With the weather warming up, we’ve been seeing more cases of seasonal Spring allergies and dangers to our four-legged friends. Be on the lookout for snakes, grass seeds and hayfever – here’s a quick guide to surviving Spring:

As we live in an area with beautiful bushland, be wary of snakes and other reptiles that are just coming out of hibernation. You’ll find them trying to warm up out in the middle of paths in popular dog walking areas. Don’t let your dog go too far off lead if at all, and be mindful when they’re poking around in the bushes.

If you see or suspect your dog has been bitten by a snake, try to keep them calm and still whilst making your way to the vet as soon as possible. Symptoms to look for include lethargy, vomiting, paralysis, dilated pupils, shaking or twitching. Don’t try to catch or identify the snake – leave that to the experts and call the Wildcare Helpline on (08) 9474 9055.

Grass seeds
These innocuous looking seeds are actually sharp enough to pierce through skin and can cause life-threatening issues if left undetected in ears, noses and skin. Once embedded, they can be difficult to remove and may require antibiotic treatment/surgical removal, that’s why it is imperative that lodged grass seeds be attended by a vet. Check your dog after walking through grassy areas, especially around the feet, groin and armpits. If your dog is sneezing/has difficulty breathing it may have inhaled a grass seed, whilst frequent head shaking/ear scratching may indicate one in its ear canal.

Please do not wait for your groomer to remove grass seeds as the delay may result in further pain, discomfort and invasive surgery as the grass seed burrows deeper into the skin, and becomes a medical issue we are unable to treat as groomers!

Easy to miss grass seeds can cause life-threatening issues and may require surgery to remove

Hayfever and allergies
Did you know that dogs can have seasonal allergies in a similar way we do? Around this time of year, we see everything from mild cases of weepy eyes/noses, to full blown itching skin and oozing eyes. If your dog is uncomfortable, please contact your vet for a check up. Left untreated, seasonal environmental allergies can develop into persistent skin conditions and scratching habits. We don’t recommend trying to treat your pet at home with medicated/oatmeal shampoos without veterinary supervision as we’ve seen this go horribly wrong and result in dry, itchy skin. Treatment may involve identifying/avoiding the allergen, medication to support the immune system or suppress allergic responses, and topical lotions to soothe the skin. Some of our clients have even been prescribed the same allergy tablets as their people with great results!