Sun seekers in the county may be enjoying the present heatwave as they flock to the beaches but it’s not much fun for livetock
Cattle are not enjoying the searing temperatures to the same degree and many in fact are having extreme difficulty in dealing with the Mediterranean like weather we are having.
The Donegal Democrat spoke to a leading Donegal veterinary surgeon, Nick Garvey of the Donegal Veterinary Clinic who said, “People may well think this is a joke but it is actually true - cattle do suffer from sunburn and it does not even need the high temperatures that we are currently enjoying.
“Like humans the most susceptible types are the pale-skinned cattle and they need to be watched carefully and indeed unlike humans, animals are unable to sweat which reduces heat stress.
“The public should also pay close attention to their own domestic pets. In this type of weather animals can get heat stress and in extreme circumstances can succumb to the heat. The Armagh man told us: “It is vital that they have access to a good supply of water and are not left in direct sunshine. People can often be forgetful and leave their dogs in the back of their cars in the sun with disastrous consequences. Most animals have the same needs as ourselves in terms of diets etc., but do not have the same ability to look after themselves.”
Nick added, “The main signs to look out for in all types of animals are hyperventilation, panting and in cattle, “blowing”. Sheep in spite of their protective coats are also prone to sunburn but fortunately not with the same dire consequences.
“The best advice I can give to farmers and all animal lovers is to ensure that their animals are kept in the shade and have access to plenty of water. If in any doubt I advise people to contact their vet immediately.”