On hot days it is important to take dogs out only for short, gentle walks in the cool of the evening and early morning and don't encourage them to run around. Particular care needs to be taken with breeds with compromised breathing like Pugs and Bulldogs and breeds with dense coats like Huskies, as they can't pant enough to keep cool. Always allow access to ample cool fresh water and take some in a flask with a collapsible bowl on walks. If you suspect your pet has overheated, wet its coat and play a fan over it to try and reduce the temperature more rapidly. If symptoms persist seek the advice of your vet. A child's paddling pool is a fun way to allow dogs to keep cool. And of course - DON’T leave dogs in cars in the sun.
Dogs are often tempted to jump into water to play and cool-off but blue green algae can form on standing water during periods of warm dry weather and swallowing the algae can be fatal. Also water getting into ears can be a common cause of ear infection - an ear cleaner from us can displace this if put in the ears after playing in water.
Like us, animals, - dogs especially, can suffer from hay fever. They don't sneeze and snuffle but suffer from sore itchy skin (atopic dermatitis). You can reduce the problem by avoiding long grass and by bathing your dog’s body and feet when you return home from walks but many need ongoing veterinary treatment.
Cats and some dogs like to sun-bathe and those with white ears and noses can suffer from sun burn which may lead to skin cancer so it is advisable to keep them indoors or put on sun-block on exposed skin. Human products may contain zinc which can be toxic if licked off so come to us for a veterinary specific one.
Slugs and snails will be abundant especially in periods of warm humid weather. Lungworm is contracted from eating slugs and snails and puppies are particularly partial to these. However older dogs that eat grass may accidentally ingest a small slug or their slime trails. Lungworm is difficult to treat and potentially fatal so prevention is essential. Fortunately effective preventative products are available from us, some are multi-purpose and treat fleas, ticks and worms at the same time.
Grass awns in late summer and autumn are a nuisance and can cause painful problems especially in the ears and feet in dogs with long coats. Check your dog’s coat and groom them after every walk and avoid long grass.
Flies pose a particular problem to rabbits in the summer. Fly eggs laid on rabbits’ soiled bottoms rapidly hatch into maggots which literally eat the rabbit alive and often results in them having to be euthanased. Make sure you clean your rabbit’s hutch regularly and check their bottoms at least once a day, washing and drying them thoroughly if they are dirty. Rabbits that habitually get soiled bottoms may not be cleaning themsleves because of dental problems which are usually due to diet, because they have painful backs or are overweight so seek veterinary advice. Keep your rabbit indoors if it is prone to this problem and come to us to obtain the special products that repel flies.
Bee and wasp stings can cause a painful, swollen paw, swollen face or urticaria (an itchy raised rash on the skin) but while these may be dramatic they are rarely serious, however they may require treatment as they can be intensely irritatiing. In rare cases, especially if the sting is in the mouth, it can cause difficulty breathing and you should seek immediate veterinary care.
In warm weather it is nice to eat outdoors and barbeque but meat and fatty scraps can cause upset tummies or pancreatitis which can in extreme cases be fatal. Also be aware of corn cobs that can get stuck in the intestines and cause a potentially fatal blockage.
Despite these potential pitfalls there's no reason why, like us, our pets should not enjoy the warmer weather so long as we take sensible precautions.
St Martins Veterinary Clinic
126 Station Road
Tel.: 01895 444400
Fax: 01895 431520
follow us on Twitter @StMartinsVet
like us on Facebook StMartinsVet
Or use our contact form.
If you are looking for employemnt in the
veterinary industry click here:
We collect and store personal data to identify clients in order to provide your pets with the best possible care. To view the basis on which we collect and store data and your rights relating to this please click on this link.