A big part of the forthcoming festive season is that wonderful and scrumptious side…… the food! For our pets though, there is no special time for food, as dinner is probably the highlight of their day, whatever the time of year, but are you feeding your furry friend the correct diet?
Late summer and autumn time conjure up visions of gathering crops and blackberry picking, but it is also the time when the troublesome harvest mites can cause major irritation for our cats and dogs! The adult mite lives in plants and other vegetation, but the larvae (Trombicula autumnalis) are at the stage in their life cycle where they require a warm blooded host to feed from, and this could be your pet!
Long, hot and sunny days create plenty of activity in the great outdoors, where we and our pets head for during the warmer months. Whether it be on the beach, in our own gardens, the park or countryside, just as with other seasons in the year, there are a few factors to take into consideration regarding the safety and welfare of our pets, and summer is no exception.
Cats normally appear quite relaxed creatures, but our feline friends can suffer from hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure. This can occur in those who have an underlying problem such as diabetes, over-active thyroid gland, heart or kidney disease. Older cats may also develop hypertension, and this can unfortunately cause suddenblindness , because the retina becomes damaged through high pressure in the blood vessels.
When your pet is young they are agile and ready to run a marathon on their daily walk, but as age creeps in, so do the aches and pains. You may notice as your cat or dog rises from their cosy bed, a slight stiffness as they walk, maybe limping a little. Has there been a reluctance to exercise, or is even climbing the stairs more difficult? These could be signs that your pet is developing osteoarthritis, which causes inflamed, stiff and painful joints, so limiting their mobility. Osteoarthritis, generally affects middle-aged and older pets, but some younger, larger breeds can also suffer from this condition…
No creature loves chestnuts roasting on an open fire more than your dog or cat – or any portion of food, for that matter.
But while it can be tempting to sneak your pet a few festive treats here and there during the holiday season, we’d advise you to hold off on sneaking your pets any of your holiday foodstuffs – for the good of their health.
Your pet’s digestive system is markedly different to your own, both in terms of what it can consume and the amount it can pack into its stomach.
According to the RSPCA, around a quarter of pet owners intend to feed their pets an entire plate of food on Christmas Day, a supposed treat that’ll likely end in a sore stomach or, in more serious cases, foul illness.
To give you a helping hand, here are a few yuletide foodstuffs that you should avoid feeding your pet during the holiday season.
The traditional Christmas turkey is a staple for families across the country, but please don’t feed them to your pet.
Especially when roasted and seasoned, the standard turkey will cause an upset stomach for your pet, even in small quantities. Bones from the turkey could also splinter and easily cause choking, giving you the last thing you could want from the holiday season – a trip to the vets.
Stuffing might seem similar to dog food in both consistency and appearance, but the ingredients traditionally used in holiday stuffing (namely onions and garlic) can cause abdominal pain and diarrhoea in cats and dogs.
An average portion of turkey stuffing also contains a dangerous toxin which could result in anaemia for your pet, so keep it away from the nose of your furry friend.
Much like Christmas stuffing, gravy contains a number of toxins and ingredients which can be disastrous for your animal’s health, causing diarrhoea and abdominal pains. You’re not doing your pet any favours when you pour a sliver of gravy on their dried foods.
Mince pies are the ultimate dessert at Christmas time, but the nuts and berries in them can create adverse effects on your pet’s health. Muscle spasms, twitchiness, increased body temperature – none of these will fill your furry friend with the Christmas spirit, so don’t feed them your beloved mince pies.
Beers, wines and spirits aren’t exactly healthy for human beings, but they’ll do more than make your dog hiccup and feel merry.
In many cases, the repercussions to your pet sipping alcohol could prove fatal. Even when you’ve got a seasonal party in full swing, make sure your pet stays safe by leaving no drinks unattended and no bottles left open for your cat or dog to taste.
None of this means you can’t have an excellent holiday season. With a little bit of care (and a restricted diet) your pet will be enjoying Christmastime just as much as the rest of your family.
For more information on how to keep your pet safe during the festive season, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
There has been a confirmed case of Parvovirus in the Hungerford area.
Parvovirus disease is characterised by weakness and severe bloody vomiting and diarrhoea.
Dogs – especially puppies – dehydrate quickly once they contract this condition. It can even be fatal in some cases due to the dehydration and – occasionally – severe blood loss. In puppies under the age of eight weeks the virus can also damage the heart muscle.
Parvovirus can be caught directly from other infected dogs, but the virus can also survive for several months in the environment. It can therefore be picked up by a dog just sniffing in the park, for example.
Illness usually develops within ten days of being infected.
Intensive treatment is frequently necessary for dogs with parvovirus infection. Unfortunately, even with intensive care, not all dogs can be saved.
Please ensure your puppy or dog is up to date with their vaccinations so that they are fully protected from the virus.
If your puppy or dog shows any of the symptoms above please contact your vet as quickly as possible. It is important that they receive intensive care in an isolated ward. Mortality rates without treatment are extremely high.
If you are at all worried or would just like to speak to somebody, give us a call on 01488 683999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roundworms – Roundworms are large white worms with cylindrical bodies. The
adult roundworm lives in the small intestine and feeds on the gut contents. Cats can
contract roundworm by eating their larvae which then develop and breed within the
body. Worms and eggs are then passed out in the faeces. These eggs develop into
larvae and the ‘worm cycle’ starts again.
Tapeworms – Tapeworms look like long, flat ribbons or tapes and can be found in the
small intestine. Once mature, the tapeworm releases segments containing eggs,
which are passed out through your pet’s faeces. Your pet can contract tapeworm by
ingesting an infected ‘host’ such as a flea. It is important to provide protection for
your pet against tapeworm as (in extreme cases) humans could inadvertently ingest
tapeworm eggs, creating cysts within body tissues.
Hookworms – These are much more common in dogs than in cats. They are very
small, thin, blood sucking worms that attach themselves to the wall of the small
intestine. As with roundworms, the hookworm larvae can also be transferred to the
young pup whilst feeding from its mother.
Whipworms – Also more often seen in dogs than cats, whipworms can be more
difficult to diagnose. They look like a small piece of thread with one end enlarged. It
is often very hard to prove a whipworm infestation as they shed very few eggs.
Although whipworms are rarely the cause of death they can be a real problem for
your pets and cause them discomfort.
For more information or advice about pet health and worming treatments please give
our friendly team a call on 01488 683 999.
You will be pleased to know that we have a fantastic offer in-house to help keep your
pets safe from parasites, so why not come in and ask our friendly staff all about it!!!
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Thursday : 8.00am – 6.00pm
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Saturday : 8.30am – 12.30pm