ELISE M. ATKINSON, CVT
Porcupines, spiders and snakes — oh my!
There’s nothing better than taking off with your dog during these dog days of summer. It’s a beautiful day, so you head out with your best bud Buster for a hike. Water — check. First-aid kit — check. Water bowl for Buster — check. Snacks for you both — check. AAHA-accredited hospital in your contacts list — huh?
|Photo courtesy of Dr. Christopher Morris, MS, DVM, and Kathy Morris, owners of Shelby (pictured). |
Depending on what area of the country you live in, there are different varieties of poisonous snakes and spiders, not to mention the quills of a porcupine, that could spoil your sunny day. If you cross paths with a rattler and Buster bravely protects you but gets bitten, what will you do? If Buster gets a snout full of quills, who will help pull them out? The answer is always at the nearest AAHA-accredited hospital.
Summer Issues to be Aware of:
Read about heatstroke prevention here
- Fleas/ticks and heartworm
Make sure that Buster is up-to-date on all of his preventatives.
Take frequent water breaks, and make sure that Buster’s water is not hot.
- Cut paws
Booties can help prevent injury to the paw pads.
Special sunscreen made for pets can prevent sunburn on noses and ears.
AAHA-accredited hospitals are required to be ready to handle emergencies by providing emergency services. This means that AAHA-accredited hospitals will have a plan in place to help with that snakebite or be able to anesthetize Buster to pull the quills out of his snout. Not all hospitals have antivenin to help counter the effects of poisonous snakes, but they will know where to get it if necessary. AAHA-accredited hospitals have plans in place to deal with the emergencies that they are likely to see in their area.
When you need emergency care for your pet and you aren’t close to your regular veterinarian, it’s best to be prepared. Look up the nearest AAHA-accredited hospitals before you leave home, and enter their numbers into your phone. If you call ahead, the veterinary team can be waiting to give Buster the best care possible.
Remember — it’s best to be prepared for anything, including where to take Buster in case of a summertime emergency. The answer is always at your nearest AAHA-accredited hospital.
Search our hospital locator to find the hospital closest to you.
This article originally appeared in PetsMatter July / August 2010, published by the American Animal Hospital Association. Copyright © 2010 AAHA. Find out more.