Summertime is here, and we joyfully bring out the sun-cream, paddling pools and enjoy some al fresco dining. However, when the heat turns up, some dangers to our pets increase too.

Ticks and fleas are pesky parasites all year round, but with increased time spent outdoors, they become more prevalent in the summer months. Fleas can simply be annoying and cause itching. Some animals are allergic, with excessive scratching causing hair loss and sore patches of skin. Ticks can cause a local irritation at the site of attachment and can also transmit some nasty diseases.

As with all parasites, prevention is better than cure, with veterinary prescribed medication being much more effective than over the counter preparations.

Dehydration and heat stroke are a real threat during the warmer weather. Always have fresh water available for your pet and consider carrying portable water bowls on walks. Dogs can overheat when exercising or playing games, so exercising during the cooler times of the day is advised.

The extreme danger of leaving pets in cars during warm weather, despite being well publicised, continues to be a reason for emergency visits to the vet, and should never be done.
Adders can bite and cause extreme pain, profound swelling and bruising and can occasionally be fatal.

If you are suspicious that an inquisitive pet has been bitten by an adder, visit your vet immediately for emergency treatment.

Bee and wasp stings, while uncommonly life-threatening, can be painful and cause a local swelling, which if around the throat region can be fatal. Some animals can also have an allergic reaction which requires immediate veterinary attention.

Tarmac or sand can get very hot and burn your pets’ paws. Booties, if tolerated, may be worth a try.

BBQs are a firm favourite during the summer months, but if your pet gets hold of some of the leftovers, problems can arise. Grapes, raisins, onions and garlic can be toxic if consumed, barbequed meats can cause diarrhoea, and cooked bones carry the risk of splintering, with sharp fragments piercing the intestines. Corn on the cobs can be a choking hazard or become obstructed as they try to pass through the gut.

Finally, too much sun exposure can burn the skin of your pet, particularly in thinned haired areas like the ear tips, nose and tummy. Especially vulnerable are white-haired animals and long-term exposure can lead to skin cancer. A suitable pet safe sun blocker should be applied.

Enjoy the summer, be safe and keep your pets safe too. If you’re at all concerned or need advice, just give Manor Farm Vets a call: 01985 850752

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