Autumn is a wonderful time to go on long walks, with the golden leaves and puddles to splash about in but there are also a few things to look out for to keep our furry friends happy and healthy.
Despite the portrayal in cartoons and on TV, sticks are lethal for dogs.
Sticks from black cherry, yew, and walnut trees are toxic to dogs and chewing on them can leave your dog with stomach and breathing problems. Even non poisonous sticks are no picnic. They can lodge splinters in your dog’s mouth and cut their gums and cheeks which will lead to surgery to remove and possibly infection. In worse case scenario, stick can become lodged in throats or puncture vital organs.
To keep your dogs healthy and happy, stick to fun toys that are safe to chew or play fetch with.
Conkers and Acorns
While exciting to us humans both conkers and acorns can be dangerous for dogs if they eat them and can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pains, drooling and retching. Don't encourage any play with either of them.
Both acorns and conkers can easily be swallowed and become lodged in throats or intestines, leading to surgery if the blockage can not be removed.
Acorns contain tannins which cause upset stomachs and can lead to kidney failure - you need to be extra vigilant in watching that your dogs don't scoop one up in their mouth when you are out walking or playing in the park. The more acorns your dog eats, the more dangerous the issues that can arise.
Just like there are many mushrooms that are poisonous or harmful to humans there are lots of varieties that are dangerous to your dog too. Poppy has made a full list of different types of mushrooms to avoid which you can read here
Different mushrooms can cause different symptoms if ingested however the main symptoms to look out for are vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness, abdominal pain and lethargy.
Like Mushrooms there are lots of types of berries that are poisonous to dogs, all typically found in woodlands, and cause vomiting and diarrhoea. It's wise to avoid all berries to keep your dog safe as some varieties can cause more severe problems.
As the winter moths approach the mornings start chilly and icy which means the anti freeze comes in very handy to get the cars ready but can be very dangerous if found by little paws. Antifreeze is sweet tasting to dogs so if they sniff some out it's likely that they will try to ingest some so remember to keep it out of reach and if you have a garage keep the doors locked as it can leak from car radiators too. In the unfortunate event that your pup manages to ingest some antifreeze, take them to the vet immediately as even a small amount can cause serious problems to their livers and kidneys. One of the first signs of toxification is your dog appearing drunk. Very small amounts of antifreeze can be fatal - just five tablespoons can kill a medium sized dog.
I think we can all agree that crunchy autumn leaves are one of the best things about the season with all the beautiful colours, smells and piles to jump in. They can also make a wonderful photo for your dog to sit in and play. However there are several things to be aware of.
Not only can dog poo hide under leaves, as they start to decay and get wet they house bacteria and mould that can be harmful for your dog. If you are walking in leafy environments keep a close eye on them so they avoid any potential hazards.
Seasonal Canine Illness
The exact cause of Seasonal Canine Illness is unknown however Vets are able to alleviate the symptoms caused by SCI. Symptoms can appear within 72 hours of visiting a woodland area and are vomiting, lethargy and diarrhoea.
Wet and muddy conditions can cause Alabama rot, which damages blood vessels and create sores or ulcers on your dogs legs, chest and stomach and even kidney failure. Like SCI, it's exact cause is still unknown however we you can protect your dog by washing your dogs paws, legs and stomach or at least wiping them after a walk through woodland areas. Sticking to a less muddy walk around the streets during extra wet and miserable days can also reduce risk.
Symptoms of Alabama Rot are ulcers or sores on paws, legs, stomach and faces, vomiting, lethargy and refusing food.
Autumn brings the Autumn Crocus, also known as the Meadow Saffron. While these purple flowers are a delight to us, they are highly toxic to dogs and can cause them to be very ill. Keep an eye out for bloody vomiting and/or diarrhoea, shock and drooling which may show up immediately but can also be delayed for a few days.
If your dog or puppy is displaying any of the above signs, contact your vet immediately.
Illnesses happen, just like they do with humans and can pass with a few days rest. Here's to happy walks and wagging tails x