Summer Pet Dangers

Isn’t it great when the sun comes out over Sussex?

Everyone’s smiling away, everything looks better and we all can’t wait to get out and enjoy our surroundings. But we’re also all aware of the risks that come with hot weather and most of us take the necessary precautions to avoid sunburn, allergies and heatstroke.

But what about our piping-hot pets? Are we protecting them enough from the dangers of summer so they can enjoy it too?

White cats are at greatest risk. Due to lack of protective pigment, they are prone to sunburn which can quickly turn into serious skin cancer – especially on their ear-tips and nose. It’s upto you to greatly reduce this risk to your sun-worshipping feline, by applying non-toxic sunblock liberally and daily to every sensitive area, and with any sign of skin changes (such as reddening) please contact your vet immediately. I really can’t stress this enough.

All responsible rabbit-owners will have heard of the condition ‘fly-strike’. During the warmer weather the rabbit’s damp bottom attracts flies, usually laying their eggs there. A few hours later these eggs hatch-out and hey presto – you’ve now got thousands of hungry flesh-eating maggots to deal with. This is a very serious and common condition and every rabbit is at risk, especially the older ones. It’s usually fatal unless treated immediately.

Please check your rabbit’s rear-end at least twice daily throughout the summer months, and attach an old net curtain to your rabbit’s hutch to stop most flies getting close enough to your precious bunny to lay those eggs.

If you’ve got a spaniel you’ll know all about the dreaded ‘grass seed’ – seeds of meadow grasses that on closer examination look like small sharp arrow-like structures. All dogs can be affected by these bad-boys, which attach themselves to their coats. If allowed to progress further, they’ll burrow their way through the skin of the pads on their feet or even become trapped in their ears, the latter indicated by severe head-shaking.

Following walks, inspect your dogs’ coat thoroughly, or better still prevent this painful (and expensive) problem from happening by taking time to clip the fur from around their feet and ears.

Bees and wasps add to our pets list of potential ailments at this time of year. Puppies and kittens, inquisitively exploring their new surroundings will often disturb stinging insects – usually by trying to eat them!

Dogs off the lead and rummaging around in the undergrowth are also at risk from adder bites at this time of year. Affected areas will become swollen and painful very quickly, and your vet should be contacted immediately and treatment administered.

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