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Posted on 06-02-2017

~~Summer has arrived. This is a fabulous time of year , especially for pet owners, as we are finally able to get out more and enjoy the many activities we can enjoy with our pets, but with the increase in activities come more potential hazards for pets as well, often leading to emergency vet visits!
First of all, are you thinking of having a weekend barbeque? Meat on the grill can pose a significant hazard, as pets will often try to jump up on a hot grill, risking very dangerous burns. In addition, foods which we so often have at barbeques, pose threats as well, including onions, which are very toxic, Rib bones, which can lead to obstructions, perforations and eventually intestinal surgeries, Grapes and raisins, which can lead to kidney failure, and alcohol, which can cause extreme sedation and even lead your pet to a comatose state.  So, be proactive and safe this summer season but keeping your pet away from your barbeque activities and all the hazards it may pose.
As the weather warms, we also see far more insects, including mosquitoes, ticks and Bees. Mosquitoes carry a deadly parasite called the “heartworm” which can lead to early heart failure and eventual death. Ticks carry many diseases , including Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and Lymes disease, all which can affect the blood of your pet leading to life threatening disease as well. Administering Heartworm prevention to your pet as well as providing Tick and flea prevention can save you and your pet from potential life threatening disease. Also be conscious of WHERE you are traveling, as each section of the country may have different types of insects which pose further threat to your pet.  Bee stings are not as hazardous to your pet but can cause pain, swelling and of course allergic reaction, so ask your veterinarian about safe antihistamines for your pet that you can have while traveling in case of a bee sting,
Snakes can also pose a threat for those adventuresome hikers. Certainly rattle snakes are not prevalent locally but can be found as you travel elsewhere in the state and the country, so be aware  that they are very dangerous for your pet, and in some instances you may want to pursue a rattle snake vaccine, should you be taking your pet to an area endemic for rattle snakes.
Poisonous plants certainly pose a risk to pets as well. It is important that you know certain plants , should you be an avid hiker. Sago palms for example cause liver failure, Oleander lilly and foxglove plants can cause arrhymias with your pets heart, etc so depending on where in the state or the country you may be traveling to , you can look thru the ASPCA list of poisonous plants to become more aware of potential hazards. Included in this are mushrooms as well. Many types of mushrooms can be toxic to your pet, right here in the Vail Valley.
Fertilizers and Pesticides can also pose a threat to your pet.  There are many different types of these products with varying levels of toxicity. Should a fertilizer contain iron or nitrogen, it can poison a dog or a cat, while fertilizers based on bone or blood meal can cause severe intestinal irritation or blockage.  Should carbamates or oranophosphates be present, these can lead to tremors and seizures in dogs.Its best to always have the labels of any products being utilized, and call Rocky Mountain Poison Control, who can direct you to Animal Poison Control with any questions or concerns .
Other summer hazards for pets certainly include metal edging, which is so often utilized in keeping our flower beds looking neat. A pet can run over one just once, and lacerate a pad or even a tendon. So be careful of this in your yards! Lacerations are common, as well as punctures, dog and cat bites from other pets, as well as rodent bites.
Many of the common hazards we see in the summer, could be avoided by keeping your pet on a leash and under control! The best way to keep your pet safe is to keep your pet under control.
Have a great summer!

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