Pet Care Basics
Fall and Winter Health Issues in Pets
November 29, 2022
Fall and Winter Health Issues in Pets
Last updated: August 2, 2016
Chronic conditions become dominant in the fall and can linger into winter. These “chronic” issues are not easily treated, so it's better to take preventative steps rather than waiting for issues to arise and using chemical drug therapy to treat.
Fall Allergies in Dogs and Cats
Most of us have this issue – itchy eyes, bronchitis, scratchy skin, and excessive fall shedding all result from fall pollen allergies. The key is to get the allergen off the skin. Use a hypoallergenic shampoo once a week at first and then a spray like Vet Basics® ChlorConazole™ on the tummy between baths. K9 Honey is a great all-natural supplement that gives support during the long allergy season.
Excessive Shedding in Dogs and Cats
Shedding is natural, but excessive shedding is the result of allergy irritations, causing the pet to shed his summer coat quickly. Managing the shedding is best done before bath time by stripping the coat twice weekly with a deshedding tool. This is even more necessary for medium and long-haired dogs. After stripping the coat, you should wash the hair with a hypoallergenic shampoo. The allergies and the hair coat will also respond to Omegaderm-3 once a day. Omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect, plus they encourage soft winter coat growth to replace the summer one.
Cat and Dog Eye Irritation
Fall eyes are itchy and are rubbed excessively. The result is thick tears to soothe the irritation. This results in eye junk accumulating on the eyelids. Some dogs rub excessively and hair that already wants to shed is removed around the eyes. This is unsightly and an indication you will need to help with eye irritation. Using Vetericyn® Ophthalmic Gel or OptixCare® Eye Lube daily will stop the itch and quiet the rubbing. Once under control, eyes should be treated before baths to prevent issues. Daily treatment can resume if rubbing and itching resumes.
Ear Care for Dogs and Cats
Ears are an extension of the skin, so all the scratching and shedding often results in ear infections – usually yeast! Vet Basics® Ear Cleanser or Zymox® Otic with Hydrocortiosone before baths and daily when they start shaking will usually stop it. The ear cleanser acidifies the ear canal, which bacteria and yeast hate. Cleaning takes care of minor issues, but do not hesitate to use Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser if you need treatment. Ear cleaners should never hurt – if the one you have does, stop using it. Vet Basics® Ear Cleanser is commonly used on puppies and will not hurt!
Joint Problems in Dogs and Cats
Cool nights and warm days bring on arthritis and cold is harder on joints, especially on our old and active friends. Our goal is to keep them active and comfortable. It is time to start on Doc Roy's® Aches Away to increase the lube of the joint. This process works well, but takes 30 days to get the full effect and relief. If your dog or cat is already limping, start them on Omegaderm-3 for 30 days to help the soreness. Keep them active with a short walk, and use a jacket for your dog if you live in the colder environments. Going for walks keeps them active and keeps their weight under control. When it's time to rest, give them a warm place to lay down, like the Lectro-Kennel™ Heated Pad. It will help ease the pain of sore joints.
Winter Dog Foot Pad Issues
Foot problems often result from limping, which causes dogs to walk on the sides of their pads. This either causes the pads to tear off or exposes raw tissues under the pad. Both are very painful. We have learned from sled dogs that Doc Roy's® Aches Away given at double doses for two weeks will provide paw and footpad support during the winter months. You can also use a spray like Vet Basics® ChlorConazole™ to help with healing and Musher's Secret to promote healing and eliminate the need to wrap their feet or put socks on again!
Dogs get bored, especially after all the activities of the summer. Winter is when you need to be sure that dogs have chew bones and toys to break up the routine. We often use treats before a walk to get them excited about going outside for exercise.
Winter is a great time of year for a dog if you are ready for it!
If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.
Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Former Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health
Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, practiced veterinary medicine for 30+ years and is known for his work in managing parvovirus. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1985. He served as Revival's Director of Veterinary Services from 2011 until his retirement in 2019.