Pflugerville's Pfurry Pfriends
Help us be the voice for the animals
April is Heartworm Awareness Month!

Protect your pets!  Talk to your veterinarian about heartworm prevention today.

Heartworm disease is one of the major health problems of dogs in the United States and throughout the temperate and tropical areas of the world. Heartworm disease is a serious an potentially fatal condition that can result in severe lung disease, heart failure, other organ damage, and even death in pets.

The disease develops when a pet becomes infected with parasites called dirofilaria immitis that are transmitted  through the bite of an infected mosquito. The disease is spread by mosquitoes to both dogs and cats as well as other animals, such as ferrets, foxes and coyotes, which act as reservoirs and help spread the disease.

Heartworm disease is one of the major health problems of dogs in the United States and throughout the temperate and tropical areas of the world. Heartworm disease is a serious an potentially fatal condition that can result in severe lung disease, heart failure, other organ damage, and even death in pets.

The disease develops when a pet becomes infected with parasites called dirofilaria immitis that are transmitted  through the bite of an infected mosquito. The disease is spread by mosquitoes to both dogs and cats as well as other animals, such as ferrets, foxes and coyotes, which act as reservoirs and help spread the disease.

Outdoor pets are at greatest risk for infection, especially in regions of the world with high mosquito populations. However, even indoor pets become infected by heartworms as infected mosquitoes can, and do, get into houses.
Heartworm infection primarily affects dogs, but infection and diagnosis in cats is on the rise. For infected dogs, treatment of heartworm disease is available and is usually successful, but it is time consuming, costly, and can be very painful. There is currently NO treatment approved for cats so prevention is crucial .

There are a variety of options for preventing heartworm infection, including daily and monthly tablets and chewables, monthly topicals and a six-month injectable product. These products are extremely effective and when administered properly on a timely schedule, heartworm infection can be prevented. Talk to your veterinarian about heartworm prevention and testing and help ensure the health of your pet.

To learn more about heartworm disease, visit the American Heartworm Society website or talk to your veterinarian.

Other Resources:
Animal Trustees of Austin
Emancipet
Kitten Season is here ... do you know what to do?
What is Kitten Season?
​​If you've ever visited a shelter or rescue organization, chances are you've heard the words "kitten season", and you may be wondering what that is. Kitten season is the time of year when cats give birth, flooding animal shelters and rescue groups across the nation with homeless litters of kittens and pregnant cats. Kitten season typically starts in the spring, peaks in late spring or early summer, and ends in fall, but warm weather may increase the length of time the season lasts.​​
Kitten season happens because too many kittens are born when cats who are not spayed and neutered mate. The easiest way to help reduce the overwhelming numbers of unwanted cats is to spay and neuter your own cats, and encourage others to do the same. Unaltered cats are driven by their hormones and tend to sneak outdoors primarily in search of a mate. Mating just once can start a domino effect that can result in dozens, even hundreds or thousands of unwanted animals.

Cats can become pregnant as young as five months of age. Fortunately, kittens as young as three months and weighing three pounds can be safely altered. Many people ask their veterinarian to spay or neuter their pet. If you have trouble affording the fee, organizations such as Emancipet, Animal Trustees of Austin (ATA) and Austin Humane Society can help. Work with your local animal control or feral cat group to help manage your neighborhood's feral and stray cat populations and make sure you spay and neuter your own pets as well.

​I found some little kittens, what do I do now?
During kitten season, it’s not unusual to discover a nest of unattended kittens or a single kitten seemingly abandoned by the mother. Your first instict is to want to rescue and help these tiny defenseless babies but before jumping to the rescue, consider these recommendations.

First, wait & watch
It is very rare for a mama cat to abandon her litter for no reason. In most cases, you might have come across the kittens while their mother is nearby searching for food, or is in the process of moving them to a different location. Try to determine if the mother is coming back for them, or if they are truly orphaned.

To do this, stand far away from the kittens - 35 feet or more because if you stand too close, the mom may not feel safe to approach her kittens. You might need to go away completely as she may not return until she no longer senses the presence of humans hovering near her litter.

If you need to leave before the mother cat comes back, carefully evaluate whether the kittens are in immediate danger: Is it raining or snowing? Are there dogs or wild animals that might harm the kittens close by? Are there kids or adults who are likely to harm the kittens around? Are the kittens located in an area with heavy foot or car traffic?

To help with your decision, it is important to know that it might take several hours for the mother cat to return, and healthy kittens can survive this period without food as long as they are warm. Neonatal kittens are much more at risk of hypothermia than they are of starvation. During spring and summer months, waiting a longer time to see if mom will come back is much safer than during frigid winter months.

If the mother cat returns ...
If the mother comes back, don't worry, they are in good hands. A kitten's best chance of survival is to remain with its mother until fully weaned. The best food for the kittens is their mother’s milk so wait and watch as long as you can, and only remove the kittens if they are in immediate, grave danger.

If you are able to safely approach the mom, you can offer a shelter and regular food to her, but keep the food and shelter at a distance from each other. Mom will find the food but will not accept your shelter if the food is nearby, because she will not want to attract other cats to food located near her nest.

​Six weeks is the optimal age to take the kittens from the mother for socialization and adoption placement, and any time after eight weeks for Trap-Neuter-Return (spay/neuter, vaccination, eartip, and return to their colony). Female cats can become pregnant with a new litter even while they are still nursing, so don’t forget to get the mother cat spayed or you will have more kittens soon.

If the mother cat does not return ...
If after waiting a few hours, it appears the mother is not coming back, then remove the kittens and immediately offer them a warm and cozy area to stay while you determine your next steps. 

Carefully approach the kittens, scoop them up and place them in a carrier or box lined with towels or soft blankets.  If at all possible, include a heating pad (not too hot) for them to curl up on. Young kittens are unable to control their body temperature and it is very important that they stay warm in order to prevent hypothermia. 

If you take the kittens in and help them yourself, you must be prepared to see the project through. Young kittens need to be fed and stimulated for elimination around-the-clock. It is a time consuming and potentially challenging effort and not many people are prepared to handle it. Fortunately, there are many resources available online to help you know what to do to properly care for newborn and young kittens.

If you find that you are unable to keep the kittens, take them to a
local area shelter as soon as possible. Most local shelters have established foster care programs where kittens can be placed and cared for until they are ready for adoption. 


Special Thanks to the Austin Community Foundation
and the Davis W. Leonard Fund

Pflugerville Pfurry Pfriends is proud to announce that it has been awarded a grant of $1,700 by the Austin Community Foundation to help with heart worm treatments for adoptable dogs in the care of the Pflugerville Animal Shelter. 
Over the past 5 years, Pflugerville Pfurry Pfriends has been able to help hundreds of homeless dogs and cats at the shelter by covering the costs of services like heart worm treatments and other needed medical procedures. This helps the animals get healthy, and it also increases their chances of being adopted. This grant will allow us to continue helping these homeless animals our mission to help the animals at the Pflugerville Animal Shelter find loving forever homes. 
Thank you, Austin Community Foundation and Davis W. Leonard Fund for selecting us to receive this generous grant. We look forward to continue working together to create meaningful change in Austin and Central Texas.
A friendly reminder to all our friends and supporters:
Although we share a similar name and we do everything possible to support our friends at the Pflugerville Animal Shelter, we are a separate organization and are unable to assist with questions, practices, or adoption information from the Pflugerville Animal Shelter. If you are looking to contact the shelter, please call 512-990-PETS or visit their website click here to reach them online.