Local veterinarian Sally Moore, from Global Veterinary Services, will share her insight into the care of small animals – and calf club animals – for Number 8 Network in a special series starting this week.
The calves are prancing and the daffodils are out, but Winter chills are still with us. Spare a thought to our loved pets through these cold times. Here are some tips based on our experience with some of the seasonal health issues that can affect cats and dogs.
Heat: watch your pets when lying or playing near fire sources. Make sure tails, paws and whiskers don’t come into contact with the fire or knock heaters over.
Bedding: provide a thick, soft bed in a warm room on a chilly night.
Poisons: this can result from an animal ingesting antifreeze or rat baits, and are regularly seen in winter. If an animal is poisoned with antifreeze, it presents as being drunk. The poison then destroys the kidneys and can lead to death.
Rat bait poisoning causes bleeding externally and internally. Sadly, we have had one case in the clinic and all that is needed to prevent it is care when laying the bait. Antidotes are available.
Hypothermia: low body temperature. In mild cases shivering occurs, this can progress to lethargy and weakness.
In severe cases numbness and stiffness result, the heart rate and breathing slows, which then leads to loss of consciousness.
This is extra important at the moment with new-born lambs and calves and kids for calf club about, so keep an extra eye out on these vulnerable pets.
Housing: keep pets indoors as much as possible or ensure they are off the ground in an adequate warm shelter, warm, dry and draught free.
Food and drink: feed more protein-rich food. Ensure the drinking water is not too cold if outside.
Health: very old, very young, and ill animals are especially vulnerable to cold, especially those with joint diseases.
Car hood: check under your car hood to ensure the lost cat is not curled up keeping warm on the engine.
Clothing: consider buying a coat/jacket. Your dog will look great and feel warm strolling around Gordonton!
Grooming: if you need to wash your pets, or after being wet outside, ensure you properly dry them. If you trim coats, allow them to grow longer. Less hair is shed in winter but don’t forget to brush and comb.
Pests: flease love living in warm homes so keep up excellent flea control.
And here’s the end of this tail –