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Monday, 29 July 2013

Hoglets are here.

Baby hedgehogs (hoglets) will continue to be born throughout July.  If you see the same hedgehog around then it is likely to be a female.  They often have regular routes that they follow when they are foraging, so if you see a hedgehog by the shed at 10pm then it may well be there again the next night at or around that time.

There is a great deal of worry amongst hedgehog rehabilitators that there are so few hedgehogs being admitted.  Whilst it is good not to have them needing care it also means that there are not so many around.  This is also confirmed by the lack of kills seen on our roads.  Death rates are believed to have been high during the extended winter hibernation so every hedgehog seen is even more precious and its well-being is necessary to aid the hedgehogs’ dwindling population.

Kate Bullen suggests we can all help by making our gardens safer for hedgehogs, and by providing food and water for them.  To protect the food, from both cats and the weather, make a feeding station, for example try putting a paving slab on bricks (leave a gap between 2 of the bricks as an entrance hole); or use a rabbit hutch with its door wedged partly open; or an upside down plastic dog bed.   As a final suggestion, try to get one of those deep plastic mushroom boxes, or an under the bed storage box.   Cut a 5 x 5 inch hole in one of the short sides so when the box is upside down the hole becomes an entrance.  Put water and food (meat based dog or cat food or a propriety brand of complete hedgehog food) at the far end and weigh the box down with a stone.

If you have a shed or summer house that is raised off the ground slightly food can be put under this.  However this is also a favourite place for a female to make her nursery nest so before using it as a feeding station check there is not a nest there.  The female hedgehog will not be happy about other hedgehogs coming to a food source so close to her babies.

If you want to find out more about hedgehogs visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society’s web site at www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk

If you find a hedgehog needing help or if you need more advice call the BHPS on 01584 890801 – it is better to be safe than sorry.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Hot weather advice for your pet

We all know how uncomfortable we can feel, out and about, in this wonderful weather. Sadly this warm or hot weather can cause distress, suffering or even lead to the death of our pets. It’s important that you are aware of your pets’ needs in warm and hot weather and know how to deal with these.
Many animals can’t sweat through their skin in the same way as humans.  They only cool down by sweating through sweat glands in their feet and panting. So it’s important that you help your pets to stay cool.
Here’s a few thoughts:

Never leave your pet in a car on a warm or hot day
·      This can cause distress and suffering, and lead to death. It can get unbearably hot in a car on a sunny day, even when it’s not that warm. Leaving a window part way down is not enough.

In fact, when it’s 22°C/72°F outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 47°C/117°F within 60 minutes.

Never leave your pet in direct sunlight
·      If your pet is unable to escape to a cooler, more shady environment when it’s feeling hot, it may become unwell and suffer.   
·      Animals should always be housed out of direct sunlight.   Make sure your pet can get to a cool, shady place to escape from the sun at all times of day.  This includes outdoor enclosures where small animals and birds are kept
·       Fish should also be kept out of direct sunlight, and their water kept clean, well oxygenated and algae free.

Make sure your pet has a constant supply of clean, fresh drinking water
·         To keep cool, it’s important that your pet can replace any water that is lost through sweating and panting, otherwise it could become dehydrated.  So check and fill water bowls or bottles regularly, especially for outdoor rabbits. A good tip is to fill a 2 litre plastic bottle 3/4 full with water and freeze it. During hot days take it out and put it in with your small pets. The frozen water gives them something cool to lean against, helping them deal with the heat.  

Exercise your pet at times when it is cooler
·         Animals still need exercise when it’s hot, but don’t allow pets to exercise too much in hot weather.  It is best to walk dogs early in the morning or later in the evening, when it’s cooler.
·         If at all possible, keep cats indoors in the heat of the day if the forecast is hot.

Protect your pet from sunburn
·         Animals can get sunburnt too, especially those with light coloured noses, or light coloured fur on their ears.  Ask us for advice on pet-safe sunscreens.

Be aware of the signs of heat-stroke
·         Heatstroke in pets can be fatal and you should do everything you can to prevent it.
·         Signs of heat stroke are excessive panting, heavy salivation, rapid pulse, very red gums/tongue, lethargy (tiredness), lack of co-ordination, being unable to get up after collapsing, vomiting, diarrhoea.  In extreme cases, loss of consciousness is likely. 

 If you suspect that your pet has heat-stroke, move it to a shaded, cool area and contact us immediately for advice. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fly-strike in rabbits 

Check your rabbit for signs of illness or injury every day, and make sure this is done by someone else if you are away.  In warm weather you should check the fur and skin around your rabbit’s rear end and tail area twice a day, as urine staining or droppings that are stuck will attract flies, which can lay eggs and cause fly-strike which is often fatal.                                                                

If you are worried about your pet in this spell of glorious weather call us on 02476 464789. We are open 7 days a week. Visit us at: www.broadlanevets.co.uk for our opening hours. Remember 24 hours a day someone can help and advise you.