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    ENEMIES AT THE GATE – TAKE HEED OF SUMMER’S OUTDOOR PREDATORS

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ENEMIES AT THE GATE – TAKE HEED OF SUMMER’S OUTDOOR PREDATORS

As summer begins to fade into the sunset, many of us want to take advantage of these last days of warm weather and enjoy outdoor activities with our pets.  However, in the height of this season’s heat and humidity (or dog days…pardon the expression), there are dangers lurking – literally in your yard – which can cause injury to your beloved pet.

An example of this is the foxtail.  This grass may appear as a harmless weed, but for dogs, they can be deadly.  They easily embed themselves in the paws, ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and underbelly of dogs.  It is essential to examine your dog for foxtails after outdoor activities and to remove them at once.  Your vet will need to remove them as you cannot do it yourself.  This pesky grass gets dangerous when it buries itself under the skin and can even work their way into the brain of your dog, causing death. If you live in an area where foxtails are prevalent, be diligent about an in-depth examination of your pet.

When out-of-doors, we may be aware of bugs buzzing around us, but forget they can be found in grassy areas as well.  When your pet is outside, be mindful of stinging insects such as hornets, bees, and wasps in the area.  If you believe your dog has been stung by a bee, it is crucial to locate a remove the stinger quickly, then apply a cold compress to the area. It may also be helpful to consult your vet as your dog may need an antihistamine. Dogs can go into anaphylactic shock from a sting.  If not long after the sting your dog is vomiting, experiences excessive salivating or wheezing, becomes distressed or hostile, these are signs of a severe reaction.  You need to seek veterinary attention immediately.

Another outdoor predator (common in most states) are snakes, and unfortunately many an inquisitive puppy has been bitten. Now granted, not all snakes are venomous, but that does not mean we should not take precautions.  Whether snakes are prevalent in your area or you are traveling to where they are, you may want to invest in Snake Avoidance Training courses for your dog. A great place to start is to ask your vet or trainer for a program recommendation.  If your four-legged is bit by a snake, make every effort to identify the type of snake and then take your pet to an emergency clinic immediately. The identity of the snake can be of vital help to the doctor in providing your pet with the proper course of treatment.

Forewarned is forearmed. With these few precautionary tips and regularly inspecting your dog for any signs of discomfort, you and your four-legged best buddy can enjoy these last few weeks of summer with peace of mind.

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