Monthly Archives

March 2016

DRIVEN TO DRINK

By | RIKKI "Tails"

“Tails” from the Vet Clinic

DRIVEN TO DRINK

by Rikki Schmidt

One day a golden retriever was brought into the clinic by a concerned couple. The beautiful animal, named Sunny, appeared to be in the peak of health.

“And why are we seeing Sunny today?” Marc asked as the technician led the obedient dog and his owners into an exam room.

“Well Doc,” the woman began, “he’s been drinking an awful lot of water lately. Like maybe a gallon a day.” The possibility of diabetes began to loom large in Marc’s mind.

“Is he losing weight?” Marc asked. “Does his eyesight seem to be getting worse?” While he was talking to the people he put a water dish down in front of Sunny but the dog paid no attention.

Sunny looking at the water but not drinking.

Sunny looking at the water but not drinking.

“Nope,” the man said quickly. “Nothing seems to be wrong with him at all. He’s just drinking like a fish for some reason. Like my wife said, about a gallon a day.”

Marc examined the sweet dog who was quite amenable to all the poking and prodding. “With excessive thirst,” he explained to the couple, “we always have to consider diabetes. Although Sunny doesn’t seem to exhibit any of the other symptoms.  And he didn’t drink any of the water here. I’d like to take some blood tests to see what’s going on.”

The couple readily consented so Marc drew the blood and told them he would call in a few days with the results. But two days later when the tests came back, everything was normal. It seems Sunny didn’t have diabetes or anything else. Marc asked the owners to come back for another consultation. He put a water bowl down but once again, Sunny didn’t seem interested.

“How’s Sunny doing,” he asked.

“Still drinking a gallon a day,” the husband told him.

“How do you know it’s that much?” Marc pressed for more information on this puzzling case.

“Well,” the wife explained. “You know how terrible the tap water here tastes. So we buy bottled water. And we got Sunny one of them ‘self-filling’ coolers. You know, like the kind you see in offices? The ones with the big jug on top? But instead of having to press the lever to get water, this one is set up so it automatically fills Sunny’s water dish as soon as it’s emptied. Makes it real convenient for us. But less than a week goes by and I have to replace that five gallon jug.”

“When do you notice the dog drinking?” Marc asked. “And what is he doing just before he’s drinking? Is it after he’s been walked or chased a ball?”

The woman thought for a moment “Seems like there’s no one time he drinks more than others. And I can’t tell you what he’s been doing beforehand.  We have a big fenced yard and a doggy door so he pretty much comes and goes as he pleases. I can tell you what he does right after he drinks though.”

Marc was interested “What’s that?”

“Well, you know how when you drain enough water out of them jugs, it sort of has to readjust itself with the pressure and all? Kind of makes that ‘glug’ sound and a bunch a bubbles come up?”

“Yes..” Marc said slowly.

“Well, it seems Sunny likes that part.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, he gets real excited about it. Every time he hears that ‘glug’ and sees the bubbles he wags his tail and gets all happy. Seems like he looks forward to it. While he’s drinkin’, he’s watching the jug like he can’t wait for it to happen.”

“Really?” Marc stroked his chin as a ridiculous, yet plausible explanation began to take shape in his mind. “You think it’s possible that Sunny may be drinking all the water just to hear that glug sound?”

The husband and wife looked at each other.

“I mean it sounds almost like a learned response,” Marc continued. “Sunny knows if he drinks enough water, sooner or later he’ll see the bubbles and hear that sound he likes. So he keeps drinking to make it happen. Look, we’ve offered him water the two times he’s been in the clinic and he hasn’t touched it.”

At first, the dog’s owners sat there in silence. But then, they too, realized that, as bizarre as it sounded, Marc’s theory had possibilities.

“Well I’ll be!” the husband exclaimed. There’s nothing wrong with that dog at all.”

The wife chimed in, “yeah, he just been ‘conditioned.’ Like Pavlov’s dog.”

“More like Perrier’s dog” Marc said and they all laughed.

 

 

Easter Pet Poisons

By | Uncategorized

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The veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline receive hundreds of calls this time of year from pet owners and veterinarians concerning cats that have ingested Easter lilies.

“Unbeknownst to many pet owners, Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “All parts of the Easter lily plant are poisonous – the petals, the leaves, the stem and even the pollen. Cats that ingest as few as one or two leaves, or even a small amount of pollen while grooming their fur, can suffer severe kidney failure.”

In most situations, symptoms of poisoning will develop within six to 12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Symptoms worsen as kidney failure develops. Some cats will experience disorientation, staggering and seizures.

“There is no effective antidote to counteract lily poisoning, so the sooner you can get your cat to the veterinarian, the better his chances of survival will be,” said Brutlag. “If you see your cat licking or eating any part of an Easter lily, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately. If left untreated, his chances of survival are low.”

Treatment includes inducing vomiting, administering drugs like activated charcoal (to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines), intravenous fluid therapy to flush out the kidneys, and monitoring of kidney function through blood testing. The prognosis and the cost – both financially and physically – to the pet owner and cat, are best when treated immediately.

There are several other types of lilies that are toxic to cats as well. They are of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species and commonly referred to as Tiger lilies, Day lilies and Asiatic lilies. Popular in many gardens and yards, they can also result in severe acute kidney failure. These lilies are commonly found in florist bouquets, so it is imperative to check for poisonous flowers before bringing bouquets into the household. Other types of lilies – such as the Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies – are usually not a problem for cats and may cause only minor drooling.

Thankfully, lily poisoning does not occur in dogs or people. However, if a large amount is ingested, it can result in mild gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Other Dangers to Pets at Easter Time

Pet Poison Helpline also receives calls concerning pets that have ingested Easter grass and chocolate.

Usually green or yellow in color, Easter grass is the fake grass that often accompanies Easter baskets. When your cat or dog ingests something “stringy” like Easter grass, it can become anchored around the base of the tongue or stomach, rendering it unable to pass through the intestines. It can result in a linear foreign body and cause severe damage to the intestinal tract, often requiring expensive abdominal surgery.

Lastly, during the week of Easter, calls to Pet Poison Helpline concerning dogs that have been poisoned by chocolate increase by nearly 200 percent. While the occasional chocolate chip in one cookie may not be an issue, certain types of chocolate are very toxic to dogs. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. The chemical toxicity is due to methylxanthines (a relative of caffeine) and results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and possibly death. Other sources include chewable chocolate flavored multi-vitamins, baked goods, or chocolate-covered espresso beans. If you suspect that your dog ate chocolate, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

Spring is in the air and Easter is a wonderful holiday. Remember that your pets will be curious about new items you bring into your household like Easter lilies, Easter grass and chocolate. Keep them a safe distance away from your pets’ reach and enjoy the holiday and the season.

 

SOURCE: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/seasons/easter/

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