Autumn Dangers – Leaves, Acorns, Conkers & Mushrooms
Fallen leaves – We all love to run and jump through piles of fallen leaves and I’m sure your dog(s) does too. But piles of wet, rotting leaves are a different matter! They make the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, fungus and mould. This can lead to gastrointestinal issues if your dog ingests them. Your dog could consume the bacteria when they later lick themselves, so be sure to wash your dog down after your walks. Remember – Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) – the mysterious illness that affects dogs of any size and breed, occurs between August and November, in wooded areas across the UK.
Conkers and acorns – Fallen conkers and acorns are common as are horse chestnuts and oak trees drop their seeds. Most dogs won’t find them appealing to eat, but keen chewers can be tempted, especially puppies and younger dogs. Both are poisonous to dogs if ingested, causing vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. If swallowed, they could also cause an intestinal blockage due to their hardness and size. Dogs that like to hold things in their mouths may pick up conkers to carry on their walks. Makes sure you take it away before they can actually chew or eat them!
Wild mushrooms – Mushrooms growing in the wild are widespread through the damp, chilly autumn. Most wild mushrooms are perfectly safe, but others are highly toxic and can be life-threatening if eaten. It can be difficult to tell the two apart – so your best to avoid them altogether! If you find your dog has eaten a mushroom, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and seek help from your Vet immediately.
Autumn Allergies & Parasites – flies, fleas and ticks have gone nuts, spiders are having a feast! Seasonal allergies can cause quite a few reactions in our dogs and cats, just as they can with us. Grass, mites, dust, mould, ragweed etc are just a few of the common culprits that can affect skin and sinuses. If your dog or cat excessively scratches, check for signs like rashes, sneezing, discharge around the nose and or eyes, even coughing.
Parasites – just because the weather drops, doesn’t mean fleas and ticks aren’t around! Central heated homes and work places are perfect for fleas to thrive all year round. Wooded areas are wonderful for walks but you and your dog(s) can easily pick up ticks which carry Lyme disease, and mites. Protect your dog and cats against these. Always seek advice from your vet.