Summer is sadly over! The weather is cooling and the nights are drawing in. It is time to hunker down and light the fire. However, it is not the time to take your eye off the ball with our pets!
Autumn is the favourite time of year for fleas! Although it is colder outside, the heating in our houses turns them into flea paradise. Keep an eye out for these annoying pests and of course keep up your pets’ flea treatments.
Ticks also enjoy the Autumn as they thrive in the more humid conditions outdoors. Ticks live in long grass and woodland areas waiting to latch on to passing pets. Once attached, ticks feed on your pet’s blood – often for several days.
The main issue with ticks is that they can carry diseases in their saliva which they can potentially transmit to pets.
Lyme disease is the primary tick borne pathogen in the UK and Ireland and can affect dogs and humans, and is carried by a small percentage of lxodes ticks. Affected pets often show signs of arthritis, fever, lack of appetite and lethargy.
Babesiosis is a tick borne disease that may affect dogs (but not humans) travelling to and from mainland Europe. It is cause by a tiny blood borne parasite Babesia which destroys red blood cells. Signs include dark red urine, pale or yellow gums, lethargy and fever. A recent outbreak of Babesiosis on the UK mainland (Harlow, Essex) marks a further development in the spread of Babesiosis. This recent UK outbreak is very localised but it is important to be vigilant when travelling into risk areas.
With the shorter days, the opportunities to exercise for both cats and dogs is less. So make sure you monitor their weight to ensure they don’t put on a layer of winter blubber! Think about buying puzzle toys and feeders, these will keep them entertained and help get rid of some energy.
The cold can creep into the joints of older pets, making them stiff and sore. If you are concerned, please book an appointment to speak to a vet about the medications and supplements that can help your pets.
watch out for falls of apples or conkers, both cause nasty tummy upsets if your dog eats too many. Also, if you need to use anti-freeze in the car, ensure there are no leaks and that the containers are well out of reach, as it is deadly to our pets.