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Info & Advice

COMPANION ANIMALS

This page is dedicated to what we believe might be of interest for you and your pet. In-depth articles packed with useful information & practical tips for your companion animals. 

Summer Safety Advice for Pets

Animals left in cars

In the summer months temperatures inside closed cars can soar to 40 degrees very quickly. Unaware owners, who leave their pets in locked cars with minimal or no fresh air, can arrive back to the car to find their pet with severe heat stroke.

Even dogs tied on the back of a ute, where they have no shade, can get heat stroke. Heat stroke is when the core body temperature has risen by at least 3 degrees.

Effectively the brain cooks and this leads to "fitting", coma and death. Unfortunately every summer we see cases of pets in severe heat distress where owners have left animals in closed cars, not realising how quickly temperatures inside the vehicle can soar. Some of these dogs die. So either, take the dog with you, tie it up in the shade till you return, or park the vehicle in the shade with the windows down.

The Christmas Ham Bone that has gone a bit whiffy

Take care feeding your dog the Christmas ham bone that smells a bit off. Hot weather can mean that high bacterial counts are found on the bone and in the marrow. This can result in the dog developing gastroenteritis, so if in doubt, turf it out.

Fish Hooks

We regularly see over summer "the fish hook in the mouth syndrome". Remember to unbait fish hooks so they do not attract potential scavengers, dogs and cats and also seagulls.

Itchy skins

Summer evenings encourage us to walk our dogs. Be aware of the vegetation that you are walking your dog through and try and avoid those plants that your dog's skin may get itchy from. Examples include Tradescantia, a semi succulent often growing along river banks and under trees, or deep Kikuyu grass. Both these plants can cause the skin on the abdomen and groin to become red and itchy, much to the distress of the dog and owner.

Slug bait

Dogs definitely like slug bait and every spring / summer we see accidental poisoning of many dogs. Depending how much has been consumed and the time between consumption and purging you can have a very sick dog and in extreme cases a dead one. Check your brands - Quash is the safest - it is dog and bird
friendly and still keeps your lettuces bug free.


Joanna van Pierce, BVSc, Bay of Islands Veterinary Services
 


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