"Paws For Thought"

As Autumn has arrived, with its cold, frosty mornings and the dark nights drawing in, it means it is also time for the unfortunate arrival of Harvest mites, particularly common to see during the early stages of Autumn. Harvest mites are tiny little creatures that are normally bright orange, to the human eye they look like tiny little orange dots. They are mostly an issue for our 'furry friends' during the larvae stage of their life cycle as this is the time they may choose to feed on your loved one and cause much irritation. They are primarily a problem for our feline companions, however they can also effect dogs, rabbits and humans too! They normally live in areas with lots of bushes and long grass and wait for their victim to pass on by. Once they have found a nice thin area of skin they tend to sink in their fangs and feed by injecting fluid into the skin. This effects the skin which causes a 'goo' like substance for the mites to suck back in. The enzyme, in the fluid they inject, can also breakdown the skin of which the mites will start to chew. After feeding for a few days they will drop off to continue into adulthood. Sadly lots of our pets will have an allergic reaction to these little orange beasts. Signs of an allergic reaction may include reddening of the skin or crusty lesions. Other than physically seeing the mites others signs they are present include your 'companion' licking or biting themselves vigorously.

The most common area they can be found are between the paws, so it is a good idea to regularly check between your pets paws after they have been outside. It can help to wash the paws with fresh water after walking in areas with lots of vegetation. Other areas where you may spot these orange beings are in the Armpit, groin, ears, face or around the eyes. Harvest mites can cause a lot pain and as they are so irritating your pet will probably try to scratch them off which can result in an infection. Therefore if you spot these orange pests it is advisable to see a vet in case antibiotics or pain relief are needed. Unfortunately there are no licensed products available to kill mite larvae but by keeping your grass short and number of weeds low in your garden, along with regular checking between the paws, this should reduce the chance of these creatures living within your household.

It is also worth knowing, during this time of year, that conkers are toxic to our canine companions if ingested. Conkers contain a poison called Aesculin, which is found in all parts of the Horse Chestnut Tree. Signs of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, salivation, abdominal pain, increased thirst, reduced appetite, restlessness, mobility issues or muscle tremors. Signs can be seen within 6 hours of ingestion and can last up to two days afterwards. Not only are they toxic but if swallowed whole they can also cause serious blockage issues, and may need to be removed surgically.

Ashman Jones has won another award! We won The High Achievement award at the Vet Dynamics Conference as one of only two awards that were awarded out of 196 practices attending. We won this award based on a variety of reasons including our amazing Best Friends Club and a high standard of follow up care.

Good news for our golden oldie patients! October is Senior pets month. Our Best Friends Club is now better than ever for your senior pets. It includes lots of extras such as 10% off ongoing senior medication, 10% off blood screening for senior pets, one urinalysis for seniors, where we test their urine and one arthritis check with a vet each year. As you may know the BFC already includes a 6 month health check, which means for your beautiful oldies they now get 2 free check ups a year! If you would like to hear more information about our BFC you can visit our website on www.ashmanjones.co.uk or you can pop in to either of our branches to discuss it with one of our friendly team members, who will be happy to discuss how to get the best out of your Best Friend Club membership.

Good news for our golden oldie patients! October is Senior pets month. Our Best Friends Club is now better than ever for your senior pets. It includes lots of extras such as 10% off ongoing senior medication, 10% off blood screening for senior pets, one urinalysis for seniors, where we test their urine and one arthritis check with a vet each year. As you may know the BFC already includes a 6 month health check, which means for your beautiful oldies they now get 2 free check ups a year! If you would like to hear more information about our BFC you can visit our website on www.ashmanjones.co.uk or you can pop in to either of our branches to discuss it with one of our friendly team members, who will be happy to discuss how to get the best out of your Best Friend Club membership.

As firework night will soon be here, it is a good idea to start thinking now about how we can help our little furries through the 'scary loud noises' throughout next month. At Ashman Jones we sell a variety of products which may help your loved ones during this stressful time such as Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs, which come as sprays, diffusers and as collars. These work by releasing comforting pheromones. There is also Pet remedy spray along with a variety of homeopathic tablets available to purchase from reception.

Other ideas of comforting them include making a little den, such as putting blankets over the table and letting them hide underneath. It also can help to muffle the fireworks out by putting on calming music, during a study, classical music was found to be most effective. You may be surprised to hear that it is advised to not fuss over your pets too much during the sounds of fireworks banging, if you stay calm and act as if nothing is happening it will be much more calming for them as they will think there is nothing worrying happening. In the long term it can help to buy the CD with sounds, which includes the sound of fireworks, if you play it in the background your dog will get used to the sound and know that it doesn't lead to anything bad happening. This method is particularly effective for puppies and younger dogs, used in the months leading up to November.

I have decided to run the Bath half marathon in March... this will be my first ever running event so wish me luck! I am running to raise money for Alzheimer's society, if anybody would like to take a look at my page please visit www.justgiving.com/HollyeSmith22 or you can click on the blue button above, I will be very thankful for anybody who would like to make a donation.

 

Thanks for reading this months 'Paws for thought', I will leave you with another fun animal fact... Did you know elephants can smell water up to three miles away!









Warmest Wishes

Holly Smith @ Team Ashman Jones