It’s the hottest part of the summer in most of North America, and you and your Corgi are probably finding ways to have fun and stay cool at the same time. But in the quest to stay active during these sweltering summer days, you need to remain vigilant about summer hazards you and your Corgi may encounter. Here are some of the most common summer hazards your Corgi must avoid.
Blue-Green Algae – You may have seen the dozens of posts on social media lately about dogs who died after exposure to toxic blue-green algae. Not actually algae but a bacteria called cyanobacteria, it’s found in still bodies of fresh water during hot, rainless seasons. Cyanobacteria clumps together, giving it the appearance of algae, and can turn water green or pool on the surface like a slick or scum, and sometimes has an unpleasant odor. But, toxic blue-green algae can also be undetectable so if in doubt, don’t let your Corgi near it. Even getting it on their paws and licking it off can make your Corgi sick, or even cause death.
Symptoms of blue-green algae poisoning: diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, weakness, confusion, seizures, breathing problems, and loss of consciousness. Symptoms can appear as soon as fifteen minutes and up to several days after exposure so seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect blue-green algae poisoning.
Rattlesnakes – Dogs are much more likely than humans to be bitten by a rattlesnake, so if you live in rattlesnake country, it’s a good idea to get your Corgi the rattlesnake vaccine. The rattlesnake vaccine does not eliminate the need for antivenom should your Corgi be bitten by a rattlesnake, but it does reduce the intensity of harm inflicted by the venom when compared to no vaccine. That said, you should get your Corgi to a vet immediately if you suspect they’ve been bitten. Other preventative measures to take in rattlesnake territory: clear brush and refuse from your yard (they make attractive hiding places for rattlesnakes) and when hiking/walking your Corgi, stay on trails or walkways and keep your Corgi leashed at all times.
Symptoms of rattlesnake bite: bleeding puncture wounds, swelling around the wound, slow/uneven breathing, whimpering, lethargy. (*Be aware the snake may still be in the area so get away safely and head directly to a vet. Do NOT try to tourniquet, suck venom or otherwise treat the wound. Snake bites are extremely painful, and time is of the essence, so let the experts treat it as soon as possible.)
In our next blog, we’ll look at a few more common summer hazards and how you can avoid them to keep your Corgi safe. Let us know in comments if you have questions or other hazards you’d like us to cover!