Dangers of spring? You might think… Yes, because although spring is a beautiful season, with pleasant temperatures, a nature full of life and colour and longer and longer days, it also brings with it some complications.
Allergies, insects and asthenia are typical of spring and we humans suffer from them to a greater or lesser degree… just like dogs. They too can have allergies, be attacked by insects and suffer the effects of asthenia.
Dogs also have allergies
Pollen is the main cause of spring allergies in dogs. If you notice that your pet is scratching excessively, has watery eyes or a spot or rash on his skin, he may be allergic to pollen.
Try to keep him from walking through fields of flowers or ears of corn, wash his paws and muzzle thoroughly after each walk (be careful not to get them wet) and take him to the vet for treatment if necessary.
Dogs are also bitten by mosquitoes and other insects
The most common external parasites in dogs are fleas and ticks and it is important to prevent them throughout the year. There are several methods, such as collars, pipettes or tablets (ask your vet which is the most suitable for your dog).
But dogs are also attacked by other insects that proliferate in spring. Mosquitoes, spiders, caterpillars… can bite your dog and cause health problems.
Mosquitoes: in addition to the typical itching after a mosquito bite, these insects also carry Leishmaniasis, an infection that can have serious consequences. Beyond skin reactions, if Leishmaniosis is not detected and treated, it can cause eye and joint damage and kidney problems. There are treatments to protect your dog against mosquitoes (collars and pipettes are the most common), ask your vet for advice.
Spiders: generally, a spider bite will cause itching or stinging and reddening of the skin, but there are spiders that are toxic to dogs and can cause more serious symptoms, such as intense pain, weakness or paralysis, fever, vomiting or diarrhoea, incoordination… If you detect a bite with swelling or redness on your dog (they usually bite them in areas with less hair) or any of the above symptoms, take your dog to the vet for an examination.
Processionary caterpillar: this caterpillar nests in pine trees (white pockets between the branches) and with the heat, the eggs hatch and the caterpillars descend to the ground forming a line. Their bodies are covered with filaments that are highly toxic to humans and animals, causing itching, swelling and pain when they are touched. In the case of dogs, the greatest danger is if they lick or ingest one of these caterpillars, because it could be fatal. Irritation of the face, paws or areas that have come into contact with the processionary caterpillar and inflammation of the tongue (or ulcers) are the most common symptoms that should be treated immediately by a vet. Try to avoid walking in pine forests at this time of year or keep a close eye on the paths you walk with your dog to avoid processionary.
Internal parasites: intestinal worms, heartworms… in spring, internal parasites affecting dogs are also on the rise, as a result of the warmer temperatures. It is important that your dog is monitored for parasites throughout the year to prevent internal parasites. If your dog is experiencing vomiting or diarrhoea, weakness or coughing, take him to the vet to assess the source and take the necessary action.
Other dangers of spring for dogs
Dogs also suffer from heat and do not have the ability to sweat to regulate their body temperature, so avoid taking them for walks during the hottest hours of the day and make sure they have access to cool, clean water both at home and on walks. At home, provide shady corners so he can rest without heat.
Like humans, dogs can suffer from spring asthenia. He will feel more listless, lacking in vitality, drowsy and with less appetite than usual. These symptoms are not serious and usually disappear within a few days.
And remember: it is essential that your dog is up to date with his vaccinations. Good prevention is the best way to protect your pet.