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Love your pet ... love your vet - September 2010

Autumn Alert!

It's hard to believe that summer is nearly over and autumn will soon be upon us again. Although this special time of year has its own beauty it can also hold many hazards for our pets.

With colder darker nights coming it is important to make sure that you still find the time for walking your dog or his mobility (and yours!) may suffer; affected pets may show signs of joint stiffness, particularly after rest. Visibility also becomes an issue at this time of year, particularly in the early mornings and evenings so always wear pale and reflective clothing and collars to avoid accidents.

Now is the time to keep pets indoors in the evenings leading up to fireworks night to avoid injuries. Dogs with noise phobias may benefit from medication to help relieve the anxiety associated with fireworks; habituation to loud noises over a long period of time can also be helpful. Speak to your vet if you are in any way concerned about your pet's behaviour during this time.

This will also be the time of year that many car owners prepare for winter – anti-freeze (used in car radiators) is a very palatable poison and if ingested in even small amounts can cause serious kidney failure and usually death. Always clear up any spillages immediately.

As the weather cools off, bees and wasps become dozy and are easily caught by pets. Unfortunately they can still give nasty stings so beware!

If you are planting bulbs, bear in mind that many of them are toxic to pets. It is important to ensure that newly planted bulbs are not dug up and eaten by inquisitive pets. Another hazard to avoid is dogs eating autumn fruits and developing digestive problems. Prevent access to fallen apples, conkers and anything similar.

Surprisingly for many pet owners, fleas and ticks are still a huge problem at this time of year! Don't drop your guard against these pests and keep up treatments throughout the season. Your vet will be able to advise the best options for you and your pet.

Autumn is also a time for tortoise owners to ensure their pets are adequately prepared for hibernation. See your vet for a pre-hibernation check up!

Keith Moore BVSc MRCVS is a Veterinary Surgeon at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen. For more information visit www.hillsidevets.co.uk.


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Last Updated: 28th September 2010