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Summer is coming

Published Tuesday 12 February 2013 by Ian Millar BVMS, CertVOphthal, MRCVS

As we are coming into the warmer months, there is a greater need to be vigilant when out and about with your pet, especially when travelling. Cats do enjoy hot weather but are rarely out in the car, so it is dogs who are mainly at risk.

They must have plenty of air when travelling and should never be left in the car on a sunny day. Dogs are fatally at risk of overheating especially when the windows are closed. Water should be available at all times to prevent dehydration. Dogs going for a walk can also overheating if allowed to run around too much, especially the flat faced breeds and those with thicker necks and throats. Dogs will pant to lose heat and flat faced breeds can find difficulty in doing this to the point they collapse with heatstroke. Getting them immediately to the vet is vital.

Unfortunately the warm weather encourages fleas and it is important to do regularly treat your pet for fleas. Spot on products are very handy for both dogs and cats. They work by diffusing through the fat layer in the skin from the point of application (normally the head / neck area) to the rest of the skin, or get absorbed into the blood and delivered to the skin from the blood supply.

In cats the application lasts 4-5 weeks and in dogs 8 weeks. We as vets can stand over the quality of what we use and we know they work; we will give advice and provide the most suitable product. This you do not get when you buy in the Supermarket and we have had the need to treat cats and dogs which have had the wrong product, so be very careful and buy from your vet.

Strong sunlight can produce other health problems such as skin tumours on the ear tips of white cats, eye problems in dogs especially German Shepherd Dogs and skin allergies can flare up relating to growing grass and high pollen levels.

If you have any doubts please ring your vet and get free advice and remember vets are available 24/7 when your pet is in trouble.

An increasing number of people are taking pets abroad on holiday by way of the Pet Passport scheme, and there are diseases abroad that are not found in the UK, so be sure you are aware of those diseases and follow all the guidelines. Sometimes your pet can be happier in a Kennel than in a warm climate country. Remember to book Kennels early as they fill rapidly.

There are now house sitting services that come to your pet at home, by calling in to feed and walk it and also make your house look lived in while you are away.  For more information on this please ring your local vet.   


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