Summer brings lots of outdoor fun with our pets and children. But with the warm
temperatures also comes some hazards for pets. To make sure they stay healthy, keep in mind the following tips.
Temperatures rise rapidly inside cars, and animals can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their footpads. Thus animals should not be kept in cars when temps rise and activity on hot days should be limited to the morning and evening. Be sure they have plenty of water.
We spend more time outside in our gardens and yards in the summer. Common chemicals toxic to dogs include: slug bait (metaldehyde); rodent bait (brodifacoum, bromadiolone, coumarin, etc), and
antifreeze (ethylene glycol). Slug baits cause muscle trembling to seizures and hyperthermia, which will require anti-seizure medication until the toxin is cleared. Rodent baits are potent
long-acting anticoagulants causing internal bleeding. Treatment requires Vitamin K1 (prescription only) supplementation for up
to a month. Antifreeze causes kidney failure. Treatment with an antidote is required
immediately to prevent death. It is best to avoid using these toxins if you have dogs, or in the very least make sure they are well-secured. Spring rat traps and using lines of salt for slugs would be safe alternative. Lilies, including daylilies, cause kidney failure in cats. Seek veterinary attention immediately if any of these toxins or plants are ingested. If veterinary help is not immediately available, induce vomiting (unless the pet is seizuring or comatose) with 3% hydrogen peroxide at 1 tsp per 5 pounds of weight, up to a maximum of 1 ounce. If vomiting does not occur in 20 minutes, repeat with ½ original amount, then head to your veterinarian or emergency hospital.
Fireworks are a common cause of stress in dogs. It is important to treat the stress and not just sedate animals. Previously used sedatives, such as acepromazine, often do little to nothing for the anxiety though the animals are incapable of showing signs. Discuss with your vet medications which can decrease this anxiety (such as benzodiazepines, clomipramine, fluoxetine) and keep your pet in the quietest part of the house.
As our animals spend more time outside, they are more likely to pick up parasites. Fleas are more common in the summer, but survive year-round here. Ticks are also a problem in the summer. Proper
application of flea and tick products can prevent infections. Most bind to the fat layer of the skin, so they are water resistant, but shampoos will strip the oils off the skin, removing the product.
It is best to bathe your pet first, then apply the product a day or two later. Some over-the-counter products
contain pyrethrins or permethrins, which can be toxic to cats causing drooling, vomiting, and shaking. If these are seen, remove as much of the product with shampoo and call your veterinarian. Never use a flea or tick product labeled for dogs on cats. Salmon poison disease in dogs is caused by a parasite in raw salmon. The parasite causes high fever, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, and is fatal if untreated. Always avoid feeding raw salmon, and be cautious of river access during spawning.
Concern: Skin/Ear Problems
Rising temperatures can exacerbate skin conditions. Ear infections are more common, and allergies flare, leading to inflammation and infection of the skin. After swimming or bathing, it is
important to clean the ears thoroughly with an ear cleaner to help dry out the water. Be sure to fill the ears with the solution and massage at the base of the ears.
Wiping your dog's coat with a wet washcloth can help remove pollens from the coat. Use an oatmeal shampoo for allergic pets. If your pet still shakes its head or scratches excessively, have your vet examine your pet.
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-TopVets by Seattle Met Magazine on multiple consecutive years
-2013 Best of Redmond - Veterinarians By Redmod Reporter
-2012 Best of Redmond - Veterinarians By AwardProgram.org
22330 NE Market Place Drive, Suites 113 & 115, Redmond, WA 98053
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Saturday: 9am - 2pm