Archive for April, 2008

Dog Poison – A Veterinarian Did Not Know What Is Known Since 1989

I have included this in the Blog because it came to me in an E-mail. Not only is it important information but it is even more urgent because it reflects the knowledge or lack there of a particular veterinarian at this late date on a very important issue. Where there is one who is ill-informed there are others and it is this Blogs opinion that the veterinarian should be on the front line to disseminate such vital information. What is troubling is that this information was made public by the A.S.P.C.A. in 1989!

See http://www.callofthedog.com/dogpoisons.php

The name of the veterinarian has been omitted, our purpose is to deliver vital information that apparently has gaps in the first line of the delivery system not to draw attention or embarrass an individual even though it was a public E-mail.

Below is the actual E-mail I received today:

“IF YOU HAVE A dog… PLEASE read this and send it on.
If you don’t have a dog, please pass along to friends who do.

Written by:
XXXX XXXXXX, DVM
XXXXXXX Veterinary Clinic
Danville , Ohio

This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever seen at MedVet. My patient was a 56-pound, 5 yr old mal e neutered lab mix that ate half a canister of raisins sometime between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Tuesday. He started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking about 1AM on Wednesday but the owner didn’t call my emergency service until 7AM.
I had heard somewhere about raisins AND grapes causing acute Renal failure but hadn’t seen any formal paper on the
subject. We had her bring the dog in immediately. In the meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet, and the doctor there was like me – had heard something about it, but…. Anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center and they said to give I V fluids at 1 1/2 times maintenance and watch the kidney values for the next 48-72 hours.
The dog’s BUN (blood urea nitrogen level) was already at 32 (normal less than 27) and creatinine over 5 ( 1.9 is the high end of normal). Both are monitors of kidney function in the bloodstream. We placed an IV catheter and started the fluids. Rechecked the renal values at
5 PM and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine over 7 with no urine production after a liter of fluids. At the point I felt the dog was in acute renal failure and sent him on to MedVet for a urinary catheter to monitor urine output overnight as well as overnight care.
He started vomiting again overnight at MedVet and his renal values have continued to increase daily. He produced urine when given lasix as a diuretic. He was on 3 different anti-vomiting medications a
nd they still couldn’t control his vomiting. Today his urine output decreased again, his BUN was over 120, his creatinine was at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated and his blood pressure, which had been staying around 150, skyrocketed to 220. He continued to vomit and the owners elected to euthanize.
This is a very sad case – great dog, great owners who had no idea raisins could be a toxin. Please alert everyone you know who has a dog of this very serious risk.
Poison control said as few as 7 raisins or grapes could be toxic. Many people I know give their dogs grapes or raisins as treats including our ex-handler’s. Any exposure should give rise to immediate concern.
Even if you don’t have a dog, you might have friends who do. This is worth passing on to them.
Confirmation from Snopes about the above…”

You can read more about poisons in food that can be fatal to your dog by clicking on this link right here:

http://www.CalloftheDog.com/dogpoisons.php

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Do Our Pets Have Feelings?

Do animals have feelings seems like a silly question to those of us with pets of various species. You would think such a question can only be asked by those who have no relationship with the animal world.

It is believed by many that many animals share some of the same feelings as man – actually experiencing pain, grief, and joy. These beliefs are supported by not mere opinion or observation, but by science. As early a scholar as Aristotle (384 B.C. – 322 B.C.) wrote on this topic. Aristotle, for those who may not know, is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy who wrote on many different subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics, biology and zoology. In his book “Historia Animalium”, or “On the History of Animals”, written around 343 B.C., Aristotle found evidence of emotion in animals. “Some are good-tempered, sluggish, and little prone to ferocity, as the ox; others are quick-tempered, ferocious, and unteachable, as the wild boar.” (Translated by Scottish zoologist Sir D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson (1860-1948), biologist, mathematician, classics scholar.)

So do our animals have feelings? Answer, does a bear go to the bathroom in the woods? (Cleaned up a bit for PG readers.) That is one of the age-old questions that has been answered long ago for most of us.

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Oprah Winfrey Helps to Stop Puppy Mills

The public should know that reputable breeders do not sell their dogs to pet stores, and this cruel practice should not be allowed and certainly not be supported.

Many thanks to Oprah Winfrey who not long ago ran a special program on the subject of puppy mills to give the cruelty of it all a wider exposure.

If you are thinking of getting a dog or know someone who is, please go and encourage others to go to one of the many shelters or dog/cat rescue groups to adopt one of the many wonderful pets that deserve a second chance at a good life.

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Dog and Pet Abandonment — There’s No Excuse!

The dog is man’s best friend, right? So why are so many not treated as such? The reasons, or the more appropriately-labeled excuses, range from inability to house, to a lack of knowledge of what is required when taking on the responsibility, to a lack of understanding the physical and social needs of a particular chosen breed. Be it the hyper-activity of a puppy, or the consequent frustration when responsibility for our pets alters some of our social or activity plans. Now we can add to the list of despair for our pets the recent home foreclosure crisis causing shelters and rescues further stress and strain to cope with the added influx of abandoned and relinquished animals.

Each year, people choose to bring dogs, cats and other animals into their homes that are soon abandoned to the streets or possibly worse on the eve of eviction departure. Many pet owners are making bad decisions and leaving the defenseless pet in the vacated house where if not found could be left to dehydrate and starve. If the pets are more fortunate they are thrust upon the animal shelters. At least there, there is a chance for adoption.

Abandoning pets, for any reason, is not only irresponsible – it is illegal. Feeling financially unable to care for pets or feeling overwhelmed by a sudden move is not an excuse that makes abandonment acceptable. There are many alternatives to leaving pets behind such as contacting the humane society or animal care and control agency; they may be able to provide you with a list of apartment communities that allow pets, so enough time should be made to discover possible options and not wait until the last minute.

Shelters experience a spike in “drop-offs” after the Christmas Holidays from originally chosen pets that later become discards. The greatest spikes occur in March and April, as people decide to relinquish the responsibility they at first assumed. If an animal was adopted as a holiday gift, it is usually around the start of the New Year that the recipient decides he does not wish to manage the responsibilities any longer. The originally chosen now become the forsaken.

All too often, the cuteness factor of a puppy or kitten that was present for the first few months starts to wear off. The originally adored four-legged pet begins to go through the growing process with the natural tendency to chew on things, and the family soon realizes it is lacking in knowledge of the proper training process. At this time, the family’s frustration factor kicks into high gear and rationalizations develop that it is fine to close the chapter on a dependent life of innocence. This mental rationalization process is made even easier when the people involved did not have a vested interest in the original decision. Tragically, many of these innocent animals are euthanized.

The continued neglect of these pets at times creates a situation where the animals develop to be too aggressive or too unhealthy to place with new adoptive families, and rehabilitation becomes an almost impossibility to happen.

Dogs less than two years of age are not always easy to find homes for because they have not been trained nor properly socialized. They are naturally very active, necessitating a more active involvement in the socialization process.

If the dog in need of a new home happens to be one of the stronger breeds that often has a generalized negative reputation, such as the American Staffordshire Terrier (mostly referred to as the Pit Bull or the non-purebred Pit Bull mix), it will be at an extreme disadvantage for adoption. But, the actual fact is that a well-socialized, well-cared-for and well-trained Pit Bull makes a wonderful, devoted companion.

Families should do the due diligence of research before bringing any pet into the home. This assures that the chosen dog is an appropriate match for the family or lifestyle. Families whose members are sedentary should not choose a Border Collie that requires a great deal of exercise and activity. Some small breeds are great for children, others are excitable. Large dogs are excellent family companions but their size warrants adequate training to prevent damage to persons and property.

The personality of a dog is fixed by genetic code from the parents. Training and environment accentuate or detract from traits, but basic personality remains. Families should be aware of the associated costs of guardianship, and of the possibility of any physical difficulties that could arise within the genetics of a particular breed. If a particular chosen breed is not a good fit, there are others that will be and families should be open-minded to different options.

No matter the choice, the essential ingredients for a healthy, rewarding relationship are commitment, love, care, appropriate exercise, training and socialization. Let’s make the choosing of our pets a life-long commitment, as it should be.

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