Three common winter illnesses in pets and how to prevent them
Summer has been and gone and our attention is beginning to turn towards the colder months. As temperatures start to drop, certain illnesses in pets become more common. This handy guide will make pet owners aware of what illnesses to look out for and how to prevent them.
In cold weather, antifreeze is vital to keep our cars running so we can go about our lives. But did you know that it is incredibly dangerous for cats, dogs and other pets? If your pet drinks or licks spilt antifreeze, or a bottle is left out in a place where an animal could reach it then it could spell disaster. Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include vomiting, weakness, seizures, delirium and diarrhoea. If you think your pet may have ingested any antifreeze whatsoever, then you need to take them to a vet immediately.
How to prevent antifreeze poisoning: Keep antifreeze in a locked cabinet or on a high shelf, away from pets and children. Clear up any spillages instantly and properly.
Kennel cough is a contagious viral infection that can occur in dogs during the winter months. Symptoms are similar to those in humans with influenza, including a cough, runny nose, fever and discharge from the eyes. A vet will usually treat kennel cough with antibiotics, although it often clears up on its own after a week or two of rest.
How to prevent kennel cough: You can't do much to prevent your dog from getting kennel cough. However, it is contagious, so if you have more than one dog, ensure any pet showing symptoms is quarantined from the others to stop the virus from spreading.
Just like in humans, arthritis is more common in older pets and symptoms typically worsen in colder weather. Arthritis is when joints become inflamed, causing significant pain. The most common symptom of arthritis in pets is limping or moving at a slow pace, though excessive grooming can also be a sign to watch out for. Symptoms can be relieved with steroids and painkillers.
How to prevent arthritis: The best way to prevent your pet from getting arthritis is to ensure they remain a healthy weight.