Story and images provided by Trinity Veterinary Hospital and Pet Resort
June marks the beginning of the long-anticipated summer time! The bright, sunny beaches and lakes are calling our names to come swim, hike, and enjoy being outside. Two of our very own pups LOVE going for hikes this time of year.
Meet Bryn. She is a ten month old Border Collie nicknamed “Bryn The Adventurer” because she loves to hike with her mom (who also happens to be our technician team leader), Christine, around the local lakes. But just because Bryn loves to be outside doesn’t mean she can’t be stylish too, especially with her feather extensions from our very own salon! These feathers are great alternatives to bows and they tend to last longer too!
Cleo is a twelve year old Boston Terrier who also loves sunbathing and swimming near Sanborn Lake. Cleo is a total diva, which is why she is almost constantly sporting a glamorous glitter tattoo created by her mom and our groomer, Hannah. Each tattoo is hand designed, so the possibilities are endless. This is a great alternative for short haired dogs who can’t partake in bows or feather extensions. They are non toxic and can last for about a month or until soap and water takes them off.
Many of our pets are just like Bryn and Cleo, and enjoy the added outdoor activity during warm weather. With this increased activity comes an element of risk. Therefore, Dr. Williams at Trinity Veterinary Hospital wants to remind you of a few things to keep your pets safe through the “Dog Days of Summer.”
Heat stroke is a well-known issue associated with summer and can be life-threatening if left untreated. Even with early treatment there is potential for swelling of the brain, kidney disease, or blood clotting problems. The simplest approach is to take precautions to avoid the issue. Never leave your pet in the car with the windows up for any amount of time, even if you are parked in the shade. Try to avoid exposure to very hot and humid conditions and limit walks to early morning or late evening. Make sure your pet has access to shade, good ventilation, and PLENTY of fresh water.
Ticks are another pesky problem facing pets this time of the year. Even though ticks are present year-round, the problem becomes more noticeable as people and pets venture outside. The CDC states that the number of illnesses caused by ticks, mosquitos, and fleas has more than tripled from 2004 to 2016. Tick numbers in Oklahoma are continuing to rise, which increases the risk of Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, plus other tick-borne diseases. The first line of defense for your pet is good flea and tick prevention. Lyme vaccination should also be considered, especially if your pet is at higher risk. Routine testing to identify tick-related diseases can commonly be done with your pet’s heartworm test.
As mentioned earlier, water is key to keeping your pet cool and hydrated. In nature, water sources can become infected with bacteria commonly found in rodent urine called Leptospira. Free-standing water such as puddles, ponds, and lakes are high-risk areas and pets should NOT be encouraged to drink this water. Many people believe that only more active, larger dogs are at higher risk because of their exposure to suspect areas, however this is not the case. The Silky Terrier actually has the highest representation of Leptospirosis likely due to the lack of vaccination in this breed. For this reason, we recommend all dogs be vaccinated for the disease.
Summer should be a time of making memories with lots of outdoor adventure and fun. Even though the heat brings a certain amount of risk for your pet, these issues can be prevented by being aware of your pet’s needs and providing protection thru your local veterinarian.