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Welcome to Boyd's Creek Animal Hospital!
Boyd's Creek Animal Hospital is dedicated to our patients, whose loving, unique, and engaging personalities enrich our lives, touch our hearts, and constantly inspire us.
20 SPRING DANGERS THAT CAN AFFECT YOUR PET
While most of us associate spring with longer days and warmer weather, the change of season can mean big trouble for your cat or dog. Pets who have been cooped up all winter are suddenly more susceptible to environmental irritants, exposure to toxic chemicals and overexertion, not to mention activity-related injuries, parasitic diseases and chance encounters with critters that don't have their best interests in mind.
Weekend Warrior Syndrome: Don't expect your pets to be at their peak physical performance as soon as the snow clears. After several months inside and inactive, your dog may have gained weight, lost muscle tone and be a little stiff in the joints. Re-introduce him slowly to his favorite outdoor activities by starting with short runs and hikes or gentle games of fetch and Frisbee until he is used to an increased level of activity.
A Dangerous Fetch: Speaking of fetch, be sure to use dog fetch toys when you play with your dog. It may be tempting to pick a stick up off the ground, but these can be harmful to your pet's health. They can splinter in your dog's mouth or cause an obstruction in his digestive tract and can also be covered in tummy-irritating mold.
Histamine Overload: Just like humans, dogs and cats can experience seasonal allergies. Dust, mold and pollen are among the most common triggers of seasonal allergies in pets, and symptoms can include sneezing, coughing, excessive scratching, licking and chewing. If you suspect your pet is having an allergic reaction, please call the clinic to determine the appropriate treatment.
Bad Bouquets: Nothing says spring like freshly cut flowers, but those beautiful bouquets can prove fatal to your furry friends. Lilies are extremely toxic to all pets and can be deadly when consumed by cats. All parts of the plant, including the pollen, flower and leaves, are poisonous. If you must have lilies in the house, keep them well out of reach of your pets.
Fatal Temperatures: Make sure your pet doesn't overheat when playing outside by giving him plenty of access to fresh water, as well as a shady spot where he can take a break from the sun. And whatever you do, NEVER leave your pet unattended, even for a few minutes in the car. Not only is it illegal, cars can also heat up rapidly in warm weather.
Bugging Out: Spring means warmer weather, longer days and lots of bugs. While it's important to keep your pets on pet prescription heartworm medicine and flea and tick meds year round, doctors say it is essential during the warmer months when bugs are most prevalent. Don't forget to check your pet for ticks after walks in wooded or grassy areas.
Buckle Up: Whether you are taking a road trip with your pup or just going for a short drive, ensure he is properly secured inside the car. Keep your dog inside the car to keep him from falling out of the vehicle or being struck by debris. And NEVER let your dog ride in the back of a pickup truck. You should always put your pet's leash and collar on while the animal is still inside the car.
Fresh Air Fears: While you might be rejoicing that you can finally open the windows and let in all that glorious spring air, inspect your screens and windows sashes to ensure your cant cannot fall out or escape.
Leashes Save Lives: Use the change of season as an excuse to inspect your dog's leash, harness and collar. A small tear or a loose fit can mean the difference between life and death. When you least expect it, a leash could break and tragedy could strike.
Spring Cleaning Safety: Annual spring cleaning can expose your pet to harmful chemicals, like ammonia, bleach and chlorine. Even all-natural products can cause stomach problems. Keep your pets in a separate room until all recently cleaned surfaces are dry.
Breeding Ground for Trouble: Spring is mating season. According the ASPCA, 2.7 million unwanted cats and dogs are euthanized each year. Spring is the most common time of year for felines to mate. It is very important that pets are spayed and neutered to avoid unwanted pregnancy in outdoor animals. Even indoor animals should be altered in case a "visitor" enters the house or they mistakenly get outside. Pregnancy is not always problem-free in dogs and cats. They can have trouble birthing that sometimes requires surgical intervention. Also, intact animals can exhibit mating behavior during the spring that can be very annoying to owners, such as humping, vocalizing, spraying and rubbing their hind end on furniture and human legs.
Lethal Landscaping: April showers may bring May flowers, but when planting your spring garden, you will want to avoid flowers like azaleas, sago palms and rhododendrons, which are highly toxic to pets. Fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides can also harm outdoor animals, and even something as seemingly harmless as mulch can prove unsafe. Some mulch contains coffee grounds and when accidentally eaten, these can lead to caffeine toxicity. Bring your pet to the clinic immediately if you think he has ingested any poisonous plants or garden supplies.
Puddle Protection: April showers also bring puddles. Don't let your dog drink from stagnant water sources like puddles or lakes. This can lead to gastrointestinal upset or more serious health concerns like Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that can cause severe damage to the kidneys and liver.
Pool Problems: For some, rolling off the pool cover is a springtime rite of passage. Protect your pets and small children from falling in by surrounding your pool with a fence or barrier. Also keep a bowl of fresh water nearby to prevent your pet from drinking from the pool, as the salt and chlorine in the water can lead to stomach problems and electrolyte imbalances.
Brush Up on Dog Park Etiquette: Before bringing your pup to the dog park, ensure he is up to date on all his vaccinations. Once you are in the park, watch him closely to ensure he doesn't get into fights with other dogs or escape through a gate that was accidentally left open.
Alfresco Dining Dangers: Outdoor cafes often cater to people with pets, but before your order brunch, do a quick inspection of the area around your table. Make sure there is nothing on the ground that could prove harmful if ingested. It is not advisable to let your dog drink from a community water dog bowl. You never know if it is truly clean. Better to bring your own.
Overexposure: As the days get longer, there is more of a risk of overexposure to UV rays. This is even a concern for indoor pets that like to sleep by a window. Animals with white coats and pale skin around their noses and eyes are traditionally more susceptible to skin cancers. Make sure your pet doesn't spend too much time in the sun and if necessary, invest in protective clothing to keep him safe when outside.
Rat Poison = Cat Poison: Anything designed to kill insects, rodents or other pests could prove fatal to your pet too. Monitor your pet closely after protecting your home and yard form springtime invaders, and if you notice symptoms of lethargy or changes in appetite, please call the clinic immediately.
Wild Animals: You and your pets are not the only ones enjoying the warm weather. Hawks, foxes and other wild animals are also coming out of their winter hiding spots and they are often on the hunt for food. Small cats and dogs should not be left outside alone unmonitored, even in urban areas, as you never know who is in the sky or on the other side of the fence. They also can carry viruses that pets may be susceptible to if bitten.