to her garden, you might find her horseback riding, deer hunting, fishing, baking, napping, walking, or spending time with her husband and kids. Janice’s pet family includes Annie, a 14-year-old Bernese Moutain Dog, Josie, a 10-year-old Blue Heeler mix, and her three cats: Elmer, Candycorn, and CC. Her household isn’t complete without her hobby farm creatures, which include horses, sheep, chickens, and calves.

Addie Moeller, Lead Certified Veterinary Technician

Addie Moeller brings energy and enthusiasm to our practice. As our lead certified veterinary tech, she cares for each pet that she meets. You often find her performing her favorite duties: helping clients and educating them about the care of their pets. She also loves the variety of day-to-day duties she is tasked with. Addie has been with us since 2007 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Minnesota School of Business.  When Addie gets a day off, she loves spending time with her loving husband, Bob, and two boys, Logan and Jaxon. She also enjoys biking and walking her sweet dog, Emma. In addition to Emma, Addie has a bird named Bobo and two cats: Sophie who is 11 and Kalle who is one of the oldest kitties around at 20-years-old.

Dr. Neal Womack

Dr. Neal Womack, DVM, has practiced veterinary medicine in Albany since 1996 and founded Lake Country Veterinary Service in 2003, and is co-owner of the clinic. He thrives under pressure and loves creating a positive outcome in difficult situations.  In 1992, Dr. Womack graduated from North Carolina State with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Before attending veterinary school, Dr. Neal Womack graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Dr. Neal Womack has southern roots that lead back to Missouri where he was born and raised. He enjoys hunting, fishing, and gardening on his days off. He describes his pet situation as “a house of misfits.” 

Dr. Sam Beech

Dr. Sam Beech has been with Lake Country Veterinary Service since May of 2019. He is a graduate of the University of MN for both his undergraduate work, as well as his veterinary degree. His favorite part of veterinary medicine is working both in large and small animal services, and being able to be involved in the variety of care offered to our patients throughout the day. From surgical care, to anesthesia, preventive medicine and pet behaviors, his day is filled with challenges he enjoys. Dr. Sam is Fear Free Certified. In his spare time, Dr. Beech enjoys spending time with his wife and their two dogs - Nala, a 6 year old Shih Tzu-Bichon mix that his wife rescued in college, and Willow, a 6 month old black lab, who is full of energy and is gearing up for pheasant and duck hunting. Dr. Beech has greatly enjoyed training both dogs, as they are true companions in the Beech household. Outside of the clinic, you may also find Dr. Beech hunting, fishing, golfing, or watching sports.

Dr. Wendy Womack

Dr. Wendy Womack, DVM, has helped make Lake Country Veterinary Services the practice you know and love. She’s been helping pets from all around Albany since 2004 after renovations which included adding small animal services. Dr. Womack cares for a wide range of animals and founded the small animal side of our practice, and enjoys making a positive difference in the lives of pets and their owners. Dr. Wendy Womack earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1986. She then went on to study veterinary medicine at North Carolina State College, graduating with her doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1992.  When Dr. Womack isn’t providing pet parents with advice or caring for their beloved pets, you can find her practicing yoga, gardening, or enjoying a great book. She knits like a pro, spends time with her friends, and goes on walks.  Her pet family includes both cats and dogs. She loves her two Britannies, Rowdy and Sammie, who may seem like typical hunting dogs but are really beloved family members. As for her feline friends, Dr. Womack opened her home and heart and embraced her lovely cats. Julius has hyperthyroidism and is a bit elderly, but found his place in Dr. Womack’s home after he was orphaned and abandoned on a client’s doorstep. Gloria, our retired clinic cat also enjoys living with Dr. Womack and her crew.

+49 856 9568 95

info@vetcare.com

39 Lion Street
London-Lutton

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Dr. Jenny Revermann

Dr. Jenny has been an owner of Lake Country Veterinary Service since 2018. She graduated from the University of MN with her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and then graduated in 2009 from the University of MN College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to traditional veterinary methods, Dr. Jenny is a CVA (Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist) and is currently studying Osteopathy to help provide additional treatment options to the clients she serves.

In her spare time, Dr. Jenny enjoys scrapbooking, reading and spending time with her family, which includes her husband, six children, and pets - Zora - a German Wirehair, Coonie - who joined her family after she was found injured, Cy - a stray kitten adopted from the clinic in summer 2019, and Bolt - joining the Revermanns in summer 2019.