VET’S VIEW: Highlighting the dangers posed for pets by autumn

OUR glorious summer may be well and truly over, so what better time to highlight some important autumnal dangers facing our pets?

With temperatures dropping fast and dark, wet nights drawing in, make sure your dogs are kept dry when walked, wearing waterproof – ideally reflective – warm coats.

Make sure your pet is microchipped, too, and remember keep all-important contact details up to date.

Central heating can often mean annoying fleas hatching from eggs in carpets, so make sure both pets and houses are protected with products purchased from your vet.

Other seasonal parasites niggling our poor pets at this time of year include tiny orange harvest mites picked up from long grasses.

They gather around ears, eyelids and feet, even under your pet’s tummy.

Like fleas, these mites cause intense itchiness resulting in uncomfortable, crusty lesions.

October is the perfect time to plan for firework season.

Clever desensitisation CDs, safe calming aids, as well as invaluable advice from both vets and qualified canine behaviourists, will help cure your pets’ firework phobias, preparing your frightened four-legged friend for their most traumatic time of year.

Many car owners get their vehicles ready for the winter months, so please remember antifreeze – commonly used in car radiators – is extremely tasty to inquisitive pets (especially cats). More importantly, it is also extremely toxic, with tiny amounts ingested able to cause kidney failure and death.

Tortoise-owners should be thinking about hibernation preparation and, if needed, making an appointment with your vet as soon as possible for those essential weight and length measurements.

Please be aware older dogs and cats feeling their joints more in cold weather, so make sure they have plenty of warm bedding, with any changes in mobility/lameness investigated by your vet.

Stiffness and soreness can be treated easily and safely nowadays, making the next few months more bearable.