1015 Cheyenne Meadows Road
Colorado Springs, CO
The veterinarians and staff at the Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs is committed to providing excellent health care and safety advice to our clients. We strongly believe that educated pet owners have the potential to be better pet owners, so we provide seasonal advice to ensure that your pet is safe and healthy all year round.
Spring is here! I can already smell the roses and the barbeque! I hope that everyone will be able to enjoy Colorado’s great outdoors this spring. Our staff as well as many of our clients will be taking their pets to local dog parks, hiking, spending more time in their yards, and having outdoor barbeques.
There are several things that we see happen each spring that you might be able to prevent. Dog parks are very popular in Colorado Springs…they can be great places for our dogs to exercise and socialize with other pets. Unfortunately, in the spring we see an increase in dog attacks at dog parks. Try to be aware of your surroundings and keep in mind that not every pet at a dog park is friendly.
With hiking, many dogs are not used to running around on hot, abrasive rocks and some will blister their foot pads on pavement. Also, if your dog is like mine and thinks that every animal is their best friend, your pet may get into trouble with the wildlife of Colorado. Be careful if hiking in areas where there are bears, mountain lions, rattlesnakes, porcupines, skunks, and even deer.
Dogs can also develop heat exhaustion and altitude sickness just like their human companions. Letting your pet rest and providing water frequently is an important tip to remember. Make sure that they aren’t left in an unattended vehicle with the windows up. Obviously, it only takes a short time for hyperthermia to set in. If you have an elderly pet that has a heart condition or other debilitating illness, use your common sense, it may not be a good idea to take them for a hike on Pikes Peak or another fourteener. An elderly pet that begins to pant excessively, or have difficulty breathing while hiking at high elevations, should have their activity limited and immediately taken to a lower elevation. Medical attention should be sought out as soon as possible.
I really enjoy spring because our family is able to spend more time in our yard gardening, playing with our kids, and we have many barbeques. Our dog, Daisy, also spends much more time in our yard compared to winter. If your pet spends time in your yard without supervision, it’s important to make sure they don’t have access to toxic plants, poisons, or chemicals. There are many poisonous plants and wild mushrooms that might be in your yard! Make sure to check your fence to make sure that there are no areas where your pet might be able to escape. Pets that escape from their yard may run away and may never be found. They can get hit by cars, be attacked by other dogs, or can ingest poisonous materials while on the lamb. Barbeques are great fun but realize there are items your pets maybe exposed to that might cause problems. Every summer, we see pets that have eaten large amounts of grease or fat which can results in pancreatitis. We have also surgically removed many items like corn cobs, trash, string, bones, bottle caps, barbeque skewers, and many other objects.
Let’s all have fun with our pets this summer, but let’s try to prevent problems from developing.
John Boley, DVM,
DABVP Certified canine and feline practice