Summertime and the Livin' Is Easy ??!? Part 2
Summer brings some real challenges for pets, owners and veterinarians. Here are the 5 worst of the “Summertime Top 10 Pet Issues and Hazards” in reverse order of difficulty in prevention, treatment, and prognosis. See the prior column for number 10 through 6 summertime hazards.
5 - INTESTINAL PARASITES. Research has shown that the life cycle of common intestinal worms, round, hook and whipworms shortens from about 31 days to 18 days in warm, humid weather. This means that your pet can reach a serious infestation level twice as fast in the summer. Digestive issues and anemia are the results of overwhelming worm infestations. Round and hook worms eggs passed in the feces may also be contracted by humans (think children and bare feet). Deworm your pets, heartworm preventative monthly will work great, and pick the fecal material up out of the yard routinely.
4 - THUNDERSTORM AND FIRECRAKER STRESS. Many pets are sensitive to sudden loud noises. Make certain that your pets have a safe and quiet location, and consider giving melatonin to help control stress. If necessary, ask your veterinarian for a mild and safe sedative.
3 - SNAKEBITE - If you find a sudden swelling, frequently on the face or foot, have your dog seen by the veterinarian. Often you can see the fang marks and the swelling comes up very fast. If you live in an area with a history of venomous snakes, consider the snakebite vaccination.
2 - DEHYDRATION - Water the pets with clear, clean and cool water OFTEN. Watch for any diarrhea or vomiting. Extreme heat can make dehydration a serious or fatal problem very quickly.
1 - HEATSTROKE - Pets need to be afforded shelter from extreme temperatures. If the pets are normally outdoors, shade, breeze and water will be appropriate, but if the pets are normally indoors, do not try to rapidly adjust them to outdoor living. They need to be acclimated slowly, if at all. Do not leave pets in enclosed places in hot weather (CARS!!!). Heatstroke can lead to brain damage, seizures, and muscular changes. If not fatal, it may leave a pet with serious health issues that may last a long time.
Summertime and the livin’ CAN be easy if we are smart about pet care.