Spring Issues (written April 2015)

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Over the last month we have started to see the common spring issues in our pets. As vets we know it is spring when we have a massive increase in cat bite wounds. Cats come into season during the spring, hence the males will be fighting for the females. Interestingly entire females are induced ovulators, this means they will not ovulate until mated when they are in season. This is very sensible since they will not waste unfertilised eggs, and even more intriguingly they may end up carrying offspring from different fathers in the same litter. This also explains why some litters may have a huge variation in how the kittens look.

We also have an influx of Persian cats that need to be clipped. Persian cats are not well equipped to look after their coat. They have a very short face and a long coat. This means it is very hard for them to groom themselves properly. They can end up with a very matted coat that has to be shaved off. It always amazes me how much fur can be removed without the cat looking completely bald. Saying that, we do have some cats that end up looking rather ridiculous, with a naked body a hairy head and tail. I do pre-warn owners that we are poor hairdressers. 

With people starting to go for more walks we also see an increase in paw injuries. The paws of both cats and dogs are amazing tissue. They are very tough and it takes a lot to cause an injury. When we get an injury it is unfortunately difficult to get them to heal. This is mainly due to the fact that dogs walk on them all the time, and movement will slow down healing.

With warmer weather comes parasites as well. We have already had quite a few pets in with ticks. On cats you normally just see them on their head since they are very good at grooming them from the body. Dogs however have them all over the body. The tick itself is a bit of an irritation, the main problem is that the tick can carry yet another parasite that can cause Lymes disease in the pet. This parasite will be transmitted into the pet when the tick is having a blood meal from the pet. Fleas are an all year parasite Last autumn was particularly bad, we had a good summer followed by a damp but warm autumn. The main problem with the flea is that only 5% of the fleas lives on your pet. 95% of the flea population is in your house and car, so getting rid of a flea infestation becomes a big job. I am sure you know what comes next. Yes, prevention is better than cure. The amount of anti parasitics on the market is rather overwhelming. Talk to your veterinary surgery about what they recommend for your needs. We find that one treatment does not fit all, and that it is important to listen to your particular needs depending on your pets lifestyle.  

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