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Archive for August, 2020

Summer Dangers – Pavements, Roads and Cars

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
It is extremely important, to never leave your pet alone in your car on a hot summer’s day even if the windows are left slightly open or parked in the shade. The temperature in a car can rise dramatically on a warm day, even when it doesn’t feel that warm outside.

Dogs left in a car on a hot summer’s day can become extremely distressed and an experience heatstroke as a result. Symptoms can include:
  • Excessive drooling and thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Dark pigmentation to tongue
  • Heavy panting
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lack of coordination
Heatstroke can be a difficult condition to treat, however need their body temperature lowering gradually, if you think your pet is experiencing signs of heatstroke, move them to a shaded area, provide a cool (NOT COLD) wet towel and place in a breeze of a fan. Please contact you vets immediately to obtain further advice and to be seen at the practice.

As well as cars, pavements and roads can become extremely hot on a warm summer’s day. Studies have shown pavements and roads can reach temperatures of 52oC on warm days, which is enough to severely burn your dog’s paws. As a test, place the back of your hand on the surface for seven seconds – if this is too hot for you, then it is too hot for your pet! Make sure to walk them at the cooler times of day either early morning and late evening to avoid this.
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Summer Dangers – Grass seeds

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
During this time of year, grass seeds are commonly seen in the veterinary industry. These seeds will fall off and embed themselves in a pet’s paw, ears, armpit, nose or skin and can travel under the skin to other parts of the body.

The signs or symptoms will depend on which body part is affected which can be noted below.
  • Grass seed in a pet’s ear
  • Head shaking
  • Reddening to the ear
  • Painful to touch
  • Head tilt
  • Loss of balance
  • Grass seed in pet’s paw
    • Reddening of skin around area
    • Swelling of foot or between toes
    • Limping
    • Licking at affected area
  • Grass seeds in pet’s eyes
    • Increased tear production
    • Rubbing or pawing at the eye
    • Swelling or redness
  • Grass seeds in pet’s nose
    • Repeated sneezing
    • Discharge from the nostril
    • Rubbing face on surfaces
    • Breathing difficulties
  • Grass seeds under skin
    • Licking at site
    • Grass seed visible out of surface of skin
    • Swollen, red lump
    Grass seeds can be prevented by keeping your lawn tidy, checking your dog over after a walk to remove any grass seeds in these most common areas. If your pet is experiencing any of these signs, please contact your vet for an examination as the main concern is they can migrate within your pet’s body.
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    Summer Dangers – Blue-Green Algae

    Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
    Blue-green algae is a toxin that pet owners should be aware of, if there pet loves to go swimming in the warmer weather.

    What are blue-green algae?  Blue-green algae naturally occur in inland waters and blooms can form when their numbers become excessive. It is these ‘blooms’ that give the water a blue-green appearance or a ‘pea soup’ like colour. The behaviour of these algae is erratic and the level of its toxicity can fluctuate; it can appear one day, be dispersed by the wind and, mix and re-accumulate at any time. 

    How can blue-green algae affect you and your animals? Blue-green algal blooms can produce toxins hazardous to both people and animals. Not all blue-green blooms produce toxins, but it is not possible to tell which are dangerous without testing, and therefore all blooms should be considered potentially toxic. Dogs that enjoy swimming and playing in lakes and ponds may be exposed to blue-green algae. 

    Symptoms of poisoning include: Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Blood in stool or black tarry stool, Pale mucous membranes, Jaundice, Seizures, Disorientation, Coma, Shock Excessive secretions (e.g., salivation, lacrimation, etc.), Neurologic signs (including muscle tremors, muscle rigidity, paralysis, etc.), Blue discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes, Difficulty breathing.

    Aggressive, immediate treatment is necessary to help treat this quick-acting, potentially fatal poison. If there are any signs of illness in your animal after contact with the water, contact us immediately on 01908 397777.
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    Summer dangers – Water Intoxication and Sand Impaction

    Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
    Water intoxication is fairly uncommon, however it is definite something to be aware of, if your dog spends lots of time swimming or playing in water. Symptoms of water intoxication include:
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Lethargy
    • Abdominal distention
    • Ataxia
    • Weakness
    • Coma
    • Seizures
    • Hypothermia
    • Bradycardia
    Sand impaction is also a condition that can be seen in the summer months. Whilst digging, playing or repeatedly picking up sandy balls and toys, dogs often ingest sand. Sand can cause a blockage called sand impaction. It is advised to try to limit games of fetch on the beach, and make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water.

    In a case, where you think your pet is suffering from either of these causes, please contact your vet immediately for advice
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