As the summer weather spreads across the UK, our pets become more susceptible to bites from bugs, particularly in the countryside. With a large variety responsible for causing our furry friends’ distress, it’s important to identify and treat any affected areas.
If your dog or cat has fleas, you may see black specks on their heads, neck or groin. You are likely to see your pet scratching or licking themselves too. Some animals suffer from flea allergy dermatitis (an allergic reaction to flea saliva). If you have any concerns, check with your local veterinarian who can assist.
Home remedies are also available. You can bathe your pet in medicated flea-killing soap. You should also wash areas your pet frequents. Flea spray in your home can also assist in tackling the issue.
Ticks can be found all year round but are more commonly found on our pets in the warmer months amongst the tall grass.
You may see brown specks or black dots anywhere on your pets’ body. After walking dogs in grassy areas, you should check their fur. This can prevent them latching on and biting your pet, or even you!
If your pet does have a tick, remove the entire body with tweezers, grasping the tick as close to the skin as possible. Please remove the tick as gently as possible. You can also purchase a special tick hook, which can be more effective in removing the whole bug.
Mites can be harder to identify quickly, burrowing deep into the skin. They are also microscopic in size. However, your pet may suffer from hair loss, skin lesions and inflammation. This is likely to develop alongside intense itching.
Your vet can identify this problem and assist you in the recovery process. This will include cutting the hair short and giving your pet medicinal baths once a week for at least a month.
Two types of snakes are native to the UK – grass snakes and adders. Both are only likely to attack in self-defence if disturbed. However, as our pets are curious creatures, it’s important to be prepared.
Snakes like to hide in tall grass, and the warmer weather encourages them to explore. In forested areas, it is not unusual to stumble across a snake on your walk.
Grass snake bites will not cause an allergic reaction but may cause a wound requiring a call to the vet. However, adders are venomous, and a bite could result in an anaphylactic reaction. A bite to the foot or nose is most common in this instance.
Smaller dogs and cats are likely to be more severely affected by this. You may here them yelp, see puncture marks, redness or bruising, or they may begin to abnormally breathe, be lame or even collapse.
If your dog or cat is bitten, first, keep calm! You should travel to the vets as soon as possible, keeping your animal as calm as possible too. If possible, bathe the bite in water and minimise their movement, carrying them if necessary.
On arrival at the vets, they will be able to treat the wound and aid your pet in recovery.
Dogs and cats may also be subject to bee or wasp stings. You can read more about the signs and treatment here.
In order to prevent these situations arising, checking over your furry friends after prolonged periods outdoors can stop bites occurring, and ensure that homes remain bug free.
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