Fur Friday 5 Ways to Avoid a Trip to the Animal Emergency Hospital this Summer

We have a guest post today from Dr. Greg Kilburn is Head of Neurology for Toronto Animal Health Partners.

Summer vacation is an annual ritual enjoyed by millions of Canadians each year. For those with pets, it’s also a time to plan carefully so every member of the family can maximize their fun time.

Here are five precautions to take to avoid a trip to the animal emergency clinic this summer:

1. Know before you Go. If you’re planning a vacation in cottage country, research where the local animal emergency clinics are in advance.  Nothing is worse in an emergency than scrambling to find an after-hours clinic.  

2. Avoid stagnant bodies of water.  Many dogs love to frolic in the water and most of the time there’s little to worry about other than a stinky fur coat.  However, there are some concerning waterborne diseases pet owner need to be aware of including Leptospirosis — a common waterborne disease caused by the bacteria Leptospira. Many strains of Leptospira are found worldwide, but it’s usually found in warm areas with high rainfall. The bacteria can infect both humans and dogs, though is more common in dogs. While the disease can be life threatening if untreated, many dogs respond well to early treatment with supportive care and antibiotics.

3. Hydration Station. All mammals require water to keep their bodies functioning. At home most pet owners establish a routine for checking and filling their pet’s water bowl.  On vacation routines can get disrupted and pets may go without water for extended periods. Avoid the danger of dehydration by placing multiple water bowls around your vacation property.  Set reminders to check on water supplies particularly on hot days.

4. Don’t leave them alone in the car. Even with the windows down a crack, cars can heat up as quickly as 10 minutes in the hot sun. Don’t take the risk. If you’re planning a pit stop, take your pet with you.

5. Keep the wilderness out of their mouths. While exploring and hiking with your dog can be tremendously rewarding, it’s important to be aware of some of the more common hazards that when ingested could result in a quick trip to the veterinarian.  These include wild mushrooms, flowers and plants including daffodils and tulips. The list also includes toads that are more common in warm weather and can be found after a rain or at dawn or dusk. Toads release venom on their glans and can be poisonous for pets that bite, lick or put them in their mouths.

For more information visit: https://animalhealthpartners.com

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