Spring: A season of beauty and bloodsuckers


On the veterinary calendar we mark the changing of seasons in some very special ways.

By the time this issue of dvm360 arrives at your home or practice, the daffodils will be poking up out of the chilly earth, the days will be a bit longer, and the sun will start to feel warm despite the still-nippy breeze.

Shutterstock.comI've always loved early spring, and not just because that's when my birthday falls (March 8, for those taking notes). It's the time of year when we start to have real hope that winter is releasing its grip, when the trees and flowers wake up-as our overactive immune systems continually remind those of us with spring allergies-and when we can fling open the windows to lighten up our dusty, dark interiors. There's a reason spring cleaning is a thing.

Of course, it's also when not-so-pleasant things start to wake up as well: mosquitoes, fleas and ticks among them. In fact, in many areas they never go dormant, especially during a mild winter such as we've experienced here in the Midwest. While year-round parasite control is the gold standard, spring is when the bloodsuckers become top of mind for many pet owners and veterinary teams and educational campaigns go into full swing.

To help you in these efforts we've put together the 2017 dvm360 Toolkit on heartworm control (sponsored by Ceva), which is included with this issue. In it you'll find tools to talk to pet owners about heartworm prevention, advice from the American Heartworm Society and more.

Spring is also the time of the year when we unveil the Veterinary Economics Hospital of the Year. This year, as happens once in a while, the judges could not choose just one, so we have two winners: a specialty hospital and a general practice. This month we profile the general practice: McGregor Boulevard Veterinary Clinic of Fort Myers, Florida-a facility that's perfectly designed to take full advantage of the spring sunshine. Stay tuned next month for details on the specialty winner.

I hope that spring is bringing about wonderful things in your veterinary life and your personal life as well. Take a walk, admire the daffodils, open the windows, protect your patients from parasites. However you mark the season, have a lovely March.

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