Be mindful of pets during storm events
AS BRISBANE, Southeast Queensland and possibly the Northern Rivers brace for three days of thunderstorms and a potential 'super cell' - read our story here - veterinarians are urging pet owners to prepare their animals and look out for signs of storm phobia.
Dr Guy Weerasinghe, President of the Australian Veterinary Association's (AVA) Public Health special interest group, said that veterinarians often receive calls from concerned animal owners in the lead up to and during storms.
Signs of storm phobia can include:
- dilated pupils
- licking lips
which may lead to animals hiding, self-harming or even running away.
Triggers can include:
- loud thunderclaps
- flashes of lightning
- a drop in barometric pressure.
"If your pet shows signs of storm phobia, contact your veterinarian to help create a storm plan and ensure your pet is microchipped," Dr Weerasinghe said.
"Unfortunately, with climate change exacerbating extreme weather, such impacts on our animals will only get worse as these weather events become more frequent and intense."
Dr Weerasinghe said pet owners should be prepared for natural disasters, and the AVA recommends setting up a natural disaster kit with food, water and any medication the pet may require.
The Australian Veterinary Association is currently developing a policy statement on the impact of climate change on animal health.