Warmer weather brings potential hazards that can affect our pets, so I sat down with Dr. Michael Grace, a veterinarian at Flying Cloud Animal Hospital in Eden Prairie, about keeping Fido and Fifi safe this summer.
Please keep in mind that heat stroke can happen suddenly and to any breed. Seek veterinary care immediately if any signs occur, as heat stroke can lead to organ damage or death. Which dogs are more at risk?
- Overweight dogs
- Brachycephalic breeds (short-snouted dogs): Boxers, Boston Terriers, Pugs, French Bulldogs, Cavaliers, Pekingese and Shih Tzu to name just a few.
- Pets with asthma, heart disease and/or any other major medical problems.
- Drooling, excessive salivation and panting
- Weakness and collapse
- Bright red gums, red blemishes on the skin or Petechia—a small (1-2 mm) red or purple spot on the body, caused by a minor hemorrhage.
- Most importantly, leave your dog home.
- Know the side effects of medication.
- Provide plenty of fresh water and shade from sun.
- Turn air conditioning on ‘high’ in the car.
- If you have a dog with lots of fur, consider a “summer” shave, but always consult a groomer first.
- Limit activity during the hottest times.
Dogs can get heartworm infection from the bite of an infected mosquito. If not treated quickly, it can lead to death.
- Abnormal lung sound
- Difficulty breathing
- Monthly heartworm preventative medication and yearly heartworm test
Tick Borne Illness
Lyme, anaplasma, and ehrlichia.
- Shifting leg lameness
- Loss of appetite
- Check for ticks
- A veterinarian-approved preventative.
Watch for this if your dog loves to swim.
- Head shaking and ear scratching
- Foul smell or debris from the ears
- Clean your dog’s ears with a veterinarian-approved ear cleaner after swimming.
A parasite found at lakes and damp soil. Check with the DNR to see if any reports have been found.
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Watch what your dog consumes.
Harmony Gallegos is the owner of Harmony and Pets in Eden Prairie; harmonyandpets.com
Mention this article to get $5 off your next appointment at Flying Cloud Hospital for the month of August 2014.