Hooray for summer

Andrew Robinson: Millcroft Vets

Here comes summer, and with it the ticks.

Here comes summer, and with it the ticks.

AT last the sun has decided to make an appearance! It is such a joy to be able to drive around the area between surgeries and farm or horse calls and enjoy the fantastic scenery that surrounds the practice area.

The only downside is that after performing a caesarean section on a cow in full waterproof clothing my shirt and trousers are soaking wet in sweat – not a good look for evening surgery. So apologies to anyone who has walked into the consult room and noticed a rather flushed looking vet with maybe a sweaty odour.

This was also the case when I was called to see a zebra that was struggling to eat her food. The biggest problem here is that you can’t walk up to a zebra to sedate it, you have to dart it. Then there is the issue of what drugs to use to sedate it as most standard horse drugs don’t work so the only option becomes an injection that is fatal to humans so you have to hope that the keeper with the dart gun is a good shot and the dart doesn’t ricochet off the wall and back into the vet! After that sort of day an evening with friendly clients (and friendly pets) is a real joy.

During the summer we see lots of cases of sore ears and sore, itchy skin. The problem with these cases is that they aren’t cured very easily but require careful management and dialogue between vet and owner. Inflamed ears cause a great deal of discomfort for dogs and cats and very often recur.

One way to reduce this is to incorporate a regular cleaning of your pet’s ears into its routine. Parasites find it very hard to thrive in a healthy environment so a little bit of cleaning can prevent a lot of medication. Talking about little bits – so many cat owners bring in their poor pets who are licking themselves until they are sore, most get very upset when we tell them that the cat has flea allergic dermatitis as they tell us that they regularly treat their cats for fleas and their animals have never had fleas.

The sad reality is that cats spend a lot of the summer in the great outdoors and it only takes one flea to jump on and bite (before the treatment kills them) to start this condition. Alongside the fleas I am now seeing a growing number of dogs coming in to have ticks removed. Please remember not to try and pull them off but either use a tick hook to twist them off or pop them in so we can do it.

Fleas and ticks are an ongoing issue and due to the number of affected cases we have set up a care plan to provide year round flea and wormer products for a regular monthly cost to try and encourage as many owners to treat their pets regularly to prevent these problems. Just ask next time you are in the surgery.

Having said all this, we and our pets have waited so long for the summer that let’s not be put off enjoying it by a few pesky parasites but don’t forget your pet’s routine, regular preventative treatments.