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Nuts Dangers to Dogs

August 28, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 8:00 am

Pet Talk

By Norette L. Underwood, DVM

 

Nuts Dangers to Dogs

Toxic Poisoning and Upset Stomach a Common Symptom

 

Dog owners, beware of rewarding your four-legged companion with a variety of salty treats in the form of nuts. I found this wonderful article on nut toxicity and wanted to share with my readers.

 

Nuts are one more “DO NOT EAT” item to add to Fido’s list of toxic or harmful substances. Certain types of nuts can cause toxic poisonings, an upset stomach or an obstruction in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. This can lead to life-saving surgery and unexpected veterinary expenses.

 

With fall approaching and trees shedding acorns, these can be a real health hazard. They can cause an intestinal obstruction. Oak acorns can cause an intense gastritis from the stomach irritation.

 

Keep your pet safe and make sure the nuts listed below are out of your dog’s reach.

Almonds

Dogs love the taste of almonds, particularly the flavored variety (jalapeno, barbecued, smoked, vanilla, cinnamon, etc.).

While not toxic, almonds are not easily digested can give your dog an upset stomach and create gastric intestinal distress.

 

Black Walnuts

 

Black walnuts contains a toxin called juglone which can cause a vascular disease in horses known as laminitis, but doesn’t appear to cause problems in dogs. Eating black walnuts can cause gastric intestinal upset or an obstruction.

 

In addition, moldy black walnuts can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.

 

English Walnuts

 

English walnuts can cause gastric intestinal upset (tummy ache) or even an obstruction in your dog’s body. Like black and Japanese walnuts, moldy English walnuts can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins (toxic chemical products produced by fungi) which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.

 

 

 

Hickory Nuts

 

Hickory nuts also contain the toxin juglone that can cause laminitis in horses. Eating hickory nuts can cause the same problems associated with black walnuts: gastric intestinal upset or an intestinal obstruction. Like walnuts, moldy hickory nuts can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.

 

Japanese Walnuts

 

Japanese walnuts contain no toxicity; however, they can cause gastric intestinal upset or even an obstruction.

Like English walnuts, moldy Japanese walnuts can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.

 

Macadamia Nuts

 

Macadamia nuts are very rich in fat which can give your dog a major upset stomach and may cause pancreatitis.

In addition, these nuts are reported to contain an unknown toxic principle that may result in neurological symptoms.

 

Pecans

 

Pecans also contain the toxin juglone that can cause laminitis in horses. Feeding dogs pecans can cause gastric intestinal upset or an obstruction.

Like walnuts, moldy pecans can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.

 

Pistachio Nuts

 

Pistachios are also rich in fat and can cause your dog to develop an upset stomach. In addition, repetitive eating of pistachios can cause pancreatitis in your dog.

 

If you are concerned about any dangerous or toxic substances your dog may have consumed, please contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline.*

 

If you have questions about your pet please contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic or Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at catdoc56@gmail.com



Secondhand Smoke Harms Our Pets!

August 22, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 3:21 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

Secondhand Smoke Harms Our Pets!

 

 

The history of smoking tobacco may reach back many hundreds of years, but research in the 20th century has made it clear how harmful this habit is.  Furthermore, secondhand smoke has been implicated in the illnesses and even deaths of non-smokers.  What’s even more disturbing is that smokers may have unknowingly contributed to severe disease in dogs and cats.

 

Most people understand that secondhand smoke from cigarettes contains an incredible number of hazardous substances and many of them are carcinogenic.  These chemicals are found in high concentrations in carpets and on furniture around the home.  Pets sharing this environment will get these toxins on their fur and then ingest them during normal grooming. Increased numbers of smokers and smoking in households corresponds with higher levels of the by-products of nicotine metabolism in pets sharing that home.

 

In the early 1990s, researchers found correlations between nasal cancers in dogs and the presence of smokers in the home.  There is also a concern that environmental tobacco smoke may increase the incidence of lung cancer in our canine friends as well.

 

Cats may actually be at higher risk for serious disease when they live in a smoking environment.  As mentioned above, many cigarette smoke toxins settle to low levels in the home and cats will pick up these substances on their fur.  Because of their fastidious grooming habits, cats end up ingesting a higher level of chemicals and this leads to a greater chance of several types of cancer.

 

With more than 46 million smokers in North America and about 60% of the population own a dog or cat, the risk for the animal is substantial.  Pets are often good at hiding signs of illness, so many smoking owners fail to realize the damage that their habit is causing to the four-legged family member.  Understanding that it’s not easy to quit this addictive habit, people who smoke and have pets should attempt to minimize their pets’ exposure by smoking outdoors.

 

Another important thing to remember is that smoking in the car with pets can create a toxic environment, even with the windows open.  Some states and Canadian provinces  ban smoking in cars when children are passengers because of the chance for serious exposures.  If you must smoke when you drive, leave your pets and kids at home!

 

If you have questions about smoke and your pet please contact Dr Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at catdoc56@gmail.com.com

 

 

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Gecko and Turtle Health

August 14, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 4:27 pm

Pet Talk

By dr. Norette L. Underwood

 

Gecko and Turtle Health

 

Gecko Hunger Strike

 

A friend of mine had a fat-tailed gecko.  He used to eat a few live crickets every few days, but lately he will not touch his food. He just lets the crickets die in his aquarium.

A gecko not wanting to eat is frequently a sign of an underlying health issue.  You should make an appointment to see your vet to rule out infections or other medical issues.  Your gecko’s environment may be off.  It is important that proper heating, lighting and humidity are correct.  The ideal home is a tank with a warm side heated to 90 degrees and cooler side in the high 70’s.  It is also important to keep the tank clean. Remove uneaten crickets or other insects after 30 minutes. If left in the tank, they can pick up parasites from your pet’s poop and make your gecko sick if he does eventually eat them.

 

Turtles and Sunlight:

 

A client asked me if there was a correlation between the amount of sunlight and her turtle’s appetite.  Yes there is.  When the lighting or environmental temperature range is not correct for a species it can have trouble digesting food and not want to eat.  All indoor turtles should have access to full-spectrum (UVA-UVB) lighting during the day. The light source should be 8-12 inches from your turtle and not shine through glass or plastic.  Some reptiles do fast seasonally, but loss of appetite can also be a sign of illness.  If your turtle doesn’t eat for more than a few days, have it checked out by your veterinarian.

 

If you have questions about geckos and turtles contact dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at catdoc56@gmail.com.



Doggie Home Dental Care 101

August 7, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 7:43 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

Doggie Home Dental Care 101

 

Your dog’s teeth are made up of the same components as all other mammal teeth, including yours. Without regular brushing and periodic professional cleanings, a soft, sticky film of bacteria called plaque builds up on your teeth. Eventually, plaque accumulates and hardens into calculus, allowing millions of bacteria to move into your gums and the structures that hold the teeth in place.

WHY DO DOGS NEED DENTAL CARE?

Many people think dogs don’t need dental care because they come from wolves, and wild animals like wolves don’t have their teeth brushed or scaled. While that’s true, keep in mind that not only is a wolf’s diet different from what our pets eat, but the shape of a dog’s mouth, the size of its teeth, and the way they all fit together are also different. The size and shape of dogs’ mouths vary depending on their breed. The teeth of many canine breeds are crowded compared with wolves’ teeth because dogs have a smaller jaw and a more rounded face. What’s more, our dogs live longer than their wild ancestors, who don’t often live long enough to experience severe dental disease. The fact is that up to 85% of pets have periodontal disease by the time they reach age 3. And, as in people, this results in bad breath, painful chewing, and tooth loss. We know home dental care is a commitment, but it’s not as hard or time-consuming as you might think. Just follow these simple guidelines and see what you can achieve.

READY, SET, BRUSH! It’s best to start a dental care routine with clean teeth, such as when adult teeth first come in or after a professional dental cleaning. If you can already see tartar at your dog’s gum line, realize that brushing may impede the tartar’s destructive process but won’t remove the tartar itself.

Ideally, dogs’ teeth should be brushed every day, but any brushing is better than none. The process should not be a struggle for you or your pet, so take it slow, offer lots of praise, and have fun while improving your dog’s health.

Preparing:  The best brush to use is one with soft bristles that you can hold at an angle that’s comfortable for both you and your pet.  You can opt to start with a finger toothbrush, which is a piece of textured rubber that you place over your finger to massage your dog’s teeth and gums. Finger brushes allow you to reach the spaces between teeth where bacteria and tartar thrive, particularly in small dogs. You’ll also need to use a toothpaste that’s made just for dogs. Human toothpaste is not meant to be swallowed and  may contain artificial sweeteners that can be harmful to dogs. Canine toothpaste comes in flavors they like, such as chicken and beef.

Brushing:   Put some dog toothpaste on the brush, and let your dog lick it off. Once he looks forward to getting the toothpaste, lift the lips with your fingers and brush the teeth that you can reach easily in the front of the mouth. Don’t worry if you only get a few teeth the first week or so. Once your dog is used to the idea of having his teeth brushed, begin to work the toothbrush like you would your own—over both sides of all the teeth. Realize this may takes weeks to achieve and you may never get your dog to stop trying to chew the brush. Just relax, and do the best you can.

NEVER attempt home care if you think your dog may bite you. Discontinue if your dog growls, snaps, or begins to panic. Call or visit us, and we’ll help find a better way for you to keep your dog’s mouth as healthy as possible.

If you have questions about dental care contact dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at catdoc56@gmail.com