Summer days are great for us, but can be hard work for our animals. At VETPlus we are seeing many summer and heat
related problems. Here are some you may want to watch for:
Heat exhaustion: Pets will show excessive panting, and may become very distressed. You should never leave your
pet in a parked car, even for a few minutes, or in the hot sun where they cannot seek shade and water. Panting is the
main way cat and dogs cool down, so panting will increase if they are too hot. Ensure you provide shade, and put a
fan on, and dampen their fur, if this doesn’t help seek veterinary advice immediately.
Heart disease: Your pet will show excessive panting, maybe a cough (often worse at night), lethargy or becoming
tired easily when walking. Small dogs are prone to heart valve degeneration with age, and large breeds to heart muscle
problems. If you know your dog has a heart “murmur” you should only do very mild exercise at the coolest time of the
day with your pet. There are many excellent medications for heart disease now, and it can vastly improve your pet’s
quality of life by treating this problem.
Laryngeal paralysis: Does your old Labrador sound like it is really struggling to breathe in? This could be the
problem, and it gets worse with the heat too, as excessive panting can cause swelling to the larynx (voice box) and
narrow the airway further, and in some cases cause life threatening problems. Usually surgery is the best option to
fix this problem.
Grass seeds: Don’t forget to check in-between your dog’s toes, around their “armpits”, and ears, and keep fur in
these areas as short as possible to prevent seeds imbedding in skin. Avoid long grass if possible, as seeds can get into
eyes as dogs run too.
Itchy ears and skin: Hot weather leads to increased skin humidity, especially if your dog swims. This makes
a perfect environment for bacteria and yeasts to grow, causing infections. Check ears and skin every few days for
redness, discharge, or trauma from them scratching. Early treatment of these problems is always best, and keeps up
the flea treatments too, even if you don’t see the little critters.
If you are concerned or would like to book a summer check up please call the friendly team at VETPlus on 0800 VETPlus.