- July 8th 2019
The monsoon is the time where life thrives – and we mean all life. That means diseases are more active in this season, and your canine is in more danger of falling ill than ever. Here’s what you need to look out for this monsoon season and how you can keep your dog in top shape during downpours.
Leptospirosis is one of the most dangerous diseases your dog can contract during the rainy season. It is an infection caused by Leptospira interrogans, commonly known as Leptospires, which enter your dog’s system through wounds or ingestion and spread through the bloodstream. The disease affects the liver, kidneys, central nervous system and more.
Leptospires thrive during the rainy season, in muddy or marshy areas, and dogs can contract the disease through contact with infected water or water. Leptospirosis also spreads through contact with the urine of infected animals, mostly rats. It is a dangerous disease for both animals and humans, and you should contact your vet immediately if you suspect your dog is infected.
Symptoms and prevention: Leptospirosis causes fever, vomiting, sudden diarrhoea, depression and coughing, among other symptoms. Treatment includes antibiotics usually, and hospitalisation if your dog is severely infected (but this is rare). Prevention is best, of course, and you should be careful when taking your dog out for a walk. Always make sure that any cuts or wounds your dog may have are not exposed to the air or mud, and keep your canine away from drinking puddle water. Vaccination is another great way to ensure your dog is protected against the disease this season.
Gastroenteritis refers to an inflammation of the stomach lining and the intestines. It becomes more common during the rainy season and can range from a mild upset stomach to more severe cases. It usually results in vomiting and diarrhoea, and symptoms include loss of appetite, depression and lethargy.
Cause and prevention: Gastroenteritis spreads through many channels. Your dog could get it through parasites or by ingesting something toxic, or through different diseases. It’s always best to take your pet to the vet to diagnose the exact cause of the problem and how to treat it. Prevention usually involves monitoring what your dog eats (especially when they’re out on walks), and making sure their vaccinations are up to date.
Worm infections generally refer to parasites that affect your dog’s intestines, the most common of which being roundworms and tapeworms. Worm infections are tricky, as some of them have symptoms – your dog starts losing their fur and then their appetite, they start vomiting and start losing weight – but some infections don’t have any symptoms at all and your dog can have a worm in their intestine for a long time before you notice. Roundworms can usually be spotted in your dog’s stool but hookworms are so small, they are usually impossible to spot.
Treatment and prevention: If you suspect your dog has worms, it’s best to get a stool sample tested at the vet. Prevention would include deworming your dog at regular intervals and especially before the monsoon, when the incidence of worm infections is high.
The damp weather this season is not great for your pet and it’s important to make sure they are always dry. Wet fur can lead to skin diseases, which can develop into infections if your dog scratches too much and creates a wound. Skin infections can usually be spotted if the skin is red or swollen or if there is a rash, but the clearest sign is always the most obvious – your dog is scratching or licking themselves too much.
Prevention: Keeping your pet dry is crucial. Always remember to bathe them this monsoon but make sure you blow-dry their fur properly. Dry shampoo is also an excellent option in this weather. Take special care of the problem areas, such as paws and ears (especially for dog breeds with long and floppy ears), as these do not dry very easily. Keep checking their skin to make sure no rashes appear – and treat them to a spa day every once and a while!
Your dog may love puddles but it can be your worst enemy. Water-borne diseases are one of the most dangerous threats this monsoon season, and it’s important for you to steer your pup clear of dirty or stagnant water. Keep a good eye on them during walks to make sure they’re not drinking everything in sight. And keep changing their water bowl at home, so that the water they’re drinking is always fresh and clean.
Ah, ticks. This is a common affliction, but it does tend to get more problematic during the rainy season. Prevention is always best with it comes to ticks, so make sure you clean your pet’s bedding often and keep the house tick-free. There are also devices you can attach to your dog’s collar to keep away fleas, such as the Tickless Cream Coloured Anti-Flea Collar Device, which works by emitting ultrasonic pulses that keep away fleas.