Autumn is upon us, and potential hazards still remain for your dog. This is the time of year that a rise in the cases of allergic skin reactions and insect bites becomes prevalent. Awareness and prevention not only saves your dog from feeling poorly, but can also save consumers money that would be paid out to the veterinarian.
Making regular checks for ticks and fleas after spending time outside in the yard protects your dog and other pets, if they reside within a home, and the family and visitors that come to the home.
Allergies tend to last through a good part of October, causing itching to the dog’s skin and irritations to their paws. Keep in mind that the leaves in your yard that you rake up can harbor mold and weed spores. An occasional extra bath during this time will not cause any harm, and if the itchy skin and irritated paws becomes worse or continues still after a bath, consult your veterinarian for further options.
While outside, especially in more unfamiliar surroundings when taken for walks in wooded areas, be aware of snakes; spiders; poison ivy; brambles, and burrs. Keeping your dog on a leash may give a chance to deter a harmful scenario. Remember to take a portable first aid kit with you on your walk, in case attention is needed for an unexpected cut, and consult with your veterinarian. In the case of a snake bite, seek medical attention from your veterinarian immediately.
As it gets cooler the further we head into Autumn, be mindful of antifreeze, mouse traps with poison on them, holiday dinners, candy treats and wrappers for the upcoming seasonal events: Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol and is highly toxic to animals. Its sweet taste can be tempting to your dog, especially if they may be thirsty; however, the results are fast and lethal and result in kidney failure and death in as little as four hours. Never wash antifreeze down the driveway. Store and dispose of it in sealed containers.
Mouse poisons may be eaten by your dog for a variety of reasons: they are hungry, bored, or even just curious. The effects of ingestion are severe bleeding, kidney failure, and eventually death. Record these poisons if they are used so you have the information at your fingertips in case you need to alert your veterinarian or poison control about your dog’s ingestion of the material.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs. If larger amounts of it are consumed by your dog, it will begin to show signs of an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and possibly restlessness and uncoordinated movements prior to heart and/or respiratory failure. Only one ounce of chocolate can kill a 10-pound dog. Alert your veterinarian and poison control immediately, if ingestion occurs.
Holiday meal items can become a medical emergency. Chicken and turkey bones splinter and become lodged in your dog’s throat, and even create holes in its stomach and bowels. Rich foods can cause bloating, discomfort, and even pancreas inflammation. If you want your dog to participate in your family event, stick with vegetables without salt or butter (check first to make sure it isn’t a vegetable that will cause harm if ingested), or dog treats (there are many free recipes for home-made, natural dog treats that are simple and easy to make that can also be found online).
Keep the name of your veterinarian and the phone number on your phone, as well as on a list at home (in case something happens to your phone or another person is watching your dog while you are away). Go the extra step to find a 24-hour emergency veterinarian in your area, and put them on your phone and list at home, as well. Poison control should always be on top of this list as you never know when or what your dog could potential get into and make them ill.