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.