Springtime is nearly upon us
Spring is almost here and like many of you I am looking forward to the warmer weather and longer days. Having dogs and horses I find the long winter months difficult at times - dealing with the shorter days and never ending mud. You might be surprised to hear that the seasons also affect our dogs. Spring can sometime result in our dog’s senses being overloaded with exciting new scents and warmer temperatures. Our dogs may become restless and excitable resulting in disagreements with other dogs. Wildlife become more defensive with the start of the mating season and arrival of their young.
Like us our dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies from the pollen, spores, grass seeds mould and dust. Watch out for increased scratching or chewing of irritated skin. Feet, groin, pits and belly are usually affected more than other areas.
Australian Labradoodles don’t shed like many breeds but as the weather warms you may want to consider a shorter haircut. If you have a breed that sheds then your dog will have a major shed in the spring. Plenty of bathing and brushing will help keep this under control.
Adders - the UK’s only native poisonous snake. They hibernate over winter and emerge in the spring - this is the most likely time for being bitten. Signs include small puncture wound, swelling, bruising, pain, lameness, dribbling, temperature, sickness, bleeding, changes to blood pressure heartbeat and breathing. If you suspect your dog has been bitten by an adder seek immediate veterinary help.
Lungworm - this parasite is carried by slugs and snails and your dog can become infected by eating or licking slugs or snails and their slime trails. Symptoms include - coughing, breathing problems, tiredness and changes in behaviour.
Ticks - these should be removed quickly and carefully using a tick remover. Never burn them off or smother in lotions or Vaseline. Ticks can carry dangerous infectious diseases that can be passed on to both you and your dog. Always check your dog for ticks after going for walks in the countryside. Thoroughly run your hand over your dog’s body checking for lumps or bumps. Don’t forget to check the insides of their ears. I have also seen ticks in paw pads and gums.
Spring flowers - some are highly poisonous while others cause mild tummy upset. Poisoning from spring bulbs are more likely in autumn from eating the bulbs or spring when they start to emerge. Daffodils, tulips and spring crocus are poisonous in varying degrees. If you are at all concerned about your dog, seek veterinary advice.