Everyone loves a good Memorial Day barbecue, however, the food and drink you serve your guests may be poisonous to pets. Alcoholic beverages should be kept away from animals, and guests should be reminded not to give them any table food or snacks. Raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and avocado are all common fixings at barbecues — and they’re all especially toxic to pets.
Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake — not all dogs are great swimmers! Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when boating. Also, try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chemicals like chlorine that can be dangerous if ingested.
Unless specifically designed for animals, sunscreen and bug repellent can be toxic to pets. Signs of repellent toxicity include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. DEET, a common insecticide in human products, may cause neurological issues in dogs.
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so, if you’re venturing into the great outdoors, be sure to provide plenty of fresh, clean water and make sure they have a shady place to get out of the sun. Remember that flat faced animals, 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 in the cool of the air-conditioning as much as possible.
Time outside comes with the added risk of pets making the great escape. 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!
It's that time of year again - also known as kitten season
Spring marks the beginning of kitten season, the time of year when homeless kittens flood animal shelters everywhere. Many of these kittens have been orphaned and require round-the-clock care until they are old enough to be adopted.
A skilled veterinary technician and seasoned kitten raiser, Gabby La Placa has been fostering baby Kemp for several weeks now. Keeping him warm on a heating pad, Gabby has been getting up to feed him throughout the night as she plays the role of mom.
It isn’t easy keeping newborn kittens clean and baby Kemp is no exception. Using a warm washcloth, Gabby gently wipes him down like his mother would and repeats the process after each feeding.
All clean and fed, Kemp likes to snuggle back into his warm nest and dream tiny kitten dreams, perhaps of his next feeding.
Speaking of feeding, Kemp is pictured in the photo on the left, doing just that, as Gabby holds him steady in her hand.
It’s getting (too) hot in here
Heatstroke, or hyperthermia, may be a life-threatening condition, and requires immediate treatment. A dog’s normal body temperature is 101.5°F plus or minus 1 degree Fahrenheit, and any time the body temperature is higher than 105°F, a true emergency exists. Heatstroke usually occurs in hot summer weather when dogs are left with inadequate ventilation in hot vehicles. However, heatstroke may also occur in other conditions, including:
When an animal is left outdoors in hot/humid conditions without adequate shade.
When exercised in hot/humid weather.
When left in a car on a relatively cool (70°F) day; a recent study from Stanford University Medical Center found the temperature within a vehicle may increase by an average of 40 degrees Fahrenheit within one (1) hour regardless of outside temperature.
Initially the pet appears distressed and will pant excessively and become restless. As the hyperthermia progresses, the pet may drool large amounts of saliva from the nose and/or mouth. The pet may become unsteady on his feet. You may notice the gums turning blue/purple or bright red in color, which is due to inadequate oxygen.
What TO do:
Remove your pet from the environment where the hyperthermia occurred.
Move your pet to a shaded and cool environment and direct a fan on him.
If possible, determine rectal temperature and record it.
Begin to cool the body by placing cool, wet towels over the back of the neck, in the armpits and in the groin region. You may also wet the ear flaps and paws with cool water. Directing a fan on these wetted areas will help to speed evaporative cooling. Transport to the closest veterinary facility immediately.
What NOT to do:
Do not overcool the pet.
Most pets with hyperthermia have body temperatures greater than 105°F, and a reasonable goal of cooling is to reduce your pet’s body temperature to 102.5-103°F while transporting to the closest veterinary facility.
Do not attempt to force water into your pet’s mouth, but you may have fresh cool water ready to offer should your pet be alert and show an interest in drinking.
Do not leave your pet unattended for any length of time.
Have you heard the good news? GWLAH is excited to announce that we will be re-opening our doors very soon!
Going forward, we envision a hybrid service where clients call from their cars when they arrive for their appointments or to pick up food and/or medications.
One person will be invited into the exam room for the appointment, and social distancing and masks will be required upon entry to the hospital.
Concierge curbside care will still be available for those who prefer not to enter the building.
We look forward to seeing you again, as we work with you to help your pet live their best life!
Remembering those who served, on two legs and on four
Sergeant Stubby was an American dog who served as the mascot of America’s 102nd Infantry Regiment during the First World War. Found in Connecticut in 1917 by members of the infantry, Stubby was stowed away on a ship to France by a young soldier and went on to participate in four offensives and 17 battles, including the second battle of Marne (July 1918) and the battle of Chateau-Thierry (July 1918).
His ability to hear the whine of incoming artillery shells was extremely useful, and Stubby was especially adept at locating wounded soldiers in no man’s land. His sense of smell helped him readily detect mustard gas attacks and he once saved an entire company by alerting the men to don their gas masks. Stubby served for 18 months and returned home to America following the war.