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Summertime: The heat is on!

The onset of summer weather brings with it the prospect of warm lazy days and longer evenings, but it’s worth sparing a thought for our pets. There are a number of potential hazards associated with the season that should be borne in mind- so here are a few tips:

Heat can be a real killer for many pets. It’s a good idea to avoid exercising pets in the heat of the day- particularly old overweight dogs with heart problems. Stick to the early mornings and evenings. You may also want to consider trimming dogs’ coats since all pets need to keep cool in the summer.

Heat can also be a problem for guinea pigs and rabbits. Every summer, many guinea pigs and rabbits die of heatstroke. Always provide plenty of water and position any runs and hutches in the shade.

Flies also pose a huge problem for rabbits in the warmer months. Rabbits rear ends often become damp and this moist area attracts flies, which lay their eggs there. These, in-turn, hatch into maggots, which burrow through the rabbit’s skin and into the underlying flesh. During the summer months, rabbit rear ends should be inspected on a daily basis for fly eggs and maggots. Please call us at once if you are worried. 

Grass seeds are another summer problem- the grass awms of the meadow grasses are easily trapped in the coats of pets- especially dogs. They then migrate and become lodged in a variety of places including the ears and between the toes. It is always a good idea to groom your pets regularly, and especially after walks, to keep a close eye out for grass seeds. 

The sun itself can also pose a hazard. Pets (especially cats) with white ear tips and noses are particularly at risk from sunburn which in turn can lead to cancerous changes in the sunburnt areas. High factor sunblock applied to the at risk (light colored hair/ pigmentation) areas helps to minimise the risk.

Also watch out for bee and wasp stings that may require prompt veterinary attention since some dogs are allergic to their stings.

Finally, please remember that the temperature in cars can rise rapidly and death from heat stroke can follow in minutes, so pets should never be left unattended in cars.