K-State Vet offers some advice on how to keep your pets safe over the summer months
MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - Summer-related hazards for our pets come with summer fun, according to Kansas State University veterinarian Dr. Susan Nelson.
“All seasons cause problems and have problems for pets summertime brings us unique ones, especially with a storm, the heat, the parasites, those are biggies for those so heartworm disease which I didn’t touch on yet for dogs and for cats spread by mosquitoes again a lot of these vectors or transmitters of diseases come out in the warmer months we don’t see them in the winter,” said Nelson.
Nelson said to make sure your pet always has access to fresh water and shade this time of year.
“One is their food and water especially if they’re outdoor pets so we want to make sure they have plenty of fresh water we don’t want them getting dehydrated so make sure you’re checking those bowls a couple of times a day. Kebble might be able to sit out for a day but can foods can spoil more quickly during the summer and so we need to have that food checked maybe every 4 to 5 hours fresh can food put out there as well,” said Nelson.
Pet owners should also begin flea, tick, mosquito, and chigger preventive care now before the parasites get worse. Ticks bring many tick-borne illnesses, such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Fleas can cause flea bite anemia, flea allergy dermatitis, plague, tapeworms, and Bartonella henslae, which is the cause of cat scratch fever in people. Mosquitoes are behind heartworm disease for both dogs and cats, which is often fatal if left untreated.
“For our pets, biggies are going to be fleas and ticks so it’s not too late to start your preventive if you don’t have them on it get them on one now because from now until the end of fall when it gets cold again those populations of fleas and ticks are just going to keep building and then chiggers which plague us a lot also like to bite our pets, especially the dogs we see some cats sometimes come in with chigger bites and irritations,” said Nelson.
Dr. Nelson said not to hesitate to bring your pets to the vet if you notice any abnormal behavior.
“If you find your dog that there are stronger signs of heat exhaustion so their collapse, their unconscious, get them wet on your way in be running either your air conditioner if you only have a fan in your car run that on get them straight to the veterinarian, times counts so you cant delay on those,” said Nelson.
Nelson also mentioned if dogs go boating with you, make sure they wear life jackets if they cannot swim or if you will be far from shore.
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