Posted 3 months ago
With the weather warming up in the UK, dog owners are being warned of a number of health issues to look out for on their dog's skin, such as hot spots, flystrike and sunburn.
Advice comes as the Met Office forecasts 20ºC in parts of the UK this weekend.
Dr Jessica May, lead vet at video vet service First Vet, shares her advice on how to prevent these problems arising, how to treat them at home and when to visit a vet.
Moist eczema on dog (Image: Getty)
As summer hits, it’s crucial to look out for moist eczema, more commonly referred to as ‘hot spots’, because they become easily exacerbated in warmer months - especially in dogs with heavy fur and those that are washed frequently.
These ‘hot spots’ will pop up where your dog itches most, with skin becoming irritated and developing an ulcerated red patch.
You can help prevent your dog from experiencing ‘hot spots’ by drying their body and fur thoroughly anytime they encounter water. If the spots get worse, your vet can provide prescription medication that will help to clear up the irritation.
Flies on dog (Image: Getty)
Flystrike is caused by flies laying eggs on an animal, which hatch into maggots and eat their ‘hosts’ flesh. Generally, the flies will target your pets’ ears and cause painful sores. For dogs with floppy ears, sores will become visible along the front edge of the ear, and for dogs with erect ears, flystrike will generally be around the tip of the ear.
Washing your dog down regularly during the hot months will help to avoid flystrike.
Speak with your vet immediately if you notice that your dog is exhibiting any of the following symptoms: visible maggots or larvae, foul smell, lethargy, unwillingness to eat or drink, shaking their head repeatedly, bloody ears or open wounds.
Sunburn on dog (Image: Getty)
Although dogs are covered in fur, we often forget that they can get sunburnt, just like us! Dogs with thin fur or pale fur are most at risk for sunburn, which can increase the risk of skin cancer.
To prevent this from happening, use a pet-friendly sun cream frequently, especially on days where your pet will be out in the sun for long periods of time, and ensure your dog has lots of shady spots to relax in.
Ticks on dog (Image: Getty)
Warm weather throughout the year provides an active breeding ground for ticks. Through their bites, ticks are able to spread a number of diseases to your dog, including Lyme Disease and Anaplasmosis.
Ensuring that you are using effective measures to prevent ticks is key: use an anti-tick treatment on your dog and remove ticks properly as soon as they are found.
Fleas on dog (Image: Getty)
Fleas can also be a hazard to your dog. Fleas can cause itching and skin problems, such as rashes, dandruff and hair loss, which often occurs around the buttocks and lower back. It is important to regularly check your dog for fleas and use flea treatment recommended for your pet by your vet.
Some dogs may also develop an allergy to fleas called Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), which can cause intense itching and lead to secondary skin infections that require veterinary attention.
Grass seeds on dog (Image: Getty)
Long walks with your dog are an ideal summer activity. However, if you’re headed for overgrown fields or woodlands, it’s important to be aware of the hidden dangers.
Seeds in the grass and other cereals can cause trouble if they get into your dog’s eye, ear or nose, like hives and rashes. If you notice your dog seems to be experiencing irritation, try to avoid areas where grass seeds and pollen might be an issue, and consult your vet for help if the problem persists.
Learn more about summer dog dangers as the weather warms up.