Long, summer days are here and with COVID-19 restrictions still looming around, we are all looking forward more than ever to spending time outside with our furry companions. Just be careful to not spend too much time outdoors. Hot weather can spell danger for your pet in the form of heat stroke, dehydration, and sun burns.
Keep Walks To Early Morning or Late Evening
Getting your daily walk in with your pet is still a great idea, but make sure you choose early mornings or late evenings rather that walking in the middle of the day. Remember that you can change your clothes to help adjust for the weather, but your pet cannot. Even pets who exercise regularly are susceptible to heat stroke. Another important factor to consider is the temperature of the pavement when the day is hottest. In 77 degree weather, pavement that has been sitting in the sun can reach 125 degrees. Pet insurance provider Pet Plan put together this infographic which suggests as a rule of thumb to put your hand on the pavement for 7 seconds before heading out with your furry companion. If it's too hot for your hand, its too hot for your pet.
Keep Them Hydrated
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so make sure that your pet has access to fresh water and shade at all times. Its important to keep exercising to a minimum and bring your pet inside during the hottest part of the day.
Keep Them Home When You Go Out
Never, ever leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle. Between 2018-2019 over 82 pets died due to being left in hot cars - all of these deaths were preventable. On a sunny day with 70 degree weather, the inside of a vehicle can get to 104 degrees in about 30 minutes. After another hour, it can reach 113. Dogs cannot sweat and their bodies break down quickly in high temperatures. Cars heat up quickly even with the windows cracked and sometimes its just a matter of minutes before a companion succumbs to heat stroke.
Keep An Eye Out For Heat Stroke
All breeds of pets can suffer from heat stroke, however, some breeds are more susceptible than others. Large dogs, dogs with short faces shuch as Bull Dogs and Boxers, dogs who are overweight or have long coats are most at risk. Signs of heat stroke that you can watch out for include excessive panting, increased heart and respiratory rate, lethargy, stumbling, dark or bright red gums and tongue. If you suspect heat stroke, take your pet to the vet immediately. Even if you cool down your pet, heat stroke can cause internal damage to the brain, heart, kidneys and respiratory system that is not apparent immediately.
We want you to have a wonderful summer that is filled with happy memories with your pet. Have fun and be safe!
If you are in our area and have concerns about your pet's health, our caring and knowledgeable vets are here to help. You can reach us at 281-970-0601.
Fleas live on your pet's body. Dogs and cats can get fleas from their mother (when they are young), from another dog, or from their environment. When infected, your pet might bite or scratch himself frequently. Severe allergic reactions from flea bites can include Flea Allergic Dermatitis, which can show up as encrusted lesions on the skin. Not only can fleas cause dermatitis, but they can also transmit diseases to other animals and humans, such as tapeworm.
If your pet has fleas, it is important to treat both your pet and his environment. Flea season can last several months and there are several ways to combat fleas. From washing your pet's bedding and deep cleaning, to utilizing a treatment and preventative that is veterinarian approved, you can help your dog or cat to get relief from fleas.
Pets are most likely to pick up ticks in wooded area in the summer and spring. Bites from certain types of ticks can cause irritation and infection at the point where the tick attaches to the pet's skin and can transmit diseases including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. Tick infestations can lead to anemia, weight loss, paralysis, and even death.
Parasite prevention products for fleas and ticks, like Bravecto, can work effectively to eliminate pests living on your dog or cat within hours. We recommend partnering with your veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment for your pet.
Mange Mites & Ear Mites
Mange mites are tiny organisms not visible to the naked eye. They live on your pet's skin or in hair follicles and they lay their eggs under the skin. As your pet scratches and rubs, the skin becomes dry and thickened leading to hair loss and hardened crusty patches. It is highly contagious to both animals and humans and must be treated by a veterinarian promptly.
Ear mites will cause your pet to scratch their ears or shake their head. You can tell if your pet has ear mites by checking the ears for dark earwas or specks resembling dried blood or coffee grounds. Ear mites can cause ear infections and are also highly contagious to other animals. Treatment will require veterinary care.
Ringworm is caused by a fungus and will appear on your dog's or cat's skin as round, bare patches on the skin. If your pet has ringworm, avoid contact with other animals as ringworm is highly contagious and can be transmitted to other animals and humans. Your veterinarian can treat ringworm with medication.
Seeking Veterinary Care
Even the best cared pet can get ill from time-to-time. Changes in behavior can be early indicators of illness. If your dog or cat exhibits changes, or other unusual symptoms, contact your veterinarian for guidance and care:
Do you live in Cypress, Tx or the surrounding areas? We are happy to help! Give us a call at 281-970-0601 or make an appointment conveniently online.
The holiday season is a wonderful time of year. We look forward to sharing time with family and friends, decorating, eating extra special dishes, enjoying holiday music and festivities. Many people include their pets in the festivities as well! There are a just a few precautions that pet parents need to take to keep their pet's safe this holiday season. Dr. Rusty Tracy, D.V.M. lists the 5 most common things to watch out for.
Human foods that are high in fat can be especially harmful to your pets. Since dogs and cats are accustomed to normal to low fat diets, ingesting fatty foods can cause weakness and pain as well as severe stomach upset including throwing up, diarrhea, and severe pancreatitis which is potentially life-threatening. If your pet exhibits several of these symptoms repeatedly, contact your veterinarian right away. Avoid giving your dog ham, fatty table scraps and left overs, and dark turkey meat.
Bones & Other Choking Hazards
Ham bones & turkey bones are choking hazards for your pet. While you may not be directly giving your pet leftovers or bones, many dogs and cats get into the trash. For this reason we recommend that you take your trash out quickly. During this time of year we see an increase in dogs coming in for foreign body removals of disposable plates, silverware, or other items that had food remnants on them.
Chocolates & Sweets
Candy, chocolate, and other sweets that contain xylitol can be toxic for both dogs and cats. Xylitol is just a sugar substitute found in some sugar-free candies, gum and recipes. When ingested by pets, xylitol may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure. Make sure that you put your sweets far out of reach from your pets.
Certain foods like nuts & raisins can also cause stomach upset for your pets. In high quantities, these can be toxic. Keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food. It's also okay to set some house rules for your guests and ask your them to not feed your pets.
Tinsel & Holiday Decorations
Cats are notorious for eating tinsel. This sparkling decoration attracts cats like nothing else, so it's best to use a different decoration for your tree. Tinsel is thin and sharp and can easily wrap itself around the intestines or ball up in the stomach once ingested. Dr. Tracy has had to do several surgeries to remove balls of tinsel from cat intestines. Lights are another thing to watch out for.
Dr. Rusty Tracy states, "You've got to watch out for cats getting up into the tree and electrocuting themselves. They like to chew on those lights! You don't have to get rid of all your decorations; it's just a time of year to be cautious."
Be mindful of where you place your electrical outlets, and if possible, keep them out of reach from your pet.
What To Do If Your Pet Is Ill
If you suspect your pet is ill, contact your veterinarian right away. If you are in Cypress, Texas or the surrounding areas, you can call us at 281-970-0601. Dr. Rusty Tracy, Dr. Tanner Tracy, and the staff at Tracy Animal Hospital are here to help. For after hours help, we recommend contacting BluePearl Veterinary Partners.
Share our article with others and have a happy and safe holiday season!
Just like people, dogs and cats can have allergic reactions to foods or environmental factors that impact their health. Learn how to protect your pet and be able to recognize the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Would you know if your pet was having an allergic reaction? Our pets get into a lot of things that can spell real trouble. Stinging insects, food and other items they might ingest can cause serious consequences. Some signs of a severe allergic reaction include swollen eyes and face, hives on the body, and weakness. If treated early, allergic reactions typically resolve quickly but if left untreated some severe allergic reactions can progress to anaphylactic shock, collapse and sometimes death.
Dogs Need To Release Energy
Regular Walks Can Help Prevent Your Dog From Roaming
During the course of a walk, your dog will be exposed to a variety of smells, sights, and sounds. Getting out of the house is a way to fulfill a dog’s need to roam and improve his/her sense of direction.
Dogs Are Social Animals
Socializing builds confidence and gives you a chance to show your dog how to interact with other animals in a positive way. While on your walk, you can monitor their behavior from the safety of a leash, while your dog enjoys all the excitement and stimulation that comes with making new friends!
Walking Is Good For Your Dog's Health - And Yours, Too!
Walking for 30 minutes or more each day can reduce your risk of heart disease and other illnesses and these health benefits apply to your fur-baby as well. Walking also improves digestive health and helps relieve constipation that may arise as a result of a sedentary lifestyle.
Over half of all dogs suffer with complications due to obesity. Exercise helps prevent and manage chronic diseases by keeping your pet at a healthy weight. Dogs with arthritis and diabetes can benefit greatly from walking.
Bonding With Your Dog
Setting aside time for you and your fur-baby builds trust and respect. Just like us, dogs need love and attention. Going on routine walks with your dog, can help strengthen your bond, and lead to a long, loving friendship!
Walk your dog regularly.
Regular walks can improve and lengthen your pet’s life. Just like humans, dogs need regular exercise to help improve their heart function, and muscle tone. In addition to heart function, walking can be beneficial to their cardio-vascular system, their lymphatic system, and more.
Safety Tips When Walking Your Dog
Make sure to keep his or her vaccinations up-to-date, and make walking part of your daily routine this year. Our animal hospital works with pet parents to make sure that their pet is happy and healthy. If you need to get your pet's vaccines up-to-date, or if you have any concerns about your pet's weight or overall health, make an appointment with one of our caring and highly trained vets!
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