With the weather now starting to warm up and the days getting longer, the plants are starting to flower and pollen is in the air. Itchy dogs are staring to scratch and many of our allergic patients are starting to feel the effects of inflamed skin, ears, eyes and respiratory tracts.
Should your animal friend be suffering with the itches and scratches, excessive licking, shaking ears, sneezing or weepy eyes she or he may suffering from atopic or contact dermatitis. Whilst “allergic dermatitis” is common in dogs there are many causes and other conditions which can look exactly the same but are treated differently. It is important to distinguish between them, and treat the correct problem , as many conditions get worse when treated for the incorrect diagnosis. There are also may differing treatment options for allergic cases.
Please contact Vetcentre should your pet require help in managing their skin or other allergy condition.
It is important to be aware that snakes are already about and are stirring. If you and your pet enjoy walking through the bush , if you live a rural or semi-rural area , or live close to creeks or dams, check that the “stick” lying on the ground is actually a stick.
Signs are reliant on the amount of venom that the animal has had injected into its system. Our Tasmanian snakes , of which we have 3 – the Tiger snake, Copperhead and Whip snake, the first two of which can give a fatal bite and have a toxin that is designed to paralyse its prey ( usually frogs, rodents , birds, small mammals and small reptiles).
Clinical signs of snake bite include a rapidly ascending paralysis, dilated unresponsive pupils, vomiting, blood breakdown leading to pale gums and blood in urine and DEATH.
Death can be as rapid as 15-30 minutes if the animal has had a bite in an area with a good blood supply, for eg the face when a dog tries to bite the snake.
If your pet is bitten it will require immediate treatment. Antivenom is very expensive and if your pet has received a large dose of venom, it may not be enough.
If you live in a snake prone area remember vigilance is the most important thing. Keep your pet clear of snakes. This can be achieved by keeping grass cut in and around yards (snakes do not like crossing cleared areas as it makes them susceptible to predation by birds). As snakes tend to like to live near water supplies (creeks, dams and swampy land as this is close to their favourite food supply primarily frogs and rodents) keep dogs away from these areas.
Snakes will often come into yards with ponds or even dog water bowls (for a drink).
Snakes do not like excessive vibration, so if you see one move around it or bang on the path until the snake moves away. Remember the snake may be more scared of you, than you are of it. (This is especially true of the copperhead).
Spring is a common time for cases of PARVOVIRUS. Parvovirus is a viral disease that is easily preventable by vaccination. It occurs most commonly in puppies and young dogs especially if UNVACCINATED. Breeds such as Rottweilers are more susceptible to the disease. Affected dogs become lethargic, depressed, stop eating, progressing to vomiting, diarrhoea (often bloody like red wine or strawberry jam), rapid dehydration and commonly death. Treatment is supportive in nature to prevent vomiting and maintain hydration and is costly. It is a lot less painful and cheaper to prevent, than to treat. Remember that parvovirus will remain in the soil for many years. Ensure your dog is up to date with its vaccination.
With the advent of warmer and more humid weather, there is also an increase in the number of FLEAS. Fleas are parasites that live on the skin and suck blood from their host. The bites can be irritant, painful and itchy. Some dogs and cats suffer from allergies to flea saliva and will show a greater level of irritation and hair loss. Severe infestation can lead to anaemia (blood loss) and whilst not common, can lead to death. When treating fleas ensure all pets are treated.
Please note that rabbits and ferrets also commonly suffer from fleas. Rabbit fleas are a well known carrier for disease, the most common of which is Myxomatosis, which is generally fatal for pet rabbits. Cats will commonly be the source of rabbit fleas,( collecting them on their ears after killing wild rabbits).
For information of flea products to treat your pet specifically, please call in and our staff will help you to choose a product that best suits your pet and its lifestyle.
The Montrose Veterinary Centre is one of a only a very few veterinary practices in southern Tasmania which continues to provide an out of normal hours service for its patients and clients. All emergency after hours cases are handled at the Montrose Practice.
The Staff at VETCENTRE MONTROSE and NEW NORFOLK