Lincoln Land Animal Clinic, Ltd

1150 Tendick
Jacksonville, IL 62650

(217)245-9508

lincolnlandac.com

Spotlight on Summer Safety

Warm weather is upon us, a sure sign summer is on the way.  Conditions are perfect for lazy sunny days or outdoor recreational activities with your pet.  Please read up on the dangers our pets face during warm months.

Heat Stroke

Pets are susceptible to heat stroke just like us. Heatstroke, or hyperthermia, occurs when the body is unable to cool itself to maintain the appropriate temperature. Activities that dogs enjoy year round become hazardous during warm weather because dogs lack sweat glands that relieve the body of excess heat.  While they do sweat a small amount through their paws, it is not enough to maintain a normal temperature.  Depending on the temperature, heat stroke can happen in a short amount of time. Leaving a dog in the car during high summer temperatures can cause heat stroke within minutes. 

Symptoms include: rapid panting, bright red tongue, red or pale gums, thick, sticky saliva, depression, weakness, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, shock, and coma. 

If you suspect heat stroke seek veterinary attention immediately!  Remove your pet from the heat source and use cool water, or towels soaked in cool water to bring down the body temperature while transporting your pet to a veterinarian. Even if you are able to bring down the body temperature, it is best to have your animal examined by a doctor to assess internal organ damage and verify through blood testing the extent of damage to the liver, kidneys, and brain. 

Preventing heat stroke requires shade and plenty of water when pets are outdoors.  If your pet is on a chain, make sure that the chain will not become tangled on any obstacles that would prevent your pet from reaching the shade and/or water.  Pets are adaptive animals, but if your pet is not used to high temperatures, they will be especially sensitive.  You may need to alter activity times during early or later hours when we are not experiencing peak temperatures. 

Parasites

During the warmer months pets spend more time outdoors so they have increased exposure to parasites such as fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites.  All of these parasites are prevalent in the environment surrounding us. 

Fleas are tiny, yet visible parasites that thrive on the ideal body temperature of pets.  They can lay 50 eggs per day, quickly infesting pets, homes, and yards.  Using a preventative such as Comfortis, Advantage, or Frontline will break the lifecycle and kill the fleas.  If left untreated, a flea infestation can cause anemia (not enough blood) and tapeworm infection.  Visit our flea page for additional information. 

Ticks are another common parasite.  When they attach and feed, they can transmit serious tick-borne diseases such as Lymes, Erhlichiosis, and several others.  Frontline Plus is a topical prevention that kills ticks before they are able to transmit these diseases.

Other common parasites include intestinal worms such as Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms, and Tapeworms.  Some of these are harbored in the ground and can migrate directly through pets? paws while others are ingested when pets eat the stool of rabbits, deer, raccoons, and other wildlife.  Heartworm preventatives contain ingredients that will control several of these parasites, but if you see anything abnormal in your pet?s stool, please contact our office. 

Recreation

If you plan to travel over the summer months, plan ahead for the care of your pet.  If you plan to take your pet along, gather information about your destination to ensure your pet is fully protected from the hazards of the region.  It also a good idea to have contact information for a local veterinarian should your pet require healthcare while you are there.  You may want to have a copy of your pet?s records so the doctor can review your pet?s medical history if necessary.  

If you are not traveling with your pet, make sure to make boarding arrangements in advance.  Your pet should be fully vaccinated to ensure they are protected from viruses.  This includes da2ppcl for dogs, fvrcp & leukemia for cats, and rabies for both species. Dogs should also have a bordetella, or kennel cough vaccination.  It?s a good idea to take your pet?s food to the boarding facility to prevent vomiting and/or diarrhea from a food change. 

Please be aware that not all dogs are natural swimmers.  Pets should only be allowed in the water under close supervision.  Even dogs that are great swimmers can suffer from exhaustion or underlying health issues such as heart disease or obesity which can make it difficult for them to swim.  Life preservers and vests are excellent precautionary measures for water-loving animals!