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Get Portland Vets’ vital guide to dog health this summer

Get Portland Vets’ vital guide to dog health this summer

July 21, 2023

The veterinary team here at Portland Vets regularly sees similar cases, year after year, once the summer months roll around.

Our Head Vet Laura Sulsh discusses below some of the most common conditions that can affect your pet with advice on how to avoid these and keep your pet healthy.

Contact us if your dog needs treatment

1. Heatstroke

When exercising your pet, the outside temperature isn’t the only thing you should think about; your dog’s breed, coat type, anatomy, health, and activity levels should all be considered.

As a general rule of thumb, all dogs should avoid exercising during the hottest part so of the day when it’s reaches upwards of 20 degrees Celsius. However, our Head Vet Laura Sulsh asks owners of large breeds, overweight dogs, older dogs, overly active dogs, thick coated or brachycephalic (flat faced) breeds to be aware that these dogs may suffer more and in lower temperatures too.

Heatstroke is not just limited to the summer months; however, it is much more likely to affect your pet when it’s warm.

Heatstroke occurs when your dog’s body cannot cope with the rise of their internal temperature, this in turn starts to damage their soft tissues and organs. In fatal cases, these damaged organs will fail, causing death. Be vigilant with your pet’s summer management and keep a close eye on them for the following symptoms: vomiting, panting, lethargy and your pet collapsing.

2. Dehydration

Your dog may suffer from dehydration if they do not consume enough water. Whether this is because they are overactive, they are not big drinkers, or they could be suffering from an undiagnosed, underlying health condition, if your dog becomes dehydrated, they will need veterinary attention. Treatment usually involves fluids being given intravenously to quickly replace any they have lost and a course of antibiotics, anti-pain medication and anti-sickness medication may also be prescribed.

In general, dogs should consume daily approximately 50-60ml of clean water per kilogram of their body weight. For example, a 10kg dog should be consuming 500 – 600ml of water a day.

Keeping an eye on your pet’s drinking habits in the summer is a good way to reduce the risk of dehydration. Symptoms to look out for are a dry nose, loss of appetite, dry gums, loss of skin elasticity and in more severe cases, sunken eyes and your dog may collapse.

Top tip from our team: Add some water to your dog’s meals to encourage them to take in more fluids.

3. Sunburn

Owners who are registered with Portland Vets seem shocked that their dog can suffer from sunburn. The most commonly affected areas are noses, ears and other exposed areas not protected by fur.

If your dog’s ear tips are dry, cracked or misshapen, or you spot ulcers, wounds or rashes on your pet, they could be suffering from sunburn. If your dog becomes severely sunburnt, they may seem generally unwell or may have a slight fever.

We often have to treat pets for infections that have developed at the sunburn site. Head Vet Laura Sulsh warns all dog owners to look out for skin blistering or/and pus oozing from the site – if this is the case, your dog will need emergency veterinary intervention to help get on top of the infection promptly.

The easiest way to avoid sunburn is to keep your pet out of the sun during the hottest part of the day and invest in a pet-safe sunscreen.

4. Summer parasites

During the warmer months, pet parasites are often more active, resulting in a higher risk of disease for your dog. The concentration of ticks usually increases due to the natural increase in dog footfall at common areas, such as the park or local woodland. These carry a number of diseases, but the most common disease affecting both dogs and humans, is Lyme Disease. Fleas also love to thrive in warm, yet damp conditions – so the warmer months when your dog is hot, and the weather is humid, is when you should be on high alert for potential flea infestations.

Keeping your dog up to date with their parasitic treatments throughout the year will help to keep them safe and reduce the need for veterinary treatment this summer. Contact us about parasite prevention.

Other seasonal parasites, such as horse flies and mosquitos are seen during the summer and autumn months and can bite both dogs and humans alike. Always keep an eye on your pet for any new lumps and bumps they may have and contact us if you notice anything unusual.

5. Poisonous plants

Laura Sulsh warns that as beautiful as some garden plants become in the summer, many of them are toxic to dogs when ingested. For example, foxgloves and lilies contain cardiac glycoside toxins, which will interfere with the electrolyte balance in your dog’s heart muscles which can be fatal. Symptoms include, tremors, seizures, nausea, drooling, dilated pupils, and your vet will be able to detect abnormalities when listening to your pet’s heart.

Always monitor your dog whilst they are outside and contact us immediately if you suspect your dog could have ingested something poisonous.

6. Open water

If your dog loves open water, Portland Vets understands that they will definitely want to go swimming once summer is here. However, as an owner, it is important to consider the safety of your pet before they even begin paddling. Hidden hazards underneath the water could cause your pet injury, and open water may be subject to currents and undercurrents. Blue green algae (cyanobacteria) is usually found in lakes, ponds and streams around the UK and is toxic to dogs. It’s not always visible so can be a big risk even if the water looks safe.

Ingesting either sea water or water containing cyanobacteria is a big contributor to dehydration – after ingesting the water, dogs will often experience vomiting or diarrhoea. Always ensure you have fresh drinking water to hand for your dog.

Ear infections and skin irritations from sand are also two other conditions we tend to treat in the summer. Always make sure you thoroughly hose your dog with fresh water after any type of swimming and invest in a veterinary approved ear cleaning solution.

7. Barbeques and fireworks

Even with our unpredictable British weather, most people in the UK will attend a barbeque over summer. However, taking your pet could put them at risk.

As well as the risk of burning, many BBQ dishes are prepared on kebab sticks, these can be ingested with left overs and cause problems within the gut. If you suspect your dog has eaten a kebab stick, contact us immediately as we may be able to remove this endoscopically before it leaves the stomach. The different cooking methods may upset your dog’s stomach causing vomiting or diarrhoea, whilst large pieces of meat could lead to obstruction or choking – both needing veterinary help.

Fireworks, festivals and other outdoor celebrations near to where you live could frighten your dog. Chat to our team here at Portland Vets to discuss what options are available to help your pet cope with their fear of loud noises.

Book a consultation with one of our vets to discuss any of the risks listed above. If you believe your pet is suffering from one of these conditions, call Portland Vets immediately on 01342 327799.

Share this advice with other dog owners using the share buttons in this article.

Contact us if your dog needs vet care

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Irene N.
Irene N.
1713373296
Thank you for being so great and updating on our kitten and being with him till the last minute ❤️🌈
Lynne S.
Lynne S.
1711701593
Great staff.They most certainly care for our pets.Thank you to you all
Matt B.
Matt B.
1710793784
Big thanks to Ellie for her professional, caring and support during our sad time today.
Odette S.
Odette S.
1710515656
Very caring, sensible and knowledgeable advice given.
Tina T.
Tina T.
1710250923
My 2 kitties were neutered and microchipped today, handed them over was so relaxed and the same picking them up, the staff are always friendly and polite. One of the best vets I have ever been too. Lucy kept me updated all the time, it was nice. Thank you my kitties are very happy just not forgiven me yet.
David R.
David R.
1709497446
Both our dogs are registered there very friendly and very good service
Julia A.
Julia A.
1707226061
Friendly and helpful reception staff and vet Tori was so kind and considerate to my pet. Excellent service as always. Thank you.
Adam B.
Adam B.
1707118465
New pup owner and new to the area, made so welcome and excellent care
Jonathan P.
Jonathan P.
1706637472
Portland's are a lovely vet! The animal comes first, which we as a family love.
JFD
JFD
1705594616
Excellent vets, excellent admin staff, great premises. What more could you wish for your pets?
Sue H.
Sue H.
1704787093
All the staff at Portland Road vets, East Grinstead are wonderful, nothing seems too much. Kind, helpful, caring, everything an animal owner would want personally & for their much loved & adored pet. Thankyou.
Beth S.
Beth S.
1701597939
Ellie is absolutely incredible, such a brilliant, compassionate and understanding vet. I cannot thank her enough. Valerie has been so helpful too. We've had a lovely experience here recently, thank you all x
Tony F.
Tony F.
1701195261
The team in East Grinstead handled the death of our Yorkshire Terrier, Tatti, with great sensitivity and understanding, in what was a difficult time for us. Thank you so much. Tony & Lloika.
Daniel P.
Daniel P.
1700569190
Thankyou so much to the Team, and especially Lucy, was very anxious about bringing my cat in today, but I knew as soon as I had a chat with the nurse she put them nerves to rest. I would definitely recommend to anyone to bring their pet here!!! Thanks guys x
Cath S.
Cath S.
1700234838
We've always had such a great service from all the staff at Portland vets. With 3 dogs and a cat we visit regulary through the year for vaccinations, check ups and occasional illnesses/injuries.We recently had to say a sad farewell to our 18 year old cat Tigerlily and this upsetting event was made more bareable with the care and empathy given by not only the vet Lucy but the receptionist Jilly too.Over the past 9 years we've always had a great service with kind, welcoming staff who go the extra mile to make the patients vet visits as relaxing, calm and stressfree as possible.With a dog that is wary of strangers the staff have gone above and beyond to help Amber settle and are very understanding of her behaviour.We can't thank them enough for their excellent service.
mark Z.
mark Z.
1699974267
My Bloodhound stole and ate 2 large mince pies. I contacted Portland at East Grinstead, a totally professional member of staff answered the phone and recognized the serious nature of the situation. She made an immediate appointment and asked me to come in now. The short version is these vets know what they are doing, the staff we saw were outstanding. The Vet was one of the best I have come across, super knowledgeable and genuinely cared. I have no reservation about recommending this vets to anyone, without compromise they saved my dog from being seriously ill. Watson and I thank you all
Nicola H.
Nicola H.
1698951329
Always really helpful and caring. Cooper is a hound with a bit of beagle in there somewhere, hence he loves to sing, very vocal. Laura is a great vet, very thorough and explains everything and both my dogs love her. Wouldn't go to anyone else. A true professional. Thank you for always being there for my boys.
Lindsey B.
Lindsey B.
1697470750
Could not be kinder, what an amazing team thankyou for everything
Chantelle A.
Chantelle A.
1694447557
I can not say thank you enough to the entire team at Portland vets for how well they looked after my little frenchie. It was such a worrying few days but knowing how well he was being looked after with the constant updates from nurses, really did help put our minds at ease. I wish you weren't so far away otherwise i'd have switched all my of my dogs over to you.
Paul C.
Paul C.
1694195481
Sensitive and caring. ❤️
pauline B.
pauline B.
1694021573
Lovely warm atmosphere staff very efficient and pleasant
Alice S.
Alice S.
1693665468
So lucky to have such a great Vets in East Grinstead!
Patricia W.
Patricia W.
1693474776
Very good food and service 👍
Rebecca M.
Rebecca M.
1692995634
I can’t express how wonderful Portland vets have been. My little pug Daisy has been very unwell, everyone involved in her care has been fantastic. From the Vet Laura, who has been super attentive, updating us on Daisy’s condition and being so compassionate and professional. To the reception staff who have been so polite and helpful. I cannot thank you enough.
Sandra G.
Sandra G.
1690805717
Very lovely staff and the vets are great to go to looks after your sick animal
H B.
H B.
1689170288
I have been going here for several years now, really friendly team, quick to respond on email and phone, great vets and very knowledgeable. Also one great vet here too for exotic pets. There is enough parking, easy app for mobile as well to contact the team and in a good location.
denise G.
denise G.
1688800930
Could ask for better treatment from the reception staff to the vets very proffesional and more than helpful. Everything explained as well
Vince T.
Vince T.
1688673952
Excellent care, always. Nothing is to much trouble, all staff kind, caring and understanding, with the best receptionists. Always able to book an appointment, even at short notice, and they have always treated my dog as if it was 1 of their own, so lucky I found them.
Daniela G.
Daniela G.
1688483311
Always super nice! My cat absolutely loves going to the vet. I had an emergency some months back, and they were ready to help and did help after my cat fell off a flight of stairs. I would definitely recomend
Pat N.
Pat N.
1687940061
Brilliant service very caring staff, appointment went well
Dave M.
Dave M.
1686323799
Couldn't be happier with the service and care. They look after my Akita and my cats, nothing is too much trouble.
Tina B.
Tina B.
1682770866
Sadly, we had to say goodbye to one of our dogs recently. From my tearful telephone call to book the appointment, right through to her passing with the vet's help, we were dealt with in the most caring, compassionate and sensitive way. The staff at this practice are the best and I wouldn't take my pets anywhere else.
Kathryn
Kathryn
1682714666
Really friendly vets! Best we’ve been to! The staff are very friendly, their customer service is great, and they also have a useful app where you can send photos if you think your pet might have an issue, and it saves having to make an unnecessary appointment if they don’t! :)
Gary H.
Gary H.
1682495147
Lovely staff who take the time to explain things fully. They look after our pets beautifully.
S B
S B
1681673343
Lovely place. The vets, the staff and the whole set up. Unlike many places they respond promptly and helpfully to emails too!
PAPER
PAPER
1681320757
Kindest staff ❤️
Jan H.
Jan H.
1680028948
Really great service, compassion from all the team here. Thank you All
David P.
David P.
1677911115
Great team
John W
John W
1677668030
We had the very sad journey today and I have to say everyone was amazing. Our vet gave us an honest view and after some time we decided to let our treasured dog to sleep. The time given while the decission was made and throughout the process was amazing, nothing was rushed, nothing was any trouble, everything was explained and while this was our first time with this vets I would recommend them to anyone. Amazing care for our feelings and the attention paid to make this process as best it could of been was just amazing. While I am heart broken as are my children I have to say everything was handled with the upmost of care and respect and I shall be eternally greatful for the way everything was dealt with. RIP our amazing Harry. Thank you all for your help and support last night.
MsV V.
MsV V.
1677325579
I had to take my cat (Molly) to a vet quite urgently and wasn't registered to one.Portland Vets were fantastic. From making my initial call through to when we arrived, seeing the vet and leaving.Everyone was so lovely. A special thanks to Katy, the vet. Katy was so thorough with Molly and with us too. We fully understood everything thanks to Katys explanation.Thank you so much to all at 'Portland Vets' ❤️
Steph R.
Steph R.
1673965291
Really happy with Portland Vets. They are friendly and approachable and the service is much better than other vets I have used.
Paul W.
Paul W.
1671748565
Fantastic with our dogs.
Debra B.
Debra B.
1669590485
Caring, attentive vets, veterinary nurses and very helpful receptionists.
Gill C.
Gill C.
1667513244
Very friendly and knowledgeable vets. Our pet tortoise goes there to hibernate and they keep us fully informed at all times.
Larissa G.
Larissa G.
1666450307
Clínica veterinária excelente!!
Jamie T.
Jamie T.
1660717925
So much time and care given. Never rushed. They go above and beyond. This place is brilliant
angela T.
angela T.
1659092686
I had to take ou dog to this practice for an out of hours emergency appointment, we are registered with their Horley branch. They were amazing with him, he had to be admitted over night and needed emergency surgery the next morning. Fantastic service from the moment you step in the door, communication was brilliant, talked through every step of the way, it was a horrible weekend of worrying made a whole lot better knowing he was in the best possible hands.I'm pleased to say he is doing well but even if he hadn't come through I know he wouldn't have had a better chance than with this team. I have owned dogs for over 30yrs and had them as a child so im speaking from experience with different vets over many years, these vets really do care about your animals, I actually chose these vets when an awful large chain took over my previous vets because I had used the lovely Laura before at one of her previous positions and although she doesn't work at Horley I knew if she worked for the company then they had to be a good team as I know she is a vet that cares for the animals, I've so far not been proved wrong as every vet we have seen has been great. We were lucky enough to have Laura look after our dog and perform his operation, as I said before it was so lovely to know he couldn't have been in better hands. I just wish you were 24/7, although he still received great care from the out of hours vets, they are all based such a long way away from us, I wouldn't want to be taking a sick animal that far, thankfully moving him from you was only half the time it would have taken from home. I understand the reasoning behind it all, it is just a shame it's all going over to the large chains again, I think private hospital care would have been cheaper and they knew we didn't have insurance cover as we had already reached our limit.**I need to point out my concern over prices is with Vets Now and not with Portland Vets, for all the surgery and treatment he received from Portland I believe their pricing was very fair, it was the price for the care at Vets Now that really hit hard, I know it is out of hours but so was Thursday and Friday night at Portland!
Alison F.
Alison F.
1657386543
I took my cat Patch in today, this was his final journey, I would just like to thank Alex and the staff for showing Patch and myself care and compassion. I really appreciated. Thank you
Laura H.
Laura H.
1657274809
My goldie recently came for an op and I was so impressed and grateful for the amazing care he (and I) recieved.Thank you 😊
Sue B.
Sue B.
1657214623
All good, arrived 5 mins early, seen straight away. Routine appt so no stress involved for pooch. Saw one of her favourite nurses.
Chantal C.
Chantal C.
1654253581
Always receiving great service when my cat needs it. Staff is very professional and friendly. I have a fearful cat but she feels comfortable to be handled by the vets.
Paul A.
Paul A.
1648831115
Always friendly and giving you the confidence to leave your pet in their hands
PFH S.
PFH S.
1646258723
Thank you to the whole team for all the care today to Annie during her surgery.5 Star service from being greeted at reception, meeting the vet for pre-op assessment, to updates from the nurses and handover tonight on collection.Annie has had better care than a human would get in a top private hospital.
Patrick R.
Patrick R.
1644909974
Super friendly staff!
Adrian F.
Adrian F.
1644663799
My cats go here and there so good with the cats the staff are brilliant friendly
Megan D.
Megan D.
1636889173
Wouldn't trust anyone else with my puppy!!
Chrissie
Chrissie
1636885734
They have really looked after our cat well. We usually see Lucy (vet) and really feel like she cares.
Cara T.
Cara T.
1632690494
When my nervous 6mth old kitten went in for her post op check, the vetinary nurse made my kitten feel very comfortable by offering her treats and being very careful with her
Geoff 1.
Geoff 1.
1631095286
Very compassionate staff when our greyhound needed to be euthanized, cannot fault
Emma P.
Emma P.
1630693705
Brilliant vets, genuinely care about your pet, great service and advice can highly recommend
Matthew W.
Matthew W.
1629991744
Always very helpful and fantastic service we have always used this vets. The dog even got a get well card 👍 thank you Portland road vets
Lozza P
Lozza P
1627474693
Amazing practise. The staff are amazing. They always look after my hamster, Champ, making sure he's all better again. They explain things well and make sure I know I am making the best decisions for my hamster. Laura, Katie and anyone else involved, Thank you so much for looking after my lil' bean.
Jess E.
Jess E.
1625558800
So much care given to my puppy especially when he has had to have an operation recently. He loves it there 😍
Lizzi P.
Lizzi P.
1625223795
Absolutely love this Vets. Everyone is so friendly and understanding but most of all my dog Diesel loves it to. As soon as we start walking up Portland Road he knows exactly where is going and is pulling on his lead to get there. Absolutely recommend this Vets.
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