Anal Glands

You may notice that at some point your dog may scoot its bottom across the rug! You may also notice a strong unpleasant odour both on your dog and where it has been sitting or lying (or scooting its bottom across the rug!) This could be a sign that your dogs anal glands are full. If this seems familiar, please contact your veterinary clinic for further assistance.

Claws

If your dogs claws are not kept short they can grow too long and cause pain and discomfort, therefore you should check them regularly and clipped if necessary.

This also applies to dew claws. In some cases if dew claws are left to grow they can eventually grow into the skin and cause pain/discomfort.

Coat

It is important to check the health of your dogs coat regularly for any signs of fleas, mites or ticks. Dogs with longer coats should be groomed regularly to prevent the fur becoming matted and to help keep the general condition of the coat healthy and easier to spot abnormalities with the coat or skin i.e. rashes, ticks etc.

Ears

Regular checking of the ears is important as ear infections can be painful for your dog. Signs of ear infections include, bad smell coming from the ears, build up of ear wax, redness around the ear, scratching of the ears, shaking of the head or general discomfort when ears are touched.

Regular ear cleaning will help prevent the build up of wax and will help reduce the risk of ear infections.

It is also very common for dogs to get grass seeds stuck down their ear canal. Signs could include extreme shaking of the head, tilting head to one side.

Fleas

Fleas are parasites that can live on the surface of your dogs skin which can cause excessive scratching. Regular flea treatment should help prevent the risk of fleas.

Heat Stroke/Exhaustion

Written by Anja Sibbes, DVM, MRCVS on behalf of Animals 24/7. 

We know you are probably aware that heat stroke is a serious condition that can cause dogs to die if left untreated - but just in case you are not aware of the risks of heat stroke to your dog(s), we have had a veterinary surgeon write up a bit of useful information about heat stroke on our behalf for you to read below -

"Our furry friends feel the heat even more than we do.  Dogs and cats do not have the ability to sweat (except for very small amounts in between their toes), so they are much less efficient at cooling.  The only ways that they have to cool themselves are; 1) To lay low in the shade for the heat of the day or 2) To pant/ drink cool fluids.  You can picture that the surface area of their tongues is much smaller than that of their skin - maybe by 30-1.  This means that they can be 30 times more sensitive to the heat! Also, the pavement is much closer to them as they walk and usually is in direct contact with their exposed paws.  While paw pads are tough, the pavement can reach more than 65 C in the summer! The radiant heat and the direct contact can cause burns that can take weeks to heal and are very painful.  In white, shorthaired dogs there is also a significant risk of sunburn. And animals can become very dehydrated. It’s recommended to keep walks to the early hours of the morning or late in the evening during the summer. If dogs get exercised during hot parts of the day there is a significant risk of Heatstroke. Heatstroke- heatstroke is basically prolonged overheating; this can happen in as little as 20 minutes.  Dogs and cats have a higher normal body temperature range than people.  They are normally around 38.5 C.  If they reach a temperature > 39.5 C, this is considered “hyperthermia” and is technically too hot (either from a fever or overheating).  During heatstroke, dogs can easily reach 40.5 – 41 C or even higher! These temperatures can cause major, sometimes irreversible damage to the body.  Systems that are most severely affected are the brain, the liver, the lungs and the blood clotting systems! Do not exercise in the heat with your pet, even if you feel ok, they may be much hotter than you are.  Keep all walks to cooler parts of the day. I strongly recommend following these guidelines for looking after your pet in the hot weather".

Written for Animals 24/7 on 01st August 2013 by Anja Sibbes, DVM, MRCVS - Veterinary Surgeon

Teeth

It is important to check your dogs teeth regularly for any build up of tarter.

Ticks

Ticks are mostly common in the spring and summer. They are small bean shaped insects that attach themselves to a dogs skin. It is important that they are removed properly.