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Safety

beagle puppy laying in gravol

Desert Dangers

By | Client Education

In addition to all the usual trouble pets can get into, Arizona summers bring a host of unique situations that can make life dangerous for our furry, four footed friends.

During the warm weather pets can:

Have a Run-in with a Rattlesnake

  • During the summer, rattlesnakes are out and about when you and your pet are. Prime times are early mornings, late afternoons, and early evenings.
  • Don’t let dogs get ahead on walks and explore places where snakes can hide.
  • If your pet is bitten, get to a veterinarian right away.
  • A vial of rattlesnake antivenin is very expensive so prevention is preferred.
  • If your dog can’t stay away from snakes consider the rattlesnake vaccine or snake-proofing your pet through a variety of snake-avoidance techniques.

Tangle with a Toad

  • The large toads you see during monsoon season are Sonoran Desert toads. They excrete a substance through a gland behind the eye that acts as a neurotoxin.
  • Dogs that put these toads in their mouths can exhibit neurological symptoms including difficulty walking, seizures and paralysis.
  • Teach your dog to avoid toads.
  • If he has gotten hold of one, flush his mouth out with a garden hose. Aim the spray sideways to wash the toxin out of the mouth, not down the throat.
  • Most dogs do recover but the toxin can be life threatening.
  • If the condition worsens, see a veterinarian.
  • A toad sitting in a dog’s water bowl can also make the dog ill, so keep bowls clean.

Scuffle with a Scorpion or Spider.

  • Scorpion stings or spider bites may cause a swelling at the site and some distress.
  • They usually require no special medical attention.
  • Watch pets for the first few hours in case they exhibit a bad reaction.
  • Sometimes Benadryl is helpful in reducing symptoms. Use one milligram per one pound of pet as a guideline for dosage.

Get Into Cool Pools and Hot Spots

  • Do you have a pool . . . and a pet? Many pets love the water but even good swimmers may be bad at finding their way out so teach them where the steps are.
  • Dogs love to go for rides in the car but with this heat, if you can’t take the pet into the store with you, leave him at home.
  • Never, ever leave pets in the car, not even with the windows open.
  • Even your own yard and neighborhood has dangers.
  • Many pets get cactus spines stuck on their muzzles and elsewhere. Extracting them can be a lengthy, painful process so teach your pet to avoid them.
  • Adjust your pet’s exercise routine just as you adjust yours.
  • Walk your dog very early in the morning or at sunset or later.
  • Remember, hot pavement hurts their paws just as it would your bare feet.

If you leave your pet outside, which is not recommended, make sure the animal has a shaded area as well as plenty of water in a dish that will not tip over easily leaving him with nothing to drink on a hot day.

And remember the best cure for the Summertime Blues is . . . October!

When Pets Eat Like Pigs on Turkey Day

By | Uncategorized

0005_preventive_JohnsonRanch

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, pet owners should be reminded that festive foods and four legged friends don’t mix.

It’s a time for sharing but don’t share the holiday meal with your pets.

Feeding pets table scraps can be a recipe for trouble.

-A pet with a turkey bone lodged in his system may not show symptoms for 1 or 2 days.

turkey leg 004

-Turkey bones are hollow and break easily, splintering into sharp pieces, which, when chewed, can cause blockage and perforate the intestinal tract. If symptoms do occur they may include loss of appetite, depression, diarrhea or vomiting. While the bone may pass by itself, sometimes it must be surgically removed.

-Even if you don’t feed your pets from the table, it’s possible they might help themselves to untended food when no one is looking.

-Besides the dangers associated with overeating, turkey sitting out too long at room temperature can cause salmonella organisms to multiply, poisoning the pet.

One year, the day after Thanksgiving, two dachshunds came into the clinic after snatching the leftover holiday turkey off a coffee table in the middle of the night.  Another year a beagle ate a whole ham that was left lying around. It was never determined how these pets with their short legs could reach all this food or why hams and turkeys are being left untended but the result was three sick puppies

So be aware of your pet’s abilities. Several years back, someone’s pet pig learned how to open the refrigerator door and ended up eating everything inside, making a proverbial “pig of itself” and subsequently changing the expression “sick as a dog” to “sick as a pig.”

It’s not just gorging on the main course that causes problems. Many of the foods involved with the Thanksgiving dinner are dangerous, even fatal, to dogs. Here’s a list of the most common substances:

  • Chocolate– especially baking chocolate, can be lethal
  • Onions – can destroy a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia.
  • Rich, fatty foods– such as turkey skin or gravy can cause pancreatitis, and inflammation of a digestive gland, and can be very painful and serious.
  • Coffee– watch out for grounds and whole beans.
  • Alcohol-behavioral changes, staggering, excitement, decreased reflexes even death
  • Xylitol-a common artificial sweetener in desserts and sugarless chewing gum, is showing up more frequently in all kinds of food products, even peanut butter.

And it’s not just food that can cause problems during the holiday. You may be thankful for family and friends but your pet may be wary, even frightened of a lot of strange, new people coming in the house.  If your pet is not comfortable around new faces keep them in a separate room while guests arrive. Make introductions slowly and one at a time.

And make sure while you’re welcoming people inside the house your pet is not running outside taking advantage of a frequently open door.

Thanksgiving is just the first act in the annual holiday show. Christmas and New Years Eve, with their own pet pitfalls and hazards are just around the corner. More about that next month!

 

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