With the daylight hours dwindling, the getting cooler and even now some areas receiving frost on the ground, it is clear winter is only around the corner.
It is now that we should be preparing for the advent of cold weather related problems.
First and foremost, most people start to think of our arthritic pets.
Cooler weather effects most of us, leading to stiffer joints and muscles, trouble rising and an increase in levels of lameness.
If your dog, or cat (or rabbit or pet sheep, goat or horse ) is finding it more difficult than usual to get up or down from rest they may be suffering from arthritis.
Whilst most people associate osteoarthritis with age, it needs to be noted that osteoarthritis is not a disease exclusive to old age. Many dogs are predisposed to development of osteoarthritis due to previous trauma, size (such as larger breed dogs), genetics and breeding, and excess weight.
Many options are currently available as aids and treatment options to help with the management of osteoarthritis. Please contact VetCentre for help in managing your pet’s arthritis.
Should your pet have weight issues, now is a good time to work on it.
Due to decreased levels of activity of owners in darker cooler weather our pets tend not to be exercised as regularly. This commonly leads to overnutrition and weight gain, as most owners do not decrease their pet’s energy consumption to match their new decreased level of energy usage. To ensure your pet does not become overweight during winter, ensure regular exercise and appropriate feeding regimes.
Cooler weather can also be a time for worsening of signs in animals with cardiopulmonary disease due to increased levels of wood smoke pollution and cooler air.
If your pet has a decreased tolerance for exercise compared with what they previously had, is finding it difficult to breath, panting excessively, develops a moist cough or big abdomen, they may be suffering from cardiopulmonary disease. This should be investigated with auscultation, thoracic radiographs and ultrasound.
Wetter weather will see an increase in lameness in hoof stock – those animals walking on hooves not paws.
Foot rot, shelly toe, foot abscesses, overgrowth of horny tissue are problems seen in sheep, goats, cattle, alpacas and horses. It is important to routinely check and clean out hooves and feet to decrease susceptibility to these problems.
Dogs and cats with dust mite and mould allergies tend to get worse during Autumn and Winter, due to more time spent indoors. To avoid heat loss in the home, doors and windows are generally kept shut. This can lead to increases in dust and mould accumulation within dwellings and thus lead to worsening of itching and scratching in pets with dust mite allergies.
Unfortunately Autumn, like Spring, can be a time to see Canine Parvovirus. It is unfortunate but cases are still present. Young puppies are the most at risk. Clinical signs include lethargy, inappetance, vomiting, diarrhoea (often bloody), dehydration and death. The most effective way to prevent parvovirus is vaccination. It is also a lot cheaper to vaccinate than to treat. Please ensure your dog is up to date with its vaccination.
Should your pet require any help with any of the above conditions please call the staff at VetCentre to aid you with your best friends continuing wellbeing.