Christmas Trees Fun for you Pet?
By Dr. Norette L. Underwood
Christmas is a fun time for people and pets. The Christmas tree is a wonderland of fun for your dog or cat. Bright lights, dangling shinny stuff, round balls that move and a tree to climb. What could be move enticing to your pet than this tree. Some simple tips can make your tree safe and less of a headache for you.
- Tie your tree securely to the wall. Cats especially love to climb them. This way they cannot turn it over.
- Make sure the cords for tree lights do not dangle so your pet will not chew on them. This can cause nasty burns to their mouths. Can also be a fire hazard.
- Watch out for the light bulbs. They will chomp on them.
- Icicles and dangling ribbons are an irresistible temptation. Ingesting these can cause an intestinal obstruction that must be surgically removed.
- Keep the tree needles off the floor. Some pets will eat them.
- Keep the water changed for the tree. Your pet may drink from the holder. So be careful about adding stuff to water to make the tree last longer.
- Glass balls may be a problem. Some pets will eat them others play with them. When they break they could harm them.
- Be careful with any type of aromatic product. Cats love to drink the liquid and it is very caustic to their tissues in the mouth.
- Use caution with stringing popcorn or wild berries for your tree. Cats and dogs both love the string. Some berries are toxic.
Have a safe and Merry Christmas with you and your pets.
Dr. Norette L. Underwood is a veterinarian at Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Dr. Norette L. Underwood
COLD WEATHER DANGERS FOR PETS
With the temperatures getting cooler it is time to start thinking about cool weather and your pets. Here are some facts to think about this fall season.
- Although some pets are conditioned to the cold weather, veterinary experts agree that you should bring outdoor pets indoors if the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Puppies, kittens, and short haired pets should come inside anytime the temperature goes below 40 degrees.
- For pets with long hair, proper grooming is essential to help them maintain a layer of warming air within their coat. Pets who are heavily matted cannot keep themselves as warm.
- If your pet must stay outdoors, be sure to provide shelter for your pet. A good “house” will have three enclosed sides, will be elevated off the ground, and will contain generous amounts of bedding such as straw or hay.
- In cold weather, bigger is not always better. A house just big enough for your pet will warm up faster and retain heat better than something that is too big.
- Your pet will need access to fresh water that isn’t frozen. Use heated water bowls and replenish them frequently.
- Antifreeze is a common and deadly pet poisoning during colder months. If you suspect your pet has consumed any antifreeze at all, you must contact your veterinarian immediately!
- Antifreeze has a sweet taste to pets, so they will readily lap up any spilled material. If you spill antifreeze, dilute the area well with water and sweep excess water into a rocky or sandy area. Cover area with soil to keep pets from licking at the rocks.
- Cats love to warm up underneath car hoods. If your car is kept outdoors, or if cats have access to your garage, be sure to pound on the hood of the car prior to starting it. Many cats are killed or injured grievously by fan belts and moving engine parts.
- Pets should not be left alone in vehicles due to the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning or hypothermia.
- Our pets suffer from frostbite and hypothermia just like we do. Consider keeping dogs on a leash when they go outside. Many curious dogs off leash will explore “frozen” retention ponds, lakes or streams and fall through the ice into frigid water.
- Older pets may suffer more from arthritis during these months. Ask your veterinarian about ways to help keep your senior pet comfortable during the winter.
- Monitor all pets around wood-burning stoves, fireplaces and space heaters. These can cause severe burns!
- This is a great time of year to see your veterinarian about a “winter check up” for your pet. Their advice and expertise can help keep your pet safe and warm!
If you have questions about your pet and cold weather contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile service at email@example.com
By dr. Norette L. Underwood
Fall: Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips
Keeping Thanksgiving Happy: 10 Pet Safety Tips
Thanksgiving is such a wonderful and meaningful holiday. Families and friends excitedly gather to show their gratitude for all they are so fortunate to have. Ovens are working overtime and delicious holiday aromas fill the air.
During this happy time of family, food and giving, people tend to become overly generous with their pets. This means that dogs and cats will get a lot of table food scraps. Sometimes, however, too many treats can lead to injury or illness for our pets.
North Shore Animal League America would like to offer some important tips to help keep your pets safe this holiday – and to keep the “Happy” in Thanksgiving!
- Fatty Foods: Too many fatty, rich, or unfamiliar foods can give your pet pancreatitis or gastroenteritis; two medical conditions that can be very painful and even life-threatening.
- Diet and Exercise: Maintain your pet’s regular meal and exercise schedule and avoid too many holiday leftovers. A disruption in his dietary routine can cause stomach upset, diarrhea and/or vomiting.
- Bones: Make no bones about it. Certain bones can lacerate or obstruct your pets’ insides. Save the bones for the broth – not your dog.
- Onions: Onions and onion powder, widely found in stuffing and used as a general seasoning, will destroy your dog or cat’s red blood cells, which can lead to anemia.
- Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins contain a toxin that can cause kidney damage to both dogs and cats.
- Chocolate: Chocolate can actually be fatal to your dog or cat; so all those sweets must be kept well out of reach.
- Food Wrappings: Aluminum foil, wax paper and other food wrappings can cause intestinal obstruction. Make sure to place these items securely in the garbage.
- Fresh Water: Make sure your pet always has fresh water. When there are more people in the house, there’s more chance to bump into the water bowl leaving your pet dry.
- Quiet Time: Make sure your pet has a quiet retreat should the holiday festivities be too much for him. Watch his behavior to make sure he is not stressed.
- Garbage: Keep an eye on the garbage and keep it securely fastened! If your dog gets into it, he may think he’s hit the jackpot, but all he’ll be winning is health problems from something as simple as gastric disturbance, vomiting and diarrhea to the worst-case scenario – death. These tips were from the North Shore League for Animal Rescue Group.
Please be careful with your pets during this holiday season. If you have questions about your pet contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Dr. Norette L. Underwood
Duck Hunting safety for your Retriever
With duck season around the corner I felt it very important to make sure that your best hunting buddy was ready for the field and you know how to protect them from certain dangers.
A well-trained retriever is a great partner for a duck-hunting companion. It is one of the best conservation tools you can take into the field. They can get all those cripples and find birds you never would. A duck dog will break through brush and go into freezing water with out battling an eye. Retrievers are very tough, courageous, and long to please. They are not a machine and not indestructible. Labradors, especially know nothing about pacing it self. My dog Lucy would hunt and fetch until she dropped. It is our responsibility to monitor their activity level and take care of their safety and physical well being.
Make sure your companion is up to date on all vaccinations, Heartworm Prevention and intestinal parasite prevention. In the field your dog may be exposed to mosquitoes that carry heartworms and intestinal parasites in the environment. Also carry a dog emergency kit for cuts and scraps. Also carry some dog treats after working hard to keep energy levels high.
Your buddy needs a place where when wet it can get our of the wind and keep warm. It is essential to prevent hypothermia (low body temperature). The old wives tale that dogs don’t get cold is FALSE. Do not place your wet dog in the bottom of a cold metal boat without something to lie on. Dogs can get frostbite. Also do not run your pet through ice-covered fields or swim in ice. The ice acts like a knife cutting their legs and paws and causing vascular damage to the skin and muscles.
Remember Duck boats are operated in remote areas with dark water lurking with trees and stumps. Do not over load your boat with big bags of decoys they take up room and obstruct view of water and your dog. Big active dogs in small boats are a back mix. Keep your dog under control and do not let it lurch.
When transporting your dog to the field in an open pick up make sure the kennel is against the cab and covered with a wind proof cover. Do not let your dog run loose or tie on a long cord. Both can result in your dog being tossed out of the truck. If on a long rope it can be drug down the road causing severe trauma.
Make sure you have a good collar with nametag on your dog. This is to assure if lost your hunting companion gets home.
Duck season is a great time of year for you and your dog. It strengthens the bond between hunter and retriever. So be careful and use common sense.
If you have questions about your pet contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood at email@example.com
by Dr. Norette L. Underwood
Unsafe Vs. Unsafe Medications For Your Pet
While you might be tempted to give medications to your pet, some of the medicines in your home are very, very toxic to your pet. You should always keep medications out of paw’s reach. Your pet can easily ingest dropped pills or may be given human medications by an unknowing owner, resulting in illness or even death of your pet. One-fourth of all phone calls to the Animal Poison Control Center are about human medications.
Unsafe Medications for Dogs: (this is only a short list, but considered the most frequently abused/reported)
- Ibuprofen, also called Advil or Motrin, is the most common human medication ingested by pets. This can cause stomach ulcers or even kidney failure in a dog.
- Xanax(alprazolam). Most pets who ingest the drug will become sleepy and wobbly, but a few will have a paradoxical reaction and become very agitated instead. Large doses can cause blood pressure to drop and lead to weakness or collapse.
- Adderall acts as a stimulant in dogs, causing elevated heart rate and body temperature, hyperactivity, tremors, and seizures.
- Tylenol (acetaminophen). Cats are extremely sensitive, but dogs take a hit, too. This medicine causes liver damage and attacks your dog’s red blood cells-the cells that carry oxygen to all the body’s tissues.
- Aleve (naproxen) can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure in dogs, even in small amounts.
- Cymbalta (duloxetine) can cause agitation, vocalizations, tremors, and seizures in pets.
At the same time, some medicines that you have in your home can be helpful for you and your pet. Here is a list of “safe” medicines you may have. As always, consult your Veterinarian to see if they are safe for your pet. Also, go over the dosages with your vet very carefully. The dose is dramatically different for a 150-pound person compared to a 6-pound Chihuahua, especially since dogs and people don’t metabolize drugs in the same way.
- Pepcid AC (famotidine). This drug can work wonders with a bout of diarrhea or other manifestation of tummy upset.
- Triple antibiotic ointment. If your pet has a wound, you can apply this topically upon direction of a vet to inhibit bacterial growth and subsequent infection.
- Hydrocortisone cream is applied topically and can reduce itching cause by insect bites and allergies.
- Artificial tears can help clear mild conjunctivitis and soothe dry eyes.
- Benadryl (diphenhydramine). This medicine can relieve itchiness in dogs, but the proper dosing is critical.
- Zyrtec (cetirizine) is another antihistamine used to treat dermatitis, a condition in which a dog’s skin becomes itchy. When Benadryl doesn’t do the trick, you can try this.
- Styptic pencil or powder can be used to stop a nail from bleeding if you have cut it too close to the quick.
- Hydrogen peroxide can be used to induce vomiting in case of poisoning. Your vet can instruct you on how much to give or IF you should induce vomiting. In some cases of poisoning, it is not appropriate to make your pet vomit. This can worsen the condition, so make sure that you consult your veterinarian.
- Antifungal products. For a dog with a fungal infection, a spray, cream or gel can help to keep him comfortable.
If you have any questions regarding your pet, please contact Dr. Norette Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic & Best Friends vet Mobile Service at firstname.lastname@example.org