8 Fall-Related Reasons Pets End Up at the Vet

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A sick dog lays cuddled up under a blanket.

By veterinarians Dr. Marc and Dr. Fiona, for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats

Fall is in full swing, bringing a whole slew of new reasons pets are taken to the veterinarian’s office. Here are eight common fall-related reasons dogs and cats visit the vet.

1. Parvovirus

Some infectious diseases seem to have a seasonality to them, Parvo is one of them.  We tend to see an increase in Parvovirus infections this time of year in unvaccinated puppies.  Always make sure your pets are up to date on vaccines!

2. Allergies

Just like in people, the poor air quality, increased dust and pollen from changing seasons can trigger allergies in pets as well. While we occasionally see pets with respiratory symptoms, many will present with itchy skin and ear infections.

3. Arthritis

Cold weather can exacerbate some older pets’ achy joints.

4. Antifreeze Toxicity

Cold weather brings about the need to put antifreeze in our cars. Antifreeze tastes sweet to dogs and cats and a very small amount can be fatal if ingested.

5. Hunting Type Injuries

Depending on where you live, some more rural areas have dogs trained for hunting purposes. We often see injuries related to outdoor activities, including lacerations and lameness in one or more limbs. Additionally, these outdoor pets typically need to be protected against fleas, ticks and possibly even rattlesnake venom, which all require a trip to the vet’s office.

6. Halloween Related Illnesses

Candy tastes good to whoever is eating it! Dogs can be enticed by chocolate, which is toxic to them, and veterinarians also see gastrointestinal problems related to ingestion of candy wrappers.

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7. Thanksgiving

We all love a good hearty meal with the whole family, and we often want to include our pets. Veterinarians see a spike in pancreatitis and other gastrointestinal issues following the Thanksgiving feast when pets are fed inappropriate human food.

8. Rodenticide Toxicity

The cold weather often drives critters towards warmth. Reaching for rat bait or mouse poison can see like the logical choice, but the poison has been flavored to be enticing to eat, and many pets will readily eat it if given the chance. If left untreated, rodenticide poisoning can be fatal.

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