Visiting Gower – hints and tips on keeping your pets safe
Bringing your pet on holiday checklist
Do you have the following?
- a print out of this page?
- a print out of how to find us?
- your pet's insurance details and a claim form (if applicable)
The Gower Peninsula is famous for its chain of beautiful beaches, picturesque countryside and many historical sites. Within the Gower coastline there lies around twenty five beaches, ranging from widespread sandy beaches such as Oxwich and Rhossili Bay, to isolated coves, hidden away amongst Gower's limestone cliffs. It is for these reasons that hundreds of people visit Gower every year, but these attractions do not come without risks, especially to animals not familiar with the area and its surroundings.
Gower Veterinary Surgery has compiled the following information so that responsible pet owners can be aware of the potential risks and know what action to take should the worst happen.
If you are in any doubt that your pet needs veterinary attention whilst you are in Gower, then you should call us straight away on 01792 299111. We are conveniently situated on the edge of Fairwood Common, for easy access from the peninsula.
It may be useful to print this page and take it on holiday with you.
1. Pets on continuing medication or a known problematic history
If your pet is on long-term medication for a pre existing condition, for example, insulin for diabetics or painkillers for arthritis, then you should make sure that you have enough medication for the duration of your holiday. However, it is a good idea to bring either a copy of your pet’s history from your current veterinary practice or contact details for the practice so, should you run out of medication it will be easy for us to check on the dosage and strength of the medication that your pet needs and supply you with enough to see you through to the end of your stay.
If you know that you will need to make an appointment to see a vet whilst you are on holiday, it is advisable to contact us prior to the commencement of your holiday.
2. Heat stroke
The most common cause of heatstroke in dogs is from being left in a parked car in hot weather but it can also be caused by over exercise in hot weather. Some breeds, usually short nosed breeds like pugs or bulldogs can be more at risk. Dogs cannot tolerate elevated body temperatures as well as humans so symptoms can show rapidly. Symptoms include; rapid, noisy breathing, drooling and sometime vomiting. To help prevent heatstroke, restrict you dogs exercise in hot weather, and never leave dogs in parked cars for long periods of time - Leaving a bowl of water in the car and the window open a little for your pet is not sufficient to prevent heatstroke!
3. Bee strings and snake bites
A dog that has been stung by a bee or bitten by a snake will more than likely show a swelling in the area in which it has been stung or bitten. In some cases the dog may have an allergic reaction resulting in anaphylactic shock. Veterinary treatment is the immediate action to take. It is even more important to get your dog to a vet if it has been bitten or stung on its face, mouth or neck as this can impair breathing.
4. Saltwater and stagnant pools
Excessive ingestion of saltwater can cause dehydration and diarrhoea. You should make sure that your dog is offered plenty of fresh water before and after a run on the beach to reduce the risk of dehydration.
Stagnant water from puddles and ponds can contain bacteria, parasites and viruses that form from the lack of movement of the water. This can cause vomiting and diarrhoea amongst other problems if a dog drinks too much from them.
If you are worried that your dog is experiencing a problem from either salt or stagnant water contact us straight away.
5. Dead carcasses
Whilst out and about with your dog in Gower you may come across dead animal carcasses. Many dogs find dead carcasses extremely interesting but you should do your best to keep your dog away from them. The carcass may be covered in parasites that could have an effect on your dog. If your dog attempts to eat it, they could swallow large pieces of bone which are indigestible and may end up stuck in the dog’s throat or further down the digestive tract. Pieces of bone or other material stuck in this way can cause vomiting and in some cases may have to surgically removed. Rotten meat can also cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
There are many, many things that can poison a dog; signs of poisoning may include collapse, muscular twitching, vomiting or bleeding.
7. Lung worm
Lung worm is particularly prevalent in South Wales. There are routine worm and spot on treatments that can be used to prevent the contraction of lungworm; it is a good idea to use these preventatives all year round. However, lungworm is usually recognised by a persistent cough.
8. Fish hooks and other debris
If your dog swallows anything whilst out walking on the beach or in the countryside it is best to take it to see a vet as soon as you can . Anything your dog picks up (sticks, bits of plastic, bone) could end up as a foreign body – vomiting is the main symptom that your dog has a foreign body in its gut. If your dog swallows a fish hook or ends up with debris stuck in its throat DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE IT – just seek immediate veterinary advice.
9. Other dogs – bites etc and high cliffs
If your dog is unfortunate enough to be injured by another dog you should contact us for advice or if the wound is bleeding badly bring your dog into see us straight away. Be sure to get the details of the owner of the other dog.
Please be aware of the height of some of the cliffs around the Gower walks. Many of these cliffs are extremely high so keeping playing, running or retrieving games with your dog away from these areas is advisable.
Finally, if you have pet insurance for your dog then be sure to bring the policy details along with you. The company name, contact number and policy number should be sufficient – if you have access to a claims form this is usually a big help too. Please see our terms of trade page for more information about how we deal with insurance claims.
The map of Gower on this page has been sourced with permission from Gower Holidays who own and maintain the copyright.