Keep an eye out for the falls guys

Autumn is well and truly here. Even though we have had some wonderful sunny days, I was out carrying out a caesarean section on a cow the other night under a clear, moonlit, starry night and […]

Autumn is well and truly here. Even though we have had some wonderful sunny days, I was out carrying out a caesarean section on a cow the other night under a clear, moonlit, starry night and could feel the temperature falling.

Evening surgeries finish when it is nearly dark and I even noticed some men putting up Christmas lights on the trees in Egremont Main Street recently.

This made me ponder the issues that our pets face at this time of year. What I have seen in the surgery recently are a lot of unwelcome visitors on and in the pets.

One of these is fleas. It is this time of year when we start putting the heating on and lighting the fires. Just like us, fleas want to be inside when it is cold outside so hitch a ride inside on your pet. Many people stop treating their pets during autumn but this leads to a massive increase in the flea population.

The problem is so great that we have had to switch some animals onto new products such as Broadline Spot On for cats (that also does worms as well) and NexGard chewy tablets for dogs. Remembering to treat all the animals in a household at the same time, washing bedding at the same time as treating them and not expecting spot on treatment to work if you go out soon after they are applied in heavy rain (when it comes) can all give a better response and get rid of these unwelcome seasonal visitors.

Another parasite we have seen quite a few cases of recently are harvest mites in the feet of dogs and cats.

These are very small orangey-red mites whose larvae pierce the skin between the toes, injecting saliva to digest the skin cells which they eat, causing intense itching. There is no licensed treatment but regular spraying of Frontline Spray onto the feet is currently the treatment of choice.

Other bugs that seem prevalent at the moment are in the dogs’ stomachs.

There has been a large rise in the number of dogs we have seen with upset stomachs over the past few weeks. Making sure that they don’t eat or drink anything they shouldn’t on walks will help prevent the spread of these bacteria.

This autumn it’s great to have visitors in the house but please make sure that they are invited!