Category: Toxicity (page 2 of 2)

Winter Hazards – Safety Guide for Your Pets

Winter Hazards for Your Pets to Avoid

Winter is coming….  No this is not my attempt to finish writing the Game of Thrones books.  We need to talk about getting your pets through another chilly season and the “experts” here in Kingston say it will be bad.  The rest of southern Ontario may be spared but not our northern friends.  Proper preparation can prevent veterinary visits during the holiday season.

 

You may be changing your car’s antifreeze and some pets just don’t know better.  Supposedly it tastes like maple syrup antifreezeto them but I’m not sure how veterinarians discovered that.  The problem is that they only need a small amount to send them into severe neurological disease that then progress into a likely fatal kidney failure.  Moral of the story: clean up your messes like your parents taught you.

 

Now how about those pets who live outdoors.  Personally, I could never recommend it or do it myself. If it’s too cold for me, it’s too cold for them!  But I also understand that everyone has their own dog shelterreasons.  They still need the necessities starting with some shelter.  Make sure they can get inside or consider building a shelter outside (there are several design ideas especially for cats on the web).  It should have plenty of insulation or you may need to continuously stock it with heat disks or oat bags to keep it warm.  Electric heating blankets are not safe!  Along with freezing temperatures comes frozen water bowls.  I can’t recommend electric bowls which are available on the market because we all know that water & electricity don’t mix.  Again, something such as a Snuggle Safe heat disc cansnuggle safe disc be placed under a metal bowl to slow down freezing.  Thick plastic or thermal type bowls can also slow down the freezing as can bowls that are deeper & wider.  In the end, it’s just easier to keep them indoors.

 

raisinsThe holidays are coming!  For many people, that means baking whether it be cookies, breads, or a fruitcake.  While the finished products are quite yummy and can be harmful to your pets, it really is the ingredients that cause problems.  We already know chocolate is bad but another common ingredient is raisins.  Raisins (and grapes) cause kidney failure.  Dough, in the raw form, is loaded with yeast.  If your dog or cat were to eat the dough, their stomach will act as an oven.  The dough will expand and gas will be released which can cause some uncomfortable bloating.  Additionally, the yeast will release ethanol and cause alcohol poisoning.  I always like to keep my pets out of the kitchen when cooking, not only for their safety but so I’m not getting a false idea that my cooking is good.

raw dough

 

Even though they may be indoors, you’re dogs still need to get outside.  With winter comes shorter days and darker nights.  For this reason, it is a good idea to get them (as well as yourself) some reflective wear whether it be a leash, collar, or coat to be more visible during nighttime walks.  But what about that salt?  For many pets, the salt can be pet safety vestirritating causing an almost burning like sensation.  If they happen to be more curious, eating the salt can also be toxic saltcausing increased thirst, vomiting, and even convulsions or kidney damage in larger amounts.  There are pet safe forms for your driveway but a city won’t likely be using this on sidewalks & roadways.  Consider boots for your dogs or make sure that you wipe their feet before coming in the house.

 

As a last reminder, for all those stray cats outdoors looking for a warm place, don’t forget to knock on your car hood or check inside before you get a start on your day.  I hope that you all will have a safe and healthy winter season!  Stay warm!!

Disclaimer: All blog posts are personally written and my opinion and do not reflect those of current or former employers.

Don’t forget to check me out on Facebook, Twitter, and now Pinterest to see more events in my day & more shared info!  And on the right side of my blog you can now subscribe so you can always get the updates when a new post is published!

Halloween Pet Safety Guide

Halloween Safety Guide for Your Pets

The leaves are changing, the air is colder, and this was never more apparent then when I stepped of the plane after a trip to Florida last week.  It’s good to be back home in Kingston and now it’s time to get your pets ready for the next few months.  Some of these things may seem like common sense but it’s always good for a refresher.

 

Halloween is this week!  The dangers of chocolate have been well known for awhile now but what about some other trident-spearmint-xylitolthings that could end up in the treat bag?  Gums or any other candy containing xylitol can be fatal as well.  Once digested it can cause liver failure and low blood sugar causing seizures.  They will need to be decontaminated ASAP and while the smell of spearmint laden vomit is not horrid, we’d rather your pet not take the chance.

 

Photo from Dr. Elizabeth Rozanski

Photo from Dr. Elizabeth Rozanski

When I was a kid, occasionally somebody would throw some money in the bag…just spare change really not enough for a 12 year old to retire on.  If there happened to be any American pennies after 1982 or Canadian pennies from 1997-1999 (which we up in Canada have eliminated use of the penny completely), they too can be poisonous to your dog.  Aside from obstruction, the body will actually start to eat away at the coin and the zinc in he coins will cause an anemia.

 

Dressing your pet up?  Sure why not!?  Lots of people enjoy dressing the pets up along kitten witchwith the kids because let’s face it, they’re really cute.  I would caution to check for loose strings that cats may swallow or or pieces not secure that could also be eaten by your dog.  Additionally, make sure costumes are not too tight or restrictive with elastic that may cause choking or circulation problems.

 

Got a black cat?  I previously discussed black cats on a Friday the 13th and the origins of people’s fears dating back to witchcraft.  The same rules apply because people can be mean and may harm black cats due to ignorance.  It’s best to keep them indoors during Halloween.

Full of mystery and love behind those adoring eyes

Full of mystery and love behind those adoring eyes

Stay safe and check back next time with Miss Edie the Pug and I for some winter time pet prep!  I know I’m not ready for winter…

Disclaimer: All blog posts are personally written and my opinion and do not reflect those of current or former employers.

Don’t forget to check me out on Facebook, Twitter, and now Pinterest to see more events in my day & more shared info!  And on the right side of my blog you can now subscribe so you can always get the updates when a new post is published!

To Tea Tree or NOT to Tea Tree?

To Tea Tree or NOT to Tea Tree?

 

For many people in today’s world, they are constantly looking for different ways to treat their pets ailments and keep them in general good health.  This can range for diet selections to home remedies and unfortunately can include some old wives’ tales or incomplete/improper information.  I’m not saying they aren’t useful for some conditions, but they should be discussed with your veterinarian and if safer therapies exist they should be used first.  Here in Kingston (like in many other parts of the world), one of the biggest concerns many pet owners have with their pets is the wicked flea!

A common cat flea (which also lives on dogs)

A common cat flea (which also lives on dogs)

These nasty little bugs can cause a multitude of diseases that many people may not see including tapeworms, Bartonellosis, and anemia.  More often though the biggest problem bothering everyone is itching and skin problems.  I can only recommend that you talk to your veterinarian about the best way to handle individual cases of flea problems.  I DO want to keep you from making your pet sick however!

tea tree oil

Many people have found information on the internet about using tea tree oil as a natural remedy for flea control.  Firstly, there is no proven research behind this to prove any efficacy.  And more importantly, it can be toxic to your cat or dog if used (cats do appear to be more sensitive) improperly.  Full strength tea tree oil is sometimes mistakenly applied to the skin of the pet.  Sometimes it is also mistakenly fed to an animal.  When these types of exposures occur, a pet will begin to show signs of toxicity within a few hours.  Most commonly this will include weakness, muscle tremors (twitching), depression, ataxia (walking like they are drunk), and development of hypothermia.  Oral ingestion can lead to liver damage and electrolyte disturbances.  I have personally seen signs disappear in adult dogs in 24 hours but when used in puppies or kittens, they will often be more serious and may require veterinary care.  This was a kitten that I saw once that was so lethargic and depressed from a bath with tea tree oil that she almost died due to hypoglycemia because she was too lethargic to be able to eat.

Exposed to tea tree oil

Exposed to tea tree oil

After treatment, feeling better!

After treatment, feeling better!

 

 

 

 

 

While there is no way to reverse the effects or control neurologic signs without the help of a veterinarian, the first step taken at home should be to wash your pet with a liquid hand dishwashing soap that will de-grease the coat & skin.  After taking this measure, you should contact your veterinarian for further advice.  For oral exposures, you should seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.

 

In short, it is best to avoid using any natural or home remedies without consulting your veterinarian.  The same goes for any type of over the counter human medications.  There are many safe and approved products for use in flea and parasite control.  Ask your veterinarian what’s best to rid your pets and home of those pesky parasites!

Disclaimer: All blog posts are personally written and my opinion and do not reflect those of current or former employers.

Don’t forget to check me out on Facebook, Twitter, and now Pinterest to see more events in my day & more shared info!  And on the right side of my blog you can now subscribe so you can always get the updates when a new post is published!

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