Common food dangers to our pet’s at Christmas
Christmas is a great time of year and should be fun for all the family, and our pets included. Many of us are already aware of some of the potentially toxic foods our pets can come across and take steps to avoid them. However, the festive period is one where we often introduce all manner of exciting items into the house that we don’t normally. Below is a chart of common Christmas poisonings. It goes without saying, if in doubt contact your vet and they will be able to advise you
Exactly why and how these are poisonous to dogs is unknown and the exact volume needed to cause symptoms is difficult to predict. Some dogs will eat one or two grapes and become seriously ill with acute kidney failure but others can eat many of them without apparent signs. The only way to be safe is to keep them out of reach of your dog.
2.Christmas Pudding, Christmas Cake and Mince Pies
* They are jam-packed full of raisins and sultanas. These are all a variation on the ‘grape’ and as such have the same serious health risks. So it is easy to ingest far more ‘grapes’ in this form than they would fresh grapes because there are so many packed into these cakes and they are smaller.
* They are full of fat, which can cause diarrhoea and vomiting and can lead to pancreatitis.
* They may be laced with alcohol which can cause many of the symptoms of intoxication seen in people
3. Chocolate coins and other choccy decorations
Most people are aware of the dangers for dogs of eating chocolate. However, it is not uncommon for people to forget about chocolate coins or decorations and leave them in an irresistible location. As well as the toxic effects of chocolate, the actual wrapping foil can be problematic as its works through the gut.
4. Bones & Fatty meats
At this time of year we often cook far more meat joints than usual and this normally results in many more bones lying about. Once cooked all bones become brittle and splinter easily. If fed to dogs this can cause obstruction, and smaller pieces can cause gut irritation, constipation and even perforation. Make sure you dispose of the string from any meat joints as this can be a tempting toy for your pets and could be harmful if ingested.
Within 12 hours of ingestion macadamia nuts can cause dogs to experience weakness, depression, tremors, vomiting and hyperthermia (increased body temperature). These symptoms tend to last for approximately 12 to 48 hours, and as with all the other food groups mentioned if you suspect your pet has consumed macadamia nuts note the possible quantity consumed and contact your vet.
We tend to use much more alcohol in our cooking at this time of year. As it is for people, alcohol is also intoxicating for our pets and can cause similar unpleasant side effects. If your pet does get into mischief and consumes any of these things then the first thing to do is contact your local vet for advice. Often the quicker treatment is sought the easier and more successful the treatment.
Spring is here, and with lots of fun to be had in the sun. It’s important we remember to help our pets stay cool with the soaring temps the season brings. Below we have included some helpful tips to help your pet during spring and the summer season ahead.
- Never leave your dog in the car. No, not even if you think you’ll only be a few minutes. Even when it isn’t that hot outside, the temp can soar inside a closed car.. Leave your dog at home, or go places where he can come with you.
- Keep your house cool. If your pet’s home alone, make sure he/she can truly chill. Leave the air conditioner on, and close the drapes. If you don’t have AC, open the windows and turn on a fan. You may want to see if a cooling vest or mat can help.
- Watch when you exercise. Limit when and how much you do when it’s hot and humid. Take walks in the cooler part of the day-the early morning and evening. And carry enough water for both of you.
- Check the pavement. Before you head out for a walk, touch the pavement. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paw pads. Walk on the grass and stay off the cement.
- Offer plenty of water and shade. Don’t leave your pet alone outside for long. And when he/she is there, make sure he/she has shade and lots of fresh, cool water. Add ice cubes when you can. Trees are better than doghouses for shade. They let air flow through. Doghouses can trap the heat and make it worse. Think about a kiddie pool or a sprinkler to help your dog cool off in the yard.
- Make cool treats. Help your canine chill from the inside out. For puppy ice pops, make ice cubes with tasty treats inside. Or fill and freeze a chew toy to make a chilly snack.
- Keep an eye on the humidity, too. When the air is full of moisture, your dog may not be able to pant enough to cool himself off. That can raise his temperature, which can lead to heatstroke. Stay inside, and limit exercise, too.
- Take care of at-risk dogs. Be watchful if you have a snub-nosed pet like a pug or bulldog. Their smaller airways make it harder for them to release heat when they pant. It’s also easy for old and overweight dogs, or those with heart and breathing problems, to get heatstroke.
- Groom your pet. If your pet has long hair, get rid of any mats and tangles. It will help keep him cool. Don’t shave or clip his coat before you talk to your vet or groomer. The extra fur that keeps him warm in winter may also keep him cool in summer.
- Watch for signs of overheating. Your dog can’t tell you when he doesn’t feel well, so keep an eye out for heatstroke, which can have these symptoms:
- Heavy panting or trouble breathing
- Heavy drooling
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dark or red gums and tongue
- Dizziness , weakness or agitation
If you see any signs, get him to the vet right away.
What Is Heartworm.
As the name suggests, heartworm is a serious and potentially deadly disease characterised by large parasitic worms, that cause infestation of the pulmonary arteries of the heart.
As a result, the heart is forced to pump extra hard to keep blood flowing, which can lead to heart failure. The disease can also severely damage other parts of the body, such as the liver and kidneys. It affects many types of animals, including domestic and feral dogs and cats, dingoes, foxes and ferrets.
How do pets get Heartworm ?
Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes. Just one bite could infect your pet. At least 60 species of mosquitoes transmit heartworm disease- when they bite an infected animal, they suck the blood filled with microfilaria (1st stage larvae) , which then develop into a 2nd stage larvae inside the mosquito. That same infected mosquito can go onto infect a healthy new pet with this larvae which develop in adults over a 6 month period. Heartworm is more common in tropical climates but it has spread to all states of Australia.
What happens if my pet get’s heartworm ?
We can test for heartworm in dogs and cats, but usually blood tests will not detect infection until the worms have matured into adults, about six months after the initial infection. You usually don’t see any symptoms until infection has advanced. Treatment is expensive and difficult, and often requires hospitalisation, and harsh drugs and surgery to kill the adult heartworm. If heartworm is left untreated in your pet , risk of death is high.
Symptoms in dogs
* A dry chronic cough * Lethargy / Fainting * Weight loss
* Breathing problems and difficulty with exercise
* Ascites ( where the abdomen swells due to fluid build up because the heart cant pump normally )
Symptoms in cats
* Coughing * Gagging * Raspy breathing * Vomiting
How do I prevent heartworm ?
Heartworm can be prevented by either monthly tablets, topical applications or by annual injections. There are a range of monthly treatments available but we recommend annual injections for compliance as missing monthly treatments can introduce an infection to your pet.
ASK YOUR VET ABOUT OUR YEARLY HEARTWORM INJECTION OR MONTHLY PREVENTIVES.
Take advantage of our discounted heartworm injection for your 12 week puppy for $45.
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