THE SUN HAS COME OUT- PET CARE DURING SUMMERTIME
At last a little bit of light and heat to warm our bones. I am sure our pets are also relieved but there are a few considerations to keep them well over summer.
Heatstroke is far more common than you may think. Dogs with shortened skulls like Pugs and Pekinese are high risk but any dog can overheat quite easily. Walk your dog early morning and late evening and be sure to walk by some water if you can so they can cool off. Do not feel you have to give the same length of walk that you usually do if it is hot. There are special cooling jackets available for dogs now. Take water with you, there are lots of small collapsible bowls available and then your dog can drink when they need to. Please be sensible if you are planning to run or cycle with your dog. They will always try to keep up with you and so they will not stop running if they are tired. You have to watch them very carefully and stop frequently for rests and build them up to this type of exercise slowly. Never run or cycle with your dog in the heat.
Ticks are also a problem at this time of year. They latch onto your dog and start to feed on their blood. They can transmit diseases to your pet like Lyme disease. Humans can also catch this from tick bites. In dogs this can show itself as arthritis in multiple joints over the dogs body. There are lots of super treatments available from your vet, which repel the tick in the first place and stop then attaching.
Barbecue season is revving up and every year at the vets we see a number of dogs that have gorged themselves. Often we are busy enjoying ourselves and are not watching our dogs! Pancreatitis is a horrible, painful disease and we see cases after excessive ingestion of fatty meat. I have also had to remove rib bones from animal’s throats and sometimes dogs have needed abdominal surgery to remove life threatening lodged bones or corn on the cob pieces.
Skin cancer is seen on the tips of the ears and on the noses of white cats. Increased exposure to the sun will increase the risk. Try and discourage sun bathing and consider a complete sun block (use an animal specific one as sunblock can be toxic to pets) applied to those areas when it is hot. Be sure to see your vet if there you notice any changes.
Grass seeds are rife this year. These are the pointy little arrow like seeds, which get trapped in your dog’s coat. Every time you get home from a walk, check their coats; pay special attention to the paws and ears. We have to surgically remove loads of these nasty seeds from dog’s paws and ears at this time of year. It is far better to get rid of them before they work into the skin.
Myxomatosis is a life-threatening virus that affects rabbits. It is spread on the mouthparts of biting insects like mozzies or fleas that are more prevalent at this time of year. See your vet to get your bunny vaccinated against myxomatosis and also for products that you can use to prevent fly strike. Fly strike is when flies lay their eggs around a rabbit's hind quarters and they hatch into maggots which then cause quick and extensive damage to the rabbit. Check your bunny every day to be sure it is clean and unaffected.
Dogs in Cars
It is unbelievable but dogs still get left in cars and on a warm day they can die in a very short time. Never leave your dog in warm weather.
Vets on White Hart Lane, Barnes