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What is the Best Time to Neuter or Spay Your Pet?

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Spaying and neutering are surgical procedures that involve sterilizing cats and dogs, so that they can no longer reproduce.  These surgeries are performed on patients under general anesthesia.  Please check out the 3 parts of the article Coventry Animal HospitalTries to Demystify Pre-anesthetic Protocols for your Pet,  Coventry Animal Hospital Tries to Demystify Anesthetic Protocols for your Pet and Coventry Animal Hospital Tries to Demystify Post-anesthetic Protocols for your Pet if you would like to learn more.

A neuter is a procedure in which the testes of a cat or dog are surgically removed.  It is also known as castration or orchiectomy.  The feline neuter involves a scrotal incision and the canine neuter involves a pre-scrotal incision.

A spay is a procedure in which both ovaries and the uterus are surgically removed.  It is also known as ovariohysterectomy.  See feline spay, canine spay for more information on the surgical procedures.

What are the Benefits of Neutering my Male Cat by 6 Months of Age?

Neutering your male cat by 6 months old will prevent him from getting a female cat pregnant.  Neutering will greatly reduce the odour of a male cat’s urine, as well as urine spraying and marking behaviour.  Inappropriate urination in cats is a huge reason why male cats are rehomed and we want you to have your kitty companion for his lifetime.  Neutering may decrease his chances of roaming and getting into territorial fights with other cats.

Should I Allow my Female Cat to Have a Litter of Kittens Before Her Spay Surgery?

We recommend having your female cat spayed before her first heat cycle.  Allowing your cat to have a litter of kittens would contribute to the problem of pet over-population.  Spaying a cat at this young age will prevent her from going into heat (See our cat heat cycle blog), decrease her risk of mammary cancer later in life, prevent pyometra (infection of the uterus) and prevent cancer of the uterus or ovaries.

Should I Wait Until My Large-Breed Dog is Over a Year Old to Sterilize Them?

There has been research in large-breed dogs that suggests waiting until a large-breed dog is 15-18 months old and their growth plates are closed may reduce their risk of orthopedic diseases, such as cranial cruciate ligament rupture and hip dysplasia.  Please consult your veterinarian to determine the best time frame to sterilize your large-breed dog based on their lifestyle and other risk factors.

What are the Benefits of Neutering My Male Fog by 6 Months of Age?

Neutering your dog will prevent certain health issues such as prostatic enlargement and decrease his risk of developing testicular or prostatic cancer.  This will prevent your male dog from breeding a female dog.  There is no benefit to delay neutering a small breed dog until after sexual maturity.

What are the Benefits of Spaying my Female Dog by 6 Months of Age?

Spaying female dogs prevents the over-population of puppies.  Please check out our dog heat cycle blog.  Spaying a female dog prior to her first heat cycle significantly lowers her chance of developing mammary and ovarian cancer and pyometra.  Her risk of pyometra increases with consecutive heat cycles.

Will Spaying/Neutering my Pet Cause Them to Get Fat?

Within days of sterilization surgery, your pet’s metabolism will slow down by approximately 30%.  This means that their caloric intake will need to be adjusted in order to maintain them at an ideal body weight.

If you have questions or concerns about spaying or neutering your pet, talk to one of our team members at Coventry Animal Hospital, we would be happy to address them. 

 

January is National Train Your Dog Month!

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A well-trained dog is definitely something worth celebrating!  Dog training is a journey that is never done – there are always new skills to learn together.  You’re in a partnership and it takes time to build a relationship. 

If a dog doesn’t perform a command that you think it understands, this means its level of distraction is too great and he hasn’t practiced the command in enough locations.  This is useful information that tells us (as the owner) we have work to do; we need to decrease the difficulty of what we are asking our dog to do and gradually work our way up the scale of distraction.

Most dogs aim to please you, but they don’t know what you want unless you teach them. Training is an important part of helping your dog become a member of your family.

The benefits of a well-trained dog include:

  • Your dog does what you want. Trained dogs have good manners and generally are a joy to be around and will be welcome in people’s homes.
  • Training provides mental stimulation, which is very important for a dog’s psychological wellbeing. A bored dog can be an unhappy dog.  If dogs do not receive enough mental stimulation, they may go looking for it – think garbage cans and chewed shoes or furnishings and excessive barking.
  • Training is an excellent bonding activity between pet owner and pet. It builds respect and trust.
  • Training sessions tire your dog out. On days that you can’t take your dog out for a long walk or run, a half hour training session will satisfy his energy requirements.
  • If you take your dog to training classes, your dog has a chance to socialize with other dogs and will learn how to interact appropriately with other dogs.
  • Training keeps your dog safe. If your dog is about to jump out of the car and cross the road, the “stay” command may save your dog’s life.  Teaching a “leave it” command may prevent it from consuming a toxin. 
  • Training is fun! It doesn’t all have to be about safety and good behaviour commands. Once your pet has mastered the basic commands, you can introduce sports, such as agility or flyball, tricks or advanced obedience for some additional fun training exercises.

This January, consider signing up for an obedience class, agility class, or just teach your dog some new tricks!  Both you and your dog will enjoy the time that you spend together.

Visit our You Tube page to see some short training videos by Dr. Justine Rudniski and her dog Vesper. Also visit our website for more information on training your dog. www.coventryvets.ca

Safe Travelling with Your Pets

By | Small Animal

January 2nd is National Pet Travel Safety Day.

If you are planning on travelling with your pet, whether driving a short visit to the vet clinic or taking your pet on vacation, here are some things that you need to know to keep it safe and comfortable.

Car Safety 101

NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET ALONE IN A PARKED CAR!  Temperatures rapidly become too hot or too cold, which can be fatal.  If left alone, animals can become anxious and injure themselves or escape, not to mention cause damage to your car or belongings!

Animals must be contained while riding in a car or truck.  Cats and small dogs should be secured with a seat belt around a carrier.  Dogs should be trained at an early age to be familiar with a padded harness attached to a seat belt.  Check out your local pet store for seat-belt friendly harness options.  A leash that is attached to a collar can create a choking hazard.  We also recommend that dogs not ride in the open bed of pickup trucks, as there is a risk of injury from a fall and from traffic.

Do not leave the window down, as there is a risk of strangulation with electric windows and animals can fall out of them.  In addition, the force of the wind can injure the blood vessels in their ears, creating blood blisters.  Use air-conditioning and heating to keep your pet comfortable.

Pets should never be in the front seat, as air bags can injure them if deployed.  Also, pets in the front seat may distract the driver or even get in the way of the steering wheel, brake or clutch, causing unsafe driving.  Consider a mesh barrier to create a partition that will keep your dog in the back seat.

Motion sickness

If your pet is not experienced with car rides, do not feed them in the six hours before travel as a full stomach can cause them discomfort and result in nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  Never withhold water and pull over to offer it regularly on long trips.

Acclimatize your pet to a car ahead of time when they are young.  Reward them for getting in a parked car with praise and treats.  Try taking them on short errands.

Travel checklist

  1. Health certificate – this contains proof of vaccines, which is required to cross the border to the United States and also serves as proof of ownership.IMG_0109
  2. Travel carrier – use a high-quality carrier that will not pop open or break.  To minimize anxiety, get your pet used to being inside the carrier prior to travel.  Keep the open carrier in a quiet place at home, so that your pet enjoys resting inside it.  Do not remove your pet from the carrier unless there is an emergency.  Your pet may be frightened by the new experience and may try to escape or become aggressive.
  3. Food and water – offer chew toys and peanut butter-filled toys to dogs.  Bring plenty of food along and protect it from extreme temperatures.
  4. Medications – bring an adequate supply of any medication that your pet is currently taking
  5. Supplies – in case of accidents, bring plastic bags and a roll of paper towels
  6. Pet ID tag – keep your pet’s ID on a collar in case of an accident or if your pet were to get lost.  Microchips also serve a similar purpose.

 

If you have any questions about travelling with your pets, talk to one of our team members at Coventry Animal Hospital.

 

 

Benefits of Adopting a Senior Pet

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When adopting a new pet, most people will go looking for a younger dog to “save”, not realizing how much love and joy an older, senior dog can give them. Don’t walk past the older ones; there are so many benefits to adopting a senior pet for both you and the adoptee. Some benefits are:

  1. Seniors need homes just as badly as younger dogs.
    • There are just as many senior dogs as younger dogs in shelters. They want the same love and attention as the younger ones.
  2. You may end up saving his life
    • In some shelters the senior pets are euthanized because no one adopts them. However, thankfully this is becoming less frequent in Ontario; it still will happen in other parts of Canada and the US. Helping that senior pet live out his golden years in a home with a loving family will make him so much happier then being in a shelter for the rest of his years.
  3. Senior pets aren’t always “problem dogs”
    • A lot of people have this perception that senior pets are in the shelter because they are “problem dogs” that no one wants. This isn’t the case most of the time. There are lots of dogs surrendered because of allergies, the novelty of being a pet owner wearing off, death of the owner, a new baby, loss of a job, etc. They can be surrendered for reasons that are not their fault, nor the owners.
  4. They already are trained and understand basic commands
    • Since they are already house trained and know basic commands like “sit”, “stay”, “lay down”, etc. It makes it easier to transition them into your home. It will also save you time in the day because you don’t have to potty train them.
  5. Calmer and less energetic then younger dogs
    • Seniors normally have less energy, and a calmer demeanor/temperament. This makes it easier if you live a busy life, they don’t need to be walked as much and they will sleep most of the day.
  6. Teaching old dogs new tricks
    • Even though they are old, doesn’t mean you can’t teach them new tricks. It is actually recommended to keep teaching them tricks as they get older, it will keep their mind and body healthy!
  7. Settle very quickly and become instant companions
    • Older pets are ready to love and be loved. They usually will easily transition to your house and bond almost immediately. You will forever be their best friend and partner.

Therefore, if you are looking to adopt, think about adopting a senior pet. You can be their saviour.

If you have any questions about adopting a senior pet, talk to one of our team members at Coventry Animal Hospital. We would love to help you find the perfect pet!

 

RVT Month

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What is an RVT?

RVT stands for Registered Veterinary Technician.

What does this mean?

It means they have a Veterinary Technician diploma, and then have gone even further and done a 4 hour test to become registered. They are dedicated to continually learning and expanding their knowledge. RVTs act as the right hand to the Veterinarian, their role in the veterinary clinic is similar to a Registered Nurse in a human hospital.

What do they do?

They are integral members of the veterinary health care team. They are educated, which provides them with the theory and practical skills to deliver the best standard of veterinary care.  RVTs are often overlooked due to being “behind the scenes”; however, they are extremely important to every veterinary clinic. Some tasks they do daily are:

  • Taking and developing x-rays
  •  Administering and dispensing medications and treatments as prescribed by the Veterinarian
  •  Collecting blood, urine and tissue or body fluid samples; as well as analyzing them under a microscope
  • Providing excellent animal care, restraint, and safe handling of pets
  • Delivering anesthesia and monitoring for surgeries, as wells as preparing the surgery room and assisting whenever the vet needs
  • Placing bandages/wound dressings and splints
  • Triaging emergency arrivals and helping with emergency care and first aid
  • Performing dental cleaning and polishing procedures
  • Using their knowledge of tests, medications, supplements, and nutritional needs of pets
  • Being the biggest advocates for your pet

 

Rabies in Ontario: what the public needs to know – an update for 2018

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What is the Risk of Rabies in Ontario?

There have been 50 cases of rabies in Ontario since January 2018.  The majority of these are from raccoons, followed by skunks and bats.  Other species that also tested positive include cows, stray cats and red foxes.  There have been over 500 cases of rabies in Ontario in the last 4 years.

There have been 17 cases of fox rabies confirmed in Perth, Huron and Waterloo counties since December 2015.  In that same time period, there have been over 400 cases of raccoon rabies confirmed in Hamilton and surrounding areas. 

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a virus that is spread by infected mammals biting other mammals or transmission of their saliva to an open wound.  The virus travels through the nervous system to the brain where it will causes neurological signs, including changes in behavior, aggression, paralysis and death.  Once signs are evident, rabies is almost always untreatable and fatal.  All mammals (companion animals, livestock and humans are at risk).

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/food/inspection/ahw/rabies.htm

 How Can I Protect Myself and My Family From Rabies?

 Vaccinate your pets: make sure your pets are always kept up to date on their vaccinations, even if they are indoor only and don’t interact with other pets.  For example, any indoor pet could be in a scenario where:

  • a cat attacks a bat that enters the home
  • a dog bites a visitor

Rabies vaccination for dogs, cats and horses is a regulatory requirement for our local district health units. 

Only allow your pets outdoors when they are supervised.

Teach your children not to approach wildlife.  Bat proof your home.

Rabies vaccination should be considered for livestock in high-risk areas.  Ask your local veterinarian whether vaccination is recommended for your cattle, sheep or goats.  If livestock go outside or travel to fairs, they are at risk of exposure.  Rabies is a core vaccine for horses.

Who to Call in Case of Potential Rabies Exposure?

1. If you are exposed (bitten or handle) a potentially rabid animal, contact your local Public Health Unit:

  • Perth Health Unit: 519-271-7600
  • Huron Health Unit 519-482-3416

2. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, contact your local veterinarian.

3. If you spot abnormal wildlife and there has been no pet or human exposure,

  • contact a local wildlife control agency for assistance with a live animal
  • contact the MNRF Rabies Hotline 1-888-574-6656 for dead or confined terrestrial wildlife
  • contact the CWHC 1-866-673-4781 for sick/injured bats

Rabies is 100% preventable, but people are still exposed every year, which is why this is still an important issue.  Keep your family safe by talking to one of our team members at Coventry Animal Hospital about rabies vaccination for your pets.

The Difficult Decision: Pet Food

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As humans we are told that if we eat healthy and exercise we will live a long and healthy life, why would this statement be any different for our pets? Nutrition is hands down one of the most important building blocks for our pets to live a healthy lifestyle. However, it is still one of the hardest decisions we have to make as pet owners.  The question that we should be asking ourselves is: Is this food right for my pet? There are a lot of different pet foods out there with many different ingredients and nutritional claims, so choosing a diet can be a lot of work. Not to worry; below are some helpful hints/tips when choosing a pet food!

Activity Level

  • If your pet has a high activity level he is burning more calories, therefore you want a food that will give the correct nutrients to give him enough energy required.
  • If your pet has a low activity level (stays inside more than goes outside) he is not burning as many calories and he will usually gain weight on most ordinary diets. Therefore, these dogs should get a food with lower calories or in some instances be fed less food of a maintenance diet. Please discuss this with your regular veterinarian.

 

Age/Breed

  • Age plays a huge role in what your pet should be getting for food.
    • Puppies/kittens and pregnant animals need higher calories and more nutrients then a full grown adult pet. When puppies/kittens are growing they need to be on a diet that will help them maintain a good/healthy weight, and will give them the correct nutrients needed to help their growing body, joints, and bones
    • Adult pets need a maintenance diet; they do not need all the extra nutrients that a young pet would need.
  • Breed
    • Depending on the breed of your dog or cat they may need a different food.Bigger breeds such as Great Danes normally need more supplements in their food to help decrease the wear and tear on their joints.
    • Smaller dogs such as a Yorkshire terrier, should have diets that will help prevent urinary crystals or stones; and dental disease.

Weight

  • Working in the Veterinary Profession unfortunately a common issue that we see is pets that are overweight. Maintaining ideal body weight should be achievable and it is the most important component for your pet to live a long and healthy life.
  • Usually when we see overweight pets, it means that the food they are on is either too high in calories, they are getting served too much and/or they are getting to many extra treats or table scraps.
  • For weight loss there are certain diets that cater to overweight pets; they are lower in calories and a diet that will make your pet feel fuller so they are not begging for more food.

If you have any questions regarding your pet’s food give us a call to discuss your pet’s nutrition plan. We offer a wide variety of food and we also have weight control programs; including weigh-ins at no charge.

You can also visit our website www.coventryvets.ca for more information on nutrition.

 

“Let Food Be Your First Medicine”

What Happens at My Pet’s Annual Visit to the Doctor’s Office?

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We strongly recommend annual visits to the vet clinic for both cats and dogs.  Why might that be?  It’s not all about vaccines. 

HISTORY TAKING

Firstly, a technician and doctor will gather history on your pet.  What is it’s lifestyle?  Tell us about the typical day of your pet.  Knowing who your pet interacts with, where he travel, his activity level and what he eats helps us to paint a picture of what risks he may be exposed to. 

  • For example, do you take your dog to public areas where it may have close contact with other dogs? He may benefit from the kennel cough vaccine. 
  • Does your dog go camping with your family at the Pinery where there is a high risk of Lyme disease from ticks? Tick prevention in the form of topical or oral products, as well as vaccination against Lyme should be discussed. 
  • Does your kitty hunt and eat houseflies inside your home? Despite being an indoor cat, cats can contact intestinal parasites, such as roundworm and tapeworm from eating insects.

We want to know if you have any specific behaviour concerns for your pet. 

  • For example, are you worried that your pet will be stressed when the new baby joins the family?
  • Is your new kitten scratching the furniture?
  • Is your dog anxious when left home alone?
  • Is your senior cat howling during the night?

 

PHYSICAL EXAMINATION

A lot of changes occur in a cat or dog during a calendar year.  Their lifespans differ from that of a human and correspondingly, growth and aging occurs at a faster rate.  Your pet may outwardly seem itself, but on physical exam, early signs of disease may be present.  The goal of a physical examination is to assess an animal’s health by examining its body systems.  This is done by sight, smell, listening to the heart and lungs and touch (feeling internal organs through palpation and manipulating joints).  A veterinarian will look for symmetry and examine the eyes, ears, nose, teeth and gums, throat, lymph nodes, skin, nails, genitals and abdomen.  A pet’s mental state, nerve function and gait can also be assessed during examination – this is known as a neurological exam.  In addition, your pet’s body condition score, weight fluctuations and degree of muscling are assessed.

image of report card

 

We take your pet’s life stage into account – is she growing, adult, senior or geriatric?  Her needs will differ greatly based on her life stage and breed.

 

VACCINATION

Vaccines may not be protective unless they are correctly administered at the appropriate intervals.  There are vaccine guidelines that form the basis for your veterinarian’s recommendations for which vaccines should be given to your pet.  These recommendations change based on your pet’s age, risk of exposure, health and history of vaccine reactions.

 image of vaccine schedule

 

 

DIAGNOSTIC TESTING

We recommend yearly intestinal parasite screening.  This involves bringing a fresh sample of your pet’s poop for our technicians to analyze in our in-house lab for the presence of intestinal worms or eggs.

Annual wellness bloodwork is also recommended – this is a screening tool to look for signs of early organ disease BEFORE there are signs present on a physical examination or to confirm suspicions of a disease.  Testing the thyroid level is recommended for pets 8 years of age and older.  Analyzing a fresh morning urine sample is recommended for senior patients as well.

We recommend annual heartworm and Lyme testing to ensure that your dog is negative for heartworm prior to starting seasonal heartworm prevention.

PREVENTATIVE CARE AND TREATMENTS

Seasonal parasite prevention for intestinal parasites (roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm), heartworm and external parasites, such as fleas and ticks, is recommended based on your pet’s level of exposure.

We discuss and perform grooming needs.  It is very important to maintain a healthy coat and nails.

After pin-pointing health concerns through a physical examination and diagnostic tests, issues can be addressed in a timely manner.  For example, patients with early dental disease benefit from a dental cleaning.  Routine skin, ear and bladder infections can be treated with antibiotics.  Obesity and arthritis are also health concerns that can be managed in partnership with your regular veterinarian.

An annual pet visit maintains a VETERINARIAN-CLIENT-PATIENT-RELATIONSHIP (VPCR).  A VPCR allows a veterinarian to prescribe prescriptions for your pet.

https://cvo.org/For-the-Public/What-to-Expect-from-Your-Veterinarian.aspx

https://vimeo.com/174248006

Your pet’s annual vet visit is an opportunity to find and address issues early on.  We want to discern individual concerns pertaining to your pet’s well being, so that we can take measures to keep it pain-free and hopefully extend its longevity. 

If you’re not sure of your pet’s last annual examination, call and talk to one of our team members at Coventry Animal Hospital.

 

Pets and Camping

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We view our pets as family members and it’s natural to wish to bring them on a family vacation.  Please take some time to plan ahead and determine whether camping with your pet is going to be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Before Camping with a Pet

Consider leaving your pet at home if there are large predators such as bears, wolves or fishers that view domestic animals as food.  Pet food is also considered an attractant for wild animals and must be safely stored either in the trunk of your car or hung in a tree if backcountry camping.  You will not be able to leave your pet unattended.

Different campgrounds have different rules.  Not all campgrounds accept pets and those that do generally restrict pets to certain campsite areas or beaches within the park.  For example, while taking your dog on a walk, it must be on a short leash and under control at all times.  Your pet is not permitted to make excessive noise, to chase wildlife or damage live vegetation.  When your animal defecates, its waste needs to be properly disposed of – consider an environmentally-friendly bag.

Preparations for Camping with a Pet

Have a crate that your pet feels comfortable travelling in (see summer travelling blog article).  You’ll want to bring some of the comforts of home such as its blanket and regular food.

Consider packing a first aid kit (see first aid blog article).

Consider picking a campsite with shade for your pet.  Remember that your pet is wearing a thick fur coat and may be prone to overheating. If your dog likes swimming, bring some extra towels and ear cleanser to dry its ears once it comes out of the water.rsz_1100_0115

Make sure your pet’s vaccines are up to date and bring a copy of them.  Depending on the region, consider tick prevention and Lyme vaccination for your dog.  We recommend monthly flea, intestinal parasite and heartworm prevention from May through December.  Research the address and number of a local veterinary clinics and a kennel in the event that your pet needs medical attention or you are unable to supervise your pet. Make sure your pet has identification that includes a cell phone number in case it becomes separated from you.

Coventry Animal Hospital hopes your camping experience this summer is a fun one!

 

 

 

How To Keep Your Pet Safe in the Hot Weather

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With summer (especially in Perth County) comes high temperatures, high humidity and the occasional heat wave. Pets are especially vulnerable to the heat and we see many cases of heat stroke in the summer months. Here are some tips for how to keep your pet safe during the summer.

Never leave your pet in a car on a hot day.heat_stroke-1_2009

Unfortunately, year after year we are still seeing pets being kept in cars. Even with the windows opened, the interior of a car can quickly reach dangerous temperatures. On a 30 degree Celsius day, the temperature in a car with windows open can reach 40 degrees in only 10 minutes. What makes it worse is that dogs have a lot more difficulty cooling off than humans; relying only on panting and sweating through their feet. This means that dogs also heat up a lot faster than people, so what may be a comfortable temperature for you may be too hot for your dog.

If you need to run errands, leave your dog at home. If you need to make an unexpected stop, ask to bring your dog into the store with you. A lot of stores can be very understanding about this.

Avoid exercising your pet on hot or humid days.

While some dogs are good about policing their own activity levels, a lot of dogs will play until the point they overheat and suffer heat stroke. It is best to avoid exercise during hot and humid days. If you must, consider exercising them early in the morning or later in the evening when the day is cooler.

Always have cool fresh water available.

If your pet is to be left alone without supervision, make sure there is ample fresh water available. If your dog is left outside, make sure the water is kept in the shade and in a bowl that your dog cannot accidentally knock over.  Consider also adding ice cubes to the water to keep it cooler for longer. If you are out exercising with your dog, always make sure to carry water with you so that your dog may drink. Pouring some water on its feet will also help keep it cool.

Avoid walking on pavement.

Pavement can get really hot and burn your dog’s feet. Consider only walking it in dirt or grassy areas. If it must walk on pavement, consider protecting its feet with something such as Invisible Boot.

Provide shade.

Ideally, pets should be kept indoors during extreme temperatures. If your dog must be kept outside, make sure to provide an area of shade. This is best accomplished with a tree, umbrella or tarp. Dog houses get very hot with lack of air flow and are not places your dog can go into to cool. Also consider having a children’s pool filled with water available to your dog so that he can use it to cool himself.

Prevent Hot Spots and Ear Infections

We commonly see hot spots and ear infections over the summer, especially in dogs with longer hair. The most likely cause of these issues is being wet for long periods of time. Therefore, the best course of action to prevent hot spots and ear infections is to make sure to dry your dog as best as possible after playing in water. Be sure to towel dry its body well. Also, always try to have some drying ear cleanser and cotton balls to clean out its ears after swimming.

Water Safety

Always supervise your dog while playing around water. When boating, make sure your dog also wears a life jacket like the rest of your family in case an accident happens. Breeds with short faces such as bull dogs, may need life jackets at all times to keep its nose above the water. As mentioned above, make sure to dry your dog thoroughly after swimming. For more tips on water safety, see our previous blog.

Boarding

If you plan on boarding your dog this summer, you need to make sure it is up to date with all its vaccinations including kennel cough. If your dog has never been boarded before, consider doing a short trial stay first so that it can get used to the place. For more tips on boarding your animal, see our previous kennel cough blog.

Certain pets are even more at risk of heat stroke and extra care should be taken to avoid the heat:

  • Short-nosed dogs
  • Dogs with heart issues
  • Ill or elderly dogs
  • Puppies
  • Overweight dogs

What are signs of heat stroke?

  • Excessive panting and restlessness
  • Drooling large amounts from nose and mouth
  • Stumbling around/unsteadiness

What should I do if my pet is having heat stroke?

  • Remove them from the hot environment
  • Get towels soaked with cool water (cold setting on the tap) and place around neck, in armpits, in groin area and wet feet
  • Do NOT use ice packs or ice water as this will actually prevent cooling by constricting the blood vessels
  • Do NOT force water into your dog’s mouth, but offer some to him if he is interested
  • Bring your dog to a veterinarian while cooling him

 

Heat stroke can be prevented by following the above recommendations. If you ever have any concerns that your dog may be over heating, contact your veterinarian right away. We at Coventry Animal Hospital wish all our patients a safe and fun summer!

Recommended read – It’s getting Hot in Perth County! Here are Some Tips on Preventing Heat Stroke in Your Dog and Cat.