When you are a pet owner you have to be constantly aware of your animal’s health. They are not going to tell you they are sick, but they come down with all kinds of health problems nevertheless. Summer time has some very unique diseases and you should keep an eye out for the symptoms.
One cause of the problem lies outdoors. Your animals are going to be exposed to ticks and other parasites which proliferate in warm weather. Lyme disease is something to be careful about. This is transmitted by ticks and an immediate sign is lameness. This happens because joints can become inflamed. Loss of appetite and lethargy are also symptoms of Lyme disease being present in the animal. Unless attention is immediately paid to this problem the disease can develop into an inflammation of the kidneys and ultimately produce kidney failure. Fleas are a constant pest and in the summer can be a very serious problem for your pet. It more than just the animal being uncomfortable. Infections and allergic reactions can be the result from a flea infestation. Heartworm is transmitted by parasites and will harm the cardiovascular system of the animal. The heat itself can overwhelm your dog or cat. Dehydration is a very common problem and pets that have short hair and/or pink skin coloring are targets for sunburn. Heatstroke can happen and older animals or ones who are overweight are very susceptible to it.
A combination of precaution and rapid response are the best ways to prevent summer related disease. Food bowls that are kept outside need to be emptied and rinsed on a daily basis. It also is important to see that any animal feces are cleaned up as soon as possible, since they will carry parasites. Your pet’s coat should be checked for ticks routinely, particularly if you live near a wooded area. Problems with the heat are best handled by making sure there’s plenty of clean water outside for your pet, and on very hot days you limit the amount of time the animal is outside. You also should limit the amount of exercise your pet gets on extremely hot days. Animals require shade to cool off when outside. By just putting up a lawn or beach umbrella you are providing the kind of protection from the sun your animal would appreciate.
You can also minimize the chances of heatstroke by simply giving your dog a haircut. You know how much cooler you feel after you have been to the barber and your dog feels the same way. The coat of a long-haired dog like an Irish setter increases body temperature. By having the coat trimmed back during the hot days you are allowing the dog to be a little cooler. Ticks and other insects can hide in a thick coat. By cutting back you are able to detect these pests before they can do serious damage to your animal. Heat stroke and dehydration can be prevented by not leaving your pet in a parked car for long periods of time. The owners may not think anything of it, but the temperature in a parked car can zoom well past 100°F. This places your pet at very serious risk, which could be fatal. One final way to prevent heat related disease is to have a small wading pool in the backyard. It allows your pet to be able to splash around cool water when things get too uncomfortable.
You also can get flea powder and medicated shampoo to eliminate the problem of fleas. If your cat or dog is starting to act lethargic or out of the ordinary, don’t assume it’s just a small problem. It is a warning sign of what may be something much more serious. By all means, take your pet to the veterinarian to see if any might be wrong. Scheduling a checkup with the veterinarian to make sure that all of the vaccinations are up to date is a very sensible preventive measure.
You and your pet still can have fun during the summer and enjoy the great weather. You have to keep a close eye on your cat or dog’s behavior and respond to any dramatic change. It also is important to respect the hot sun and what it might do to your little friend. Cats and dogs like the outdoors, but their health can be affected by high temperatures. A little pet owner attention can stop a health problem in its tracks.