Pet owners need to be careful of Spring Pet Hazards after being cooped up all winter!
Fleas and ticks come alive too in the spring! They can spread a number of different diseases that affect both pets and people: Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, tularemia, and babesia. Ask your veterinarian for a preventative treatment. Although they may be most costly from your veterinarian they are often a safer and more effective preventative to use on your pets.
Antifreeze is deadly to pets because most types have a sweet smell and taste. Dogs are very drawn to it and don’t think twice before lapping it up! Antifreeze poisoning is one of the most common forms of poisoning in pets. “Pet-safer” types of antifreeze that are not as attractive to pets are now available on the market to be purchased. In 2012 antifreeze manufacturers were forced to add a bittering agent to their products. Even with the addition of a bitter taste, vigilance is required to prevent antifreeze toxicity.
Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. It is a serious disease that primarily affects the heart and lungs, but can also affect the liver, kidney, eyes, and central nervous system; if left untreated, it can cause death. For cats heartworm is extremely deadly! Again it is recommended to ask your veterinarian for a preventative treatment.
Spring Pet Hazards don’t just stop there. In the spring we tend to be out in the yard planting flowers, and trending to trees and shrubs. Most fertilizers contain a wide assortment of potentially toxic substances including iron and nitrogen. They could also have pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides. Even if the chemicals don’t poison your pet, large amounts of fertilizer could result in gastrointestinal or pancreatic problems. While workign out int he yard you might also use Metaldehyde (Slug Bait). Snail bait represents a major risk for dogs and cats and is a more common source of poisoning than you may expect. Snail and slug bait products typically contain the poison metaldehyde, and they taste sweet to pets. It’s important that you know the symptoms of metaldehyde poisoning in case your pet is exposed.
- High fever
- Hypersalivating (drooling)
- Ataxia (lack of coordination)
- Muscle tremors
- Hyperthermia (high fever)
Your dog may be accustomed to taking walks over ice covered lakes, rivers and ponds. As the ice begins to thaw, the new dangers presented by exposed water are likely not going to be apparent to him. By keeping your dog on a leash you can protect him from falling through the thin ice. Your dog may also want to splash through puddles on a walk. There are 3 deadly thingslurking in puddles for your pets: 1) Leptospirosis organisms are bacteria that thrive in wet climates. Pets can contract leptospirosis by drinking from water sources contaminated with urine from an infected animal. 2) Giardia organisms are microscopic protozoa that live within the intestinal tracts of a variety of domesticated and wild animals. The infectious (contagious) forms are shed within the feces and readily contaminate water sources. 3) Antifreeze – A small amount of antifreeze within a puddle may not be enough to deter a thirsty dog from drinking.
Then there are the other critters that come out in the spring who could Spring Pet Hazards. Like humans, pets are also susceptible to bee and hornet stings. Dogs can get into nests. If they get in the house cats think they are toys. Just like humans, pets can have severe allergic reactions.
There are 20 species of venomous snakes in North America, and they are found in every state except Alaska, Hawaii, and Maine.
Spring Pet Hazards are out there but as long as you are aware and avoid these potentially dangerous situations you and your pets can enjoy a great spring season together!
Spring Pet Hazards