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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

How to keep your pet safe and well this summer

What a great Summer so far!

We’re all aware of the risks associated with hot weather, with most of us taking precautions to avoid painful sunburn, annoying allergies and the dreaded heatstroke. But are we protecting our pets enough to allow them to enjoy summer too?

White cats are extremely prone to sunburn. This can quickly turn into serious skin cancer, especially on the tips of the nose and ears. We recommend you always apply non-toxic sunblock to these areas, and if you notice any skin changes, contact us immediately.

All responsible rabbit owners worry about fly-strike, a common condition that occurs during warmer weather, when damp and smelly rabbits’ bottoms attract egg-laying flies. These hatching eggs quickly produce flesh-eating maggots. This condition is extremely serious disease, with all rabbits at risk ‘especially obese or older bunnies’. If untreated it is often fatal. However, it is preventable: remember to check your rabbit’s bottom at least twice daily throughout the warmer months. Some people advise attaching an old net curtain to the front of the hutch to prevent flies getting in.

All Spaniel owners will know about the dreaded grass seed. These small, sharp arrows, easily attach themselves to your dog’s coat. We see them regularly in the soft, feathery fur between pads, or in ear canals of ‘hairy ears’. If allowed to progress further, they have been can burrow up through the skin, or even become trapped in eyelids. Head-shaking, and sudden discomfort, are tell-tale signs when returning from walks. Inspect your dog’s coat thoroughly after walks. Ideally try to prevent this painful problem from happening in the first place by clipping the fur from its feet and around its ears.

Bees and wasps can be a potential hazard at this time of year. Inquisitive puppies and kittens once beginning to explore their new gardens, often disturb stinging insects, trying to eat them! Similarly, dogs rummaging around in undergrowth, off their leads are at risk from adder bites. We saw a dog bitten by an adder at the practice last Summer! These affected areas quickly becoming swollen and painful. Contact us immediately if you suspect your pet is in trouble.

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