How to protect your pet over summer
It’s the middle of summer and we have some tips to help look after your pet through the hot weather and tick season!
Heatstroke in dogs is a very serious condition as it can escalate quite quickly into an emergency situation and can even be fatal in some cases. Dogs are not as efficient at releasing heat as we do because they can’t sweat like us. Panting can help them release some heat but for it to be effective, the air around the dog needs to be cooler than their own body temperature.
The signs of heatstroke are:
- Panting excessively
- Noisy breathing
- Lethargy /Weakness
- Muscle tremors / Wobbly movement
Some extreme signs can include vomiting and diarrhea, seizures and collapse.
If you see signs of heat stroke keep your dog as cool as possible using cold water, wet towels or even ice and call your vet immediately.
Here are a few tips to prevent your pet from suffering on hot summer days:
- Keep them indoor or provide plenty of shade outside.
- Keep your dog hydrated, provide plenty of water or even ice cubes.
- Avoid mid-day walks as they may overheat or burn their paws on hot surfaces.
- Brush loose hair from your dog regularly or consider clipping them.
- Do not leave your dog in the car, they can become like ovens and it only takes a few minutes for the animal to overheat.
- Take precautions at the beach, provide shaded areas and avoid or limit them from sitting directly on the burning sand.
In summer, the warm weather increases the rate of the flea reproductive cycle resulting in an increased number of fleas. The signs seen on your pet infested with fleas are: scratching, biting, chewing, licking, rubbing, skin abrasions (sores), areas of hair loss around the head, neck and tail.
The key points to break this flea cycle are pretty simple:
- Kill the adult fleas before they breed
- Kill the eggs and larvae before they become adults
Things you need to do apart from treating the pet:
- Wash all animal bedding (>60 C) in hot water and dry under the sun.
- Vacuum! – Vacuuming removes many of the eggs, larvae and pupae developing within the home, especially in areas where pets rest or sleep.
- Flea bomb the house – Always read and follow label directions on the insecticide container! Other than the person performing the application, people and pets should be out of the house during treatment. People and pets should also remain off treated surfaces until the spray has dried. This may take several hours, depending on carpet type, ventilation and method of application.
The Paralysis Tick is very common in bushy areas especially on the coast. These tiny little creatures drop onto your pet when they go exploring in the bush. Then ticks suck your pet’s blood & inject toxins into them. The effects of these toxins cause difficulty breathing (especially in cats) and paralysis (especially in dogs).
Check your pet EVERY DAY for ticks if you are in a high risk area. Use tick prevention measures (Bravecto chews, Nexgard chews or Advantix back-of-the-neck liquid for dogs, Frontline spray for cats).
Take a tick hook with you for easy removal of ticks. If you see a tick, remove it right away & place it in a bag to take to Vet with the pet. Symptoms can worsen for 12-24 hours after a tick is removed so don’t assume all is well just because you found the tick. If you can’t remove the tick go to the Vet – often people think they’ve found a tick when they haven’t – so don’t panic!