Summer First Aid for Furry Friends
Summer is here, and families and their pets are heading outdoors to enjoy warm-weather adventures. During this season, cats and dogs are more prone to injury or illness due to increased activity, higher temperatures, and more interaction with other animals and humans. Experts at On the Floor @Dove, a leading, online veterinary training and certification program, identify the top five summer pet dangers and offers some tips on first aid and prevention.
• Heatstroke: To prevent heatstroke, avoid exercising dogs during the heat of the day. If they must be outside, make sure they have access to shade and plenty of water. Cats can suffer heatstroke too, but it occurs more often when they are trapped in a garage, attic or car. First aid treatment is to begin the cooling process by soaking the animal in room-temperature water and immediately seeking medical care
• Hiking injuries: Be sure to bring enough water for your dog, and always keep him on a leash; this will keep him from falling off a cliff, eating toxic plants or attacking wildlife. Hiking dogs frequently suffer small abrasions, so carry bandage material with you to cover any open wounds until they can be evaluated by a veterinarian.
• Fights: Do not try to separate the animals with your bare hands and risk serious injury. If you want to clean your pet's surface wounds (and the animal allows it), use only mild soap and water (avoid hydrogen peroxide, as it is toxic to living cells). All deep bite wounds should be examined by a veterinarian.
• Outdoor pests: Insects are out in force, and occasionally they cause trouble for pets, especially dogs. A veterinarian can provide treatment to stop the allergic reaction and reduce the inflammation.
• Food-related issues: Barbecues and backyard parties bring friends and good food together, but they also create the opportunity for pets to eat things they shouldn't. Watch your pets closely during outside parties and keep them away from grease drip trays, bones, corncobs, garbage and eager-to-share guests.