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Summer dangers and your pets

During the summer months when we are enjoying the warmer weather, please continue to bear in mind of the potential hazards that may face your furry friend. Pet dangers during this time to be vigilant about are:
  • Mouse and Rat Poison – Rodenticides are the most common of pet poisoning. Mouse or rat poison are sold as pellets, grains or solid cubes and contain ingredients that are toxic to our pets. These toxins can cause problems your pet’s normal clotting of their blood therefore leading to internal bleeding, neurological damage and kidney failure. Symptoms of mouse or rat poisoning do not appear immediately, some may experience signs of lethargy, exercise intolerance, coughing, pale gums or difficulty breathing.
  • Garden Fertiliser – If you have green fingers you are likely to have fertiliser in your shed and applied to your garden, fertilisers contain components should as herbicides and pesticides which are toxic to our pets if ingested in large quantities. Signs of toxicity can include, drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea.
  • Pyrethrin – This is a type of insecticide usually found in products to control fleas, flies or mosquitos in dogs. This is extremely toxic to our feline friends if accidently applied or ingested. Symptoms of prytherin poisoning include shaking, dribbling, vomiting, excitability, pacing, breathing issues and seizures. If left untreated this toxicity can prove fatal.
  • Slugs and snails – With our gardens blooming, the slugs and snails may be also enjoying your plants, therefore slug pellets may be used. Slug pellets are toxic as they contain a substance called Metaldehyde. Symptoms of this toxicity can include wobbly gait, muscle twitches and seizures. If you know you pet hasn’t ingested this toxic but has been in contact, it is advisable to wash off their paws if they have been on treated ground.
  • Toads – Toads native in this country are the Common Toad and Natterjack Toad. They are mostly active within the spring and summer months of the year and this toxicity are mostly associated with pets licking one or trying to catch one. Symptoms can include foaming at the mount, vomiting, unsteady on their legs, high temperature, shaking and can lead to collapse if not treated promptly.
  • Adder bites – These snakes are the only poisonous type of snake in this country. Other non-poisonous snakes you may spot are smooth snakes or grass snakes. The adder is more distinctive by the brown zigzag marking on the body. If you pet is bitten the area affected will swell and this can spread in severe cases. They may also experience signs of pale gums, diarrhoea, dehydration, restlessness or lethargy. If not treated promptly they can experience blood clotting problems or lead to collapse.
  • Anti-Histamines – During the summer months, us as owner may stock up on anti-histamines if sufferers of hay fever. If Anti-Histamines are ingested by our pets in large quantities they can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, lethargic, change in breathing pattern, or shaking.
  • Ticks – Ticks love areas of good vegetation so walking in these areas can mean more exposure to these pesky parasites. Ticks will bury their heads in our pets’ skin for a blood meal and sometimes spread disease in the process such as Lyme Disease and other diseases. Tick commonly are found in areas of a damp and warm environment such as wood or grasslands. They are a very adaptable parasite and can survive in different areas as long as they are close to hosts. Check your pet after walks for ticks which can commonly be found on body parts close to the ground such as paws, legs, belly. If you do find a tick, it can be removed with a tick removal otherwise one of our veterinary nurses would be happy to help.
  • BBQs – The summer may encourage us to have a BBQ in the nice weather, please be vigilant with your pets around as they will be very interested from those delightful smells. Foods that can cause the most issues are:
    • Corn on the cob – this vegetable is difficult for dogs to digest meaning they can cause gastrointestinal obstructions and they can also be a choking hazard.
    • Bones – Cooked bones are another danger that can splinter causing injury to the gastrointestinal tract or cause a gastrointestinal blockage. They can also be a choking hazard to our pets.
    • Kebab skewers – These also have a similar impact to bones causing gastrointestinal injury or blockage as well as again being a choking hazard.
    • Ice cream – our pets have sensitive stomachs and can be upset from rich foods. Therefore it is best to avoid these rich foods to prevent gastrointestinal upset.
  • Heat Stroke and dehydration – in the warmer weather our pets can struggle having a fur cost, provide them fresh water at all times and ensure you take portable water bowls if you go out for the day with them. Brachycephalic breeds can be more susceptible to heat exhaustion.
  • Cars – Please never leave your dog in the car, even with a window open, a car can quickly become too hot for our pets and they will experience heat stroke if they are not treated promptly.
  • Bee stings – Bees can be interesting creatures to our pets with the buzzing noise and their quick movements. Following a sting, our pets may show the following signs such as swelling, hives, pawing at their face or mouth, drooling, whining, lameness or licking or biting at the area of the sting. In some cases they may experience an allergic reaction, therefore please contact your vets immediately if they are struggling to breath, there is swelling around their mouth or throat or signs of collapse.
  • Pavements – Pavements and the ground on those really hot summer days can reached high temperatures. If you find the ground uncomfortable to touch or walk on then it will be uncomfortable for your pet too and doing so can cause serious burns. Try to walk them at cooler times in the day and on softer grass areas.
  • Pools and Water – Some dogs may not like the water and some of them love it. Therefore if you are planning on taking your pet to an area of water who cannot swim, please make sure you keep a careful eye on them or even purchase a floatation device. We also need to keep a close eye on our pets that do love to swim, if the swallow too much water they can suffer from water intoxication which can include signs of lethargy, nauseas, vomiting and bloating, if not treated promptly the outcome can be fatal.
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