cat-blog

Finn's Corner

January 2015

Heat stress… the signs

With the hot weather due to return it is important to keep your pets hydrated and allow them to have access to plenty of shade. If your pets are mostly kept outside then it might be wise to provide them with extra water bowls and possibly even a paddling pool for the ones that really dislike the heat. Otherwise if you are happy to have your companion indoors they may appreciate the air conditioning or fans. You should also never leave your pets in extremely hot places such as cars or walk them at the hottest times of the day as this can lead to heat stroke or even hyperthermia.

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Symptoms to look out for in dogs include excessive panting and drooling, increased body temperature (above 39°C), not urinating much, irregular heart rate, reddened gums, breathing difficulty, vomiting, seizures, and muscle tremors. Changes to behaviour, becoming restless, uncoordinated or wobbly are also classic signs of dehydration and heat stress. Cats display similar symptoms however they also excessively groom themselves in an effort to cool down.

 

The main symptoms to look out for in livestock such as horses and cattle include becoming lethargic, depressed, and dull in eyes, having thick saliva as well as excessive salivation, muscle spasms and heavy breathing. In severe cases the animal may even collapse or become unconscious (petMD). More information about forms of heat stress can be obtained from us or is also available via the following links:

http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/cardiovascular/c_dg_heat_stroke

http://www.petmd.com/cat/emergency/common-emergencies/e_ct_heat_stroke

http://www.petmd.com/horse/emergency/common-emergencies/e_hr_heat_stroke

 

Also remember that our local wildlife are also affected by the heat so if you can make sure you keep those bird baths full etc so that they have access to water as well.

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If you think your pet is suffering from a form of heat stress, please don’t hesitate to contact your local veterinarian ASAP.

Grass Seed Trouble…

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It’s that dreaded time of year again when we are noticing a lot of patients coming in with grass seed related issues. Grass seeds have a sharp tip which makes it easy for them to penetrate through your pets’ skin. They tend to lodge themselves in paws, ears and even eyes and affect a range of pets, not just dogs. Infection can occur if left untreated and hence it is important for you to recognise the signs.

 

Signs of a grass seed related problem can vary depending on the area they have penetrated. With respect to your pets’ paws, a grass seed can cause:

 

  • Swelling, often leaving a hole where it has penetrated
  • Irritation often resulting in excessive licking or chewing of the affected area

 

Another area where grass seeds can easily penetrate is in your pets’ ears. Symptoms of this include:

 

  • Head shaking
  • Constant scratching
  • Becoming sore around the ears

 

Sometimes grass seeds can even manage to enter your pets’ eyes causing

 

  • Your pet to rub the area
  • The eye to become swollen

If these symptoms are witnessed then it would be best to organise an appointment with your local vet.
 

Depending on where the grass seed is, treatment can be simply removing the seed from the affected site during consult, however sometimes pets may require sedation or a general anaesthetic. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications are also generally prescribed. Treating these cases is necessary as if left untreated further issues such as infections, ruptured ear drums, and even blindness can occur.

 

The best ways to prevent grass seed complications include keeping your pet properly groomed, keeping the grass at home under control, and regularly inspecting your pet after walks or if they have been in high grass and weed areas.

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