Snakes, bees, grass seed dangers – Wembley Vet Clinic

I can’t believe it is October already!  Where have the last few months gone? We had such a long chilly winter but now the sun gets up earlier and its warm rays warm my furry body when I lay on the front veranda.

Koko Snakecatch

This is a photo of my snake tale from a few years ago. I became a hero that day as I killed the snake and saved the kids. You may be surprised at my bravery but I will let you know that it was actually one of my shaggy dog stories – I made it up!

This month I, KoKo, with a lot of information from Wembley VetNews, will let you know about Spring-time dangers.  We doggies are at risk in the garden and the park.

The most dangerous problems for dogs are:

1.    Grass-seeds
2.    Snake-bites
3.    Bees and Wasps

Grass Seeds

Those long wild grasses that you often see in the bush, parks or the sides of the road are famous for the sharp, sticky, dart-like seeds. The seed or its outer coating, are a common danger to Pets.  Either part of the seed may stick to our hair, lodge up our nose, down our ear canals or even up more unpleasant places!

What are the signs a grass seed is in your dog?

Pets may react differently depending on the number, location, and shape of the seed.

Ear: A seed in the ear canal will irritate and cause me to shake my head, scratch at my ear or hold my head at an angle.
Eye: You may suddenly find that I am holding my eye closed because a seed between the eye and the eyelid may make it painful, red and inflamed. An ulcer of the cornea could result and possibly lead to vision loss.
Nose: A seed in the nose may cause me to sneeze, paw at my nose, and will often cause some nasal discharge or even bleeding from the nose (epistaxis).
Skin: I might chew at an area where the seed has become attached and the following may occur:

  1.  The seed becomes attached to the gums, tongue, or mouth.
  2.  We can swallow the seed and it will stick to the back of our throat near the tonsils
  3. We may cough, retch, or gag, and have difficulty eating and swallowing.
  4. The seeds burrow deeper into the skin forming a swelling or abscess.

Lungs and other organs: Seeds can be accidentally inhaled or migrate from the skin into the chest and enter the lung where they can cause very serious life-threatening abscesses.

Prevention is your best option, so if I have been around a grass-seed area, please check my coat, any folds of the skin, around my ears, under their tails and around my groin or armpits. Don’t hesitate to take me to the vet for a check.

Snake-Bites

If you would like to share my “Snake Tail story” for a laugh please see my old Post. Perth has 2 groups of Venomous Snakes, the Brown snakes and Tiger Snakes.  We also have many Non-Venomous ones like Pythons and Whip Snakes.

Perth has 2 Venomous Snakes, the Brown snake and Tiger Snake.  We also have many Non-Venomous ones like Pythons and Whip Snakes.

Brown snakes like the Dugite are common in bush settings around Perth. They are grey, green, or brown. Large black scales are  scattered over the body with a semi-glossy appearance. The most distinguishing characteristic is the head which is small and indistinct from the neck. A dugite can grow up to an average size of 1.5 metres. They are more likely to hide when they think they are seen or are often confused for a stick while they lie silently hoping you will ignore them.

Tiger snakes, on the other hand, tend to inhabit areas closer to waterways like lakes, swamps, the ocean and rivers. Their patterning consists of darker bands, in olive, yellow, orange-brown, or jet-black, and the underside of the snake is light yellow or orange. The tiger snake venom is highly toxic. They are tolerant of lower temperatures, so they are often seen out earlier than the Dugite. When threatened they will act aggressively, flattening their body and raising their heads in a classic pre- strike stance. Look out!

What to look out for during our walkies?

If I am bitten by a snake, the most common symptom is weak muscles. I may have difficulty standing or walking on all 4 legs, my pupils may become paralysed and be dilated, and eventually my respiratory muscles may become so weak that I can’t breathe.

What should you do?

If you suspect that your Pet gets a snake bite, keep your pet calm. Wash the wound and then apply a pressure dressing if you know where the bite occurred. Next, ring the Hospital or the nearest emergency centre to let them know you are coming.  Carry them to the car and get them to the Vet as soon as possible. Early in the season, bites are extremely toxic, so every minute counts.

Can they be treated?

Treatment is based on the severity of the clinical signs with a form of anti-venom to counteract the effects of the venom. Unfortunately,anti-venom is expensive and some dogs may need multiple doses, based on their weight.  Bitten dogs also require other supportive measures, like intravenous fluids, oxygen therapy, or even drugs for shock.

Can bites be prevented?

You can reduce the risk of a snake bite by staying clear of common snake areas like around swamps, overgrown bush or long grass.  If you are out on a walk, keep your Dog on the lead so that you can keep a careful eye on where they are going. At home, you can remove long grass, wood-stacks or sheets of tin, etc on the ground where they might like to hide.

Bees and Wasps

Bee stings or wasp stings can be some of the most common things we treat during spring. As soon as the sun is shining, the bees get out and about doing their thing.  And, dogs and cats just seem mesmerised by their bumbling behaviour and buzzing noise!

For a lot of patients, they might not make it obvious they have even been bitten because they aren’t very sensitive. Perhaps they might have a little limp or rub or lick at the spot where the bite is.  For some, they might have a really obvious local reaction, with redness, swelling and even a limp on a bitten foot or a large swelling if bitten around the face. Finally, some can go into a form of Anaphylactic shock and this is serious, they might vomit, collapse or have a weak pulse.

What can you do at home?

If the sting is minor, then sometimes simply applying an ice block wrapped in a towel may denature the toxin, reduce any inflammation or swelling and the symptoms may go away in 10-20 minutes.

When should I go to the Vet?

Any time the symptoms escalate, with vomiting, signs of weakness or distress, then your Pet probably needs to see a Vet.  They may give them some anti-inflammatory or some anti-histamine to quickly reduce symptoms.

Can Stings be prevented?

Often dogs that get bitten a few times seem to hunt down bees or wasps and often seem to get bitten on purpose!  Wearing boots when out at the park filled with pollen and flowers might help. For dogs that get severe reactions, no true prevention exists, but if the signs are life-threatening, then desensitisation is available at the Specialist Centre.

Woofs, Thanks to Wembley Vet, take care, KoKo

 

Great Idea – Emergency Card saying “My dog is home alone”

A friend alerted me to this clever card for dog parents to carry with them.

If you have an accident the emergency people will know to send someone to look after me.

It says “My dog is home alone and needs care. In

case of emergency – please contact “………………………”

Print it out for free from www.chancesspot.org/pdfs/alertkit/alertcard.pdf

KoKo Potter

 

A kind dog’s last will and testament

Please think about the following story.

It is truly devastating when you lose the dog that has been your life but there are many dogs waiting for your love at the Dog Refuge.

Woofs from KoKo

Tips on washing your dog so that you are still friends after.

KoKo's Bath at Barks in the Park

KoKo’s Bath at Barks in the Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found an informative article on the Underwater Dogs Blog today.

As you know from my earlier blogs, I don’t like having a bath. But with my adventurous nature and love of duck poo perfume from Subiaco Common, I’ve learned to just give in to the event, and not run away like I did when I was little.

These are a few of the clever hints that Underwater Dog Blogger Baccarat suggested I give to my Mum.

  • A Non-Slip Mat helps me more secure in the bath
  • If you mix some shampoo with water in a squishy bottle then it is easy to distribute evenly and means Mum does not have to keep getting more shampoo from the bottle.
  • I know you try not to get water in my ears Mum but Baccarat says you could put some cotton wool balls in to help keep them drier. This sounds a good idea to me.
  • When you clean my dirty paws, ears and bottom you might need to use shampoo straight from the bottle. The lovely Underwater Dogs shampoo takes all the smell away.
  • Mum, please don’t forget to use warm water and to start at my tail end before doing my sensitive face.
  • Of course you must not forget to rinse the shampoo thoroughly.
  • Always have a good supply of treats please, then I’ll be very good and won’t throw too much water over you.
  • Don’t forget to allow plenty of time for the massage.  Mmmmm, I just melt inside when you do those deep strokes down my back. Thank you Mum.
  • I prefer it when you dry me with an absorbent towel as the hairdryer is a bit noisy.
  • I might not like the process but I know you love how clean and shiny I look afterwards

Woofs Mum

Love from KoKo

Click to see more Underwater Dog Tips

Tips for noticing Arthritis in your dog early

We all grow old, or as I like to think of it,our bodies show the signs of our life experiences.

My Mum has helped me stay as healthy as I can, we exercise at least twice a day.

We are both amazed that my weight is the same as when i was one year old. Mum is generous with her treats but only lets me have small serves.

Of course I’m about a kilo heavier before I go to Wembley Vet for my fluffy hair cut!

Here are some tips on picking up early signs of arthritis in your dogs joints. Woofs from KoKo

Arthritis In Your Pet

Woofs from KoKo

Harness Your Hound! National DOGS in CARS SAFETY Week

 Week – November 24-30, 2014

Here’s paws for thought, did you know over 5000 dogs are injured or killed in car-related accidents every year? To help keep our beloved pets safe and secure when they travel, Purina is launching the first-ever National Dogs in Cars Safety Week on Monday. Find out more here: https://www.petlife.com.au/roadie-week/

Please look after us doggies in cars. You wear your seat belt – so should we.

Just think how precious we are to you.

I hope you don’t want us flying out the window when you stop suddenly!

Woofs from KoKo