The ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ is a traditional song about gift-giving and for us at The Strand Vet our gift to you this Christmas making sure you have a happy, healthy four-legged friend.
Quickly check this list to ensure a vet free holiday season!
12 days before Christmas check your vaccinations are up-to-date. Kennels require a canine cough vaccination and catteries require your cat has peak protection with up-to-date vaccines, as respiratory viruses can be a significant problem, especially in elderly animals.
11 fleas are jumping – with the warm, humid weather fleas are at an all-time environmental high. Book a FREE parasite check to get the right advice about your pet as many flea products don’t work as well as they claim.
10 minutes is all it takes for a dog to succumb to heatstroke. A car can quickly become like an oven, even leaving tied up or in a crate can be dangerous at this time of year. Vigorous panting, dark red gums, collapse or loss of consciousness are all serious signs of overheating. Take immediate action by cooling with a wet cloth & using fans to decrease the temperature, for ongoing monitoring & advice seek a vet immediately.
9 common toxins are looming…take more care in new environments as you never know what is lurking under the rafters or in the garden of your holiday destination. Blue green algae is a killer and local knowledge is essential so pop in to your nearest vet and get to know the locals at your new destination.
- Raisins, nuts and chocolate are a favourite toxicity for this time of year!
- Christmas lillies – cats love to play and eat the flowers which are highly renal toxic
- Ant bait, slug bait, rat bait and rabbit baits
- Garden and path sprays are all toxic to pets
- Possum bait, including 1080
- Human medications (Voltaren, Nurofen & Panadol)
- Recreational drugs, cigarettes and alcohol
Call a vet immediately for instructions if you think your pet may have been exposed or eaten a toxin.
8 grooming tips. Like Nike says – just do it! Clip your dogs short over summer as humidity is a killer, clip bottoms on rabbits and long haired elderly cats as fly strike is a life-threatening disease & can literally happen overnight.
7 common areas where barley grass seeds can affect your dog’s health are:
- Behind the ears
- Underneath the armpits & groin
- Between the ears
- Between the webbing of every toe on all four feet
Clip these areas short or check daily if you walk them on any grass. You won’t regret the 7 minutes of grooming it takes per day.
6 windy roads can cause anxiety and travel sickness in pets. As a rule don’t feed your pet before travel, use Feliway and Adaptil to help with anxiety, or ask us for medication to help, and plan for ‘pet’ breaks on long trips.
5 hot spots can pop up overnight. Contact allergens or irritants (kikuyu grass/wandering dew), a new diet, insect bites, trauma from rough play or being constantly hot and wet at the beach are all causes of this painful disease. Sticky, crusty foul smelling, bacteria mats fur causing your pet to become lethargic and depressed. To cure use a chlorhexidine based hand wash or shampoo, gently massage the area & use a fine comb to lift out the crusts. Clip the hair short & use manuka honey or an antibiotic/steroid preparation, on the groomed area.
4 sore feet from hot sand, asphalt, oyster shells or glass cuts can cause blistered or inflamed paws and a nasty painful pododermatitis. Clean as above and use manuka honey as a good antibacterial, then bandage the foot for 24 to 48 hours. Old sports socks can be helpful for cushioning.
3 bee stings can cause facial swelling leading to life threatening asphyxiation if untreated. Carefully remove the stinger & apply baking soda in water on the area, using ice packs wrapped in a tea towel. Use prednisone or Benadryl if available & call your vet immediately.
2 sunburnt ears in lightly pigmented animals predispose them to skin cancer. Protect ears with a pet-friendly sun block (like Filtabac) over the summer & use aloe-vera gel on already sun burnt ears and noses.
1 baited fish hook can be swallowed in a moment of inattentiveness. Never leave baited hooks around, if your pet swallows a hook never pull on it. Clip the nylon short & feed a meal of soft food mixed with cotton wool to try and trap the hook. Seek veterinary advice A.S.A.P. and cancel the fishing trip!
We are always happy to help over the holiday season, as are our friends working the statutory holidays at our animal emergency veterinary clinics – call us on 09 377 6667 or see the bottom of this page for details.