FROM REA CORD, HSEC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Are we still having our Getting Down with the Dawgs $10,000 Drawdown? Short answer is YES! It is that pesky date that is giving us trouble but look for it in April so, yes, later than everyone is used to. As soon as we can work out the date with Wind Creek Wetumpka, we will shout it from the rooftops – well, we will post it on our Facebook page, on our website, on our signboard and in this future newsletter.
While we are getting a break from freezing temperatures for a while we certainly are not getting a break from the rain. Prolonged rain can cause issues for pets and livestock that are worth being on the lookout for.
One of the first things that comes to mind with all this wet weather is how soft it makes the ground, making it easier for our dogs to dig in. This can also make it a lot easier for a diligent escape artist to dig out of a fence. Vigilance is key as it is amazing how big a hole an energetic dog can dig in a short period of time. Walk your fences and look for the start of holes so you can take measures to stop the digging before your dog escapes.
For both dogs and livestock, this is the time of year when old trees decide to topple, often taking out fencing when they fall. Old wood fence posts can rot over time and long periods of wet weather can accelerate their demise. Horses or cattle leaning on or over fencing can push over old fence and fence posts when the ground is as soft as it is right now. This means livestock owners should also be walking/checking their fence lines to look for downed trees and failing fences. Loose livestock can endanger the public as well as the livestock so let’s keep them safely fenced at home.
Dogs that are kept in limited space fenced areas (or tied) may be standing in a nasty mix of water, urine and poop and that is certainly not healthy for them. Of course, the best answer is for them to have a large fenced yard so that when not in the house with their family they can seek out the driest areas as they choose. If a small fenced area is basically underwater – MOVE IT! And give your dog(s) adequate and legal shelter so they can get out of all of this inclement weather and stay dry. That also means checking and changing their bedding so they are not trying to sleep on soaking wet bedding or straw – would you like to sleep in a soaking wet bed??
Horse and pet owners can find themselves dealing with “rain rot” this time of year if their animal’s undercoats stay wet for extended periods. This condition can cause scabbing, hair loss and discomfort for the animal. Stopping rain rot before it becomes extensive is the key and knowing to look for this condition now and during spring rains is important. The advice on treating rain rot abounds – as always, the best bet is to consult your Veterinarian.
And while we humans wear shoes and boots in nasty weather our pets and livestock certainly don’t. Any animal foot/hoof subjected to prolonged exposure to wet mud can develop bacterial infections that can cause pain and lameness. Just like us, animals like dry feet and adequate Shelter comes in yet again so that they can get to a dry area for periods of time and dry out. Think of spending days barefoot in wet, cold mud and how good your feet would feel.
For all of our animals, shelter from wet, cold, windy weather will go a very long way to keeping them healthy. Bring your pets inside and, if you do not have a barn, give livestock well-situated run in sheds they can access to get out of the weather as they choose – they will appreciate it.