Preventing Winter Ailments in your Dog
People can find they suffer from chills, colds, and the flu during the winter season. Did you know winter illnesses can also affect your pets?
While there are differences in the types of viruses that infect humans, the symptoms are similar: sneezing, coughing, runny or stuffy nose, watery eyes.So how can you help your pet?You can care for them in the same way you would yourself – with warmth and fluids. You may even like to give them some low-salt beef or chicken broth as a treat. However, if you notice that your pet is coughing or not getting better, separate them from your healthy pets and consult your vet. They may require medication.
If you’re feeling the cold, it’s likely your pet probably will be too, depending on their breed. Their ears, paws, tail and nose are all sensitive to the cold. When an animal’s body temperature drops below normal from prolonged exposure to the cold, they can suffer from hypothermia. Shivering and lethargy may follow and in extreme cases, coma and heart failure. Older or young pets as well as those with low body fat are at more risk. If you suspect hypothermia, seek immediate veterinary care.
In colder areas of Australia pet owners not only have to keep themselves warm but their pets as well. Cats and dogs love snuggling up close to a warm heater or fire, so burns can be common. If they lick their wounds to ease the pain seek veterinary advice, as sometimes this can lead to infection. Prevent burns by blocking off heater access and using fireguards.
When older pets start to slow down, arthritis may play a part. While wintery weather doesn’t cause arthritis, it might aggravate it. You may notice that your dog has reduced mobility, a limp, and trouble rising from the ground. They may also be more cautious when jumping out of vehicles or navigating staircases. Cats can also suffer from arthritis, but the signs may be more subtle, they may be less eager to jump off or on furniture. There’s no cure for arthritis, but there are ways to ease your pet’s suffering, such as by using heated beds and vet-prescribed food and medication. Ask our staff for advice and treatment options.