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Autumn is coming and we want to be prepared…

Fleas and ticks cause issues throughout the whole year but become more apparent in the warm, wet Autumn so ensure you check their coat regularly. In fact, this is when ticks, in particular, are at their most active. You should make sure your pet’s parasite treatments and vaccinations are up to date, and always check your pets for ticks after going outside. If you find any, make sure you twist them off with a tick hook - we can show you how if needed!

Colder temperatures mean you may find your pets and wild animals hiding in warm places. Be sure to check underneath your car before starting it up in the morning to ensure nothing and no-one is sleeping under it. Always check your sheds to ensure you have not accidentally locked wildlife or free-roaming pets away. If you suspect your pet is missing, check warm areas before panicking.

Animals living in cages should be brought into a shed, or indoors, or extra protection such as blankets and extra bedding should be added to secure thermal protection. In autumn, the nights can be much cooler than the days. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and prepare for the worst. Smaller pets are much more likely to suffer from hypothermia than larger pets.

Antifreeze is toxic to cats and dogs. Prevent them from drinking from any spilt puddles or contaminated ponds. Ensure you store antifreeze well out of reach so they cannot get to it in the bottle. If any is spilt, mop it up immediately and wash away any residue with lots and lots of water.

Symptoms that your pet has consumed antifreeze include incoordination, nausea, excessive urination and diarrhoea, weakness in their muscles, tremors, increased heart rate and depression. If any of these symptoms are seen, then you should contact us as soon as possible. If untreated, dogs and cats often seem to get better, but then rapidly go into kidney failure which is, sadly, usually fatal. If treated early enough (ideally before symptoms appear), the antidote can be given, with a good chance of a full recovery.

Shorter daylight hours may mean your pet gets less exercise. Cats who go outside whenever they please may go out less as the conditions seem less appealing (not that we blame them!). It is therefore important that you monitor your pet's weight and alter their diet accordingly. You could look into buying a powerful torch or a reflective jacket: these are also available for dogs! Consider taking your dog for shorter walks on streets, which are illuminated. A short walk is better than no walk.

Fireworks are frequently used in Autumn. It is vital you stay with your pet when they first experience fireworks, as you should then be able to judge how they are reacting. You can then make a judgement based on their reactions. Seek advice from our vets if their anxiety is too high - there are behavioural and medical treatments we can use to help. Ideally, outdoor pets should be brought indoors for celebration days to reduce stress levels. Make sure microchips are up to date just in case pets do go missing to help increase the chance of them being returned.

Halloween is an important celebration in Autumn. You should resist dressing your pet up as this can cause irritation. They may choke on any dangly parts; get caught on other objects or even have an allergic reaction.

Make sure all goodies are kept out of reach of your pets. Remember chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs. Our pets may feel intimidated and frightened by people’s fancy dress and people wearing masks.

If pumpkins have been lit, they may cause burns to your pets, which could scar them for life. If your pet runs past a pumpkin knocking it over, they may start a fire. Glow sticks can irritate animals too if ingested, so be sure to keep them away from your pet.

Below is a rather lengthy list of toxins that can be found in your garden. Be aware of them if your pet starts to eat them from the ground:

Horse chestnut tree, allium species (leek, garlic, onion, shallot etc), holly, autumn crocus (aka meadow saffron), cotoneaster species, dieffenbachia species, mushrooms, toadstools, ivy, oak (especially acorns), rowan (aka mountain ash), yew and mistletoe.

 

Autumn can be a really enjoyable time of year for us and our four-legged friends, given relevant precautions are taken!

If you’re at all worried about your pet, as always, we’re here to help – just give us a call.



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