The rains are upon us! While many of us humans adore our rare summer rains, monsoon season can be a stressful and scary time for our pets. Just as the beautiful monsoon rains can be dangerous for us when we aren’t careful, they also present dangers for our pets. Be watchful and keep your pets safe and secure during monsoon season by following these four tips.
- Keep your pet indoors, especially if you are not at home. Monsoon rain and dust storms can arrive with little or no warning, so it is better to have your pet safely inside than caught outside. If your pet has to go out, first check to be sure that your fences are secure and locked, as a storm’s scary sounds can cause your pet to run away.
- Thunder, wind, hail, pounding rain. The noises that accompany monsoon rains, as well as bright flashes of lightning, are the worst part of the storm for most pets. You can desensitize your pet to the noise by not acting concerned about the weather (or your pet’s agitation). If you play with your pet indoors during monsoon storms, the high she gets from playing provides positive reinforcement to help her accept the monsoon as just another part of life—one that can be fun! If your pet just can’t be calmed down during a storm, you might consider investing in a Thundershirt, playing calming music, or giving your pet Rescue Remedy or Relax My Dog. Talk to your veterinarian about the options if your pet is easily upset by thunderstorms.
- Between gusting winds and hard rains or hail, monsoons kick up a lot of dust. Since Valley Fever fungal spores live in our desert soil, it’s best to keep your pet indoors during and after the dust storms that accompany many monsoons. While Valley Fever affects humans and dogs, many more dogs than people have been reported as having the fungal infection. Symptoms of Valley Fever include coughing, fever, weight loss, and a lack of appetite or energy. If you notice your pet has these symptoms, please see a veterinarian immediately. The lung infection caused by Valley Fever can develop into pneumonia, lameness, skin inflammation, and even heart failure, among other painful and deadly manifestations.
- Toads, crickets, and rattlesnakes tend to be more active during monsoon season. All of these creatures can be toxic to pets, so be sure to watch your pet when he goes outside, and check your yard to ensure it is visibly free of these creatures. Whether your dog licks or eats a toad, or drinks water in which a toad has been sitting, the toad’s toxic skin can make your pet sick. If you see your dog foaming at the mouth or pawing at its mouth, he might have eaten a toad. You will need to rinse out his mouth with a garden hose. You can do this by opening your pet’s mouth and spraying the water through one side for about five minutes. In cats, crickets can cause stomach worms. If you cat begins vomiting, he might have eaten a cricket and will need veterinary assistance. Rattlesnake bites and venom are just as dangerous for pets as they are for humans, creating swelling and pain. Your pet will need immediate veterinary care if bitten by a snake.
If you follow these tips and keep a watchful eye on your pet and your yard, both of you will enjoy a safe and secure monsoon this summer.
Later this week, we will celebrate Independence Day with barbecues, parties, friends, family, and most of all, fireworks. While these things are a lot of fun for people, they can be hazardous and terrifying for our pets.
July is one of the busiest times of the year for pet shelters and animal clinics. Many pets get spooked from the loud sounds made by fireworks, causing them to jump fences and get lost. During the holiday, pets are also at higher risk of ingesting substances that can make them seriously ill. Keep your pets safe and anxiety-free this 4th of July by following these tips.
1. Leave pets at home.
Although you might be tempted to bring your pet with you to join in the fireworks and festivities, pets will be safer and feel more secure at home. Being around many people and potentially other animals in an unfamiliar environment will only heighten fear.
Never, under ANY circumstances, leave your pet in your vehicle.If your pet has a history of becoming anxious, consult a veterinarian before July 4th.
2. If your pet has experienced fear and anxiety from loud noises in the past, for example during thunderstorms, it is likely that they will react the same way to fireworks.
Safer Anesthesia, Better Surgery, Happy Pets
Thanks to the efforts of our forefathers, we can perform better surgery thanks to better monitoring, safer anesthesia and better drugs.
A few decades ago, ensuring that a patient was alive during anesthesia was limited to using your senses: observing gum color, feeling pulses, watching the chest move. More recently, we borrowed from human medicine and started using EKG machines to monitor the heart. Today, most… modern clinics can also measure oxygen levels, blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and occasionally CO2 levels.
There is no question that the anesthesia drugs we use today are safer than those used a few years ago. By combining several drugs, we can provide multiple benefits to the patient, while using lower dosages of each one. This is called balanced anesthesia. For example, when we do fancy orthopedic surgery on a pet’s knee, we might combine: