The beautiful sunny weather in Vancouver is gone and has turned into damp rainy October. A
part from more dreams of Maui, it also means potential for more disease and viruses. Animals,
like us, can also be sensitive to changes in weather and can lower the immune system and leave
your pet susceptible to diarrhea, skin disease, fungal conditions, and other viruses.
When your animal comes in from the rain, carefully dry your pet off with a towel.
Make sure to get the paws especially as they are get into contact with the ground and are greatest
risk of infection. If your animal has long hair and your pet doesn’t mind, you might even
consider using a blow dryer.
One of the most common parasites that is a danger to your pet is called Giardia, commonly
called ‘Beaver Fever’. It is typically picked up by drinking contaminated water from a pond. It
can cause diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue and vomiting, and if untreated can lead to death.
Another common problem is skin disease, which are mostly caused by fungi. These can cause
your pet to scratch and lead to an open wound which then can become infected. You can prevent
this from happening to your dog by proper grooming, either cutting long hair, or bathing your
animal. Since cats groom themselves, you don’t have to worry as much about them. However, if
your pet does get a skin disease, consider using an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial shampoo to
sooth the effected area.
Worms are yet another health problem for pets, and although aren’t as prevalent in the Fall and
Winter season, the life cycle can be up to six months which means they can still cause a problem
during this time. There are five type of worms that affect your pets and unfortunately certain
types of worms are easier to spot than others. If left untreated, worms can even lead to anaemia,
a condition of low red blood cell count that leads to fatigue and loss of energy and even death.
Because of Vancouver’s temporal climate, it never gets cold enough to kill off pets like ticks,
fleas, and mites. Although these pests don’t breed as much in the cold seasons, the controlled
environment of many homes can cause them to travel from building to building in relative ease.
Dogs, and outdoor cats, can pick up these pests while walking through dense bushes and grass.
Ticks are responsible for transmission of a wide variety of diseases, most notably Lyme disease-
a bacterial infection that can cause fever, joint inflammation and lameness.
Because of Vancouver’s density and with a limited number of off-leash parks, most dogs are
spending a lot of time together in relatively close quarters. This can lead to relatively easy
transmission of diseases.
When your pet goes out in the rain, be extra cautious and pay extra attention to them and their
behaviour. If you see any signs of distress then contact your vet at once. If you’re pets vaccines
aren’t up to date, now would be a good time to take them to your local vet. If you do, then your
animal will have a happy, healthy Fall and Winter.