Spring Pet Safety Checklist

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  • Dispose of antifreeze safely:

    • Even so-called pet safe antifreeze can be toxic to your pet.

    • Ethylene Glycol ingestion causes incoordination, disorientation and lethargy progressing to vomiting, kidney failure and death.

    • Treatment must begin as soon as possible. Call your veterinarian. Early intervention and treatment is imperative to a good outcome.

    • For more information:

  • Check your yard for hazards hidden in the snow over the winter:e-collar dog

    • As the snow melts do a safety walk through your yard. You never know what may have been dropped or thrown over the fence. This small precaution can keep your pet safe from injury and poisoning.

  • Spring cleaning products:

    • Spring clean-up often involves chemicals that can be caustic to the sensitive tissues of the eyes, mouth and paw pads. Others may be toxic if ingested. Remember to keep cleaning materials and rags safely out of the way.

  • Fleas and ticks and spiders and bees – Oh My!!!tick

    • With spring so come all of Mother Nature’s creeping, crawling and flying creatures. Make sure your pets are up to date on both flea and tick preventatives.

    • A sudden swelling of the face and muzzle and/or bumps under the hair can be an indicator of an allergic reaction to bee or spider bites. These can become severe and require treatment by a veterinarian.

  • Parasites like spring too:

    • Parasites of all types appear with increasing temperatures. Make sure your pet is current on their intestinal and heartworm tests.flea-1

    • Remember the mosquitos that carry heartworm become active in temperatures as low as 50 degrees. It’s just one pill a month and parasites are so much easier to prevent than treat.

  • Protect against diseases such as Lyme, Leptospirosis , Canine Parvovirus and others

    • Lyme disease is carried by ticks so small they often go unnoticed. The larger Brown Dog Ticks can spread the disease as well. Lyme disease can cause inflammation of joints, lameness, lethargy, loss of appetite as well as damage to the kidneys and other organs.Rooms

    • Leptospirosis is transmitted through urine and is spread through the water and other warm, moist environments. The disease can cause joint pain, lethargy, loss of appetite, jaundice, vomiting and other symptoms. Most importantly, Leptospirosis can be shared with you.

    • Canine Parvovirus is incredibly hardy and able to survive long periods in the environment. Parvovirus causes, lethargy, severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, rapid dehydration and if left untreated death.

    • They are all preventable. VACCINATE.

  • The doors we open to let spring in also let pets out:

    • Get your pet microchipped. You will be happy you did because unlike collars, microchips can’t be lost. They have helped reunite many pets and owners over great distances and time.

  • Spring is gardening time.Kemo and Pyra Phaedra jones Mcnamara Wlochal

    • Many of the spring bulbs we plant in our gardens are toxic to pets.

    • The same goes for fertilizers and herbicides. Please use care around children and pets.

    • For a complete list of Toxic plants go to:

      • https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants

 

An Ounce of Prevention…

 

 

I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with the entire collection of animals on grounds at Niabi Zoo as well as their dedicated zookeepers and staff at least once a week.   Even though this part of my life is “scheduled,” I never know what my day will entail.   It’s the constant variety of daily tasks in zoological medicine that makes it that much more interesting for me:  the never ending challenge of diagnosis, developing treatment plans, and, most importantly, annual wellness and preventative medicine.  Preventative medical care and annual wellness screening is one of the most overlooked areas of zoological medicine in the public eye.  Not only is preventative medicine essential for the animal’s health and well being, it is also necessary for the safety of the staff and the visiting public.  However, depending on the animal we’re working on in the collection, this may be a challenge.

What does preventative medicine in a zoo entail?

Preventative medicine examinations performed on zoo patients are very similar to those performed on your own four legged friends, and equally important.  Much like our own four legged friends, obesity can affect animals in captivity, so accurate weight logs and body condition assessments are kept by keeper staff and the veterinarian. Many of the animals in Niabi Zoo’s collection are trained with positive reinforcement and operant condition to willing stand or sit on a scale on command to maintain accurate records of their weights. Any major changes can then be reported to the veterinary staff and further measures can be taken. This may seem like a small detail of an exam, but the zookeepers are the eyes and ears of the veterinary department and work tirelessly to help prevent disease outbreaks and illness in the animals they oversee.

Another important area annually assessed is the animal’s mouth. Dental disease is one of the most common pet health problems diagnosed at Animal Family and is also common in zoo collections due to some undesired, stereotypical behaviors. The challenge in a zoological collection is that the animal’s mouth can also be it’s most dangerous weapon! Some of these animals require sedation to have their teeth examined.  Other animals are trained with hand signals and will hold open their mouth open on command for visual examination.  Just like in dogs and cats, the veterinarian looks for tartar, gingivitis, signs of periodontal disease, fractured teeth, or missing teeth, and develops a treatment plan accordingly.

Fecal examination and intestinal parasite screening is one of the most frequent tests performed at Niabi Zoo.  There are several intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms are considered zoonotic, meaning they can pass from animals to people and cause disease. Not only is it important to screen fecals for the health of the animal, but we also screen for the public’s health! The Centers for Disease Control estimates that almost  14% of the population of the United States is infected with roundworms!  If any animal comes back positive, a deworming treatment is developed.  The zoo animals are on similar monthly, year round prevention products like Frontline and Heartgard for treatment of intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks, and heartworm disease.  

Speaking of heartworm and tick-borne disease,  the very same test 4DX Snap Test and Blood Parasite Screen  that is recommended for your domestic animal is used on several animals at Niabi Zoo! Prevention of heartworm disease is key in a zoological collection, especially since the disease can be life threatening and extremely expensive to treat.  Due to the importance of conservation in a zoo collection, a life lost due to heartworm disease could mean a drastic blow to a genetic line under conservation.

Last, but not least, the animals at Niabi Zoo also undergo an annual vaccination routine, which is extremely important due to the exposure of these animals to wildlife and the public. Animals in the collection are routinely vaccinated for Rabies and Distemper annually since their risk of exposure is so high. These vaccines can be done every three years in our domestic dogs and cats.

The bottom line is preventative medicine is the most important medicine and can save your animal from having to suffer from illness long term. For some of our pets and the zoo collection, this means every year we need to make a thorough assessment, nose to tail, to keep our animals as healthy as possible.

 

Is Your Pet Ready for Spring

  • Is your pet current on vaccines? 

    • Dogs: Rabies, Distemper, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, Hepatitis and if there is a concern, Bordetella and Lyme.

    • Cats: Rabies, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calici virus, Panleukopenia and where there is a concern, Feline Leukemia.

    • Exotics: Rabies and other vaccines recommended by your veterinarian.

  • Has your pet had their Heartworm or Feline leukemia Tests.

  • Are your pet’s current on their parasite testing and protection?

    • Dogs: Intestinal and Heartworm prevention

    • Cats: Intestinal and yes, Heartworm prevention

    • Exotics: Absolutely, intestinal parasite prevention

  • Has your pet been spayed or neutered?

    • Spring is the time for love and that cute kitten or puppy you got around Christmas is ready for reproduction.  Are you?

  • Have you cleaned up the rodenticide that you put out last fall? 

    • You may have forgotten about any poisons you put out in the fall but rest assured your pet will find them. 

    • Accidental poisoning is a common and preventable year round problem

  • Properly dispose of antifreeze when you drain your radiator.

    • This deadly poison takes lives every spring.

  • Once the snow melts check your yard for items that could be hazardous to your pet.

    • Glass, nails and other items can become buried in the snow and forgotten.  Be sure to do a sweep of your yard every spring.

  • Mend your fences.

    • Fences can be damaged over the winter and it may not be visible until the snow melts.  Check gate latches as well.

  • Did your pet slow down over the winter?  Spring is a great time to work on getting winter weight off.  The great news is it works for both of you.

    • Start any exercise program slowly and watch your pet for signs of arthritis or injuries that may go unnoticed during the sedentary winter months.

  • Don’t forget the leash!  Everybody has cabin fever by the end of winter.  Make sure your pet is safely under leash and not able to follow the urge to wander.

Trick Or Treat, Smell My Feet… please don’t let Scruffy steal chocolate treats! (and a few other Halloween safety tips)

 

  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays BY FAR! Who doesn’t love an excuse to slightly over indulge on lovely chocolate and sweet treats, especially anything with peanut butter (Reese’s are my true weakness)!  As much fun as the chocolate can be for us, it is extremely dangerous for our pets and the calls to animal poison control centers increase for chocolate ingestion now more than any other time of year!  Listed below are several other potential dangers for your pets during All Hallows Eve. If we become more informed about all of the potential issues, this can save major headaches (and cash money) over the holiday season.

Pick Your Poison:

Chocolate.   Everybody’s favorite, and the one that typically leads to the most calls to veterinarians this time of year. As many of you know, chocolate is problematic to cats and dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic, and the smaller the quantity necessary to see effects. For pets with pre-existing heart disease or seizure conditions, the concern is even higher, as these are two of the big ‘target organs’ for the toxic effects of chocolate.

Raisin toxicity. Known to be a problem for some dogs (and possibly some cats), raisins may be found in your child’s candy bag as part of certain chocolate bars, or on their own from well-intentioned neighbors trying to provide healthier Halloween treats. We don’t know which pets will be sensitive to the toxic effects of raisins, nor the number of raisins that must be ingested before problems are seen. It’s best to play it safe and take the necessary precautions to prevent all of your pets from ingesting any quantity of raisins. (Grapes and currants have the same toxic potential as raisins, and so should be similarly avoided.)

The actual treats in your kid’s Halloween bounty aren’t the only potential problem for your pets either. Candy wrappers that are eaten by your pet can also lead to digestive system inflammation and/or obstruction, resulting in episodes of vomiting and/or diarrhea, as well as an unplanned trip to the veterinarian, and possibly the surgery table. Keep candy well out of reach of all your pets. Hang your children’s candy bag high-up on a wall hook or coat rack, and don’t leave the trick-or-treat candy you are planning on distributing sitting out on the coffee table while waiting for the neighborhood kids to start arriving.

It’s bird, it’s a plane…it’s UNDERDOG!:

I don’t know about you all, but I love any chance for an embarrassing photo opportunity for my pet. Case in point…my little Underdog and her look of disgust below.  When it comes to costumes for our furry friends, keep these tips in mind:

  • Avoid loose pieces of fabric and dangling small objects (such as bells). Pets may be tempted to chew off such objects. And if swallowed, you could be looking at a veterinary bill in excess of $1,500 to have it removed from their stomach or intestines since many of these objects will not pass on their own.
  • Avoid masks on pets. Masks can obstruct your pet’s vision and/or their ability to breathe. If your pet can’t see well they’re at greater risk of traumatic injuries – such as broken bones from stepping in holes or falling off curbs, as well as from being struck by a passing car. Broken bones require expensive surgeries to repair, and hit-by-car injuries can result in prolonged intensive care hospital stays and/or death.
  • If you plan on taking your pet with you around the neighborhood for your night of Halloween fun, be sure to include some reflective or self-illuminating material on your pet’s costume. The earlier it gets dark out, the less visibility cars have overall so anything you can do to increase your pet’s visibility to passing cars will help to ensure that they won’t wind up getting hit by one of them. Also consider putting a flashing light on their collar for nighttime walks, at Halloween and throughout the year.

Leashes save lives!

While we’re on the topic of trick or treating, for pets that will join you around the neighborhood, keep them on a leash the whole time. A leash will not only keep your pet from darting in front of a passing car, but it will also help you prevent them from eating dropped candy which could be potentially toxic.  Leashes also prevent dog fights and keep spooked dogs from running off. Little children in costumes can set up a potentially terrifying situation for some of our more anxious pets. Importantly, don’t let a young child be the only one holding on to your pet’s leash during the walk. This is good advice throughout the year, but even more so on Halloween when passing trick-or-treaters are an additional factor that can cause pets to slip their collars or pull away from their leash.

Keep your cats inside on and around Halloween. Aside from all the normal dangers that outdoor cats face daily, Halloween (and the even more dangerous ‘Mischief Night’ that precedes it) potentially carries with it the additional dangers of twisted kids (and sadly, adults too) intentionally traumatizing, mutilating, or otherwise torturing cats on these nights, especially black cats. Though such incidences sadly occur throughout the year, there may be an increased risk associated with this holiday. Don’t take the chance – keep ‘em inside.

The constantly opening doors associated with gobs of tiny trick-or-treaters also pose a significant danger to pets. Pets with access to opening doors may take advantage of the opportunity to bolt out of the house, not only putting them in danger of the typical outdoor hazards unrestrained pets face, but also of having a paw, tail, or other part of their body caught in the door as they make their escape. Such traumatic events can cause injuries significant enough to warrant an expensive orthopedic surgery or a prolonged hospital stay. Confine your pets to a ‘safe area’ of the house to prevent their access to open doors. Use pet crates, baby gates, or closed doors to do so. Providing them with food, water, litter boxes, and anything else that will be necessary to minimize their stress (perhaps an interactive food toy or a turned on television or radio) will also help to decrease the likelihood of destructive behaviors or loud barking.

With a little effort, our pets have the potential to have just as much fun as their people this Halloween season. As long as we take the necessary precautions to keep our pets safe, there’s no reason we all

 have a HOWLING good time!  Happy Haunting everyone!

 

THE SHOCKING DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF PREVENTING PARASITES AND TREATING THEM.

 

Heartworm/Flea Prevention

 

DOG #1:  10 pound Dachshund:

Heartgard up to 25#  12 DOSES $79.54  
Frontline up to 22#  6 + 2 free $127.54  
Discount   -$25.00  
Rebate   -$12.00  
+/- Heartworm Test     $47.51
Total cost  

$184.58

$269.09

Trifexis 10.1–20#  12 doses $224.84  
Rebate   -$25.00  
+/- Heartworm test     $47.51
Total Cost

 

$215.58

$288.09

Heartworm Treatment

Initial examination   $49.76  
Pretreatment Laboratory   $115.74  
Pretreatment Radiographs   $178.29  
Pretreatment Medications   $29.39  
Immiticide Treatment   $107.39  
Post Heartworm test   $47.51  
Hospitalization 3 days   $128.97  
+/-  Pretreatment ECG     $173.43
Total cost  

$659.11

$832.54

Intestinal Parasite Treatment

Intestinal Parasite Screen   $31.52  
Panacur 1 gram  (Rounds, Whips, Hooks) 2 treatments $22.48  
Cestex  ( Tapeworms)   $36.92  
Post Parasite Screen   $31.52  
Mycodex Premise Spray  fleas present $36.92  
Total Cost

 

$143.70

 

DOG #2: 50# Golden:

 

 

Heartgard 26-50#  12 DOSES $102.58  
Frontline 45-88#  6 + 2 free $127.54  
Discount   -$25.00  
Rebate   -$12.00  
+/- Heartworm Test     $47.51
Total cost  

$206.27

$290.78

Trifexis 40.1-60#  12 doses $237.08  
Rebate   -$25.00  
+/- Heartworm test     $47.51
Total Cost  

$228.68

$301.19

Heartworm Treatment

Initial examination   $49.76  
Pretreatment Laboratory   $115.74  
Pretreatment Radiographs   $178.29  
Pretreatment Medications   $38.77  
Immiticide Treatment   $658.07  
Post Heartworm test   $47.51  
Hospitalization 3 days   $128.97  
+/-  Pretreatment ECG     $173.43
Total cost

 

$1,219.83

$1,393.26

 

Intestinal Parasite Treatment

Intestinal Parasite Screen   $31.52  
Panacur 1 gram  (Rounds, Whips, Hooks) 2 treatments $22.48  
Panacur 4 gram  (Rounds, Whips, Hooks) 2 treatments $47.82  
Cestex  ( Tapeworms)   $36.92  
Post Parasite Screen   $31.52  
Mycodex Premise Spray  fleas present $36.92  
Total Cost

 

$233.24

 

DOG #3: 90# Great Pyrenees:

 

Heartgard 50-100#  12 DOSES $123.10  
Frontline 45-88#  6 + 2 free $127.54  
Discount   -$25.00  
Rebate   -$12.00  
+/- Heartworm Test     $47.51
Total cost

 

$231.19

$315.70

Trifexis 60.1-120#  12 doses $245.36  
Rebate   -$25.00  
+/- Heartworm test     $47.51
Total Cost

 

$237.54

$310.05

Heartworm Treatment

Initial examination   $49.76  
Pretreatment Laboratory   $115.74  
Pretreatment Radiographs   $178.29  
Pretreatment Medications   $58.75  
Immiticide Treatment   $1,116.97  
Post Heartworm test   $47.51  
Hospitalization 3 days   $128.97  
+/-  Pretreatment ECG     $173.43
Total cost  

$1,700.10

$1,873.53

Intestinal Parasite Treatment

Intestinal Parasite Screen   $31.52  
Panacur 1 gram  (Rounds, Whips, Hooks) 2 treatments $63.04  
Panacur 4 gram  (Rounds, Whips, Hooks) 2 treatments $90.64  
Cestex  ( Tapeworms)   $36.92  
Post Parasite Screen   $31.52  
Mycodex Premise Spray  fleas present $36.92  
Total Cost  

$313.16

 

 

Summary

 

Prevention

Treat Heartworm

Treat Intestinal Worms

10# Dog

$215.58-$288.09

$659.11-$832.54

$143.70

50# Dog

$206.27-$290.78

$1219.83-1393.26

$233,24

90# Dog

$231.19-$315.70

$1700.10-$1873.53

$313.16

 

The real question is why would you not

prevent???????

 

The Importance of Pain Management

 

No one likes to feel pain.  Pain can be good when it keeps us from doing things that will harm our bodies but untreated pain is never good.  There was a time when people believed that animals did not feel pain on the same level as humans.  Fortunately we now understand that this is not the case at all.  Animals feel pain in much the same way as we do. If you think something would be painful for you, it is most likely painful to your pet as well.

What animals do is mask pain.  In the wild the organism that shows pain becomes lunch.  Unfortunately, that very stoicism, if unrecognized, can lead to increased suffering for our pets.  As veterinarians and owners, it becomes our job then to ensure that our pets receive adequate pain management. Good pain control is good medicine.  It is an integral part of patient management at Animal Family.

Why is pain control so important? Uncontrolled, pain affects not only the well being but the behavior, health and longevity of our pets.  How so?

  • Pain prolongs recovery time from surgery, injury or illness.
  • It may cause arthritic cats to urinate or defecate outside the box. Sadly, this may be mislabeled as a behavior problem resulting in euthanasia.
  • It can lead to maladaptive pain.  That is pain which is caused by things that are not normally painful.  An example would be the older dog or cat which bites when a child attempts to pet them.It can cause self mutilation. An animal may lick or chew at a body part unrelentingly creating even further damage.
  • It may cause weight loss due to oral or body pain.
  • Pets may be unwilling to groom and take care of their coat due to pain.
  • A previously active animal may become listless.  It may simply be too painful to move.
  • A pet can become constipated due to an inability to posture and defecate normally.
  • Pain may precipitate pacing and restlessness. A behavior that may be misinterpreted as nervousness.
  • Pain can cause aggression towards other animals.  An animal which anticipates pain may strike preemptively at a housemate

As owners and veterinarians we must make recognition of pain a priority. It is important to watch your pet carefully for the subtle signs of discomfort or distress. Our new golden rule must be to never allow our pet to remain in pain because we have simply become used to seeing them that way seeing them that way. Watch for changes in behavior and talk it over with your veterinarian. Then as a team you can work to make your pet’s life not only longer but happier.

The Un-Medicines

 

Do you ever wonder why we prescribe one medication over another?  What is the difference between Carprofen and Cosequin anyhow?  They both help arthritis but one is a drug and another is a nutraceutical.  Would an over the counter product be as good?  How do you know what is best for your pet?

The word drug is defined as a chemical compound used in diagnosis, treatment or prevention of disease and is recognized and defined as such by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States (FDA).  That means drugs are controlled and monitored by the government.  That’s a good thing for consumers.  A nutraceutical, on the other hand, is defined as a product isolated or purified from food, generally sold in medicinal forms not associated with foods and demonstrated to have physiological benefit or provide protection against disease.  Nutraceuticals are not governed by the FDA. Products that contain enzymes, good bacteria and vitamins can be beneficial to health as well but generally fall outside the jurisdiction of the FDA. That puts a whole lot more responsibility on us, the consumer, to choose wisely.

There are thousands of “un-medicines” to choose from. However, what may be the most important thing for us to keep in mind is that they are not all equally beneficial. Purity levels, molecular weights and other heady details can and do vary from product to product and remember, most are not regulated by any outside agency.  So, the onus is on us, the consumer, to educate and protect ourselves. As a way to make things a little easier for you, Animal Family has compiled a short list of some of our favorite un-medicines.

L-Lysine:      L-Lysine is an essential amino acid.  That means animals need it but cannot manufacture it on their own.  It is sold as a vitamin or supplement. Good natural sources are foods that are rich in protein.  We use lysine in animals for its antiviral properties, especially for the treatment of feline herpes infections in cats. It works by blocking replication of the virus. One more added benefit of lysine is its ability to aid the body in absorption of calcium.

Denamarin:  Denamarin contains two main ingredients, S-Adenosylmethioine (SAME), a very big word which describes a molecule that is synthesized by cells throughout the body. It’s important because it is an essential part of 3 major biochemical pathways needed for the health of liver cells.  Silybin, the other component in Denamarin comes from Milk Thistle which is also known to have beneficial effects on liver function. We use Denamarin in animals with liver disease because of these properties.

Cosequin/Dasuquin:  We use these products a lot and research backs up how helpful they are to pets with arthritis and joint damage.  The key ingredients are: 1) chondroitin sulfate, a nutrient needed to keep cartilage cells healthy 2) glucosamine hydrochloride, which blocks enzymes that break down cartilage 3) manganese ascorbate which helps optimize production of cartilage components and in some products 4) ASU a substance derived from avocados and soybeans that has been shown to inhibit agents involved in the breakdown of cartilage.

Beware! There are hundreds of different brands and variations of joint products on the market but they are not all equally effective. Go with the products that have been researched and shown to work.

Melatonin:    Melatonin is a hormone which helps regulate sleep.  It also acts on other hormones in the body.  Melatonin has several different uses in animals. In dogs, it is used to treat alopecia or baldness and as an adjunct to other therapies in Cushing’s disease (Hyperadrenocorticism).  Because it has a sedative effect it is also used as a behavioral aid in anxious dogs. In ferrets, melatonin is used to treat symptoms of adrenal tumors. Affected ferrets lose weight and hair coat.  Melatonin helps to reverse some of these effects and improve quality of life.

Probiotics:   Probiotics come from foods such as yogurt that are made with fermented bacteria. These bacteria are considered “good guys” and have long been used to treat diarrhea in both humans and animals. Probiotics optimize healthy bacteria in the gut, act as a source of digestive enzymes and stimulate the immune system.

Omega Fatty Acids:  Like lysine, omega fatty acids are necessary for optimal health but cannot be manufactured by the body.  Natural sources are fish, algae and some plant and nut oils.  They are important because they have been found to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Fatty acids may also aid in preserving cognitive function and are beneficial to animals with dry, itchy skin.

Sunshine: Sunshine helps mammals, reptiles and birds synthesize vitamin D which is essential to health. Many reptile owners assume that basking is used mainly to regulate body temperature but it is, in fact, extremely important to maintaining a proper level of vitamin D.  Most important, insufficient Vitamin D can slow growth, decrease reproductive success and even cause death. Birds need sunshine for the same reasons as reptiles but in birds sunshine has the added benefit of promoting a healthy plumage as well.

Beware the Perils of Fall

Wow!  We are already well into August.  As hard as it is to believe, fall is on the way. The cooler temperatures and beautiful foliage remind us that we need to start preparing for the coming winter.  But beware; fall can also bring new hazards for our pets. Check our list below to make certain your faithful friend doesn’t fall prey to one of the many hazards of autumn.

  • Rodenticides: Cooler weather usually sends mice looking for a warm place to spend the winter.  If you battle infestation of these pests with rodenticides make sure they are placed where your pet can’t reach them.  If you even suspect accidental ingestion, call your vet right away.  These products are deadly to more than just mice.
  • Antifreeze: We are all familiar with the fall ritual of adding antifreeze to the car radiator.  This sweet and tasty product is deadly to pets and children.  Keep it far away from both.  While you’re at it, call or write the manufacturer and ask for noxious flavoring to be added to antifreeze.
  • Black Widow and Brown Recluse Spiders: Be careful not to bring these poisonous spiders in with your fall fire wood.  They both like to hide away in wood piles and other undisturbed places.  Neither is aggressive but could bite if frightened.
  • Fall Berries: Make sure to find out which berry producing plants in your yard are pet and child safe.  Just because birds eat them doesn’t make them OK for your pet.  Check out Poisonous Plants of the Midwest for more information.
  • Lawn Chemicals: If you like to fertilize your lawn in the fall please make sure to follow directions on how long to keep your pet off the grass after application. Many lawn chemicals can be a hazard to both pets and their people.
  • Halloween: Halloween is a dangerous time for pets.  All the strange goblins roaming your neighborhood can be scary.  This is also a time when pranks can get out of hand and loose pets injured.  Keep them safely locked indoors.  This goes double if you own a black cat.  Finally, keep your pet safe from the treats your little ghoulies bring home.  Chocolate and Xylitol sweetened treats are toxic to pets.
  • Thanksgiving: Ah, the fatty treats and turkey bones of Thanksgiving keep veterinary offices humming through the holiday. Don’t let a bad case of pancreatitis be your memory of this year’s Thanksgiving holiday.
  • Fleas: YES!  This is the worst time of year for these nasty critters!  Don’t stop using protection just because the nights are cooler.
  • Arthritis: Cooler weather is hard on old bones and joints.  Keep an eye on your pet.  They may require medication changes or chiropractic care as the temperatures drop.

The Best Place To Bury a Dog

This essay is a favorite. We hope you appreciate it as much as we do.  

There are various places within which a dog may be buried. We are thinking now of a setter, whose coat was flame in the sunshine, and who, so far as we are aware, never entertained a mean or an unworthy thought. This setter is buried beneath a cherry tree, under four feet of garden loam, and at its proper season the cherry strews petals on the green lawn of his grave. Beneath a cherry tree, or an apple, or any flowering shrub of the garden, is an excellent place to bury a good dog. Beneath such trees, such shrubs, he slept in the drowsy summer, or gnawed at a flavorous bone, or lifted head to challenge some strange intruder. These are good places, in life or in death. Yet it is a small matter, and it touches sentiment more than anything else.

For if the dog be well remembered, if sometimes he leaps through your dreams actual as in life, eyes kindling, questing, asking, laughing, begging, it matters not at all where that dog sleeps at long and at last. On a hill where the wind is unrebuked and the trees are roaring, or beside a stream he knew in puppyhood, or somewhere in the flatness of a pasture land, where most exhilarating cattle graze. It is all one to the dog, and all one to you, and nothing is gained, and nothing lost — if memory lives. But there is one best place to bury a dog. One place that is best of all.

If you bury him in this spot, the secret of which you must already have, he will come to you when you call — come to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death, and down the well-remembered path, and to your side again. And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel they should not growl at him, nor resent his coming, for he is yours and he belongs there.

People may scoff at you, who see no lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall, who hear no whimper pitched too fine for mere audition, people who may never really have had a dog. Smile at them then, for you shall know something that is hidden from them, and which is well worth the knowing.

The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master.

by Ben Hur Lampman

10 Reasons Why Your Pet Should be on Flea Prevention

 

Who hates fleas?  Everybody hates fleas!  Ctenocephalides canis or felis better known as the common flea is not a visitor anyone ever welcomes to their home.  For those of us who have had to deal with a flea infestation- once is definitely enough!  There are a lot of good reasons to avoid this hopping, biting scourge of the insect world aside from the obvious “yuck” factor surrounding them.

 

  1. Fleas make their living by biting other animals and feeding on their blood.  When fleas bite they inject saliva into the skin of their host which can cause inflammation, itching, allergic dermatitis and hair loss.  Even worse, if the host is small enough or the number of fleas’ large enough, anemia can result from blood loss.
  2. Fleas don’t just bite your pet.  They bite you.  They bite your children.  Everybody gets itchy.
  3. A single female flea can lay up to 50 eggs each day and up to 2000 eggs in her short life time!!!  Of course by the time you discover that your pet has fleas, there are most likely eggs and larva throughout your home.
  4. Fleas act as a transport vehicle for the aptly named “Flea” tapeworm.  Pets ingest fleas as they groom.  Once the flea is in the digestive system, the larva breaks free and finds a home in your pet’s intestines. An adult tapeworm can grow up to 75 cm (29.5 inches).  According to CPAC (Companion Animal Parasite Council), “Infections of children with D. caninum following ingestion of an infected flea are occasionally reported. The disease induced in the child is generally mild, confined to the intestinal tract, and readily treated, but can still be distressing to the family.”
  5. Fleas carry the Plague – the Bubonic Plague.  This is particularly important in the Rocky Mountain States.
  6. Fleas carry Typhus and yes it can be transmitted to humans.  According to Pubmed Health, “Typhus is caused by one of two types of bacteria: Rickettsia typhi or Rickettsia prowazekii.” The form of typhus depends on which type of bacteria causes the infection. Murine typhus occurs in the southeastern and southern United States, often during the summer and fall. It is rarely deadly. Risk factors for murine typhus include:
    1. Exposure to rat fleas or feces
    2. Exposure to other animals such as cats, opossums, raccoons, skunks and rats
  7. Fleas can help to transmit “Cat Scratch” disease from one cat to another.  We humans get Cat Scratch Fever when we are scratched by an infected feline.

 

  1. Fleas can transmit hemoplasmas, a blood borne parasite that can cause damage to the red calls which results in anemia in your pet.

 

  1. Even if your pet never goes outdoors, you can carry fleas into the house on your pants legs. Fleas can survive the winter just fine as long as you continue to heat your home. 

 

10. Once there is an established flea infestation, it can be time consuming and expensive to resolve.  Like so many other problems fleas are much easier to prevent than alleviate.

 

I don’t know about you but I’m going to go make sure my dog is up to date on his flea prevention.