Spring season is allergy season for pets so keep an eye out for skin irritations and inflammation, excessive scratching and respiratory issues. In particular, we want to highlight three types of allergies which land pets in our clinic around this time of year:
The pollen from grass can cause an allergic reaction in both cats and dogs. Some animals have the condition for life, some develop it over time. The allergy most commonly shows up as dermatitis- an itchy rash on the skin which your pet will scratch excessively. Scratching often leads to hair loss and wounds, which can then lead to infection. If you notice your pet displaying these symptoms, your first stop should be the vet to rule out parasites and other allergies. If your pet does have a grass allergy, your vet will be able to provide medication to treat inflammation when it appears. Limiting the amount of contact your dog has with grass pollen is also important. Keep your grass mowed down, and wash and dry your dog’s feet when they come in from playing outside.
Purple heart (Wandering Jew)
This common weed causes allergic dermatitis in dogs when they come into contact with it. Simply walking through the plants can cause redness and irritation as well as loss of fur and potentially even a secondary infection if your pet scratches and damages the skin. If your pet comes into contact with the weed, bring them to the clinic and your vet will be able to soothe the irritation to make your pet more comfortable and stop them scratching so they heal quickly.
Dogs can have a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction to bee stings. Symptoms begin to show up almost immediately and include itching and swelling around the sting area, redness, hives, diarrhoea, and possibly vomiting. If you notice these symptoms, call your vet immediately as time is key when it comes to treating allergic reactions. Some dogs go into anaphylactic shock when stung by bees which is characterised by symptoms including trouble breathing, wheezing, a blue tint to the skin and collapse. If your dog is displaying these symptoms, it is an emergency situation and you should call the team at Vets on Parker as soon as possible.
The team at Vets on Parker have all the skills and resources necessary to help you manage your pet’s seasonal allergies. Book your pet in for an allergy consultation today by calling
(03) 9850 1355 or booking online
Winter is here!
Here are some handy tips on preparing your pets for another chilly Melbourne winter:
• Remember that even though your pet has a fur coat, they still feel the cold.
• Ensure your pet has a thick, insulated bed for chilly nights. If you’re unsure whether their bed is warm enough why not add a nice fuzzy blanket?
• For rabbits and guinea pigs, add some extra straw to their hutch and give them a protected box to make their bed in. Place a blanket or waterproof tarp over outdoor runs to help keep the weather out.
• Birds feel the cold too. Bring birds in cages inside or place them somewhere sheltered out of the wind and weather. A blanket can be placed over the cage at night to help keep the warmth in.
• If your pet is outside, ensure they have an area they that is out of the wind and protected from the rain with a dry clean floor. Providing access to food, water and a bed in this area is ideal.
• Dog kennels should always be placed against a fence or undercover to give them extra protection from the wind and rain.
• Warm up your pet’s meals. We all love a warm meal on a cold night so why shouldn’t our pets enjoy it too?
• Pet coats. There is a huge range of warm and stylish pet coats on the market. These are great for short haired dogs and older pets who struggle to insulate themselves from the cold.
• Remember that young animals can’t control their body temperatures the same way adult animals do, so you’ll need to keep them inside in cold weather.
• Older pets with arthritis often have flare ups in colder weather. Speak to us about natural supplements and dietary tweaks that can help keep them moving comfortably.
With all the recent rain, we have seen an increase in the number of dogs coming into the clinic suffering from ear infections.
Dogs and cats have L shaped ear canals that easily trap moisture. This then creates a warm, moist environment that yeast and bacteria thrive in. These ear infections can become very painful and cause permanent damage to your pets hearing if not properly treated.
Signs your pet has an ear infection
- Rubbing their head along the ground or scratching at their ear
- A dark discharge coming from the ear or the ear canal appearing red
- A strong smell – yeast releases a particularly unpleasant smell
What you should do
If your pet displays any of these symptoms, we recommend booking them in for an appointment to see one of our lovely vets. They will take a swab of the ear canal and diagnose what type of infection is plaguing your pet. Once your pet is diagnosed, the vet will able to prescribe the best medication to eradicate the problem quickly.
How to prevent ear infections
We also stock an ear cleaner that is perfect for preventing ear infections in dogs. The cleaner not only helps remove the natural waxy build-up of the ear but dries out any additional moisture, making the environment less appealing to yeast and bacteria. This cleaner is easy to use and perfect for using after baths or when your pet has been playing in the rain.
October to March is snake season in Melbourne – our pets are most at risk from tiger and brown snakes. To avoid you or your pet being bitten:
- Control mice and other vermin which may attract snakes (but be very careful if you are using poisons as bait)
- Keep a tidy, well maintained garden and shed/garage
- Always walk your dog on a lead and avoid areas of long grass
- Keep cats inside or in an outdoor enclosure
- Attract predatory birds to your property-kookaburras love to eat snakes