Please be aware, bug season is here!
We’ve been getting quite a number of calls from dog owners that their dog’s belly looks like this (see attached photo)
Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do to prevent these black fly bites. If your dog runs around or lays in a tall grass area, they could get bit. They most commonly occur on the inside of the rear legs and on the belly. As bad as it can look, if this happens, most dogs will not notice and it should clear up quickly on its own. If your dog is bothered by it and is itchy, you can use an Elizabethan collar to prevent unwanted licking or a t-shirt to cover in the area. To help with the itching, try cool water baths and pet oatmeal shampoo. If itching is still severe, or you want more advice by please contact your veterinary clinic for further advice.
This type of fly is only around for a week or so every spring so hopefully they will be gone soon!
In the event you find a stray dog, here are some tips and steps to follow.
The first and most important step, is to stay safe! The animal may be confused and scared, so be cautious. IF you choose to approach the animal, move slow and watch for signs of discomfort or aggression. DO NOT approach an animal if it is showing any signs of aggression.
Call your local bylaw office (see directory below). Depending on your municipality or county, they will generally provide stray dog services during day time hours, or if they are unavailable they will give you directions on what to do.
Once you have approached a pet in an attempt to reunite it with its owner, you are responsible. It is your responsibility to contact the appropriate bylaw and arrange with them the transportation to the correct impound facility. It is best to call bylaw immediately when dealing with a stray, they will ensure that your information is protected and the stray has the best chance of being reunited with its family.
We act as the “pound” for multiple counties and municipalities including The Town of Westlock, Westlock County, The Town of Athabasca, and Thorhild County. This means, many “found“ pets end up here at WVC. Be assured we do everything we can to reunite lost animals with their owners and treat them like family while they are in our care. When a stray is brought in it is scanned for a micro-chip, checked for tattoos or other identifying tags and given a wellness exam. If an animal has no tattoo/microchip upon arrival and an owner cannot be found they get vaccinated right away. A happy healthy pet will NOT ever be euthanized; even pets with illness or injury are given a chance. The exact length of a holding period is variable, but at WVC we often hold an animal for an extra few days, especially if we are tracing possible leads or trying to get a hold of a registered owner.
As WVC works closely with a number of local animal rescues we don’t directly adopt out these lost pets for a variety of reasons. Meaning dogs posted on our Social Media and our website are not available for adoption. Through these partnerships with rescues we help each other maximize the number of stray dogs rescued and re-homed. Animals that aren’t able to be reunited with their families are spayed/neutered and once given a clean bill of health, transferred to a rescue to be adopted out.
Local Bylaw Resources:
If you are interested in adopting a dog please check out Second Chance Animal Rescue: