Summer fun is all around us, but there’s some dangerous aspects to it as well-especially for our pets! These are 5 conditions that are often overlooked by pet owners so we’re calling them out into the spotlight!
1) Burned Paw Pads: Both cats’ and dogs’ paws are capable of distributing their weights very effectively, but they don’t handle extreme temperatures. The hot sun on asphalt or cement can be like walking on hot coals during the summer. And with all of the summer festivals and parties happening, sometimes chemicals or hazardous objects like glass shards can seriously damage your pet’s paws. Since paws are particularly difficult to treat (since our pets just keep on walking), we recommend immediately seeing your veterinarian if you notice your pet is limping or stumbling. As for prevention, make sure your yard or walking route is clear of those hazardous materials and allow your pet to walk in the grass or in the dirt rather on the hot cement!
2) Ear Infections: If your pet enjoys swimming or water-based activities during the summer (or just really needs a bath), they may be more prone to ear infections. Water in the ear canals can support the growth of bacteria or yeast which cause infection. Watch out for your pet digging at their ears or shaking his or her head as these are both signs of ear infections. To treat ear infections, your veterinarian will need to take a swab of the ear to determine what is causing the ear infection and then provide you with the best treatment plan for the infection. For prevention, ask your veterinarian for an ear cleaner you can use after your pet is exposed to water.
3) Fleas & Ticks: We covered these buggers in last week’s article. Just remember that these bugs may just seem annoying, but the diseases they carry can be life-threatening. Prevent them with Over The Counter Vectra (for cats) or Vectra 3D (for dogs)!
4) Dehydration: Your pet may become dehydrated for a number of reasons-an empty water bowl on a hot day, running and activity under the summer sun, vomiting and diarrhea due to other illnesses, etc. Your pet may be more prone to dehydration due to underlying diseases (such as kidney disease). Signs of dehydration include dry mouth/gums, lack of elasticity of the skin, sunken eyes, and lethargy. If you think your pet is dehydrated, be sure to consult with your veterinarian to confirm that there is not an underlying illness present. To prevent dehydration, provide your pet with clean, fresh water daily (don’t forget to wash the bowl!) and take water with you if you’re taking your pet to the park or an event!
5) Heat stroke: While most pet owners know not to leave their pet in the car on a hot summer day, there other other ways for your dog to overheat this summer. Make sure that outdoor pets have access to shade and water and keep exercise down when the temperature gets unbearable. Even if your car is parked in the shade, don’t leave your pet in the car. Be sure to provide your pet a cool area to relax on. This can be a room of your home with air conditioning or you can wrap some ice packs in towels or socks and for your pet to lay on. Pay extra attention to pets with pre-existing conditions like heart disease or respiratory problems to make sure they are cool. While dogs are more prone to heat stroke since they are more likely to be outside in the summer heat, cats can still be exposed.
Sandstone Animal Hospital is able to prevent, diagnose, and treat a wide variety of illnesses in both cats and dogs. Whether it’s dehydration, allergies, ear infections or even simple vaccines and routine testings, our doctors are ready to help! If you have any questions about your pet’s health this summer, give us a call at 440-234-6336 and we will do our best to help!