Keeping your Pet Safe in the Summer

Don’t get the summertime blues.  Although it doesn’t feel like summer, hopefully good weather is just around the corner.  Most of us, and our pets, love the warmer weather but it brings with it its own set of challenges and potential problems.  Here are a few tips to keep your pet fit and well this time of year.


Parasite Alert

lymehidden epidWhen the weather warms up, the bugs come out in force.  The ticks particularly love Leitrim.  They are most often found attached to the head and neck of pets and look like small, grey warts or peas.  Ticks annoy your pet, but also can carry diseases like Lyme Disease that causes pain in joints and muscles and can lead to kidney and heart problems as well.

Another pesky character is the flea.  Pets who hunt are particularly at risk because Fleathe fleas will be alive and will be in large numbers on their prey.  Fleas also carry worms, so try to deworm your pet at the same time you de-flea/tick your pets.  There are a number of great products available that last up to 3 months so ask any of the staff about the products available to keep your pet parasite free.

angiostrongylus LCSlugs and snails love warmer wet weather and can cause trouble to dogs that enjoy playing with these creatures.  Slugs and snails can carry the larvae of the life threatening lungworm parasite Angiostrongylus vasorum.  Dogs can be infected by swallowing infected slugs and snails or their slime trail. Once swallowed, the larvae migrate to the heart where they develop into adult worms.  The adult lungworms live in the heart and the blood vessels supplying the lungs.

Heat Stroke and Car Safety


Dogs_Die_In_Hot_Cars2It will soon be holiday season!!!  The kids are out of school and many of you will be heading off on holidays.  Those of you who take your dogs on trips in the car, be aware that your car can be a very dangerous place for your pet.  Never leave your dog in the car on his own, even with the windows down.  The temperature in a car can quickly rise to a life-threatening level in just 10 minutes.  Heat exhaustion happens quickly and can lead to multi-organ failure.  To prevent problems, avoid exercising your pets in the midday heat and make sure they don’t over-exert themselves.  So keep your pets safe this summer and enjoy the good weather.  Remember to pack a bowl and water too!


Cats and Skin Cancer

Most cats are real sun worshippers, which doesn’t tend to be a problem unless PE-squamous-cell-carcinoma-in-catsthey have white ears or noses.  These areas are vulnerable to sun burn because the hair is so thin and they can be prone to skin cancers ( see photo).  To protect your pet, apply high factor waterproof sun lotion to their ears and noses.

Grass Seeds are another summer problem.  The grass awns of the meadow grasses are easily trapped in the coats of pets, especially in dog’s ears and between their toes.  It is always a good idea to groom you pets regularly and especially after walks, to keep an eye out for grass seeds and ticks.


BBQ’s and upset tummies

dog BBQLovely weather and longer evenings mean lots of people break out the BBQ.  Dogs have a great time hovering over we humans hoping for a bit of leftovers.  This can cause tummy upsets, but more seriously, if anything like bones, kebab sticks and sweetcorn cobs are snaffled, they can lead to serious blockages requiring life-saving surgery to remove.  So keep you pets away fro the BBQ!


Kennel Cough Vaccines

Is your dog protected against kennel cough.  It has been renamed recently to Canine Cough because it isn’t just caught in kennels.  On the contrary, your pet is more likely to encounter the disease wherever dogs meet, such as the park, in the street, at dog shows and in training classes.

Kennel Cough is a highly infectious cough that affects dogs, causing symptoms of severe whooping-like coughing and breathlessness as well as high temperatures, sore throats and loss of appetite.  Even in mild cases it is important to isolate your dog to prevent infecting others.

The condition is caused by a mixture of viruses and bacteria, luckily a vaccine is available.  KC vaccine is given by intra-nasal drops.  We recommend that dogs are vaccinated against KC before going into kennels, groomers, dog shows, dog training classes or parks.

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Arthritis alert

Arthritis is a common problem in pets and may initially go unnoticed as it is often gradual in onset. It is usually worse in the colder months, causing a variety of symptoms arthritisincluding pain, stiffness – particularly after rest, and reluctance to play. A healthy joint has a smooth layer of articular cartilage covering the ends of the bones and is lubricated by synovial fluid, allowing friction free movement.

Arthritic joints typically show a progressive breakdown and thinning of the articular cartilage. As the cartilage wears pets suffer from pain and inflammation of the joint. On x-ray, new bone can often be seen around the affected joint.


There are several possible causes of arthritis: The commonest is a lifetime of activity, simply resulting in wear and tear on the joints. Arthritis may also occur following joint trauma or as a consequence of joint malformation (e.g. hip dysplasia), resulting in an unstable joint and increased wear and tear on the cartilage. Although arthritis cannot be cured, the good news is that we now have a great range of treatments to help your pet. For many pets that are carrying a few extra pounds, losing weight can make a huge xraydifference. In addition to weight loss, many pets benefit from anti-inflammatory pain relief medication and food supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate. If you are worried that your pet may have arthritis, please come and see us for a consultation.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition but there are many things we can do to help control and slow its progress. Contact us for advice on appropriate medications such as anti-inflammatories and chondroprotive agents. These can be administered as pills, liquids or as injection.

Never administer human anti-inflammatories to animals as some of them have serious side effects, including death!

Chocolate alert!

Most Dogs love chocolate, but as well as being very fattening, it also contains a naturally Chococcurring substance called theobromine which is poisonous to dogs. The theobromine
content, and hence the toxicity of the chocolate, varies according to the type of chocolate with plain chocolate the most dangerous. So if you “must” feed your dog chocolate, specially formulated pet chocolate is the safe option!

What’s Bugging you?

With the warm weather just a distant memory, it can be tempting to take a pause in the bugbattle to keep your pets and home flea free! Adult female fleas can lay in excess of 50 eggs per day, therefore even a brief infestation can result in literally thousands of eggs being produced. These fall off your pet and are deposited around your home in carpets and bedding where they can lie dormant for up to a year or more before developing into adult fleas.

Dogs and cats with dust mite and mould allergies tend to get worse during Winter, due to more time spent indoors. To avoid heat loss in the home, doors and windows are generally kept shut. This can lead to increases in dust and mold accumulation within dwellings and therefore lead to worsening of itching and scratching in pets with dust mite allergies


Microchipping Laws


1. Your dog MUST be microchipped and registered on a government approved database such as Fido by 31st March 2016microchip

2. You must have a certificate from a government approved database such as Fido to prove that your dog is microchiped and registered on the database.

3. You must keep your contact details up to date. Any changes of ownership or of contact details such as changes in address or phone number must be notified to the database.


1. From 1st September 2015 all pups must be microchipped and registered with a government approved database such as fido by the time they reach 12 weeks of age or before they are moved from their birth home.

2. It is illegal buy or ownership of a pup that is not microchipped and registered on a government approved database such as Fido and that does not have a certificate from the database to prove this.

3. You must inform a government approved database when you buy, sell, take ownership or transfer ownership of a dog.

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