What Lies Below?

Despite what the calendar says, Spring does not seem to be coming to Edmonton anytime soon. While people on the West Coast have been mowing their lawns for more than a month, those from Westlock to Leduc cannot seem to put away their snow blowers.

Trust me; Spring is coming (but not soon enough) in the next few weeks. Soon, the planters on the main street of Morinville will be filled with flowers, and the cold winds blowing snow sideways will fade from memory. For those who have pet’s the disappearance of the snow is not all good news.

At Morinville Vet Clinic, we are starting to see a sudden upswing in dogs that have their allergies suddenly getting out of control. It does seem that this year is worse than the previous few. There is a reason for this obvious increase in cases. The weather pattern that is keeping Winter hanging on longer (the so-called “Polar Vortex”) is compressing the pollen season. The same numbers of plants are producing the same amount of pollen this year; they are just being forced to do it in half the time. This leads to a lot more pollen floating around in the air. Anyone in the Morinville area with hay fever can tell you that this is happening. If there is a bright side, it is that compressing the pollen season gets your pet through it quicker.

There is something else that arrives when the snow leaves Morinville for good this year. All the garbage and dead plants and rancid food that has been frozen and buried for months is suddenly revealed. For many dogs, this unexpected buffet is a glorious surprise. They do not make a connection with the unbearable nausea and diarrhea that will certainly follow in a few hours. For the owner that never saw their dog getting this “extra meal”, it is a shock to see their dog get sick for no obvious reason. The sickness may only last a few days, but those days seem horrible for the dog and the owner.

A good way to head off this problem is to go around your yard as soon as the snow melts and scoop up and dispose of all things rotten. When you see how much there is to clean up in your yard, it is almost enough for you to wish the snow was back. Almost!

Written by Dr. Michael High