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Pet Summer Tips



   iStock_000003043328XSmall  Leave the windows open if you should leave your pet inside a parked car; a car left running only invites a thief to break a window, and then take the car and your pet.  If possible it is best NOT to take your pet and lock them in a car on hot days, even for a few minutesPets do not sweat like we do, so if they are in a confined area their panting will not cool them down.  The temperature can easily climb to 120 degrees inside if the windows are left up.  If your seats are white the inside temperature can reach 135 degrees when the outside temperature is 79 degrees.  Red seats can reach 154 degrees, blue or green seats can reach 165 degrees and black seats can reach 192 degrees with a dog locked inside the car while the windows are up.  If the outside temperature is 83 degrees the temperature can reach 109 degrees in 15 minutes, or 101 degrees if the windows are half open.  Heat exhaustion can easily occur after prolong temperatures of 100 degrees, and skin burns after touching a surface of 150 degrees.  Provide water, roll down the windows to where they cannot escape and check on your pet ever 15 minutes or less if you cannot take your pet with you and you have no other choice than to place them inside a car temporarily during the summer; many times if the pet has to be left in a car during the summer it is much safer to leave them at home.

     Anytime an animal is outside in the hot weather, and appears sick, has an increased respiratory rate, is salivating and/or is weak you should relocate the animal to a shady area and take their temperature rectally.  A normal temperature is 100-102.  If the temperature is over 105 degrees a call to the veterinarian is indicated, as an exam and treatment to prevent stroke and disseminated vascular coagulation (DIC) may be needed if the patient has hyperthermia.  If the temperature is 103.5 to 105 degrees you can pour water on the animal, wipe off the water and repeat 2-3 times, then offer only small amounts of water orally at a time.

     Lawn herbicides and insecticides can cause sickness in pets.  Keep pets off lawns that have recently been sprayed within the last 3 days.  If you have a Scottish Terrier we recommend you do not use the phenoxy herbicides.  Wirehaired fox terriers, West Highland White terriers and Shetland sheepdogs can be predisposed to developing bladder cancer if overly exposed to this and other herbicides.   The phenoxy herbicides contain “2,4-D”, “2,4.5-T”, MCPP (4-cholra-2-methylphenoxy propionic acid); the pre-emergence herbicide dicamba (3,6-dichoro-2-methoxybenzoic acid) is also a possible carcinogenic herbicide that should have 3+ days of non-contact for pets if the lawn is sprayed.  Snail bait is a common poisoning; the best method of preventing is to place the bait where the dogs cannot get to it at all.  We have some information about using beer and other safer products if are concerned.  Snail bait poisoning appears as a pet seizuring.

     When going outdoors consider the potential problems that may exist in your area and affect you or your pet.  Rattlesnake and other poisonous snakes are such a consideration.  If you go fishing, especially remember to remove the bait off your hooks and also remove the hook to place in the tackle box.  Many dogs and cats will eat a hook and line with the flavoring and smell of fish or the bait.

     Grooming is important in the health care of animals.  Matted hair only contributes to possible problems.  Have your pet groomed before the hot weather approaches.  Foxtails, skin infections and fly strikes are only a few of the problems that can occur with pets that have matted hair.



Hazards, summer, back yard


Back Yard Concerns And Pets


     With pets, horses and children we all need to be extra careful and look at the environment they live it to prevent problems; puppies are especially prone to “if there is a possibility of happening it will occur”.  

     Are there any exposed nails, tears in the wire fencing and/or the ability for the pet to dig out and/or climb over the fence?  There are invisible fences which can help the dogs who want to escape, but initially a good fence should be built and/or repaired.  Also look at the lawn edging; the sharp metal edging should be removed.  What can the puppy chew on that will require surgery?

     Do you have any ant, rodent, snail, insecticide or any other poisonous baits in the back yard and/or shed?  Remove them if present; trying to hide them under some cover will only postpone the eventual time when they are discovered. 

     Do you have poisonous plants in the yard?  In our area there is a great concern if you have foxglove, Lily of the Valley or other lily/bulb plants in your yard, monkshood (Aconitum), squill; and you have a dog that likes to chew.  Yes you can spray the plants every 10-14 days with a deterrent spray, but avoidance is always the best medicine.  In other areas of the country, in your greenhouse or inside there are tropical plants that are extremely toxic; azaleas, castor beans, golden chain tree, oleander, rosary pea, sago palm and/or yew plants.  Other plants that are moderately toxic and which should be fenced off from a puppy or a chewing pet are the plants of the caladium/heath/rhododendron, or the Mountain Laurel/lambskill/Kalmia family, as well as the belladonna/Jerusalem cherry/nightshade group of plants.  Ground cover type of cactus plants and thorny plants should also be fenced off so the puppy does not run and play in this area.  Grapes and some fruits and nuts can be toxic to animals; other garden plants of concern are garlic, onions, potato sprouts, green tomato plants (and green potatoes).  We have a much more complete list than the above.

     Are you feeding other animals and/or leaving out food that can be harmful to a dog?  The ionophores in cattle and other ruminant feeds are toxic to pets.

     We have many poisonous chemical, poisonous plant and deterrent handouts available; as a general rule look at the container and if it is poisonous then keep it up high and/or in a locked cabinet.


The Staff at the Nelson Road Veterinary Clinic