1. Summer Travel With Your Pet

    July 26, 2015 by admin

    Traveling With Your Pet

    It’s important to plan carefully ahead if you take your pet along with your family on trips, whether it’s a winter holiday trip to visit family or a summer road trip. No matter what your travel plans entail, you can help  ensure that your trip with your furry family member goes as smoothly as possible by taking the below information into consideration.
    Road trips

    Use a pet carrier. A carrier is the best way to transport a pet in a vehicle. An unsecured pet can distract the driver or interfere with safe operation of a vehicle. Choose a carrier that allows your pet to stand up and turn around comfortably, yet doesn’t provide too much room for extra movement.
    Replenish fresh water. Your pet needs access to water at all times—especially on long trips and warm days.
    Take breaks. Most highway rest stops provide designated areas for pets. Your pet will need frequent stops to stretch and eliminate waste. Always keep your pet on a leash and bring bags to dispose of your pet’s waste.
    Keep your pet comfortable. Don’t leave your pet alone in a vehicle on hot days, even if the windows are rolled down. Because a car’s glass traps heat, the vehicle’s temperature can quickly rise to lethal levels.

    Air travel

    Always check your airline’s policy on pet travel and find out what carrier size it allows. Because your pet will most likely travel in the cargo hold area of the plane, it’s best not to travel with a pet during extreme hot or cold weather. If you think that your pet requires a sedative, visit with your veterinarian prior to travel to discuss prescription recommendations.
    Travel documents

    If you cross into another state, you are legally required to obtain a health certificate for your pet no matter how you travel. This certificate is required by the United State Department of Agriculture and can be obtained from your veterinarian. It’s generally valid for 30 days and certifies that your pet is free of diseases.
    Unique considerations for cats

    If you are traveling with cats, take special considerations and precautions with regard to their unique temperament. In general, tranquilizers aren’t as effective with cats as they are with dogs. Typically, the first 30 minutes of any type of travel is the most difficult for cats. For air travel, this translates to the time spent in the airport.
    Need more information?

    Prior to taking your pet with you on any trip, consider whether his or her personality, health status and temperament are well-suited for travel. Speak with your veterinarian about your concerns and make an informed decision about your travel plans.

  2. To Shave or Not to Shave… That is the question

    May 4, 2015 by admin

    Shave or not?

    pet grooming in summer Although this haircut is certainly eye catching, it might not be the best thing to beat the heat.

    As the summer heat escalates to oven-like temperatures, the thought of donning a fur coat may be unbearable. So how can you help ease your dog’s discomfort during sweat-inducing heat spells? Paw Nation spoke with Beth Recchia, Owner and Director of Furry Tails Grooming Salon and School of Pet Grooming and Kathleen White, Owner of The South Carolina School of Dog Grooming about how to groom your dog’s fur for optimal coolness.

    Here is the question everyone asks: Should pet owners shave their dogs for the summer?
    Some dog owners think their pooch would be more comfortable shaved, but many professionals insist that dogs’ coats are already equipped to deal with hot temperatures. “I believe that all dogs should be left in their natural coat if possible,” said White. “We sometimes have to give in to what the customer wants, but a dog’s coat insulates them for hot and cold weather.”

    If the owner does prefer to pare down the fur, which type of haircut is best for dogs in the hot weather?
    Hair styles do vary by breed, but Recchia recommends a generic “buzz cut” for her furry clients rather than shaving. “It’s a very short cut which removes excess fur, thus preventing shedding,” she tells us. “[Dogs] are much easier to bathe over the summer with less fur, and it’s also great for preventing ticks and fleas. You can spot pests much more easily.”

    White advises her customers to allow the groomer to leave some fur for sunburn protection and insulation.

  3. Five Ways You Might Be Unknowingly Crushing Your Dog’s Spirit

    December 27, 2014 by admin

    We all love our dogs and want to do what’s best for them, which also means keeping them as happy as possible! But what if we’re doing something that’s unknowingly making them unhappy or crushing their spirit? It’s likely you’re not, but just in case you’re unsure or want to help someone who might be stressing their dog, be sure to check out this list below!

    #1 – Not Exercising Your Dog

    This is perhaps one of the biggest problems in dog ownership. It’s understandable if someone doesn’t want to be active and healthy, or has a disability that prevents them from getting on the move, but preventing your dog from getting adequate exercise is detrimental to both their physical and mental health. Dogs need to get outside, and that doesn’t mean just going out into the yard. Taking your dog for a walk or playing ball at the park is an excellent way to make sure your pooch has the right amount of exercise he needs, and it will only help strengthen your bond. After all, your dog wants to be with you, not out in the yard alone!

    #2 – Taking Your Dog’s Food & Toys Away

    We’ve all seen people take their dog’s food bowl away while they’re eating or their toy away when they’re chewing on it. This came about by people wanting to show their dogs that they’re the alpha and that their dog should respect them. Resource guarding, when a dog becomes aggressive to protect a resource such as food or toys, often happens when owners don’t establish clear boundaries with their dogs. To prevent this, people think that they need to be able to constantly take food away in the middle of a meal or alpha roll their dogs as a punishment to ascertain their alpha status. Unfortunately, it’s often a highly misguided attempt at dog training. All dogs that have been raised or given clear boundaries will willingly share their food or toys with their owners, and have no problem with it being taken away. So what’s the reason for doing it every time you feed your dog? Well, there ISN’T one! If you take your dog’s food away and give it back during every meal, all your dog really sees you as is a big bully that’s always there to take what he wants away. Your dog doesn’t understand why you’re doing this, and can actually become aggressive from the stress of knowing their meals will always be taken from them. The old rule of staying away from a dog if he’s eating should be more widely accepted, because it’s true. How would you like it if someone took your dinner away for a few minutes just because they could?

    #3 – Putting Your Dog in a Crate for Punishment

    Crates are an excellent training tool. But the idea of crate training is to make your crate a fun and safe place for your dog to relax, yet so many owners insist on using it as a time-out place for dogs. This only leads to animosity towards the crate, and when you need to use it for something else you’re going to have a hard time getting your dog inside and keeping him stress-free when he’s confined. Dogs don’t understand time-out punishments, because they don’t speak our language and aren’t built to generalize the way humans to. Using time-outs won’t be seen as a correction to your dog for his bad behavior, and he won’t understand that he did something you didn’t like. Training happens in the moment of the event, and dogs aren’t children that will sit and think about their actions as the day goes on. So if you’re going to use a crate, please make ensure that it’s a fun and lovely place for your dog to rest!

    #4 – Constantly Yelling at Your Dog

    Imagine if the only training you got at a brand new job was your boss yelling at you constantly for your mistakes. You’d probably really hate going to work! The same goes for your dog. When you have a dog that hasn’t had any basic training, and only gets yelled at all the time, he’s likely to be a very stressed out pooch. This is because he knows you’re upset and doesn’t understand why, because you haven’t taught him any manners or what behaviors are desirable. Not only that, but the constant emotional turmoil is felt by your dog, and you’re likely to damage your relationship. Another point to consider is how seriously your dog will take you when there is a very real problem. Think of it as the boy who cried wolf. If you’re always yelling for Fido to come here when he’s running around the backyard, but you never actually teach him to come to you, what do you think will happen when he runs out into traffic? He hears you yelling, but that’s nothing knew because you’re always yelling at him. So he runs right out there, and you can imagine how the story goes. In other words, yelling at your dog constantly doesn’t do anything to help him, and really only serves as a way to stress him out or get him lost or injured.

    #5 – Leaving Your Dog Alone for Extended Periods of Time

    Most of us have jobs that keep us away during the day, and we leave our dogs at home to relax until we get home. But if you’ve got more than the average 40-hour a week job, and are constantly traveling or gone for more than 8 hours at a time, it might be worth considering whether a dog is a good choice of pet for you. Dogs are social animals and need to spend time with their families. That could be an entire household or just you. When they don’t get the socialization they need, they become sad, stressed, and even destructive. It’s important that you’re able to fit in the proper amount of exercise and playtime with your pup, even if you’ve got a busy schedule. If you’re gone for long periods of time during the day or travel often, make sure to find a suitable dog walker or doggy daycare that can keep your pup happy. Any dog that’s left alone for extended periods of time on a constant basis is likely to be unhappy and unhealthy. So make sure that you’re able to provide the love and care your pooch needs!

  4. A Vet’s View of Home Euthanasia for Pets

    December 9, 2014 by admin

    A Vet’s View of Home Euthanasia for Pets

    By Dr. Jessica Vogelsang

    Nobody says, “I hope I die in a hospital bed in the ICU in a lot of pain.” If you were to query your friends, most people would probably say, “I hope I die at home in my sleep.” (In fact, according to some surveys, as many as 70 percent to 90 percent of people would prefer to die at home.) The uncertainty of knowing when and where we will shrug off the mortal coil is a great source of angst for many of us humans. Dogs and cats have it a little different.
    We have a unique opportunity in veterinary medicine to provide more control over the circumstances of a loved pet’s passing than our colleagues in human medicine, because veterinarians are entrusted with the significant power to provide euthanasia. And although we have been easing the medical aspect of the death process through the choice of drugs in our arsenal, only recently have some veterinarians come to embrace the emotional aspect of the process by providing a service many people desperately want: to say goodbye to their pets at home.

    Why Home Euthanasia?

    “My first home euthanasia in 1994 was a life-changing experience for me,” says Dr. Amir Shanan of Compassionate Veterinary Care in Chicago. “It was a couple who had taken care of a quadriplegic 80-pound Doberman who had surgery for cervical disk disease and was never able to get up after the surgery. They had cared for this dog for eight months before realizing there was no hope.”
    He pauses. “There were a lot of tears and hugs, and I walked out of there thinking, Wow. There must be a lot of other people who would prefer this over the stainless steel table.” Shortly thereafter, Shanan placed his first ad in the yellow pages for in-home euthanasia services. At the time, he said, that was practically unheard of.
    “The clinic setting is limiting,” Shanan says. “In general, households are a much more personal interaction with the client. They are in an environment that is more conducive for them to express their feelings, more so than in the clinic.”

    Creating a Better End-of-Life Experience

    As more people began requesting this service, more veterinarians began to offer in-home euthanasia. “Home euthanasia is almost getting to be mainstream,” Shanan says. “It’s not where we were 10 years ago.”
    In 2009, Shanan founded the nonprofit International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care to address the growing prevalence of home-euthanasia providers and provide guidelines for “comfort-oriented end-of-life care.” He sees this type of service as much more than just showing up and administering an injection.
    For Shanan, offering home euthanasia is just one component of creating a better end-of-life experience for pets and owners. “People want support, help in making decisions, from the perspective centered on their needs and values,” he says. “They want someone helping them figure out what’s right for them. A lot of times, that’s the piece that’s missing more than anything else.”
    However, euthanasia shouldn’t be confused with hospice care for pets, a relatively new option in the animal world. Hospice care can be provided after a pet has been given a terminal diagnosis and is intended to keep the pet comfortable until natural death or euthanasia.

    A More Peaceful Process

    When Cristen Prenez’s Golden Retriever Max was diagnosed with cancer, she didn’t know home euthanasia was an option. “I have a wonderful vet who I’ve been going to for 20 years,” she says. “When Max got sick, he had a tumor on his knee, and it became increasingly more difficult for him to get in the car and go to the vet. We knew it was terminal, and it was really painful and stressful for him to get to the car.”
    Her regular veterinarian referred her to Dr. Lynn Hendrix of Beloved Pet Mobile Vet in Davis, California, for an end-of-life consultation. Prenez calls the decision to euthanize Max “brutal,” but Dr. Hendrix’s guidance made a big difference. “I didn’t know what to expect. Lynn came to the house and explained how the [process] works. She was extremely compassionate and caring, and we had lots of questions, [like] ‘How do we know when it’s time?’”
    For Prenez, the ability to keep Max at home was key, but just as important was Dr. Hendrix herself. “[Hendrix] was very much about what Max was feeling, and we had a complete open line of communication about behaviors,” Prenez says. “It’s a fine line, and she really helped us figure that out.”
    When Prenez decided that the day had come to let Max go, Dr. Hendrix came to the home. “It was a long experience, but in a good way,” Prenez says. “She recapped all the steps. Everyone was loving on Max. He was very comfortable.”
    Prenez was shocked at how peaceful she found the process to be at home compared to the clinic. “You don’t want your family member to die in a hospital; you want him to die in a peaceful, happy place,” she says. “Sometimes you can’t get away from it, but we had an option.”
    When Prenez’s second dog, Haley, became ill several years later, she again called on Dr. Hendrix. “We knew what to expect. We knew that [Haley’s] cancer was super aggressive, and the process for euthanasia was an easy one. There was no anxiety.” Haley, a Beagle, still had a voracious appetite despite her aggressive cancer, and Prenez recalls “laughing to the very end” through her tears as they fed Haley treats. “I never thought that losing a pet could be like that.”

    Opening Up Options

    Though Shanan is among his profession’s leading advocates for in-home euthanasia, he doesn’t believe it is the only option clients should consider. He says many people are concerned that euthanizing a pet at home will result in bad memories in the home, and in those cases, he respects the clients’ concerns.
    “My view is not that home euthanasia is best for everybody,” he says. “What’s most important to me is opening options — giving the family a sense that they have some power and control over some of the decisions.”
    Shanan recalls one of the ways he had to become creative to provide families with the experience they needed: “There was a dog who was comfortable only swimming in the pool,” he says, “so I administered the sedative to the dog in the pool, while he was being held by his owner. I was laying on the side on the concrete.”

    Is Home Euthanasia the Right Choice for You?

    Prenez says she will never go back to taking a pet into the clinic for euthanasia. “We will do this for every one of our pets and recommend it to every one of our friends,” she says.
    Talking to your vet ahead of time — if possible — about how you feel about this end-of-life decision can help ease the process a little when it’s time for you to say goodbye to your pet. If you think at-home euthanasia might be right for you and your pet, ask your veterinarian if she provides this service. If not, a referral can often be arranged.
    “Humans need to feel comfortable with losing a pet, and they want to know their pet has been comfortable until the end,” Prenez says. And for Max and Haley, she is relieved to know that they were.

    Beautiful Cami in her final minutes. Right where she should be.
    Wrapped up in the person who loved her most.

  5. The Hardest Decisions You Can Prepare For

    November 20, 2014 by admin
    The Hardest Decisions You Can Prepare ForLast week, all the practice employees at Paws into Grace gathered for an evening meeting. As always seems to happen, the phones had been quiet all day but as soon as the meeting began, it started to ring.

    We paused while one of the doctors took the call. We’re used to it. I could see her brow furrowing as she heard the distress in the voice of the person on the other end of the line, and she made an appointment to head over there right after the meeting was concluded.

    Five minutes later, the phone rang again. “We want to wait till morning,” the client said.

    And five minutes after that, “Well, he’s doing really poorly. What should we do? Should you come? Is it time? This is so hard!” the person said, and the doctor nodded and agreed, because this, too, is something we often hear.

    She called several times over the next hour, debating about whether or not it was time to put her beloved dog to sleep, whether she thought the dog could make it through the night without suffering. Then the phone was passed to the daughter of the owner, who had her own concerns and wasn’t sure it was time. They debated some more.

    What Can You Do?

    It is tremendously difficult to have to commit to that final decision to euthanize a pet. When more than one person is involved in the decision and you don’t agree on whether or not it is time to let go, the decision is even more challenging. But there are ways to make it better.

    The number one thing I wish more owners did was to talk to one another and to a qualified professional as soon as a pet receives a terminal diagnosis. A frank discussion while the pet is not in crisis is so much more productive than last minute decisions made under duress. A veterinarian experienced in end-of-life care can fill in many of those uncertain questions that owners struggle with, such as:

    1. What is the normal progression of this type of disease?
    2. Is this painful? Will my pet experience pain, fatigue, nausea?
    3. How far am I willing to go pursuing a cure? At what point do I stop and transition to hospice care or euthanize?

    Owners who are pre-armed with this knowledge find the decision a little easier to make when the time comes (though of course, it’s never truly easy!) There are very objective ways to score pain and quality of life that help people make a concrete assessment about whether or not they should make the decision. And when pets are educated about the very specific physical signs of pain or distress unique to dogs and cats, it makes it much easier for them to look past their own fear and denial and agree it is time for a gentle goodbye.

    Eventually, our doctor did go to the home, and two and a half hours later the family made the decision to say goodbye. My heart goes out to anyone who has struggled so mightily with that choice, and I hope that as owner awareness of pre-planning increases, more people will be willing to have those rough discussions sooner rather than later.

  6. Thanksgiving Holiday Dangers to Avoid

    October 31, 2014 by admin

    Ah, Thanksgiving… a joyous holiday when friends and family join us for a day of football, lounging, and all-day tryptophan turkey tasting. The smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie, and turkey all baking in the oven slowly filter through the house, driving you – and your dog – slowly mad.

    Being that my specialty is emergency and critical care (and being that I work at an animal poison control too), I have to start my first blog by telling you how to avoid a visit to the animal ER! Here, a few tips on how to pet-proof this Thanksgiving holiday (which would make your emergency veterinarian grateful too!):

    First word of advice? Keep your dog out of the kitchen…or better yet, crate him. Accidental counter-surfing can result in severe poisoning to your pet, ruining your holiday and causing you shame when you have to induce vomiting in your dog in front of all your friends and family (Always check with your veterinarian or an animal poison control helpline prior to inducing vomiting, of course.).

    Next, make sure your guests know the house rules: Don’t feed your pets. Your friends and family may not be aware of the common kitchen foods that are quite poisonous to pets. Politely inform all your guests to keep their food out of reach and to never feed your pet without your permission (particularly if your pet has food allergies).

    Last? Dump the trash. Somehow, your dog will find a way to get into it, and the leftover corn-on-the-cob, yummy string that goes around the turkey legs, turkey skin, bones, moldy food, and fatty grizzle all pose a threat to your pet. Potential problems from “garbage gut” include gastroenteritis (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain), pancreatitis (severe inflammation of the pancreas), a gastrointestinal obstruction, or even tremors or seizures.

    So, what tops the list for the most dangerous Thanksgiving foods that are poisonous to your dog?  Grapes, raisins, and currants
    Currants and raisins are commonly found in stuffing, baked goods, and as snacks. When ingested, these fruit from the Vitus sp. can result in severe acute kidney failure. Signs of poisoning often don’t show up for days, until kidney failure has already taken place.

    Onions, leeks, chives, and garlic
    When ingested, these common kitchen foods from the Allium sp. can result in oxidative damage to the red blood cells, making these cells more likely to rupture (e.g., hemolyze).  Cats are especially sensitive, and can develop a severe anemia (low red blood cell count) from even small amounts. Thankfully, this is typically seen more with chronic ingestion (e.g., when they are eating it for days), but to be safe, keep these out of reach.

    If you have any calorie-counting chefs in the kitchen (I mean, really, why bother on this holiday?!), you may want to verify if they’ve used any xylitol in the baked goods. Xylitol, a natural sugar-free sweetener, is a sugar substitute used in a ton of products nowadays: gums, mints, mouth washes, nasal sprays, chewable vitamins, baked goods, chocolate, etc. When ingested by dogs, it can result in a massive insulin spike, causing a life-threatening hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and even liver failure with higher doses.

    Fatty table scraps
    While I’m guilty of feeding my own dog table food (and yes, he gets to lick the dinner plate when I’m done), I’m savvy about what is healthy or not. Fatty table scraps like gravy, turkey skin, etc. are potentially dangerous to your dog, as it can result in severe pancreatitis. Certain breeds are especially sensitive, including miniature schnauzers, Shetland sheepdogs, and Yorkshire terriers. Even a piece of bacon can trigger pancreatitis in dogs, so when in doubt, don’t feed it to your dog or cat!

    Bones and turkey legs
    Huge no-no. While you may think you’re giving your dog a treat, you’re actually putting him at risk for a possible foreign body obstruction. I’ve seen the rare dog die from getting a chunk of bone stuck in the esophagus. The bones can also get stuck in the stomach or intestines, potentially resulting in a perforation (or rupture) of the intestines.

    Unbaked bread dough
    About to throw some fresh bread in the oven? Make sure your dog doesn’t eat the unbaked dough first. When this occurs, your dog’s stomach acts as an artificial oven, making the yeast rise and release carbon dioxide, causing a distended abdomen and potential life-threatening gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). Next, the yeast and sugar in the unbaked dough are metabolized to alcohol, resulting in secondary alcohol poisoning in your dog.

    As mentioned above, we can see alcohol poisoning from weird sources (e.g., unbaked bread dough, rum-soaked fruitcake, etc.). Likewise, dogs can be poisoned by ingesting alcohol drinks, so keep the mixed drinks and beer away from your dog. Accidental ingestion can cause severe coma, slowed respiration, and a life-threatening low blood sugar in your dog.

    If you think your dog or cat ingested something poisonous, contact your veterinarian or an animal poison control center right away. When it comes to any poisoning situation, the sooner you diagnose it, the easier it is to potentially treat, the less invasive it is to your pet, and the less expensive it is for you. Now, that’s something to be grateful for…

  7. Prepare Your Pet For Summer

    April 4, 2014 by admin

    When preparing your garden for spring blossoms this year, keep in mind that gardens can pose a number of poisoning hazards for your pets. Pet Poison Helpline offers the following advice on what to keep away from your pets.

    Garden Poisons

    Pest traps for rodents, snails and slugs are extremely toxic to pets when ingested. Without immediate veterinary attention, they can be fatal. Rodenticides, or mouse or rat poison, can result in blood clotting disorders, brain swelling or kidney failure, depending on which type is used, while snail and slug traps can result in severe tremors or seizures.


    Most over-the-counter insecticides are basic gastrointestinal irritants to pets and are generally not cause for major concern. However, you should still bring your pet to a veterinarian or call Pet Poison Helpline to ensure your pet’s safety, particularly if your pet develops any symptoms at all!

    Blood Meal

    Many pets are attracted to the taste of this organic fertilizer and if a large amount is ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea and severe inflammation of the pancreas.


    Many fertilizers are basic gastrointestinal irritants. Some are combined with dangerous chemicals and compounds called organophosphates or carbamates, which can be harmful to pets. Ingestion can result in drooling, watery eyes, unusual urination or defecation, seizures, difficulty breathing, fever and even death. Bring your pet immediately to a veterinarian for treatment with an antidote. As with all poisons, the sooner the toxicity is treated, the better outcome for your pet.

    Poisonous Plants

    The following is the list of the most poisonous plants to pets when ingested.

    Autumn Crocus:
    While both Spring Crocus and Autumn Crocus can cause adverse reactions, the Autumn Crocus can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damages and respiratory failure.
    Eating even a few azalea leaves can result in vomiting, diarrhea and excessive drooling. With severe, ingestions, if the pet is not treated immediately, he or she can fall into a coma or possibly die.
    This seasonal flowering plant can cause severe vomiting.
    The bulb, plant or flower can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. More serious reactions include abnormal heart rate or changes in respiration.
    A popular indoor houseplant, dieffenbachia can cause intense oral irritation, drooling, nausea, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.
    Hyacinth & Tulip:
    All parts of these spring plants can cause adverse reactions, but toxins are most concentrated in the bulb. Bulbs can affect breathing and cause severe vomiting, diarrhea and an increased heart rate.
    This plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea and an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmias).
    Certain types of lilies are highly toxic to cats and can cause severe kidney failure with just a few petals or leaves. See a veterinarian immediately if you cat ingests any part of a lily, particularly an Easter, Day, Asiatic, Tiger or Japanese Show lily.
    The leaves and flowers of Oleanders are extremely toxic and can cause severe vomiting, an abnormal heart rate and possibly death.
    Sago Palm:
    This plant, commonly found in subtropical regions in warm locations, is extremely dangerous to dogs. All parts of this plant—including the seeds or nuts—can cause symptoms, such as vomiting, bloody stools, damage to the stomach lining, severe liver failure and, in some cases, death.


    Make sure that your compost does not contain any dairy or meat products, and it should always be fenced off against pets and wildlife. Compost piles have the potential to contain tremorgenic mycotoxins, which can cause symptoms even when ingested in small amounts.
    These symptoms include:

    It can also affect the central nervous system through incoordination, tremors or seizures. Keep in mind that other toxins can cause similar symptoms, such as metaldehydes in snail pesticides, strychnine, organophosphates in fertilizers and methylxanthines in chocolates. Prompt decontamination and treatment is necessary for any of these toxins.


    There are various types of mushrooms that may be non-toxic, but there are several kinds that can cause mild to severe symptoms, including death. Some mushrooms are gastrointestinal irritants, while others may be hallucinogenic or result in severe, acute liver failure.

    As it’s very difficult to identify poisonous versus non-poisonous mushrooms, it’s always important to treat any type of mushroom ingestion as toxic. If possible, bring a sample of the mushroom to your veterinarian if you believe your pet is suffering from mushroom poisoning; they may be able to submit this for analysis. Bring your pet in immediately to a veterinarian if you have any concerns regarding mushroom toxicity, even if your pet has not yet exhibited symptoms.

    If Your Pet is Poisoned

    If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, it is best to immediately take your pet to an emergency veterinarian. In the event that you are unable to do that, you can contact Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680 for initial information about the potential toxin your pet may have been exposed to.

    Pet Poison Helpline is a service available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners, veterinarians and veterinary technicians. Staff can provide treatment advice for poisoning cases of all species, including dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, large animals and exotic species. As the most cost-effective option for animal poison control care, Pet Poison Helpline’s fee of $35 per incident includes follow-up consultation for the duration of the poison case. You can also find additional information on poisonings at www.petpoisonhelpline.com.

  8. 5 Holiday Pet Dangers

    November 26, 2013 by admin

    Top 5 Holiday Dangers to Pets

    The holidays are a festive time for us and our pets. However, due to ongoing activities and constant distractions, we can easily overlook potential dangers to our four-legged family members.

    Take preventive measures to protect your pets this holiday season. Being aware of these top five dangers could save you a trip to the veterinary emergency room.

    1. Holiday Tinsel and Ornaments

    Tinsel, while not toxic, is very attractive to pets, particularly cats. The shiny, dangling decoration reflects light and can move in the slightest draft — appearing to come alive to watchful critters.
    Cat sits in a Christmas tree

    The problem with tinsel is that once it’s consumed, it can cause serious injury to your pet. If not caught in time, this foreign body ingestion could actually be fatal as it twists and bunches inside your pet’s intestines. Immediate veterinary care is required.

    In addition, bright and colorful tree ornaments can attract your pet’s curiosity. Place glass, aluminum and paper ornaments higher up on the tree. Pets can chew and swallow these fragile objects and not only can broken pieces form sharp edges that may lacerate your pet’s mouth, throat and intestines, they could also create a choking hazard.

    2. Holiday Lighting and Candles

    Twinkling, shiny and dangling holiday lights — such as the icicle, netting, garland, curtain, rope and candle varietal — may be another source of danger to your curious pets.

    Got a pet that likes to chew? Electrical shock may occur when a pet chomps down on an electrical cord, causing tongue lacerations and possible death. Check your holiday lights for signs of fraying or chewing and use a grounded three-prong extension cord as a safety precaution.

    If you have candles on display, place them in a hard-to-reach spot so that your pets can not access them. Not only can pets seriously burn themselves, but knocking over candles creates a fire hazard and may leave a trail of hot wax that will easily burn the pads of paws and more.

    3. Gift Wrap Ribbon

    You may be tempted to fashion your pet with a decorative ribbon “collar” but beware that this could become a choking hazard.Also, it’s best to quickly discard ribbons and bows wrapped around holiday gifts so that your curious companions won’t be enticed to chew or swallow them. Ingested ribbon can cause a choking hazard and ultimately twist throughout the intestines, leading to emergency surgery and even death.

    4. Food Hazards

    Festive events often mean edible treats — and lots of them. Unfortunately, some of the most popular holiday goodies, such as chocolate, bones and nuts, can be extremely toxic or fatal to pets.

    Different types of chocolate contain various levels of fat, caffeine and the substances methylxanthines. In general, the darker and richer the chocolate (i.e., baker’s chocolate), the higher the risk of toxicity. Depending on the type and amount of chocolate ingested, dogs might experience vomiting, diarrhea, urination, hyperactivity, heart arrhythmias, tremors and seizures.
    Fat trimmings and bones are dangerous for dogs. Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, may cause pancreatitis. And, although it seems natural to give a dog a bone, a dog can choke on it. Bones can also splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dog’s digestive system.
    Abundant in many cookies and candies, certain nuts should not be given to pets. Almonds, non-moldy walnuts and pistachios can cause an upset stomach or an obstruction of your dog’s throat and/or intestinal tract. Macadamia nuts and moldy walnuts can be toxic, causing seizures or neurological signs. Lethargy, vomiting and loss of muscle control are among the effects of nut ingestion.

    Keep your pet on her regular diet and caution visitors against giving your pet special treats or table scraps. For a full list of toxic foods, visit our toxic food guide for pets.

    5. Toxic Holiday Plants

    They may be pretty, but some holiday plants are poisonous—even deadly. As little as a single leaf from any lily variety is lethal to cats. Others to avoid:
    Holiday poinsettia

    Christmas tree pine needles can produce oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, trembling and posterior weakness.
    Holly, commonly found during the Christmas season, can cause intense vomiting, diarrhea and depression.
    Mistletoe, another Christmas plant, can cause significant vomiting and diarrhea, difficulty breathing, collapse, erratic behavior, hallucinations and death when ingested.
    Poinsettias can cause irritation to the mouth and stomach and sometimes vomiting.

    For more on toxic plants, visit our toxic plant guide.

    Taking precautions with pets during these festive times can help ensure that you and your family will enjoy a happy — and healthy — holiday season!

  9. 6 Spring Doggie Wellness Tips

    March 7, 2013 by admin

    With the coming of Spring, it’s not only the flowers that come back to life. Fleas and intestinal parasites reappear in full force creating a potential health hazard for dogs. As dogs start to shed their winter coats, dog owners begin to see fur everywhere in the home. Dogs spend more time outdoors, and with more exercise nutritional needs change. The following Spring safety tips for dogs will help you and your dog make the most of the season.

    Spring Safety for Dogs: Tip #1

    Fleas that were no problem in the cold of winter, will rear their biting little heads again with Spring. Since fleas can cause a series of health complications, it’s important to treat your dog with flea prevention when Spring starts. Easiest are flea prevention medications that are applied topically once a month. However, be careful not to wash your dog with soap-based shampoos, as these will cleanse his coat of the flea medication. Instead use water-based shampoos, or give your dog a flea medication in pill form. A single female flea can lay over 300 eggs a day, so take preventive measures to protect your dog and home from an infestation as the warm Spring weather starts.

    Spring Safety for Dogs: Tip #2

    Spring is the season when most dogs pick up intestinal parasites. Tapeworms are contracted from fleas, when a dog licks the flea bites, and roundworms and hookworms are easily contracted as well. Whether your dog drinks from a stream or plays with another contaminated dog in the park, intestinal parasites are easy to contract. Luckily they are also easy to prevent. By placing your dog on worm prevention medication when Spring starts, you can keep him healthy all season long. And many worm prevention medications also include Heart Worm prevention, which is ideal.

    Spring Safety for Dogs: Tip #3

    Dogs are more active in the Spring when the weather is mild and prolonged exercising outside becomes possible. Be sure to provide your dog with plenty of fresh water, and refresh the water daily to keep the water tasting good and free of drool. And consider adding vitamin supplements to your dog’s food or increasing his daily portion of food.

    Spring Safety for Dogs: Tip #4

    Spring is the time to check your dog’s collar and name tag again. Now that your dog will be outside more, be sure that his collar is snug enough not to sang on a branch and come off. Be sure your telephone number on his dog tag is up-to-date. Wipe your leash with anti-bacterial wipe once a week, to remove any dirt or contaminates that may cling both to the handle and to the leash itself, especially where it may cling around your dog’s backside.

    Spring Safety for Dogs: Tip #5

    If your dog spend time in a gated backyard when the weather is nice, take the time to walk around the fence and make sure that there are no gaps underneath and no broken sections. In Spring your dog will be digging around and is likely to find little openings he missed in winter, when it was too cold to be out for long periods.

    Spring Safety for Dogs: Tip #6

    Now that your dog will spend more time outside, his grooming is more important than ever. Make sure to clip nails regularly and to give your dog the basic grooming that is important for his health as well as yours. This will help contain the shedding associated with seasonal change, when your dog sheds his winter coat. Learn how to give your dog basic, essential grooming, as well as dog grooming that is even more important for humans, and easy dog grooming for long-haired dogs.

  10. Top 10 Dog Names For 2013

    January 7, 2013 by admin

    1.  Max
    2. Buddy
    3. Molly
    4. Maggie
    5. Jake
    6. Daisy
    7. Lucy
    8. Rocky
    9. Bailey
    10. Sadie