By Dr. Megan Forgan
The snow has melted, the weather is in the double digits, and the sun is shining. Spring has officially sprung! While spring brings with it many opportunities to get outside, and get active, there are also certain perils we need to be wary of as pet owners.
Pesky Parasites: Once the temperature consistently remains above 4*C, lots of different parasites come out to play. These range from internal parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms. To external parasites such as fleas and ticks. If your dog lives on an acreage, frequents off-leash parks, or loves to eat small rodents– they are much more at risk for tapeworms, and require a specific type of deworming product to keep them safe. If your dog loves going on adventures in tall grass or wooded areas, they are at risk for ticks, and should receive a monthly preventative treatment from May to October. Don’t forget about those cats! If you have an outdoor cat, they require the same type of parasite prevention as most dogs do.
Freaky Flowers: This one is for all you cool cats and kittens! If you have an outdoor cat, or a cat that likes to suntan in the backyard, you should be aware of what flowers you are planting. The most dangerous plants of them all are lilies, which can cause acute kidney failure in cats. Even a small taste or lick can be deadly.
Treacherous Trash: As the snow melts, it reveals with it a lot of hidden trash. Trash can range from being harmless to irritating to the gastrointestinal tract to being life threatening. It’s not uncommon for a dog to find a joint on the side of the road, eat it, and develop neurological issues very similar to what you would expect from a human who is under the influence of marijuana. It’s important to keep your dog away from trash while on walks. As well, if there is ever any chance that your pet may have ingested any type of drug, please be honest with us and let us know. We will not judge you, we simply want to help your pet the best we can.
Creepy Creatures: Nothing says spring like beavers, muskrats, and porcupines coming out to play. Beaver and muskrat bites can cause serious lacerations. Porcupine quills can get stuck in your pets. If this happens, your pet should be seen by a veterinarian to have the quills properly removed. Improper removal can result in the quills breaking below the skin-line, and becoming trapped, resulting in abscess formation. Quills are super sneaky, and can often migrate to the surface months after the initial attack.
If you have any questions regarding the perils of spring, and how to keep your pets safe during this time, we are open and are happy to help!