We are proud to announce we have a new veterinarian on staff at Cedar Park Animal Clinic. Dr. Sherry Hill is a 2006 graduate of Colorado State University and joins us from a busy small animal practice in Phoenix, AZ. She will start seeing patients here in mid October. Lets be sure to all give Dr. Hill a Texas size welcome as she settles into her new position. Click here to learn more about Dr. Hill and all our full time and part time veterinarians.
Fall is here, school is in session and the leaves are getting ready to fall. The crisp, cool air and luscious foliage can get you excited for the changing seasons. Your pet, too, is probably welcoming the break from the hot, sticky weather. But the seasonal changes also brings new dangers for pets. From household poisons to cold weather hazards, the season is a minefield. Here are some tips to keep your pet snug, safe and healthy during the cooler months.
- It’s back to school time, and if you have children, you’ve probably stocked up on school supplies. Dogs will inspect items and sometimes chew or carry items around in their mouth. Cats may chew on ribbons, strings, and eat them. Items like glue, pencils and markers aren’t poisonous but can cause blockages in the intestinal tract. Make sure your kids and you keep these items out of your animal’s reach.
- The use of rodenticides and insecticides increases in the fall as rodents, spiders and other unwanted creatures seek shelter from the cooler temperatures by attempting to move indoors. These products are highly toxic to pets, if ingested, the results could be fatal. If you must use these products around your home, do so with extreme caution and keep them in places that are not accessible to your pets.
- Likewise, many people choose fall as the time to change their car’s engine coolant. Antifreeze smells good and the taste is very sweet. Very small amounts can cause serious kidney damage and can even cause death. If you use antifreeze products, make sure to store in tightly closed containers, out of reach of pets and children, and if it is spilled, then clean up area thoroughly.
- Autumn is the season when snakes are preparing for hibernation. The 4 venomous snakes in our area are the rattlesnake, copperhead, water moccasin, and the coral snake. Be careful with your pets access to wood piles, tall grass, rocky embankments, creeks and lakes. Autumn is also when flowers and pollen producing plants begin to die off. This means bees and wasps begin to lose their main source of sustenance. These insects will often create new nests in piles of leaves that may collect around the yard. Keep your yard raked from large leaf piles. Insect bites are not typical life-threatening to most pets, but they can be an unnecessary evil.
- Fall is mushroom season. While 99% of mushrooms have little or no toxicity, the small percentage that are can cause life-threatening problems in pets. Most toxic mushrooms are difficult to distinguish from the nontoxic ones, so the best way to keep them from ingesting poisonous mushrooms is to keep them away from areas where any mushrooms are growing.
- Make sure your pets are well fed. Pets will require a higher calorie diet when spending longer periods in colder temperatures because of the calorie burn needed to generate body heat. Make sure outdoor animals have access to fresh water that is not frozen. They also need shelter and a warm place to sleep. A dog house should be no more than three times the dogs size and should face away from the wind.
- Cats and kittens like to nap on warm places, this can include car engines! Knock on the hod of your car or truck or honk the horn, then wait a few minutes before starting the engine. If in doubt, open the hood and look.
- Holiday food, alcoholic beverages, candy chocolate, turkey and pork, fish, bones, apples, and grapes just to name a few are hazards for pets. Also certain plants like holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia plants are poisonous when consumed. Enjoy their beauty while keeping pets safe by placing them well out of pet’s reach.
- Nothing says fall like a good adventure in the great outdoors. Go ahead, enjoy the colorful leaves but be cautious in areas where hunters may lurk. Both you and your pets should be wearing bright colors, too!
Well, the only thing predictable about central Texas weather is that it’s unpredictable. As we moved from winter into springtime, we saw summer temperatures and a continuing drought in April and then started May with a winter-like cold-snap. As we all continue to hope and pray for rain, we know that the warmer weather (and hopefully moisture!) will bring the return of insects and parasites. It’s a great time to get your pets up-to-date on heartworm prevention and dewormer and it’s never too early to treat for fleas. Our knowledgeable staff can help you choose the best heartworm, flea and tick prevention suited to your pets environment and unique needs.