All posts by O'Reilly & Fee Veterinary Clinic

Pet Safety at Easter

Spring is in the air and Easter is almost here, but remember that your pets will be curious about new items you bring into your household so keep them a safe distance away from your pets’ reach.

Chocolate

During Easter Week chocolate is a popular treat for humans but it’s also the most common poison to affect pets. In the UK there are nearly 2,000 cases reported every year. Certain types of chocolate are very toxic. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger. Baking chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. This is because chocolate always contains a key ingredient called caffine and theobromine which is lethal to pets. Caffeine is dangerous to all pets as it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and possibly death.

Lilies

Easter lilies are highly toxic to all pets especially cats. All parts of the Easter lily plant are poisonous and cats that ingest as few as one or two leaves, or even a small amount of pollen while grooming their fur, can suffer severe kidney failure.

Symptoms of poisoning will develop within six to 12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Symptoms worsen as kidney failure develops. Some cats will experience disorientation, staggering and seizures. These lilies are commonly found in Easter florist bouquets, so it is imperative to check for poisonous flowers before bringing bouquets into the household.

Easter Grass

Easter grass is the fake grass that often accompanies Easter baskets. When your cat or dog ingests something “stringy” like Easter grass, it can become anchored around the base of the tongue or stomach, rendering it unable to pass through the intestines. It can result in severe damage to the intestinal tract, often requiring expensive abdominal surgery.

Easter Toys

Those adorable baby chick toys and bendy bunnies may be good basket stuffers but small toys are a choking hazard and should be kept away from cats and dogs. Be sure baskets are kept off the floor, or pets are kept in another room while the Easter baskets are being unwrapped.

If you suspect that your pets ate anything hazardous then call us immediately on 028 3752 6777

Springtime Killers

Spring is in the air and pets get curious this time of year, which can mean an increase in the number of emergencies. Springtime will bring many hazards for your pets, so be careful.

– Spring cleaning

Chemicals If you use chemical cleaning supplies around your home, be sure to store products securely away from your pets reach. Commercial cleaning products, contains chemicals that are toxic to your dog or cat, so make sure to follow label instructions carefully and store products securely away from your pet.

– Seasonal Allergies

Just like humans, dogs and cats can develop allergies to plants, pollens, grasses, and many other substances in springtime. Allergies in pets normally appear as itchy skin and ear problems, accompanied by hair loss or inflamed skin.

– Bee or Wasp Stings

Most cases are not emergencies. But if your dog is stung near the mouth or neck then you may need to seek veterinary help. Like humans, dogs can be allergic to stings.

– Parasites

Make sure your pet is up to date with his vaccinations, a flea and tick treatment as this is the time of year fleas and ticks start to increase in number.

Garden hazards

The insecticides, herbicides, pesticides, weed killer and fertilizers used many people in the spring to bring their lawns and gardens back to life are full of chemicals that are dangerous for pets. Here are some more garden hazards;

– Spring Bulbs

Can be fatal if dug up and eaten by your pets. Tulips and daffodils are toxic to dogs and cats, although all parts of the plant are toxic; it is the bulbs that actually contain the most toxins.

– Slug Pellets

Commonly contains the chemical metaldehyde, which is very toxic to pets and since many dogs will eat almost anything, slug pellets should only be used with great care, keeping pets away from areas where they are used and stored.

– Cocoa Shell Mulch

Gardeners apply a thick layer of mulch to their flower beds and dogs are attracted to these shells by their smell, but they contain theobromine which is very poisonous to dogs. It is safer to use an alternative such as tree bark.

Symptoms of Poisoning

– Contact poisons

Chemicals or plants that come into contact with your pet’s skin can cause irritation. You may see sign of discomfort, agitation, excessive scratching, swelling or pain.

– Swallowed poisons

Can cause gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness, staggering, disorientation, convulsions, lethargy, loss of appetite, twitching, dilated pupils, ulcers, heart palpitations, and coma.

– Inhaled poisons

Can cause coughing, drooling, difficulty breathing, unconsciousness or coma.

If you feel that your pet has been affected by any of the hazards listed above please get in touch with us immediately on 028 3752 6777.

Valentine’s Day – Pet Safety Tips

264e9941a684cc200feb44a8036Valentine’s Day can be as much fun for pets as it is for humans if dangerous foods, flora and other items are kept out of paws’ reach. Each year vets see a rise in cases around February 14, many involving chocolate and lilies, a flower that’s potentially fatal to cats. So please take extra precaution.

Pet-Safe Bouquets  Many pet owners are still unaware that all species of lily are potentially fatal to cats. When sending a floral arrangement, specify that it contain no lilies if the recipient has a cat—and when receiving an arrangement, sift through and remove all dangerous flora. If your pet is suffering from symptoms such as stomach upset, vomiting or diarrhoea, he may have ingested an offending flower or plant. Don’t let pets near roses or other thorny stemmed flowers. Biting, stepping on or swallowing their sharp, woody spines can cause serious infection if a puncture occurs.

Life is sweet Pet lovers know the potentially life-threatening dangers of chocolate. In darker chocolates, methylxanthines—caffeine-like stimulants that affect gastrointestinal, neurologic and cardiac function—can cause vomiting/diarrhoea, hyperactivity, seizures and an abnormally elevated heart rate. The high-fat content in lighter chocolates can potentially lead to a life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas. Go ahead and indulge, but don’t leave chocolate out for our furry friends to find.

Don’t let pets near treats sweetened with xylitol. If ingested, gum, candy and other treats that include this sweetener can result in a sudden drop in blood sugar known as hypoglycaemia. This can cause your pet to suffer depression, loss of coordination and seizures.

Playing with Fire  It’s nice to set your evening a-glow with candlelight, but put out the fire when you leave the room. Pawing kittens and nosy pooches can burn themselves or cause a fire by knocking over unattended candles.

Wrap it Up  Gather up tape, ribbons, bows, wrapping paper, cellophane and balloons after presents have been opened—if swallowed, these long, stringy and “fun-to-chew” items can get lodged in your pet’s throat or digestive tract, causing her to choke or vomit.

The Furry Gift of Life?  Giving a cuddly puppy or kitten may seem a fitting Valentine’s Day gift—however, returning a pet you hadn’t planned on is anything but romantic. Companion animals bring with them a lifelong commitment, and choosing a pet for someone else doesn’t always turn out right.

We hope you have a safe and pet-friendly Valentine’s Day; but if you feel that your pet is suffering from any of the dangers above please get in touch with us immediately on 028 3752 6777.

National Pet Dental Health Month

February is dental health month for pets, which is a perfect time to schedule a visit for a free dental examination with the veterinary nurse.

Keeping your pet’s teeth and gums in good shape has many more benefits than just fresh breath. Regular cleanings and a few minutes of brushing each week can help give your pet a longer, healthier life. Most dogs and cats develop dental disease by 3 years of age. And the faster the disease is treated, the easier it is to manage.

Why looking after your pet’s teeth is so important?

  • Liver, kidney and heart disease – dental infections may lead to these diseases if left untreated
  • Shortened life expectancy – poor dental health can shorten the life of your pet
  • Bad breath – a result of neglected teeth and gums
  • Unpleasant looking teeth – teeth can look nasty and harbour bacteria
  • Weight loss – bad teeth and infected gums can lead to a reduced appetite

Your dog’s teeth develop a build-up of plaque just like ours do. When plaque isn’t brushed away, it hardens and forms tartar which, if not treated, can cause gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). This may lead to bacteria entering the bloodstream, causing damage to vital organs, such as the kidneys, liver and heart.

Natural chews and specially-designed dental toys are a great way of keeping teeth strong and healthy.

Signs of dental disease

  • Bad breath
  • Sensitivity around the mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Yellow or brown deposits on the teeth
  • Bleeding, inflamed, or receding gums
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Pawing at the mouth or face
  • Difficulty chewing

Dogs & Cats

There are specially designed foods, toys and chew available to help keep pet’s teeth clean. While these can help, regular toothbrushing is the best way to keep the teeth clean and healthy. Feeding bones is not recommended as they can damage the teeth or gums and fragments can become stuck in the throat.

Brushing

Regular tooth brushing is the most effective way of preventing future build-up of plaque and you may find it much easier than you thought to brush your pet’s teeth.  Special toothbrushes and toothpastes are designed for pets. Human toothpastes should not be used as they contain ingredients which should not be swallowed.

Pets should be introduced to toothbrushing as young as possible, though it can be successfully started in adult animal. Make sure your pet is comfortable, place a small amount of toothpaste on your finger and let your pet sample the flavour. Next, introduce the toothbrush.

Scale & Polish

If the veterinary nurse thinks your pet’s teeth would benefit from a more thorough initial clean, they may recommend that they are cleaned above and below the gum-line.  This is known as a scale and polish and requires your dog to be anaesthetised.  Your dog would typically spend the day at the surgery before going home with you in the afternoon.

Rabbits

Unlike human teeth, rabbit teeth grow continuously throughout their life. This means that they need to nibble constantly, to wear their teeth down. Wild rabbits achieve this by eating lots of grass. Pet rabbits should have constant access to good quality hay. If rabbits don’t eat enough grass or hay, their teeth can become overgrown, leading to painful mouth ulcers. In severe cases, overgrown tooth roots can even penetrate the eye socket. Hay is essential in helping to prevent such tragic cases.

Vets advise that rabbits should fed as follows:

  • At least their body size in hay each day
  • A handful of fresh vegetables morning and evening
  • One tablespoon of nuggets once a day for rabbits under 3.5kg, or one tablespoon twice a day for rabbits over 3.5kg

For the month of February, we are celebrating pet dental month, We are offering free dental examinations by the veterinary nurse. If you feel that your pet is experiencing any signs of dental disease or just want an examination, book an appointment with the nurse on 028 3752 6777

New Year’s Eve Safety Tips

New Year’s Eve is the one party that the whole world is invited to!  As we get ready to ring in 2015 with a loud, colourful display of festive fireworks, we need to remember to keep our furry friends safe.  The excitement of the sparkling, popping and cracking sounds might be fun for humans, but it can make many pets agitated and scared. Without proper care, pets can get lost during the festivities.

Here are a few helpful tips to keep your furry friend safe this New Year’s Eve:

  • Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with identification tags with current information.  Cats should wear break away / safety collars. All pets should be microchipped.
  • Keep your pets indoors in a quiet area that is familiar to him / her with plenty of fresh water and give dogs several safe chew toys.  Dogs who are crate trained may feel safest in their kennels.  Cats will do best in a bathroom or utility room with food, water and their litter box.
  • Resist the urge to soothe and comfort your agitated pet as this can actually reinforce his / her stressed behaviour, stay calm.
  • Frightened outdoor dogs have been known to jump high fences and dig holes to escape the sound of fireworks.  Indoor animals should be kept away from large glass windows or doors because when scared they are capable of crashing right through.
  • Make sure to keep all alcohol, festive foods / chocolates, floral arrangements and party decorations away from your pets.  Alcohol can be dangerous and deadly while balloons, streamers, party hats and confetti can become lodged in your pet’s intestines, causing an intestinal blockage.  Chocolate is especially toxic to both canines and felines.

Remember to keep a watchful eye on your pet and in case of an emergency call us immediately on 028 3752 6777

Winter Weather Safety Tips

Pets need extra protection, as the winter settles in. As most pet owners know winter can be a challenge for our pets. Provided are a few winter safety tips to ensure your pet has a safe and healthy season.

Arthritis

Cold, damp weather aggravates arthritis in pets, which means ‘inflammation of the joints’. Arthritis can appear in pets that are young but most commonly middle aged, overweight or those that suffered from a fracture as the bone can be susceptible to arthritis after the injury is healed. The signs exacerbate in colder weather as you may notice your pet licking at its joints, experience stiffness in the morning, struggling to move and taking a while to warm up. Arthritis causes a constant and nagging pain. Though you may not think your pet is hurting, they may be masking the symptoms and living with the pain. If you see any signs of arthritis in your pet, make an appointment today on 028 3752 6777. Never medicate your pet with human prescription or over-the-counter medications only give prescribed medication to your pet.

Frostbite & Hypothermia

Outdoor pets can withstand fairly cold temperatures if they have adequate shelter, access to water that is not frozen and extra food to generate body heat. Pets can get frostbite and hypothermia so don’t leave them outdoors too long if there is no shelter provided. Remember if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet. Bring them inside.

Hypothermia is caused by exposure to cold weather causing your pet’s body temperature to fall below normal. Because your pet has a fur coat does not mean they are protected from the winter climate. Your pets ears, paws and tail can rapidly develop frostbite when exposed to winter conditions. Frostbite occurs when your pets body gets cold and blood from the extremities is pulled to the centre of the body in an attempt to retain warmth. Ice crystals form, damaging the tissue. If you see ice crystals, don’t try to remove them.

If you suspect your pet is suffering from hypothermia or frostbite acting quickly and correctly could save your pet’s life. Follow this procedure;

  • Immediately remove your pet from the cold environment and take them into warm, but not hot, surroundings. Warming up too quickly can be harmful.
  • Ensure your pet is dry. If they are wet then dry them gently with a towel.
  • Gradually raise your pet’s body temperature, either using a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel, or a hair dryer on a low heat.
  • Then call us immediately on 028 3752 6777 to arrange for your pet to be examined and follow any further guidelines provided by the vet.

Ice Melting Chemicals & Salt

Ice melting chemicals and salt placed across sidewalks and roads can cause severe burning to your dog and cat’s footpads. Be sure to rinse and dry your pet’s paws, with a warm wet towel if you suspect contamination. Products can be applied to footpads prior to going outside and may help reduce the pain caused by road salt and chemicals. You may also consider buying a set of pet-safe booties that your dog can wear when outside.

Gear Up For Winter Walking

When walking pets in the snow or freezing temperatures, follow these guidelines:

  • Put a suitable winter coat on pets with thin, fine hair
  • Try to walk in daylight hours; if walking in the dark wear reflective clothing, bring a torch and use a glowing collar & lead particularly on dark haired pets
  • Towel dry your dog as soon as you get home or use a hair dryer on low at a distance

 Keep Cats On Their Toes

Keep cats in at night to reduce the risk of road traffic accidents but you need to prevent them from becoming lazy. Cats get bored very easily so introduce new games and toys to exercise your cats body and mind.

Wrap Up Small Pets

Because of their size small furry pets are very susceptible to temperature changes. As temperature drops, you should bring them indoors or move their hutch to a car-free garage. Ensure the hutch is dry, well ventilated and has extra warm bedding.

Pets in harsh winter climates need extra protection during the snowy, icy winter months. These winter safety tips will help keep pets comfortable and safe this winter. But if you suspect your pet has suffered an injury from any of the hazards above please contact us immediately on 028 3752 6777.

Christmas Pet Safety Tips

Christmas is a wonderful time of year but not always for your pets. Here are some tips for keeping your pets out of danger.

Decorations & Presents

Holiday decorations are designed to look attractive but unfortunately pets get into trouble easily around decorations. To help to maintain the merry mood this Christmas make sure electrical cords from decorations are kept out of pets reach, so they can’t chew them and get electrocuted. Snow globes are a double danger as they are made from glass and plastic; plus an antifreeze substance is added to the water in snow globes to make the slow moving effect of the falling snow, which is very poisonous to pets. Cinnamon scented candles are attractive at Christmas because of their smell, taste and texture; but if not perched on high shelves and left unsupervised, a pet can easily knock them over and quickly start a fire.

After opening presents there can be wrappings, wires, toys and batteries left lying around.  This is a choking hazard; as pets often explore new objects with their mouths. Batteries especially are dangerous if swallowed as they can cause internal burns; so remove any tempting items from the floor. Provide pets with a safe toy from a reputable pet shop or veterinary surgery, to keep them occupied and free from hazards.

Christmas Tree Dangers

Fallen Christmas tree needles are very sharp and can easily get stuck in your pet’s paws or throat. Real Christmas trees are mildly toxic and the oils can be an irritant to pets; so make sure to sweep trees needles up regularly, buy an artificial tree or fence off your Christmas tree to separate your pet and tree. This will prevent inquisitive pets from tossing it over as pets intend to explore Christmas trees and play with shiny decorations and flashing lights, but can result in injuries if they are left to their own devices.Cover up electric cords and avoid tinsel and ribbon decoration as it can be fatal to pets if swallowed. Remember Mistletoe and Holly are both poisonous to pets and should be kept out of reach at all times.

Holiday Food

While enjoying a Christmas afternoon snooze, pets may use this opportunity to sniff out tasty food. Make sure food is out of pets reach and avoid giving your pets any leftovers as they can choke on turkey bones, whilst some foods such as onions, raisins and certain nuts can even be poisonous. Watch out for sage and onion stuffing, Christmas cake, chocolate and mince pies. Make sure your guests know not to feed your dog from the table. Have a supply of suitable treats and toys on hand for those curious pets.

For peace of mind we have a 24hour emergency service, just call 028 3752 6777. Most pet related Christmas dangers are easy to avoid so just have fun and remember to be pet safe.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from all the staff at O’Reilly & Fee!

Autumn Alarm – Watch out for those Hazards

Fall is drawing to an end and winter is quickly approaching. Dangers are lurking for our furry friends. From poisons to cold weather hazards, the season is a minefield! Here are some tips to keep your pet snug and healthy during the autumn months.

Rodenticides / Mouse Traps

Fall’s cooler temperatures drive rodents in search of shelter from the cold and into our home. Rodenticide that kills rodents can also kill your pet. They cause severe bleeding, kidney failure and death. There are no safe rodenticides. Whether it’s due to hunger, boredom, or curiosity, pets will consume these products. If you must use these products, do so with extreme caution and put them in places inaccessible to your pets.

Anti-Freeze

Every year more than 10,000 dogs and cats are accidentally poisoned with automotive antifreeze. Pets are attracted to the sweet taste of ethylene glycol. It has been reported that one or two teaspoons will poison a cat and three tablespoons is enough to kill a medium size dog. It is very fast acting and can result in kidney failure and death in a matter of hours. Make sure and check the ground for spills after you use antifreeze, and store it safely out of reach.

Cold Weather

Remember to keep your pets warm as the autumn season continues. Indoor pets not acclimated to winter temperatures should not be left outside in cold weather for long periods as they don’t develop a thick double coat like outdoor pets. Pets should gradually be introduced to cooler weather, with warm clothing. Outdoor pets can withstand fairly cold temperatures if they have shelter, access to water that is not frozen and extra food to generate body heat. It is important to keep your pet’s feet clean and dry, as ice or salt will cause severe irritation when caught between the toes.

Leaves

Leaf piles remaining on your lawn quickly are riddled with allergens; they can also contain mould, bacteria, and microorganisms. Once wet, a pile of leaves can become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mould growth. No matter the reason, if your pet eats wet leaves that have been sitting for days, they can end up with a severe upset stomach, including vomiting and diarrhoea. If your pet ends up ingesting possible microorganisms, bacteria, or mould growing in the pile, more severe health problems could occur. When clearing your leaf piles remember startling noises created by leaf blowers can cause pets to flee your property. Additionally, fuel powered devices can leak fuel or oil, which creates a source of toxicity should ingestion occur when your pet licks a substance from the ground or their paws.

As long as you take steps to make sure your dog is safe, there is no reason you cannot enjoy the beautiful fall weather.  Being able to let your dog run around outside, without having the stress about the humidity, makes it easier to focus on having fun with your dog.  If your dog is going to be running around and playing, bringing water is always a good idea, no matter the weather.

 

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween puppyAttention, animal lovers, it’s almost the spookiest night of the year. Halloween is a fun-filled holiday for children and adults; unfortunately it can be a frightening and even dangerous time for pets. We recommend following these guidelines to keep your pet safe and stress-free on Halloween:

Keep sweets & chocolate away from your pet  

Sweets and Chocolate are very harmful to pets and on Halloween there is an increased chance that your pet may consume some. Chocolate is toxic to pets and sweets wrapped in plastic can lead to a choking hazards and may cause an obstruction or upset stomach. Avoid this hazard by keeping all treats out of your pets reach and keep a supply of pet-safe treats for those curious pets. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact us immediately on 028 3752 6777.

Keep your pet relaxed

Pets can become skittish and anxiety ridden on Halloween due to the incessant ringing of the doorbell, constant squeals and fireworks. Take extra precaution on Halloween by keeping pets indoors from trick-or-treaters as strangers dressed in unfamiliar and scary costumes can also alarm some pets, increasing their anxiety. If your pets get very stressed at Halloween, keep them calm by using Homeopet Anxiety TFLN, Thundershirt or even products from the Adaptil and Feliway range that uses artificial pheromones to relax your pet – All products are available instore and online.

ID Tags / Microchipping

Don’t keep pets outdoors; even the best-trained pets can become spooked or aggressive in the noise and confusion of Halloween. If you are confident to include your pet in the Halloween festivities make sure they are secure on a leash with proper ID tags and are microchipped. If you haven’t done so already, visit us for a microchip prior to the festivities of Halloween. Should your pet become lost, an ID tag or a microchip can help quickly reunite you with your dog or cat.

Stay visible while trick –or-treating

It can be extremely enjoyable to wander the streets the night of Halloween and appreciate the decorations and costumes of your neighbours. However, all trick-or-treaters should be visible to drivers in the dark. You can keep your pet visible by attaching a Blinky light to their collar or costume.

Comfortable Costumes

Who doesn’t love a pet in costume? You may, but your pet may feel differently. Costumes can be an unnecessary source of stress and anxiety for pets. If you plan to put a costume on your pet, make sure it fits properly and is comfortable, doesn’t have any pieces that can easily be chewed off, and doesn’t interfere with your pet’s sight, hearing, breathing, opening its mouth, or moving. Take time to get your pet accustomed to the costume before Halloween, and never leave your pet unsupervised while he/she is wearing a costume. Check out our safe Halloween costumes online.

Dangerous Decorations / Bonfires

If you like to decorate your home in the Halloween spirit, take into consideration what you’re putting on display and where the decorations will be placed. Easy-to-reach decorations — or candles — can be eaten or knocked over, potentially leading to choking, foreign body ingestion, electrical shock and even burns. Avoid hazardous decorations and don’t let pets near bonfires or other dangerous items.

We hope these tips help keep your pet safe this holiday and that you and your pet both have a very Happy Halloween.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Hazards – Keep pets safe this season

As autumn approaches, the weather begins to change, as well as the needs and behaviors of our pets. As we prepare for a new season, we should make sure that our pets are prepared as well. In an effort to minimize risks, knowing more about autumn hazards and preventive measures will help keep your pets safe. Below are some hazards to watch out for this fall:

Back-to-School Time

During the summer, your children and the family pet can develop a strong bond. Now there’s suddenly an empty and quiet house. This change in routine can cause your pet to suffer from separation anxiety. Your pet may experience the effects of the loss by exhibiting signs of separation through destructive behaviours, such as:

  • Chewing furniture
  • Ripping the stuffing out of pillows
  • Shredding paper
  • Obsessive barking/whining/meowing for extended periods of time
  • House soiling

Never punish your pets for exhibiting this behavior, as it will make them more fearful and potentially aggressive.

Exercise

Many dog owners will walk their dog or exercise with their dog in the morning, before the sun is up, or in the evening or night, when the sun has gone down.  Make sure your dogs are kept dry when walking, ideally a waterproof reflective coats. It’s so important to make sure your pet is microchipped and remember to keep contact details up to date. The reduced visibility in autumn makes it harder for dogs to see or be seen on sidewalks and roads if somehow they escape from a leash.

Fallen Fruit:

Apples, apricots, plums and other fruits have pits or seeds that can cause intestinal irritation or blockage. If eaten, rotting fruit can also cause gastroenteritis. Please do prevent your pet from accessing fallen fruit, leaves, conkers etc.

Allergies

Autumn can bring about a whole new set of allergies. Blooming weeds and dust are two big aggravates. Look for signs like scratching, biting, chewing, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, hives and rashes. As we turn the heaters on, dust and dry air can cause skin and upper respiratory irritation.

Seasonal Parasites

Autumn is one of our pet’s favorite times of the year despite the weather getting colder. Unfortunately parasites do not take holidays and are a major problem at this time of the year. The reason is that with the mild weather, and cool nights, conditions are perfect for parasite eggs to last much longer in the environment. Fleas are seeking heat which can make life miserable for you and your pets. Ticks are particularly active this time of the year, living in long grass and woodland areas. Harvest mites are active in long grass in the autumn time, swarming onto passing pets where they tend to congregate on the ears, eyelids, feet and under the abdomen. They are easily identified as bright orange dots. Autumn is definitely not the time of the year to be lacking on a guard again parasites, make sure and keep your pets protected.

Mushrooms

It is the mushroom season and all mushrooms are toxic to dogs. Always watch for mushrooms in areas where you walk your dogs or where they run and play. Be especially cautious of parasol-shaped mushrooms and all small brown mushrooms. Symptoms of mushroom poisoning can range from mild vomiting and diarrhea to severe digestive problems to complete liver failure.

Keep your pets cool this Summer

Summer is a fun time of year for humans and pets alike. Many pets and people love to play outdoors despite the heat. Some homes do not have air-conditioning, so alternative cooling methods must be used. If your pet does not wish to stay indoors with the air-conditioner, or if you do not have air-conditioning, there are still plenty of ways to keep your pet cool as temperatures rise. Summer safety is no joke, and it’s up to you to make sure your pet stays cool and comfortable. Here are some ways to help your pet cool off in the heat of summer.

Fresh, Cool Water

It is essential that you keep fresh, cool water available to your dog at all times. In hot weather, this is even more crucial. Make sure you keep the water bowl in a shady location and change the water frequently. In addition to cool, fresh water, you can try feeding your pet some delicious chilled treats.

Shelter from the Sun

Your pet might enjoy a little sunbathing, but they ultimately need a cool, shady spot to relax. Prolonged sun exposure not only leads to heat exhaustion, it can also cause sunburn. Of course, the most ideal shelter is in your home. Some people turn their air conditioning off when they leave for the day. If you have a pet at home, this could put him in danger. Instead of turning off the air conditioner, try leaving it on a comfortable setting while you are out. Consider closing curtains to reduce the heating effects of sunlight through the windows. If possible, install a doggie door to allow constant indoor and outdoor access for your pet.

Pools for Cooling

If your dog loves water, then a large tub or kiddie pool might be a great addition to your yard. Many dogs enjoy playing and lounging in the cool water. Just make sure you supervise your dog at all times. Also, keep the pool in a shady spot and change the water frequently. You might also try running a sprinkler to see if your dog likes it.

Summer Style

Feel free to trim longer hair on your pet, but never shave them: The layers protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labelled specifically for animals.

No matter what you do to keep your pet cool, the best thing you can do is to keep a close eye on them. When in doubt, move them to a cooler area. Be sure to contact your vet immediately if you notice any signs of heatstroke, Call 028 3752 6777

 

A Summer Hazzard – Heatstroke

Hot sunny days are the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, but it’s important to remember that even fit and healthy pets can easily overheat in this weather. Heatstroke can be fatal, often occurring if a pet is kept shut up in a house or car without shade, ventilation or water. It can also occur after vigorous exercise in warm weather and following stress or over-excitement.

Signs of heatstroke

  • Severe panting.
  • Difficulty breathing (particularly if any respiratory problems).
  • Severe salivating.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Raised temperature (40.5° C or above)
  • Blood in urine,
  • Nose bleeds (and other bleeding problems).
  • Ultimately, collapse and coma.

Avoid heatstroke

  • As temperatures rise, pets become more vulnerable to heat stress. Maintaining a comfortable environment for your pet is important, so provide plenty of cool, fresh water to help keep your pet cool throughout the summer.
  • If you go on a journey, remember to take water along and also a towel. A wet towel is an effective way of cooling down your pet. Avoid travelling during the hottest times of the day.
  • NEVER, ever leave your pet in the car. Confinement in a car or any other poorly ventilated enclosure can be fatal, and will leave owners liable to prosecution. One study reports that when the outside temperature is 26ºC /78ºF, the inside of a car will reach 32ºC /90ºF in five minutes, and 43ºC /110ºF in 25 minutes! Even a few minutes is too long, so think about your journey and avoid taking your pet at all if the weather is hot.
  • Avoid exercising your pet too much during hot days or warm, humid nights. The best time to exercise is either early in the morning before sunrise or late in the evening after the sun goes down. This is particularly important for dogs with thick, heavy coats, do not take them out in the middle of the day. Avoid vigorous exercise for all dogs in hot weather. In warm environments with exercise your dog could develop heat stroke in as little as 30 minutes.
  • Never leave your pet in direct sunlight outside.
  • Think twice about visiting busy, outdoor events on hot summer days

Treating heatstroke

  • Seek veterinary attention as soon as possible, as heatstroke can be fatal – drive straight to the nearest vet. Remove your pet from the heat into cool or shady area, or into air conditioning.
  • Spray or sponge the pet’s body with cool (but not cold) water, being sure the water contacts the skin and doesn’t simply run off the coat. Thoroughly wet the belly and inside the legs.
  • Using a fan to reduce the temperature.
  • Do not plunge your dog into cold water, or an ice bath, as this actually prevents the animal’s core (central) temperature going down.
  • Very gently massage the legs and body until you reach the vet to improve the circulation to the outside, but as animals with heatstroke can bruise easily be cautious.
  • If the temperature returns to 39.4°C stop the cooling process to ensure you don’t chill your dog as this can lead to hypothermia. However, even if the temperature returns to normal, take your dog to the vets as delayed problems can occur.
  • Gently dry your dog with a towel. If your pet is conscious, give him or her small amounts of water.

Heatstroke is very serious but easily avoided. Contact us today on 0283752 6777 if you think your dog has heatstroke.

We’re all going on a summer holiday

The summer months have arrived and many people love to go away with their pets. For most pets, going on holiday means a car journey. This requires careful planning to ensure that your furry friend is safe and happy.

Visit your Vet

Visit your vet and discuss vaccinations and medication before you go away. Check if your pet is due flea & worm treatment whilst you’re away and don’t forget to purchase any special diet food if required. A rapid change of diet, especially if it was prescribed by a veterinarian, can cause upset tummies and digestive problems so plan ahead.

Microchipping

O’Reilly and Fee strongly recommend Microchipping pets – thousands of pets go missing every year and a microchip can mean the difference between your pet being lost forever or returned to you safely. If you haven’t yet microchipped your pet, do so before going on holiday when the chances of getting lost in unfamiliar surroundings are higher. If you pet is already microchipped, double check that your details are up-to-date on the Microchipping database.

Travelling

Travelling long distances can be a traumatic experience, especially for a pet used to only very short car journeys. Correctly fitted seat belt harnesses are ideal for dogs, while a sturdy good-sized carrier that’s securely positioned in the car is a must for cats when travelling. Plan plenty of toilet stops and allow your pet to stretch safely. Never be tempted to leave your pet alone in the car, it can take just minutes for a dog to die from heat stroke. It is very important to carry plenty of drinking water and a bowl for your pet, even on short journeys and avoid feeding your pet just before the journey.

Exercise

Although you may be going away to relax, your pets will still need exercise. Don’t walk your dog in the midday sun and if the weather is particularly warm keep exercise calm and avoid long walks.

Finally be safe and enjoy you’re your holiday.