Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Holiday Pet Safety

“My pet would never eat food off the table!”
“My pet would never knock over the Christmas tree!”
“My pet would never bite someone!”

We all know our pets pretty well, but what we don’t always realize is that stress can make anybody do crazy things! When you have holiday guests or flashing Christmas lights or loud holiday music—or all of the above—at your house all at once, your pet may get stressed and frustrated, causing them to act out in unexpected ways. Most pet accidents are met with the statement, “He’s never done anything like that before!”

We recommend always making sure that your pet has a safe place to sit and relax during your holidays parties. Just like some people, pets need to get away from the action and de-stress, but most of the time they don’t know how to ask for their space. If your pet is comfortable in their crate, we recommend moving it into a quiet room and letting them spend some time resting during your holiday get-togethers. Your pet will be happier, and by extension, you and your guests will be happier! And holidays disasters will be prevented.  

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

‘Tis the season for friends, family and holiday feasts—but also for possible distress for our animal companions. Pets won’t be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement, or if they stumble upon an unattended alcoholic drink. Check out the following tips from ASPCA experts for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your pets can enjoy, too.

Talkin’ Turkey
If you decide to feed your pet a little nibble of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don't offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria.

Sage Advice
Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delish, but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.

No Bread Dough
Don't spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him raw bread dough. According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal's body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.

Don't Let Them Eat Cake
If you’re baking up Thanksgiving cakes, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.

Too Much of a Good Thing
A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. However, don't allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse—an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, it’s best keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays.

A Feast Fit for a Kong
While the humans are chowing down, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer them Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy—inside a Kong toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.

 Source: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/thanksgiving-safety-tips

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Zoonotic Diseases

In 64 million American household’s pets are a source of joy and perhaps even the key to longer, healthier lives. However, pet-owning households with young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems need to be aware that their animals can play host to disease-causing microorganisms. Humans are not likely to catch a disease through their pets, but in very rare cases it can happen. Fortunately, most of these diseases rarely occur in healthy individuals, are mild and can be easily treated. Others, like toxoplasmosis, can be far more serious.

Diseases transmitted from animals to humans are called zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases usually live out their complex life cycles in animals, but sometimes cross into human bodies. Usually contracting a pet-borne disease requires very close contact with animals or their excretions, so zoonotic diseases can be avoided with common sense, cleanliness and regular pet examinations and vaccinations.

Children often put their hands in their mouths, providing an easy route for bacteria to travel into their bodies. For example, children who eat dirt are more susceptible to contracting zoonotic diseases. Children also are more susceptible to pet-borne illness because they carry fewer antibodies than adults do. The same holds true for puppies and kittens, making them more likely to carry disease than older dogs and cats.

Although the chances of getting a zoonotic disease from your pet are slim, these are some common pet-borne illnesses that can make people sick:

This bacteria generally makes its way into human bodies through contaminated food. The bacteria can be passed through animal feces and may cause symptoms like fever, vomiting, diarrhea and exhaustion.

Roundworm eggs and microscopic adult worms can be excreted in the feces of dogs and cats infected by the worms. Children may be at a higher risk for contracting roundworms because they play near pets or touch infected feces and put their hands into their mouths. Because of the risk to children, all cats and dogs should be taken to their veterinarians for regular fecal examinations. Also remember to cover all sandboxes when not in use to prevent children from contacting contaminated feces. Symptoms can include fever, cough, loss of appetite, weakness and lung congestion.
Cat Scratch Fever 
This bacteria is usually transmitted from cats to humans through scratches. The bacteria is found on nails or claws and can cause high fever, loss of appetite, weakness and swollen lymph nodes. In otherwise healthy people, Cat Scratch Fever is usually mild and resolves itself. However, the bacteria caused by Cat Scratch Fever can be extremely dangerous or even fatal if left untreated in immune-compromised individuals. It’s important for these pet owners to tell their doctors they own a cat. Young children should be sure to wash scratches thoroughly with soap and water.

Strep Throat 
Though your pet is probably not the culprit bringing strep into your household each year, the possibility does exist. Recently, researchers have found that it’s more likely that people are infecting their pets. In any case, keep your children from kissing, licking or exchanging food by mouth with their pets.

A fungal infection of the skin, hair or nails, ringworm starts as a rapidly spreading hairless, circular lesion. Humans can be infected through use of contaminated objects like hair brushes, towels or clothing or by contact with infected animals like cats, dogs, mice, rats and guinea pigs.

Also called sarcoptic mange, scabies is a skin disease caused by itch mites which burrow under the skin. Scabies cause intense itching and scratching that can result in severe eczema. Humans can be infected through contact with infected animals. The most effective way to prevent zoonotic diseases and ensure your good health is to ensure good health for your pets. This means taking your pet to the veterinarian for regular exams and vaccinations. Most pet owners find that by following their veterinarian’s nutritional and health recommendations, their pets will lead happy, healthy lives with little risk of zoonotic infections.

SOURCE: https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/general_health_care/diseases_transmitted_by_pets.aspx

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Don't Ignore Breathing Difficulties in Short-nosed Dogs

Unfortunately, the only thing normal about noisy breathing for dogs with "pushed-in" faces is that it is an expected response to a shortened upper jaw, which creates excess soft tissue in the back of the throat.

Some dogs are affected to the point where they experience brachycephalic (the scientific term for breeds with pushed in faces) obstructive airway syndrome or BOAS. If left untreated, problems can get worse to the point where an animal can collapse due to a lack of oxygen.
Owners of affected dogs may be putting them at risk if they do not recognize the problem and seek treatment, according to researchers Rowena Packer, Dr. Anke Hendricks and Dr. Charlotte Burn of the United Kingdom's Royal Veterinary College.
In their 2012 study, the researchers discovered that owners of such dogs as pugs, English bulldogs, Pekingese, French bulldogs, Boston terriers, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, Shih tzus and others were not aware of the signs of BOAS. In fact, 58% of surveyed owners said their dogs did not have breathing problems even when more than two-thirds of the dogs showed difficulties during exercise.

What to watch for
According to Packer, while it is not yet known which are the best predictors of BOAS, signs to look for include:
  • Increased and abnormal breathing noise that sounds like snoring, both when the dog is awake and asleep
  • A shortness of breath while exercising or playing
  • Effortful, labored breathing with obvious abdominal movements
  • Interrupting exercise, play or eating to catch their breath
  • Inability to exercise for reasonable periods of time without becoming out of breath
  • Difficulty cooling down after a walk; panting for long periods
  • Physical collapse while exercising
  • Difficulty sleeping and/or periods where the dog stops breathing during sleep
  • Restlessness and difficulty getting comfortable at rest, stretched out head and neck position, forelegs spread and body flat against the floor
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) problems, such as difficulty swallowing, and bringing up food, stomach content or a lot of saliva.
"If you notice these signs, take your dog to your veterinarian for an assessment to learn whether they are compatible with the disease or due to a different problem," says Hendricks.
"If left to develop," says Burn, "BOAS can lead to secondary problems due to the effort required to breathe—putting pressure on the voice box, digestive system and heart. In addition, the more severe the breathing problems, the greater the severity of GI signs. They may reflect inflammation of the esophagus, stomach ulcers and, in some cases, hiatal hernias, when part of the stomach can become displaced into the chest cavity during breathing."

Option for severe BOAS
If your veterinarian believes the dog may have BOAS that requires treatment, he or she may refer you to a veterinary surgical specialist. There, the dog's airway is likely to be examined under general anesthesia to assess whether it shows the abnormalities associated with BOAS—an elongated soft palate, collapsing voice box and narrowed nostrils.
If present, these abnormalities would be surgically corrected, says Packer. That could mean, for example, that excess tissue in the nose and throat would be removed.
Surgery may improve clinical signs, she says, but the dog may never be "normal," because of the head structure and is likely to remain susceptible to heat stress.
For severely affected dogs, where significant secondary problems have occurred—for example, severe laryngeal collapse—then treatment choices may be limited. In some cases, either permanent tracheostomy or euthanasia may be recommended.
"That is why it is vital," says Hendricks, "that owners recognize the clinical signs of BOAS and perceive them to be a ‘problem' as early as possible, so that these secondary changes can be avoided by early intervention."

Options for mildly affected dogs
For all dogs, including those that have had surgery or have been determined by a veterinarian to only be mildly affected, owners can help with some lifestyle changes, says Burn. Owners should do the following:
  • Closely monitor the dog to keep it at a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can exacerbate the condition.
  • Use body harnesses rather than collars on walks so the airway is not compressed by a neck collar if the dog pulls at the leash.
  • Avoid walking on hot or humid days. On particularly warm days, keep dogs calm and indoors in a cool, aerated room with access to water.
  • Avoid having dogs in particularly stressful or exciting situations.

Originally published by Healthy Pet.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Yuck! My Pet Ate Garbage!

Why worry? Because people food is not safe for animals. And food isn’t the only risk—animals will eat the most unexpected things. It’s important to guard that garbage can. “You don’t want your dog to pig out on chocolate or leftover pizza, chicken or turkey—anything with a high percentage of fat can lead to pancreatitis (inflammation and swelling of the pancreas, which can cause permanent damage and be fatal)," says Martha Gearhart, DVM, owner of Pleasant Valley Animal Hospital, Pleasant Valley, N.Y. “Raw bones are digestible, but their sharp points are dangerous, and cooked bones are very brittle and can shatter [once eaten].” The odor of food or blood attracts animals to garbage, sometimes with tragic results—Gearhart’s brother’s dog ate the plastic wrap and Styrofoam tray from a package of meat, killing the dog. “It didn’t show up in the X-ray, but the points from the Styrofoam punctured the lung,” she recalls. Boredom and separation anxiety can make animals explore trash cans or pounce on decorations, Gearhart says. “Some dogs have a passion for salty, smelly socks!” she notes. “I had one dog that enjoyed knocking down glass ornaments and biting on decorative balls.” Cats eating tinsel is so common that tinselitis is a veterinary term. “Cats won’t eat tinsel from the garbage can, but will be attracted to tinsel on a tree,” warns Gearhart. I discovered that myself—my own cat once ate tinsel. I found out when she eliminated it, tangled in balls of poop that she dragged around the apartment. I was lucky to get her to the veterinarian in time for treatment.

Dogs may eat used tampons or sanitary pads, which cause dangerous internal obstructions, Gearhart says. There is string in a roast or bird, and string is severely dangerous—it causes internal damage. Cats are more likely to eat string than are dogs, notes Gearhart. Prevention First Prevention is the best way to protect animals from garbage: • Rinse wrappers, containers and packaging before pitching them.
• Lock garbage under the sink or on the porch.
• Use trash cans with tight-fitting lids (heavy, self-closing cans for households with large dogs).
• Move garbage from indoors to well-secured outdoor containers.
• Put tinsel and breakable decorations high up, out of reach.
• Put a decorated tree in a room with a door—and keep it closed.
• Keep dogs away from dangerous and tempting situations.

As Gearhart notes, “I’m all for crate training. They feel better and more secure.” Protective Measures If precautions fail, the best thing to do is call your veterinarian, who might have you come in to get a vomit-inducing drug. Or, they may encourage you to induce vomiting, unless the animal ate something sharp, acidic or caustic. In some instances, your veterinarian might have you wait—it can take up to 5 days for elimination. Regardless, work with your veterinarian to find the best “cure” for your pet. Here’s to a safe diet, and holiday season, for your animals!

Originally published by AAHA.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Keep Your Cat Safe in a Heat Wave

The temperature is soaring, and it’s only going to get hotter. Make sure you know how to keep your cat safe in the summer heat.

  1. Watch out for heatstroke. Symptoms include panting, lethargy, drooling, fever, vomiting and collapse. If you think your cat may have heatstroke, get the vet ASAP — the condition can cause permanent organ damage and death. Learn more about heatstroke in pets.
  2. Offer your cat several ways to cool off. Leave a fan on in a place where your cat can sit in front of it, add some ice cubes to her water or offer her a cool treat (check out our recipe for catsicles.)
  3. Let your cat find cool spots in the house. Your cat will seek out the cooler parts of your home, so make sure she has access to areas with tile floors or rooms that don’t get much sun.
  4. Play in the morning or evening. Any exercise should take place during the cooler hours of the day. This is especially important for young kittens and seniors, both of whom are very vulnerable to heatstroke. (If your cat has just eaten, make sure you give her some time to digest before you begin playtime.)
  5. Brush your cat often. A well-groomed, tangle-free coat will help keep your cat cool. (Learn more about grooming your cat.)

Article originally published by PetFinder.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Celebrate Pet Safety this Memorial Day

As the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day is a great excuse to get outdoors. But whether you’re partying, barbequing, or just soaking up some rays, it’s important to keep your pet’s safety in mind at all times. To prevent any Memorial Day mishaps, we’ve put together five tips to help protect animals during the “Dog Days” of the season.

Party Smart
Barbequing is one of the best parts of Memorial Day, but remember that the food and drink you serve your guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from animals, and remind guests not to give them any table scraps or snacks. Raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, and avocado are all common at barbeques—and they’re all especially toxic to animals.

Be Cool Near the Pool
Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake—not all dogs are expert swimmers! Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Also, try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains potentially dangerous chemicals like chlorine.

Skip the Spray
Unless specifically designed for animals, insect repellant and sunscreen can be toxic to pets. Signs of repellent toxicity include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy. DEET, a common insecticide in products for humans, may cause neurological issues in dogs.

Made in the Shade
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so if you’re spending time outside, give them plenty of fresh, clean water and make sure they have a shady place to get out of the sun. Note that animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible. 

IDs, Please
Time spent outdoors comes with the added risk of pets escaping. Make sure that your pet is fitted with a microchip or ID tag with identifying information, or both. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Source: http://www.aspca.org/blog/celebrate-pet-safety-memorial-day

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Reasons To Act More Like Your Pet

Pets aren’t always easy to take care of, and they often require a substantial time commitment (something you’re all too aware of at, say, 3 a.m., when Bing Clawsby is finally ready to go outside and do his business). But pets provide an amazing return on that time investment, especially when it comes to your health. Case in point: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pet owners tend to have lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels than non-pet owners. But that’s not all. Pets also model many surprisingly healthy behaviors that humans would do well to emulate. Here are just a few, according to veterinarians, dog trainers, and other pet experts. 

1. They focus on what matters most. You may get grumpy after a bad day at the office, but your pooch never does. “Companion animals mostly care about food, love, and shelter (not always in that order). As long as they have those things, they don’t need much else,” Mary Gardner, DVM, a veterinarian and cofounder of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice tells Yahoo Health. “Pets also don’t complain much at all. People believe they hide their pain; I simply think they manage it differently.” If humans could model these behaviors, Gardner adds, we’d be healthier, happier, “and more people would want to be around us.” 

2. They practice portion control (even if not by choice). Snowball might not want to limit her kibble intake any more than you want to limit your tortilla-chip intake. Nonetheless, she typically eats reasonably sized helpings of nutritionally balanced food — and never gets to eat straight out of the bag. Follow her lead. “Both animals and people need structure and regulation when it comes to portion size,” says Jme Thomas, executive director of Motley Zoo Animal Rescue based in Redmond, Washington. 

3. They know how to de-stress. Your pooch doesn’t pour a glass of cabernet when the going gets rough (though, yes, it would make a very popular YouTube video if she did). She may, however, start begging for a walk or to play a game. Smart dog! “Actively seeking healthy activities — that function as de-stressors when stress levels are high — helps to reset people as well as dogs, and bring us back to a productive and functional status, from which many things feel a lot more ‘do-able,’” Marisa Scully, a certified dog behavior specialist in Philadelphia, tells Yahoo Health. 

4. They hit the hay. People don’t get enough sleep: According to a 2014 survey by the National Sleep Foundation, 45 percent of Americans said that a lack of sleep had impaired their activities at least once in the previous week. Learn from your cat or dog, who knows just how important it is to get enough shut-eye, says Jeff Werber, VVM, president and chief veterinarian of Century Veterinary Group in Los Angeles. “Whether it’s a lazy dog day afternoon, or a quick cat nap, you won’t find them burning the candles at both ends.” 5. They stretch! There’s a reason one of the most common yoga moves is named downward dog. Dogs (and cats) stretch constantly — and we should do the same, notes certified dog behavior consultant Russell Hartstein. Why? Stretching can improve flexibility and reduce your risk of injury. 

6. They’re open to new things. Animals are naturally curious. “Open a box or empty a bag and before you know it, your cat will have climbed in to investigate. Walk your dog past a gardener planting flowers and chances are she will check it out before moving on,” Werber says. “And they’re always up for some fun. A game of catch, a walk, a visit — bring it on.” Since research has found that seeking out new experiences can keep people feeling young and healthy, we’d do well to follow suit.

7. They’re comfortable getting zen. Numerous studies have found a correlation between mindful meditation and reduced stress, decreased heart disease, and a stronger immune response — and that’s something your cat already knows how to do instinctively. “Each morning I sit on the sofa with my cat, Turtle, while I drink my first cup of coffee,” says Kristen Levine, a pet living expert. “We spend about 10 minutes together, her getting neck and head rubs, me enjoying her purring and having a few meditative moments at the start of the day.It sounds simple, and it can be, but depending on the activity, it can have a powerfully relaxing or invigorating effect for both human and critter.” 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine’s Day Pet Safety Tips

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and with this holiday of love comes gifts, many of which include candies and flowers. The veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline share some of the most common culprits of pet poisonings related to these well-intentioned gifts. 

“Unfortunately, some well-intentioned gifts of love can be toxic to your pets,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, and assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “Certain flowers, candy and sweeteners can be hazardous, so keeping those things out of their reach is one of the most loving things you can do for your pets this Valentine’s Day.”

Flowers Lilies (Lilium spp. and Hemerocallis spp.) are frequently sold in fresh bouquets and make a beautiful but deadly alternative to Valentine’s roses. The most common potentially dangerous lilies are the Stargazer lily, Tiger lily, other Asiatic lilies, and some species of day lilies. They contain a toxin in the petals, leaves, pollen and even the water in the vase.

Threat to pets: These lilies are extremely toxic to cats and cause acute kidney failure within a day or two of exposure. If untreated, the exposure will likely result in death. The ingestion of just one or two leaves or petals can cause sudden kidney failure. Even ingesting small amounts of pollen from a cat’s fur is considered poisonous. Thankfully, these plants don’t cause serious harm in dogs – only in cats. When ingested by dogs, they will result only in mild gastrointestinal upset. Signs: Within a few hours of exposure cats may develop drooling, inappetance, and lethargy. These signs progress to increased thirst and urination and severe kidney failure. Without treatment, lily poisoning is fatal in cats.

Treatment: Your veterinarian may decontaminate the cat by inducing vomiting and giving activated charcoal to prevent further absorption of the toxin. Most cats need to be hospitalized on IV fluids for three days to help protect the kidneys, and frequent blood tests are necessary to monitor progress. In rare cases, hemodialysis may be needed, however, the availability of hemodialysis is limited to only a few places within North America. Prognosis: Rapid treatment is imperative for a good outcome. Without it, the prognosis is poor.

Roses are red, violets are blue, but biting a thorn can do damage to you… and your pets. Threat to pets: Although roses do not often cause serious poisoning beyond gastrointestinal upset, there is risk for trauma to the mouth and paws from the thorns. If a large amount is ingested, a bowel obstruction may result. Signs: Drooling, pawing at the mouth, inappetance, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and abdominal pain or discomfort.

Therapy: Check the mouth and paws for signs of trauma from thorns. Veterinary treatment may be necessary, including a thorough oral exam under sedation, pain medication, antibiotics, or even anti-vomiting medication. Prognosis: Excellent with supportive care.

A classic Valentine’s Day treat, chocolate, can be toxic to pets. The question is – how much is too much? Chocolate and cocoa contain theobromine, a chemical similar to caffeine that’s highly toxic to dogs and cats. Remember this fact: dark = dangerous! The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains, meaning that baker’s chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, and gourmet dark chocolates are the most dangerous. Foods covered/dipped in chocolate can also be dangerous, as in addition to the chocolate, the food inside can be toxic to pets. The most dangerous are chocolate covered raisins, espresso beans and macadamia nuts. In general, white chocolate has very little theobromine, but all types of chocolate contain large amounts of sugar and fat, which can potentially result in pancreatitis.

Threat to pets: It’s the dose that makes the poison! Pets that ingest a few M&Ms or 1-2 bites of a chocolate chip cookie are unlikely to develop chocolate poisoning. For milk chocolate, any ingestion of more than 0.5 ounces per pound of body weight may put dogs at risk. Ingestions of more than 0.1 ounces per pound of dark or semi-sweet chocolate may cause poisoning. Almost all ingestions of baker’s chocolate can result in poisoning and are considered emergencies.

Signs: Ingestions of small amounts of chocolate may cause mild vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst and increased urination. Larger ingestions can cause severe agitation, tachycardia (elevated heart rate), abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures and collapse.

Treatment: Depending on the amount of time since ingestion, treatment includes inducing vomiting and treating with activated charcoal to bind the toxin. Treatment may also include anti-vomiting medication, IV fluids, sedatives and heart medications.

Prognosis: Excellent in pets with mild signs of poisoning, such as slight stomach upset or restlessness. Poor in those with severe signs symptoms such as heart arrhythmias, severe hypertension, collapse and seizures.

Commonly used as a sugar substitute, xylitol is dangerous to pets. For Valentine’s Day, beware of sugar-free gum, candy, baked goods, and breath mints containing xylitol.

 Threat to pets: Xylitol may cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar as well as liver failure in dogs. Typically, the dose required to cause poisoning is at least 0.05 grams per pound of body weight (0.1 grams per kilogram of body weight). Chewing gums and breath mints can contain as much 100% xylitol per piece, so a 10 pound dog would only have to eat as little as one piece of gum to experience a potentially toxic dose!

Signs: Within 10 to 15 minutes of ingestion, dogs may develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Signs of hypoglycemia include vomiting, walking drunk, acting weak, collapsing, and even seizures. With large ingestions causing liver failure, signs may not be seen for several days after ingestion. Treatment: Inducing vomiting should only be performed in asymptomatic animals that have a normal blood sugar level. Treatment for poisonous amounts of xylitol may include intravenous dextrose (sugar) and fluids, along with monitoring blood sugar levels and liver values. Prognosis: Excellent when the ingestion is caught early. Show your pets lots of love this Valentine’s Day and throughout the year by protecting them from harm. If you think your pet may have ingested something harmful, take action immediately. Contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. Pet Poison Helpline is the most cost-effective animal poison control center in North America charging only $39 per call; this includes unlimited follow-up consultations.

Published on February 6, 2012