Hiking with your Dog

The sun is staying out longer, and the days are getting warmer, so hiking season is back! If you’re planning on a lovely walk through the woods with your dog, make sure to bring plenty of water for both of you. Letting your dog drink from puddles, ponds, or streams can cause infections from parasites and viruses. Remember, wild animals use these same water sources as toilets, too! It is also a good idea to use a non-retractable leash, otherwise you’ll spend your trip untangling your dog from various bushes and trees.

Don’t let your dog off the leash unless the trails you’re on allow it, and make sure your pup is up to date on their vaccinations in case they get up close and personal with the native fauna. You should also take into consideration whether or not your dog is healthy enough for long walks over rough terrain. Otherwise, you might be the one carrying them back to your car! Keep in mind that while it might be a pleasant warm day for you, your four legged friend has a furry coat that can cause them to overheat. Make sure both of you are staying hydrated, enjoy the beautiful spring weather with your buddy, and stay safe!

Hot Spots

Hot spots, or acute moist dermatitis, are red, hot, irritated lesions that appear on the skin of your cat or dog. These hot spots can be painful and irritating, and are often made worse by the dog or cat licking and scratching at them. Hot spots are generally caused by allergic reactions to things like tick or flea bites, allergies, poor grooming, and underlying skin or ear infections. If you suspect your dog or cat has a hot spot, it is best to bring them to your veterinarian as soon as possible, because they are known to get bigger fairly quickly. While they might not seem like a big deal, your pet could be in pain from these irritating spots, so it is best to seek treatment for them. Hot spots are generally treated by shaving the area, cleansing it, and administering antibiotics. Your pet may also need medication for any parasites and an Elizabethan Collar to prevent them from picking at the affected area.

Vaccination Reactions and What to Look For

When it comes time for your pet to be vaccinated, there are a few side effects that you can expect to see. Your pet may be a bit sore around the area of the vaccination, lethargic and sleepy for the rest of the day, and may have a loss of appetite. These are generally regular with all vaccinations, and should go away after about 24 hours. Make sure your pet is still drinking water, and if these behaviors do not stop after 48 hours, then contact your veterinarian.

Some other reactions that might occur include diarrhea, vomiting, and swelling of the face. With diarrhea and vomiting, these reactions will be self-limiting, but make sure your pet is drinking plenty of water. If these symptoms do not stop within the next day or two, call your veterinarian. If you see swelling in your pet’s face, call your veterinarian and bring them into the clinic right away. This is a sign of an allergic reaction, and your pet will need further medication. This reaction will occur within the first couple of hours of your pet’s vaccinations.

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