Love Dogs... Love Nature

Love your pet.. love your vet... Hillside's March health news

Spring has sprung!

Hooray, we are seeing signs of improvement in the weather and it’s time to get back out and about enjoying our lovely countryside ­ however, spring does bring with it a multitude of lurking spring-time dangers which we’ve tried to cover here…

It’s great to want to get out there and exercise off the winter blues and the excess weight that has come with it (for us and our pets), but remember this needs to be done gradually.  Avoid over-exertion as excessive exercise can result in injuries!  Always make sure you rest up any lame legs and have them checked out by your vet promptly.

We never recommend playing with sticks ­ these can cause horrific throat injuries and can necessitate emergency treatment if they become lodged in your dog’s throat.  Specially designed dog toys are always a much safer option.

Remember to keep flea and tick control up-to-date ­ this time of year parasite numbers will be building up as the weather warms up.  Your vet will advise on the best products/regime to suit your needs.  Also be aware that levels of pollens (which will be increasing) and plants can cause allergic skin disease and itchiness.

Out in the garden be aware that slug pellets, bone meal and weed killers are common sources of poisoning!  Try to ensure that pets don’t dig up spring bulbs and eat them as many of them are poisonous.  If you do suspect your dog has eaten some you should seek immediate veterinary advice.  Another thing to be aware of is lilies (both in the garden and indoors) as the pollen can be very toxic to cats.

With Easter not far away, there will be a lot more chocolate around ­ it’s important to note that this should not be shared with your dog, no matter how adoringly they look at you!  Chocolate, especially the darker varieties, is extremely toxic to dogs and can result in emergency treatment being necessary in some cases.

Finally, don’t forget about your bunnies ­ ensure their vaccines (Myxomatosis and VHD) are kept up to date as these diseases can be fatal for them.  Also, keep a check on their rear ends as the weather warms up, as flies are particularly attracted to this area.

All this said … have a great spring-time!

Chris Devlin BVSc MRCVS is a Vet and Partner at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen.  w: www.hillsidevets.co.uk.

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