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Protecting Eyes & Ears, Paws & Claws

With long, sunny days come adventures, holidays, and being outdoors more. For our furry friends, all this extra time exploring can increase their chances of illness and injuries.

Eyes and ears can become infected, especially with an increase in swimming, ear mites can take hold, and paw pads can burn on hot surfaces. Grass seeds can embed between toes or scratch eyes. Nails may need trimming and claws clipped. Proactively checking your pet for symptoms will help keep them safe this summer.

Why does my dog or cat have watery eyes?

How can you resist puppy dog eyes? Are you captivated by cat eyes? Healthy eyes are beautiful, bright, and clear. The third eyelid, with a special gland to produce tears to keep eyes moist and protected, should not be visible. Some discharge can be the normal process of cleaning and flushing eyes, however if weepy eyes continue it may mean there is an underlying issue.

Watery eyes can be caused by:

  • excess tear production
  • blocked tear ducts
  • an allergic reaction
  • an infection

How do I know if my cat or dog has an eye infection?

Common causes of an eye infection in your household pets can include upper respiratory infections (cat flu, canine distemper), conjunctivitis (pink eye), corneal ulcers, an eye injury, or cherry eye (when the gland in their third eyelid pops out). 

Signs that your cat or day may have an eye infection are:

  • red and swollen eyes
  • coloured or smelly eye discharge
  • excessive pawing at their eyes

Keep an eye on your pet’s eyes and please contact us if they become red, swollen, or have discharge.
 

How do I know if my cat or dog has an ear infection?

In summer, your pets are more prone to itchy ears and infections. Are your cat or dog’s ears red and inflamed? Ear infections become more common with the increase in swimming and humidity during summer, especially in dogs with floppy ears. You may see them scratching their ears more, you may even smell them! Otitis externa (inflammation of the external ear canal) is common and will cause your pet to have:

  • red and sore ears
  • black or yellow smelly discharge
  • increased headshaking 
  • increased ear scratching

 

How do I know if my cat or dog has ear mites?

Is your pet scratching their ears? Ear mites are a common parasite in cats and dogs. They sit on the skin of the ear canal and live off skin oils and ear wax. An ear mite infestation will cause your pet to have:

  • red and swollen ears
  • brown granular discharge
  • increased headshaking
  • increased ear scratching

Regularly inspect your pet’s ears and contact us if they show any of the above symptoms.

Why do dogs lick their paws?

It is normal for your dog to lick their paws daily to keep them clean or remove excess moisture However, there may be something wrong if your dog has red paws and is licking them at any chance they can get.

Dogs over-lick their paws due to:

  • anxiety, stress, or boredom
  • bites or stings
  • allergies
  • dermatitis
  • infection or injury, such as burns from hot concrete or sand, cuts, and imbedded grass seeds.

 

Is your cat licking and shaking their paws?

It's normal for cats to shake their paws when wet or if something has stuck to them, but if they are licking and shaking their paws excessively, it can be from flea bites or injury.

Fleas love the warm weather and can become very irritating to your cat if not treated. In summer, cats are more likely to burn their paws on hot surfaces, like the BBQ or a hot tin roof. Both pain and itching will make cats lick and shake their paws. 

Regularly inspect your pet’s paws, looking between their toes and checking their pads. Please contact us if they are red, swollen, smelly, or painful to touch.


Are you maintaining the health of your pet's claws?

Every day walking and scratching naturally files your dog's nails and your cat's claws down to a manageable length. However, there are cases where you may need to help your pet by trimming and clipping their nails for them every few weeks. Don't forget about your dog's dewclaws (the claws that don't touch the ground regularly, located on the inside of their legs just above the foot)! 

You may need to trim their claws if your pet: 

  • mostly exercises on soft ground
  • spends majority of their time indoors
  • is unable or unwilling to exercise, due to injury or old age
  • has claws that are no longer retracting, especially elderly cats
  • dog's dewclaws overgrow, as they don’t touch the ground


Cats and dogs don’t tend to enjoy their nails cut or claws clipped, either due to being restrained or having a previous painful experience. It is important that this is done correctly - our friendly team will tell you how to clip pet nails or they can do it for you.

If your pet’s symptoms continue please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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Disclaimer: This article provides general information only. It is not intended as medical or health advice and should not be relied on as a substitute for consultation with a qualified healthcare professional who understands your pet's individual needs.