Keeping your pet safe – Hazards to look out for during Autumn
The leaves are starting to change colour and fall, conkers and acorns can be found aplenty on the ground, bushes and trees are full of luscious berries, It’s a sure sign that autumn is finally here.
However, the autumn also brings some hazards for your pet that you need to be aware of.
Seasonal Canine Illness
Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) has been under investigation since September 2010. It’s a mystery illness generally seen between the months of August and November which can affect dogs of any size, shape or sex, it can cause dogs to become very ill. The condition appears very quickly after the dog has been walked in woodland.
The most common clinical signs are :
These signs are typically experienced within 72 hours of walking in woodland.
If you suspect your dog is showing signs of SCI then contact your vet immediately.
Leaves and leaf mould
Piles of leaves can develop bacteria and mould. If your dog ingests these it can lead to gastrointestinal upsets.
Contact your vet if you think your pet has ingested leaf mould.
It can be rare for a dog to be poisoned by the Conker, however, ingestion can cause gastrointestinal problems, signs to look out for
- Abdominal pain
The conker can also cause intestinal blockages, and though dogs normally vomit any ingested conkers quite quickly, you should always seek help from your vet.
Exposure to acorns is common in the autumn and winter. Acorns have a toxic ingredient thought to be tannic acid, which can cause damage to the liver and kidneys.
Signs of ingestion include:
- Abdominal pain and lethargy
- Ingested acorns can also cause an intestinal blockage
Both elderberries and holly berries can cause stomach upsets in dogs.
But the most dangerous berry-bearing plants are deadly nightshade with its shiny black berries; cuckoo pint, aka lords-and-ladies (which produces spikes of orange-red berries), and mistletoe. All are typically found in woodland.
Many popular ivy plants, including English ivy and Devil’s ivy/Golden Pothos, have moderate toxicity to pets.
Signs of ingestion include:
- Mouth and stomach irritation
- Excessive drooling
- Foaming at the mouth
- Swelling of the mouth, tongue and lips
If your pet has eaten berries, take them to the vet for treatment – always try to take a sample of the berry for the vet to identify.
If you or your children like to use/play with glow sticks around the bonfire, please ensure that your pet can’t get hold of them
The chemical mixture inside of both luminous jewellery and glow sticks can cause irritation to your pets gums, it can also cause:
- Frothing and foaming at the mouth
- Vomiting and stomach pain
Thankfully, although the signs can look dramatic, ingestion is unlikely to cause significant problems – however, you should always seek professional help and advice from your vet.
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