Lynwood Veterinary Clinic
568 Metcalfe Rd
Ferndale, WA, 6148
Phone: 08 9451 3575
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We hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas and a great start to 2016! The hot weather is truly upon us and this month's newsletter has lots of handy hints to keep your pets cool, the risk of snake bite and what to watch for, and the problem of flies.

As many of you know we had a busy kitten season in 2015. We successfully rehomed five kittens and one teenage mumma cat during December and we still have 2 gorgeous ginger boys known as Sheldon and Leonard looking for their forever homes. They are very confident, playful and cuddly kittens who will fit into any household. If you are looking to expand your family please call us or drop by for kitten cuddles.

Sadly we are saying goodbye to Dr Tessa this month, who is leaving us to have baby number 2. We will miss her and wish her all the best.

Contents of this newsletter

01  Keeping cool!

02  Keeping our wildlife cool

03  What to do if your pet starts to feel the heat

04  Snakes about!

05  How to prevent flies annoying your pet

06  The wombat who swam too far

01 Keeping cool!
dog pool

Here are some great tips to help keep your pets cool during the hot summer days!

  • Always ensure pets have a cool shaded place to rest during the day - preferably inside when it's hot with air conditioning or fans on to circulate the air.
  • If they have to stay outside provide a cool place to lie (dogs will often dig holes is to find a damp spot to stay cool so wet down a shady place - preferably not under your favourite delicate plants!) and place ice packs in their bedding (especially important for rabbits and guinea pigs which are very susceptible to heat stress).
  • Mist pets with a water spray bottle or wipe over with a wet towel.
  • Have a paddling pool for dogs to swim in.
  • Place ice cubes in water bowls. Always have several water sources in case your pet decides to cool off in their water bowl or knocks it over.
  • Icy treats such as frozen stuffed Kongs are a summer favourite or you can even make large ice cubes from low fat/low salt chicken stock with surprises such as liver treats inside.
  • Ensure pets are well groomed - heavy coats should be well brushed to remove dead winter hair or matts as these will trap heat. Consider a summer clip for long coated pets (though be aware of not trimming too short as they can get sunburnt too).

And most importantly only exercise your pets early in the morning or in the evening when the temperature is cooler. If the ground is too hot for you to comfortably hold the back of your hand on it for 5 seconds, then it is too hot for your dogs paws.

02 Keeping our wildlife cool

Summer can be tough on our pets but it can be even more challenging for our wildlife. After a few consecutive days of high temperatures our wildlife can become dehydrated and suffer from heat stress.

Heat stressed animals will:

  • Be weak, lethargic, confused or unresponsive
  • Come down to ground level searching for water (especially possums and koalas)
  • Birds will open their beaks or hold their wings away from their body
  • Have burnt feet from walking on hot tarmac or a hot roof (this requires veterinary attention)

Top tips to help our native furry friends:

  • Place shallow containers of water around your garden at varying heights (put a stick or rock in them so if animals fall in they can get back out again)
  • Keep cats and dogs inside and supervised at all times to prevent them preying on weakened and vulnerable wildlife
  • Become familiar with the information included on local wildlife websites such as Kanyana Wildlife or Native ARC.

If you find an animal suffering from heat stress call us as soon as possible  - we will advise you on what you should do next.

03 What to do if your pet starts to feel the heat

Our pets can’t sweat all over their bodies like humans can. They rely on panting to get rid of the hot air and only produce a small amount of sweat through their footpads. This makes them extremely susceptible to heat exhaustion in hot and humid conditions.

Heat exhaustion can be particularly dangerous and even fatal so it’s important to be able to recognise the signs and know what to do.

Watch out for:

  • Excessive panting
  • Exaggerated and noisy panting
  • Lethargy
  • Drooling
  • Weakness or collapse
  • Vomiting 

What to do if you suspect heat exhaustion:

  • Bring your pet to us immediately (or seek emergency veterinary care)
  • On your way here you can cool your pet by applying wet towels to hairless parts of your pet’s body (groins or paws)
  • Place your pet in front of the air conditioner or a fan while you are in the car

If you are ever worried about your pet in the heat call us for advice

04 Snakes about!

Dogs and cats are curious creatures and at this time of year they can sometimes be found harassing a snake.

Different species of snakes possess different types of venom so if your pet is bitten, signs can appear anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours after a bite.  

The early signs of snake bite include:

  • Enlarged pupils
  • Salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Hind limb weakness
  • Rapid breathing

How can you help your pet survive a snake bite?

  1. Seek veterinary attention immediately
  2. Keep your pet as STILL AS POSSIBLE - this is critical to help reduce movement of the venom around the body
  3. Try to keep the bite site below the level of the heart and remove your pet’s collar

Even if you only suspect your pet has been bitten by a snake you should see a vet. It is better that your pet is checked over rather than wait and be sorry.

DO NOT try treatment options such as cold packs, ice, tourniquets, alcohol, bleeding the wound and trying to suck out venom in place of getting your pet to the vet - they are a waste of VERY precious time.

Please never attempt to kill, handle or capture the snake – you could also end up getting bitten.

05 How to prevent flies annoying your pet

Flies are proving to be a real problem this summer. Populations are at an all time high and these annoying insects can really bother you and your pet. Some fly species will actually bite around your pet’s ears and nose causing painful and infected sores.

Here are some things you can do at home to help your pet:

1. Ask us about the very effective topical treatments available to help repel flies and prevent fly bites

2. Clean up your backyard (dog faeces, rubbish) to prevent flies being attracted to the smells

3. Don’t leave pet food or dog bones out - they will attract flies 

4. Make sure your pet has a place to escape the flies such as a kennel or a cool room

5. Remove any dried blood from fly bites as the blood will simply attract more flies.

Phone us for more information on protecting your pet from all pesky parasites this summer. We are the best people to give you advice on the most effective products available for your pet.

06 The wombat who swam too far

We read about an amazing rescue last month and it only highlights how our extreme weather can seriously affect our wildlife.

Two fishermen were fishing on a lake in Tasmania when they found a wombat swimming 250 meters off shore!

Thankfully they managed to rescue the wombat and return him to dry land. The wombat was fine and waddled back in to the bush but it was thought he went for a swim to cool off – surprisingly wombats are quite good swimmers (but a 250 meter 'dip' is stretching it!).

You can read about the rescue and see photos here.