Spring Hazards For Your Pets

 

Spring is soon to arrive and with it new hazards for our furry friends.

Flowers/Plants

Tulips

Hyacinths

Daffodils

Crocuses

Lilies

Lily of the Valley

Foxglove

Azalea

Rhododendron

Yew Bushes

Basically, if it’s an Easter style or spring type potted plant, keep it away from your pet. If you’re uncertain, the ASPCA has a great website that shows toxic and non-toxic plants.

Garden/Outdoor Chemicals

Anything meant to kill a pest is probably toxic to your pet. This would include, but not be limited to things like:

Gopher bait

Rodenticide

Slug bait

Anything you wouldn’t drink/eat, your pet probably shouldn’t, either:

Antifreeze (or any other automotive chemicals)

Fertilizer

Herbicide

Blood/Bone Meal

Cocoa Mulch (or any mulch, as they can be treated with all sorts of chemicals)

Weed Killers

Indoor Hazards

Again, if you wouldn’t eat it/drink it, don’t let your pet:

Absolutely all cleaners (even if they are non-toxic to humans)

Paint

Mineral Spirits/Solvents

Human medications (just a reminder as some people may not take meds except for certain allergy prone times of the year and may forget to keep them in cupboards and away from pets)

Spring is the time for lots of home improvement projects. Don’t underestimate your pet’s curiosity, even if they seem afraid of the area when you’re around. Keep things put away and out of reach or keep the area closed off from your pet. Just because you wouldn’t eat a box of nails, doesn’t mean your pet wouldn’t.

All Easter decorations, especially the little strips of plastic green grass. Ingested by your pet they can cause an obstruction that could lead to death.

Open windows: if you are going to open your windows to let the fresh, spring air in, please make sure you have your screens back on. Pets can jump out windows and be hurt or lost without screens in place, even if you only opened the window a crack. It’s amazing what they can squeeze through.

Human Foods

Alright, so just because you would eat it, doesn’t mean your pet should:

Pork

Chocolate

Sugarless candies which may contain Xylitol

Honestly, if it’s not labeled as food for your pet and your veterinarian hasn’t given you the ok, it’s just safer not to give it to them. It’s better that their begging goes unfulfilled than your pockets get emptied of thousands of dollars in hospitalization fees, or worse, your furry friend dies. The ASPCA has a list of foods not to feed your pet, but it is woefully short.

While this post is not all inclusive, I hope it gives you an idea of things to keep away from your pets and helps you keep them safe as you enjoy the journey with your furry friends.

Pets and Hot Cars

Unfortunately, people still don’t understand that leaving your pet in the car during hot weather is a bad idea. Dr. Ernie Ward shows us how bad it is inside the car.

 

What do cats see?

This is so fascinating to me. See the world through the eyes of a cat.

 

https://i1.wp.com/www.popsci.com/sites/popsci.com/files/styles/article_image_big/public/darkvision.jpg

Published in: on October 16, 2013 at 7:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Science of Cats

I couldn’t have said this better myself and we just talked about cat purring in my previous post!

 

Published in: on August 31, 2013 at 1:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Health Benefits of Cat Purring

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Check the Chip Day – August 15th!

Check the Chip Day

 

Is your pet microchipped? How up to date is the information attached to that microchip? I have personally had two cases of lost pets called into the clinic with outdated information in the microchip database. Luckily for those pets they were also wearing tags with our clinic information on them, so we were called when the owners couldn’t be reached.

Don’t take chances with your pet’s safety! You had them microchipped which is an excellent way to keep them safe, but now it’s time to make sure all of the information the microchip company has is accurate. It won’t do your pet any good if no one can reach you!

Buyer Beware

I was out at the farmers’ market yesterday and I came across a table where they had what looked like homemade (or at least not mass marketed) dog treats. Since I don’t have a dog anymore, I just glanced at them and was going to walk by when I saw the ‘flavor.’ It was peanut butter and bacon. I stopped and looked at them in confusion. Anyone else catch what the problem was? Yep, that’s right, it had pork in it. Those of you who follow my blog (thank you so much, by the way, I squeal whenever someone follows my blog, lol) may be familiar with my past post about the evils of pork: Pets and Pork Don’t Mix. If you haven’t read it, please click the link and check it out. It explains why pork is so bad for dogs and cats.

I waited until the woman working the table was finished with the people ahead of me and then I asked her about the treats. The treats said they had ‘natural flavors’ and she informed me that it was indeed real bacon as opposed to some kind of artificial flavoring. I told her about how pork was dangerous to the point of possibly being deadly for dogs and she was surprised. She had no idea and stated she’d never heard that before. Her attitude and body language also told me that she didn’t believe me. Now, normally I wouldn’t say anything more, but it would have been irresponsible of me to just leave. So, I told her I was an LVT, so that was how I knew. She nodded politely and I could tell she wasn’t the type who would do any research and that she would continue to sell those potentially deadly dog treats. Well, at least I informed her.

My purpose in writing this is to warn all of you and any other pet owners you know to ALWAYS read the ingredients in whatever you buy for your pets. Just because it’s ‘all natural’ or ‘organic’ or whatever other catchy term the companies are using now a days doesn’t mean it’s safe. Just because it’s made by a ‘big name’ pet company doesn’t mean it’s safe, either. So, do your pets and your wallet (hospital bills can be expensive) a favor and always check ingredients before you buy!

Where to go if you need help?

Having pets can be expensive and while it is definitely worth it (in my humble opinion) having a few resources to turn to is nice. I have personally used care credit to get two more quality years of life with my best furry friend.

Please share this all over the place! 🙂

It’s only a little treat…right?

Before you give your adorable pooch or cuddly kitty another bit of human food, take a look at this graphic that explains the significance of that ‘harmless’ little treat. This is one of the ways our pets gain weight so quickly without us knowing why. To us it’s just one chip, but to them, it’s a LOT more.

 

Hill's Treat Translator

Cat Scratch Disease

Cat scratch disease is also know as Bartonellosis or Bartonella infection. It is a bacterial disease that can infect many different species, including cats and humans. People with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of infection.

Bartonella infection can cause chronic inflammatory conditions in some cats, like inflammation of the mouth (stomatitis), inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), and inflammatory bowel disease. Other cats may simply carry the disease and appear to be completely healthy with no signs or symptoms.

What Is Bartonellosis?

Bartonellosis is a disease caused by several bacteria of the Bartonella family. Bartonella organisms can cause bacterial infection in many species, including humans. Certain strains of Bartonella are known to infect cats. Bartonella organisms can be transmitted from a cat to a human via a bite or scratch, so bartonellosis in humans is commonly called cat-scratch disease.

Cats can become infected with Bartonella through exposure to infected fleas. For this reason, cats that roam outdoors are at greater risk for exposure. There is some evidence that ticks may also transmit the disease.

Some reports state that 12% to 50% or more of cats have been infected with Bartonella. The risk of exposure varies greatly depending on the region of the United States. Areas with warmer climates have a higher incidence of fleas and, therefore, a higher percentage of cats infected with Bartonella.

This is why regular application of flea and tick preventives, as recommended by your veterinarian, is so important.

Signs of Bartonellosis

Many cats that have been exposed to Bartonella do not get sick, so they do not show clinical signs of the disease. These cats may, however, still transmit the disease to humans. Clinically affected (sick) cats may have various clinical signs, including chronic inflammatory conditions that affect the eyes, mouth, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal system, and even the heart. More specific clinical signs may include:

  • Uveitis (inflammation of a part of the eye)
  • Stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth)
  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
  • Chronic upper respiratory disease (sneezing, nasal and eye discharge)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (chronic vomiting and/or diarrhea)
  • Fever

Infected cats may show one or more of the signs listed above. It is very important to discuss these illnesses with your veterinarian because other diseases may also cause these signs.

Symptoms of bartonellosis in humans generally occur about 3 weeks after a cat scratch or bite and include fever and swollen lymph nodes along with a number of other possible symptoms. Consult with your physician regarding any concerns or questions about Bartonella infection.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Your veterinarian may perform a blood test on your cat to check for Bartonella infection. The test indicates the presence of antibodies, which the body uses to fight specific infections. A positive test result means that your cat has been exposed to Bartonella. If your cat is showing signs of disease and has a positive test result, your veterinarian may recommend antibiotics to treat the disease. There is controversy about whether to treat cats that test positive for Bartonella but are not showing signs of illness. It is best to discuss treatment options with your veterinarian.

Prevention

Regular application of flea and tick preventives, as recommended by your veterinarian, will help to prevent Bartonella infection.

 

Kitten