Keep your pets safe from some monsoon season dangers

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By Jayson Chesler By Jayson Chesler

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It's pretty clear how the rain, wind and dust of monsoon season can be dangerous to people, cars and houses, but the dangers the storms pose to pets are a little more hidden. Apart from the storms, the change in weather means some changing threats to Valley dogs and cats.

3TV's Heidi Goitia went to Scottsdale Animal Healthcare and spoke with Dr. Alex Casuccio about the different ailments pets can get during monsoon season. From dangerous wildlife to the noise from storms, pet-owners can keep their pets healthier with some of his tips.

The change in weather brings out a number of animals, including toads. Toads live in the ground throughout the year and come out from time to time, but they come out in force when rain starts falling. Some toads have a toxin on their skin, which dogs can consume by sniffing the toad and licking their nose or by directly licking the toad.

This toxin causes major discomfort and can be deadly. Casuccio said the first symptom of the toxin is a dog foaming at the mouth and scratching at its mouth with its paws. From there, the dog could start hallucinating, get heat stroke or seizures and eventually die. If you see your dog pawing at its mouth, take a garden hose and spray through the side of the dog's mouth for 5-10 minutes, then seek medical attention from a veterinarian.

Crickets can also be dangerous, for cats in particular, as they carry stomach worms. An otherwise healthy pet that's vomiting frequently likely has a stomach worm. Casuccio said this can be easily treated by a veterinarian.

Dust storms kick up the spores that cause Valley Fever, which can be dangerous for dogs and expensive to treat. The easiest way to avoid it is to simply keep your pet inside during dust storms.

Finally, the noise from a storm can be much more frightening for many pets than any of the storm's actual dangers. Casuccio said pet-owners should act normally if a pet is nervous during a storm -- getting worried about the pet or giving it tons of extra attention will make the pet think you're worried about the storm too.