Making sure your pets stay healthy this summer
| Animal Anecdotes
with Nina Smith from Papamoa Village Vets
Summer's a great time to live in the Bay, but it brings painful and preventable problems for pets.
The ‘grass seed season' is here! Seeds attach to fur and their arrowhead shape burrows under skin, causing pain and infection. The most common signs are licking an area excessively, swelling and lameness. Seeds are usually found around feet and ears but can migrate and cause major problems. Keeping your dog's coat short and checking their fur and feet after walks will help.
Hot summer days can be tough on pets, because their coats were designed to conserve heat. Clipping longer haired dogs and cats can make a big difference. Dogs reduce their temperature by panting and this isn't very efficient. Never leave your dog in a car during summer and always provide shade. Heatstroke is an emergency requiring immediate cooling while en route to your vet.
Older dogs and brachycephalic breeds, such as pugs and bulldogs, are especially prone to heatstroke. If your pet is struggling, consider a summer trim, give them frozen water blocks to lick and purchase a cooling pad to lie on.
Treating for fleas monthly is essential. The flea cycle speeds up in summer, and we see a lot of flea allergies that often require medication.
Remember to rinse your dog after a trip to the beach to remove irritating salt and sand; and for pets with white noses, apply animal sunscreen daily.
Lastly, don't give your dog leftover chops, sausages or fatty meat. Cooked bones can cause blockages, resulting in major surgery and fatty meals can cause life-threatening pancreatitis.