Summer Heat & Canine Feet: Pawpad Burn Awareness

Beautiful, “sunny and 75” weather may seem like a great time to take your dog out for a stroll, but it is important to be mindful of their paws. The paws of dogs and cats have sensitive pads that are vulnerable to heat. In the summer, certain surfaces like pavement and asphalt, and even astro-turf and other artificial grasses, can get extremely hot and cause blisters or burns to their sensitive paws.  Not to mention that your pet is lower to the ground than you and is closer to these hot surfaces, which can raise their body temperature and put them at risk for heatstroke and dehydration.

Some simple things to consider:

  • Check the temperature of the surface first – Touch your hand or bare feet to the surface. If it’s too hot for you, then it’s probably too hot for them too.
  • Try to time your walks for cooler temperatures – Aim to walk your pet during the early morning or late evening when temperatures are lower, and avoid the hottest parts of the day like midday or early afternoon.
  • For midday walks, make it short and keep it shady – If you do decide to walk your pet during the hotter periods, try to choose a route that is shaded from the sun and has adequate grass which will help you stick to cooler surfaces and be aware of the length of the walk.
  • Just avoid asphalt – Dogs enjoy grassy areas like in parks and dog parks or hiking trails more than pavement, so it is usually best to walk them in “natural” areas.
  • Dog booties are an option If you think you may encounter hot surfaces on your walk, you can get some dog booties to outfit them with, for some added protection and style!
  • Bring waterIf you are hoping for a longer excursion out and about, pack some water with you. This will allow you to keep your pet hydrated, and also use the water to cool down their feet or surfaces if need be. 
  •  Some signs of burns on your pet’s feet
  • Damage or burns on paw pads – If you notice the pain or discomfort in your pet, take a look at their feet. Is there a noticeably darker color, such as red instead of the typical pink? More severe burn will show with blisters, ruptured blisters, or redness, or parts of the pad may be missing.
  • They seem to be in pain or are showing signs of discomfort – If your pet is holding up a foot, limping, vocalizing, licking or chewing at the feet or is not wanting to walk

    Steps to take for burns:
  • Move indoors or to a cool, safe place immediately – If your pet has burns on their feet it is likely best and quickest to carry them.
  • Rinse the areas with cold water.
  • Avoid letting your dog lick the injury. 
  • Call us at Campbell Veterinary Hospital for treatment

The Better Business Bureau Breaks Down the Risks of Buying Pets Online

The Better Business Bureau is asking people who may be looking to add a furry family member as a gift this holiday season to exercise extreme caution if shopping for a pet online.

According to the BBB, online pet scams — when an online search ends with a would-be pet owner paying hundreds of dollars or more to adopt a pet that ultimately doesn’t exist — are especially prevalent during the holiday season. The agency says that people currently shopping for pets online are very likely to encounter a scam listing in an online ad or website.

Online shopping scam reports to BBB Scam Tracker have skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and pet scams make up 35% of those reports in 2021.

According to the BBB, scammers frequently take advantage of the high demand during the holidays by posting pictures of pets in Christmas hats and other gear.

Knowing the red flags associated with this scam can help future pet owners avoid disappointment and losing their money.

Typically, a scammer will refuse to let the would-be pet owner meet the pet before buying, often claiming this is because of COVID-19 concerns. The scammer claims that they must use a pet delivery agency of some kind, often an airline.

BBB Scam Tracker has received many reports of fake web pages impersonating real businesses for this purpose. The scammer also may demand fees for vaccinations or other last-minute “needs.”

A Shelby woman reported to the BBB that she lost $350 this week when she tried to purchase a puppy online.

The woman told BBB Scam Tracker she paid a $350 deposit via prepaid card, but when she was supposed to meet the seller in person, no one showed. The seller then requested additional funds for shots and transportation, and when the woman refused, they threatened to throw the puppy in the trash.

The BBB warns that the tactics used in pet scams continue to evolve, however. Scammers increasingly ask for payment through untraceable cash apps such as Zelle, Google Pay, Cash App, Venmo and Apple Pay. A review of Scam Tracker data found that the vast majority of reports listed Zelle as the payment method involving the purchase of online pets.

The largest group of victims by age are those 25-35, followed by those 35-44. The average financial loss reported to Scam Tracker was $1,088.

While 82% of pet scam reports involved dogs, other reports included cats, birds and iguanas.

The BBB’s recommendations for buying pets online include:

  • See the pet in person before paying any money. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, consider a video call with the seller so you can see the seller and the actual pet for sale. Since scammers are not likely to comply with the request, this may help avoid a scam.
  • Do a reverse image search of the photo of the pet and search for a distinctive phrase in the description.
  • Do research to get a sense of a fair price for the breed you are considering. Think twice if someone advertises a purebred dog for free or at a deeply discounted price because it could be a fake offer.
  • Check out a local animal shelter online for pets you can meet before adopting.

    You can read the original article on the BBB website HERE.

Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Hypothyroidism (Low Thyroid levels) can be very harmful to your dog.

The disease has many different symptoms that may go unnoticed, such as:

  • Cold intolerance
  • Dull coat
  • Excessive Shedding
  • Excessive thirst
  • Weight gain without and increase of appetite
  • Regurgitation of food or water

Hypothyroidism if left untreated, can result in many medical conditions such as

  • Corneal Ulcers
  • Anemia
  • Megaesophagus
  • Some of these conditions can be life threatening.

It is HIGHLY recommended to get annual bloodwork that includes a Thyroid panel every year. Come by the office today to get your panel done!

Your Pets & Heartworms

Currently, Georgia is the number one state in the United States for Heartworm infection,  a completely preventable disease with devastating effects from infection. The Heartworm uses mosquitoes to infect dogs and cats whether inside or outside. That is why we have a Heartworm test and tick disease panel included in all our annual vaccine prices.

Heartworm infections cause disease that has adverse effects on the heart and lungs.  If left untreated, it can cause damage to the heart and blood vessels associated with it.  This damage can accelerate and bring on heart damage that can result in congestive heart failure.  This can result in weakness, lethargy, coughing, anemia, fluid retained in the belly, heart and lungs.  In severe cases, it can result in issues that may contribute to sudden death.

For this reason and others, our focus and concern is to test yearly for a possible heartworm infection, even if on a monthly preventative.  

If positive for heartworms, there are several choices for treatment and care which are intended to correct the infection and clear the pet of heartworms. These options and care alternatives can be discussed as needed.  The primary and best choice is to prevent the infection by giving a product that kills the initial infective stage of the heartworm and prevents any disease and damage from occurring.  Talk to us about the great and affordable choices we offer to prevent this potentially devastating disease.