Inspectors here to help pet owners

Genna HaynesBusselton Dunsborough Times
Loki was treated for flea allergies and ear infections by the RSPCA and made a great recovery in foster care before he was adopted.
Camera IconLoki was treated for flea allergies and ear infections by the RSPCA and made a great recovery in foster care before he was adopted.

Did you know RSPCA is the only non-government organisation with the power to enforce animal cruelty laws in WA?

Inspectors see cruelty, neglect and abandonment on a daily basis and are often required to execute search warrants, seize animals, and prosecute owners.

But you might be surprised to learn that a key part of inspectors’ work to prevent cruelty actually involves working with owners to address welfare concerns.

More often than not the animals reported to RSPCA WA are loved but their owners have fallen on hard financial times or lack the knowledge to identify health issues in their animals.

By offering support like parasite control, pet food and advice, inspectors help keep pets and owners together.

Hundreds of pets are supported like this every year in regard to eye, ear and skin issues.

Here are some great tips on identifying pet health problems and symptoms:

Many ear infections go untreated, because pet owners don’t realise how painful this can be for their fur friend. To prevent infection, check your pet’s ears on a regular basis.

Signs of ear infection include head shaking, ear scratching or rubbing, odour or discharge.

Eye issues commonly seen range in seriousness from uncomfortable discharge and infection, to more serious issues like entropion, which can require surgery.

Signs something is not right with a pet’s eyes include excessive discharge, redness, squinting, or holding an eye closed. Eye issues can worsen quickly, so it’s best to get the animal checked as soon as possible.

There are many causes for skin problems in pets, but flea allergy dermatitis is a common one.

This condition can result in hair loss or infection, and the owners may put off treatment because they are worried about the costs.

However, the solution is as simple as year-round flea control.

To catch skin issues early, check over your pet regularly for lumps and bumps, and watch for changes in behaviour, such as scratching or excessive licking of the skin. It’s also so important to stay up to date with flea, tick and worming treatments to protect your pet.

Skin and weight problems are the RSPCA’s most common issues.

A recent case was a 13-year-old dog who became ill after her elderly owner sprayed weed killer in the yard, without realising the dangers.

The poor girl had lost so much weight and I was glad to be able to help with food and advice to help her recover.

Visit kb.rspca.org.au for more.

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