Summer can be as much fun for our furry friends as it is for us. Unfortunately, they can also suffer the same heat related illnesses. Pets are not able to dispel heat from their bodies as quickly as humans and this can cause a rapid rise in body temperature. Once the body temperature elevates, the pet could then begin to suffer from symptoms related to illnesses such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion. These conditions are serious and could ultimately lead to death.
Be sure never to leave your pet in a vehicle, an unventilated home, or without shade. These conditions can effect your pet quickly. Walks should also be done in the morning or late evening, with a cool place to recuperate afterwards. Asphalt and concrete are very hot on dogs paws. Being closer to the ground will cause more heat to generate throughout their system. if your pet lives outdoors, make sure there is plenty of fresh water and their house is situated in shade.
If your pet begins showing any signs of heat related illness, contact your veterinarian immediately. Taking a few precautions through the summer months should help alleviate any need for medical attention due to rising summer temperatures.
SOME symptoms of heat related illness
• Exaggerated panting
• Excessive drooling
• Glazed eyes
• Shaking or seizure
• Lack of urine production
Canine influenza, also known as Canine Flu is a relatively new virus. The first strain, H3N8, originated from a horse flu virus and was identified about 15 years ago. After the initial outbreaks, the virus often caused mild illness, but a new strain, H3N2, has proven to be much more contagious and powerful. This strain was first identified in a massive outbreak in Chicago in 2015. A recent outbreak in Florida has now been spreading through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and there has been a suspected case in North Alabama.
The signs of Canine Flu can range from mild upper respiratory signs to severe illness. Some dogs experience mild coughing, sneezing, or nasal discharge and it may be mistaken for common kennel cough. Some dogs however can become very ill, with high fevers, pneumonia, and these patients can require extensive hospitalization and treatment. Unfortunately there have been fatal cases as well.
Canine Flu can be spread in many different ways:
– infected dogs coughing and sneezing near other dogs
– the virus can live up to 48 hours on objects
– the virus can live 24 hours on clothing
– the virus can live 12 hours on hand/body parts
To prevent the spread of this disease and protect your pets, there is a vaccine available that covers both strains of Canine Flu. Healthy pets should be vaccinated and any pets showing potential signs should be kept away from other dogs and brought the vet immediately. It is also important to note that this virus is specific to dogs, and this is not a virus contagious to people or other household pets.
With the climate in this region, heartworm disease is an ongoing issue. Heartworm disease develops when a dog is bitten by a mosquito carrying microscopic heartworm larvae. The larvae are then deposited into the dog and quickly begin their migration into the dog’s bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream the larvae makes their way to the heart and pulmonary (lung) arteries. As the larvae develop within the arteries and lungs, the dog will then begin to develop symptoms. The symptoms are mild in the beginning, but as the larvae become adult worms, the pet is put into distress, with more apparent issues.
Heartworm disease can be prevented by giving a timely dose of medication each month. The medication is usually in the form of tablets. The preventatives are highly effective, safe, easy to use, relatively inexpensive, and often provide treatment for additional parasites. Prevention is always safer and more affordable than having to treat pets infected with heartworms.
Since the disease is undetectable by the human eye, a simple test can save your friends life. Your veterinarian can take a few drops of blood and have an answer within 10-15 minutes. With heartworm disease capable of doing so much damage to the heart and lungs, early detection is key to minimizing stress put on these organs. Your pet depends on you for his comfort and safety, so do him a favor and have him checked today.
Symptoms of Advanced Heartworms:
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal swelling
- Congestive heart failure