Summer risks for pets
Published on: 03 Aug 2013
During the summer months, most of us are keen to go outside and enjoy the warm and sunny weather. Unfortunately we are not the only ones who are outside in greater numbers, there are more biting insects, bees and wasps at this time of year.
Being naturally inquisitive, some pets will inevitably be stung during the summer months. In most cases, this will cause a mild irritation which will resolve on its own. However, some pets will have a more severe reaction and will require some veterinary attention. You should contact Avenue Vets if the face or neck is affected, if there is swelling of the area, or if your pet is sick.
As a result of dwindling numbers of adders, several breeding programs have been initiated all over the country. The adder is largely an elusive creature, who is about as keen on running into you as you are of running into them. That being said, our inquisitive four legged friends can sometimes sniff them out when exploring in hedgerows, forests and fields, particularly on sunny days when adders like to bask in the sunshine. Adder bites are often found on the face (as a dog investigates) or on the legs, and can result in a sudden onset of a painful swelling.
If you suspect your dog has been bitten, treat it as an emergency and contact us immediately. Do not attempt to apply a tourniquet or try to suck out the venom. Well-intentioned first aid attempts can make matters worse.
Flystrike, or myiasis, is a very unpleasant and painful condition that can affect all pets, although it is particularly common in rabbits. It can occur at any time of year, but is much more common in warmer weather. Flystrike occurs when flies are attracted to wounds or wet and soiled coats, and then lay their eggs on the skin. These eggs then hatch into maggots which start to feed on the animal. The condition can occur in a matter of hours, can be very painful or even fatal, due to the toxins released into the body from the damaged tissue.
Animals that are unable to clean themselves properly are at particular risk, for example pets who are overweight, arthritic, in pain or have dental problems. Sick animals, especially if they have diarrhoea or urinary problems, or animals with an open wound, are also at high risk.
All pets should be checked at least twice a day, especially around the rear end which can become soiled. If this area is dirty, you should clean it and consider clipping the hair from the area to help prevent further soiling. Bedding and litter trays should be cleaned regularly to reduce the number of flies in the environment. Take steps to ensure that your pet is a healthy weight and on the correct diet – this can be discussed at Avenue Veterinary Centre.