Summer 2014 Small Animal News

Summer Garden Watch

It is time to get out and about and enjoy the Summer sunshine, but watch out for some dangers lurking about.  Out in the garden be aware that slug pellets, bone meal and weedkillers are common sources of poisoning in dogs and cats.  Also try to ensure that pets don’t dig up spring bulbs and eat them since many are poisonous.  If you have cats, be aware that nearly all types of lilies are highly toxic to cats.  Even a small bit of pollen can cause sudden onset kidney failure in cats.  Seek immediate veterinary advise if any case of poisoning is suspected.  For a comprehensive list of common poisons check out     http://www.dogstrust.ie/az/factsheetsanddownloads/poisonousplants11.pdf                   It is quite frightening how many common items around the house are poisonous to our pets. Slugs 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.  Check out our Spring newsletter for more details.

SUMMER SKIN ISSUES

Remember to keep flea and tick control up to date as parasite numbers are building up now.  As well as being unsightly, these little creatures carry a number of diseases.  Fleas carry tapeworm, as well as causing irritation to your pet’s skin and causing him to scratch.  Ticks can carry infectious diseases which can be transmitted to pets and humans.  The most common one is Lyme disease, which can cause a number of problems, including  joints and bone pain, and later heart and kidney disease.  Please let us advise you on the best tick control treatments for your pets.  There are a lot of products available, but they are not all the same. Also pollens and plants that can cause allergic skin diseases and irritation are increasing too.  Many pets get seasonal skin diseases that flare up with the increase in allergens, so be vigilant and visit us as soon as you see your pet itching or getting irritated skin.  Many of these dogs and cats need long courses of Antibiotics, so the quicker it is treated, the shorter the course of treatment, therefore saving you money in the long haul.

Keep Your Pet’s Safe in Cars

It 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 are 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.  So keep your pets safe this summer and enjoy the good weather.  Remember to pack a bowl and water too!

Kennel Cough

Is your dog protected against kennel cough?  It has been renames 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 contagious 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 a bacteria Bordetella Bronchiseptica.  Luckily a vaccine is available, thought unlike your dog’s normal routine vaccines, KC vaccine is given by intra-nasal drops.  We recommend that dogs are vaccinated against KC before going into kennels, dog shows, dog training classes or parks.

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