Over the past several years, the earth has experienced extreme weather patterns from heat to cold, hurricanes to flooding, and tsunamis to snowfalls. While many of us are learning to adapt to the immediate emergencies, let us see how does climate change affect animals?
Big Weather Changes
We are having hotter and longer summers, which can be deadly if not prepared for. Animals struggle too, with heatstroke, sunburn and dehydration in hot weather – and in some cases, these conditions can be fatal. Brachycephalic dog breeds, like pugs, French bulldogs and boxers, suffer the most. Because, of their short faces it is hard for them to regulate and remove excess heat. As temperatures climb, you will have to make sure that the animals around you can stay cool.
Watch the video to know how do climate change affect animals –
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Warmer temperatures and wetter weather give birth to ticks and mosquitoes. Ticks cause irritation and pain as they suck blood and can cause anemia if a pet is heavily infested. Mosquito bites have similar symptoms and also cause allergies. However, most significant is the spread of blood-borne diseases by these insects.
Lyme disease affects dogs, cats and people. If an animal gets bitten by a tick, take it to a vet to make sure that it is not infected with Lyme disease. This disease is caused by a bacteria, Borrelia, spread by ticks when they suck blood. It causes a distinctive ‘bulls-eye’ shaped rash, along with pain, tiredness, stiffness, headaches and fevers, or in worst cases, result in neurological, kidney and heart disease.
Babesia, a tiny microscopic organism called a protozoa is also spread by ticks, getting into the red blood cells of both humans and animals. This can cause destruction of the cells, resulting in anemia, uncontrollable bleeding, lethargy, organ failure, and death. Treatment can be difficult, and there is no vaccine.
Heartworm is a disease you may have heard of. It is a risk for pets travelling to Europe. This is a blood-borne worm called Dirofilarial immitis, which is spread by mosquitoes when they bite our pets. They are mostly seen in dogs, though cats and people can be infected too.
Listed above are the main issues pet owners will face with climate change. But there are a number of others which may have to be considered in future. It is important to make people aware of the risks we all face from a danger as overwhelming as climate change. As a rational being, it is our social duty to ensure health and safety of any animal, so it is important to know how climate change will affect the animals. So, we should take care to keep the eco-balance safe and prepare a safe haven for the species around us.