By Homely Petz, Jan 4 2017 08:10AM
The importance of protecting your pet is more paramount than ever this time of year in the UAE. The cooler climate despite being great for dog walking and for your cat to explore the great big world of your back garden does encourage the little critters at ground level to be more active also.
Ticks, fleas, ant and bee bites, worms, ear mites all despite their tiny size can pack a powerful punch when it comes to the health of your pet.
Obviously prevention is better than cure, there are some easy ways to stop the little crawlies tucking into your pet and also some additional regimes and routines in your home that you can include in your pet's day.
Parasite pippettes (ie Advantix, Frontline) are the number one bit of advice any good veterinary surgeon will recommend to you. Applying a small solution to the back of your pet's neck via a small plastic bottle with a nozzle built in that you can easily squeeze on your pet without much fuss. All good vet clinics and pet stores will have various brands available, note that some are better than others, some of the more popular brands are now becoming less effective maybe due to the bugs becoming more immune to them. The best way to know is to try and if after the manufacture recommended time of the solution is to work you still see ticks or fleas then you know its not the one for your pet. Ensure you do not wash your pet at least 48 hours before or after applying any solution, it will be ineffective.
Check your pet daily if he or she is outside a lot of the time. Feel your pet all over, get hands on with your pet, they will think they are in for a nice massage and strokes but ultimately you are on a bug hunt. Notorious in the UAE are ticks, easily missed when they are young, additional search areas should include the groin area, under legs, neck and ears. Ticks live on their host (your pet) suck blood to feed (yep, sounds nasty and it's not pleasant), multiply and then start all over again. Your pet will get ill and weak very quickly so it is important to check very regularly to look out for these nasties! If you are not certain on how to do this and unsure what you are looking for always contact your vet clinic for advice or even better take them in for a "once over" by your vet to be sure.
Worming? Simple, ensure your pet takes a worming tablet (or more tablets dependant on the weight of your pet) available from all good vet clinics and shops, usually every 3 months to ensure full protection. Signs to look for if your pet is ill from worms is diarrhea, lethargy (low energy all the time), change in appetite, sometimes a "pot-belly" look, dull coat and weight loss. If all or any of the symptoms are present go to your vet quickly.
Pets, especially dogs who are playful and love a good dig in the garden or poke about in a bush can get themselves into a pickle by encountering a stinging bug. Pets find bugs fascinating and consider them a toy to play with, of course bugs are not in agreement here. Despite your dog's first engagement with a fun, flirty flying bug eventually if your dog persists or the bug is protecting a nest or young your dog (and sometimes cat) will literally get the tail-end of the bug's wrath, by way of a sting. As pet owner's we sometimes miss these altercations as your pet maybe unattended in the garden when the sting happens. Usually a yelp from your dog or a startled reaction from your cat if seen by you will be enough to indicate to you that something has happened, if you suspect a sting take your pet to the vet immediately to be thoroughly checked over and observed. If you didn't see the sting take place, symptoms to look for include swelling around the area of the bite, typically in or around the head if you see swelling on lips or ears this is almost certainly a reaction to the bite, take your pet to the vet straight away. Your pet may experience difficult breathing another symptom that may be associated with a sting if you know your pet has been outside, again take your pet to the vet immediately. Your pet may also start limping indicating that a paw or leg has been stung.
If you suspect at all that your pet has been stung by an insect, don't panic, stay calm, pop your pet into the car and go to the vet, there are various medications to help calm a sting and anti-allergic meds can be given to help the wound recover although do bear in mind like humans some animals are highly allergic to insect stings and are high risk hence our saying to go to the vet regardless to be on the safe side.
Protect your pet from bugs, ensure you have preventative measures in place, regularly give your pet the "once over feel" touch your pet all over to feel for bugs, watch your pet's temperament, observe your pet and seek veterinary advice if you are at all unsure.
Most of all enjoy this wonderful weather with your pet, don't be put off by bugs just make yourself informed of what to look for and if you see your pet playing happily with a bee or ant it's best to pull them away and find something else more friendly to play with!