Most of us, and our pets, love the warm weather but it brings with it it’s own particular set of challenges and potential problems.
Grass seeds are a big summer problem! Grass seeds can easily become trapped in the coats of pets, especially dogs. They then migrate and become lodged in a variety of places including the ears and between the toes. It is always a good idea to groom your pet regularly, and especially after walks, to keep a close eye out for grass seeds.
Allergies For sensitive dogs with allergies, the flowers and grasses that thrive in the summer months can cause real problems. Dogs can break out with nasty skin rashes especially on their feet, stomach and ears and it can be very itchy for them. If your pet does get skin problems, make sure they are up to date with their anti-parasite treatment since fleas can often be the cause. You can bring them in to see us for a check-up as there are a lot of drugs available now that can help improve the situation.
Heat Stroke is an extremely serious problem and can even be fatal. Although all dogs are at risk, the shorter faced breeds like Staffies, Pugs and Bulldogs are most vulnerable, and the danger is greater if they are overweight. To prevent problems, avoid exercising your dogs in the midday heat and make sure they don’t over-exert themselves. If you become worried, move them to a cool, shaded place and offer them water to drink.
Sun rays! Most cats are real sun worshippers, which doesn’t tend to be a problem as their fur acts as a thermal regulator to slow down the process of heat absorption. Problems arise when cats have white ears or noses. These areas are vulnerable to sun burn because the hair is so thin which can trigger skin cancers. To protect your cat, apply high factor waterproof sun lotion to their ears and noses.
BBQs! Lovely weather and longer evenings, often mean lots of barbecues, and dogs often have a great time hoovering up the left-overs! This can cause stomach upsets or serious blockages requiring surgery to remove bones, kebab sticks and sweetcorn cobs. Please keep your pets away from the barbecue. Enjoy the summer months, have fun and keep your pets safe. Remember we are here to help, so if you have any concerns please give us a call or ask a member of staff.
The internet is a wonderful resource, one that many clients consult first when their pet is showing signs of something being wrong. A google search can be quicker and less expensive than a trip to the vets…surely?
The problem is that Dr Google can also be dangerous to your pet’s health! If you aren’t able to properly identify symptoms or you miss some of the signs your pet is exhibiting, the answers you may get from an online search could be misleading. For example, if you see your cat straining in the litter box but nothing is coming out? Often clients come in thinking their cat is constipated when in fact they have a life threatening blocked bladder.
How do you guarantee that the information you read comes from a reliable source? There are still sites on the internet that recommend aspirin and paracetamol for use in cats. Both can be fatal. Garlic is often touted as being useful to get rid of fleas but is toxic to dogs.
Self-diagnosing your pet’s problems using the internet can also lead to needless worry. The proper solution is to consult a professional. Your pets’ health is just too important to risk delaying good treatment with misleading advice.
Getting a new pet is an exciting time and there will be a lot to think about. Once you have collected your new puppy or kitten please bring them in to see us!
We offer a free Puppy or Kitten check with the Veterinary Surgeon before they start their vaccinations and we are happy to discuss any of your concerns.
As well as giving your puppy/kitten a health check we can give you advice on the following:
Vaccinations: In the early stages of life, puppies and kittens gain immunity against disease from their mother’s milk. This protection starts to fade when they are around six weeks of age and without vaccinations they are left vulnerable to some potentially deadly diseases.
Puppies can be vaccinated from 8 weeks of age and kittens from 9 weeks. Annual booster vaccinations and six-monthly health checks are a good way of protecting your pet and picking up any health problems early on.
Worming: Regular worming is absolutely vital in the early weeks of your puppy’s/kitten’s life. Not only are they more likely to pick up worms than adults (because of their curious natures) they are also more vulnerable to their effects because of their immature immune system. Puppies and kittens should be wormed monthly until they are 6 months old.
Microchipping: Is now compulsory for all dogs in the UK 8 weeks or older. This means that in the majority of cases it will have been done by the breeder but if not it is a quick and relatively painless procedure and vital to ensure your pet is permanently identifiable. It’s not law to have a cat microchipped but we strongly advise it, especially since cats often wander.
Socialisation: The early experiences a puppy or kitten has of people and their surroundings has a huge impact on their behaviour and personality for the rest of their life. It is vital puppies and kittens stay with the litter and mother until at least 8 weeks of age, to learn good manners and behaviour.
After their first few weeks, puppies and kittens should have regular contact with all kinds of people: adults (both men and women), children and the elderly. They should ideally be reared in a home environment so they get used to the sights, sounds and smells of family life.
Once puppies are fully vaccinated it’s a good idea to get them out and about – gradually introducing them to loud noises, cars, horses, fire engines – pretty much everything and anything!