5 Summer Safety Tips for Pets

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Summer is the season of fun, but it can also be the season for dangers if you’re not prepared. Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas wants to help keep your pet safe this summer, so consider the following tips, and remember…we’re open nights, weekends, and holidays, if your pet ever has an emergency.

Outdoor Safety

While your pet is playing outdoors, keep an eye on him and the weather (including the heat index) to make sure it’s not too hot out. Always have a shaded or sheltered area available for him to rest in as well as plenty of food and fresh water. This can eliminate your pet’s risk for heatstroke and other heat-related dangers.

Pets in Cars

Pets can be at risk for heatstroke while inside an enclosed vehicle, due to the greenhouse effect. On a 90-degree day, the interior temperature of a car can rise to over 150 degrees! Such high temperatures can obviously put your pet in danger, so always use caution when driving with your pet in the summertime, and NEVER leave him alone your vehicle.

Parasites

Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes all have one thing in common: They shouldn’t be anywhere near your pet. That’s because they’re linked to diseases like Lyme (ticks), allergy dermatitis (fleas), and heartworm (mosquitoes)—all of which can put your pet’s health at risk. Since your four-legged friend will be spending more time outdoors, make sure she’s on a veterinarian-prescribed preventive medication.

Swimming

Do you let your dog enjoy a plunge in your pool every now and then? If so, it’s best to use non-chlorine chemicals like bromine, which is less harmful to a dog’s eyes, nose, and ears. Remember to also keep an eye on your dog, too, to make sure he’s safe. He may be able to easily jump into the pool, but getting out could be a challenge. Even if you have a chlorine-free pool, it’s still recommended that you limit your dog’s time in the pool. You may also want to consider using a kiddie pool with fresh water instead for your canine friend to splash around and cool off in.

Lawn Fertilizer

Did you know that lawn fertilizers can be poisonous to pets? Many lawn fertilizers contain pesticides and other toxins, so always read the label on your fertilizer container to determine the recommended wait time before letting your pet back on the grass this summer. You may also want to consider a pet-friendly fertilizer product.

What Is Canine Influenza Virus?

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There are many causes of kennel cough, both bacterial and viral. Canine influenza virus (CIV) is one of the viral causes of kennel cough. This highly contagious respiratory disease has affected thousands of dogs in the United States. Because CIV is a relatively new virus, most dogs have not been exposed to it before. Dogs of any age, breed, and vaccine status are susceptible to this infection.

How Could My Dog Catch Canine Influenza Virus?
CIV is easily transmitted between dogs through a combination of aerosols, droplets, and direct contact with respiratory secretions. The virus does not survive for a long time in the environment, so dogs usually get CIV when they are in close proximity to other infectious dogs.

Which Dogs Are Prone to Canine Influenza Virus? 
Any dog who interacts with large numbers of dogs is at increased risk for exposure. Pet owners should consult their veterinarian for information about the canine influenza vaccine.

What Are the General Signs of Canine Influenza Virus? 
While most dogs will show typical signs of kennel cough, but a small percentage of dogs will develop a more severe illness. Signs of canine influenza virus include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Variable fever
  • Clear nasal discharge that progresses to thick, yellowish-green mucus
  • Rapid/difficult breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

Can Dogs Die From Canine Influenza Virus?
If CIV is quickly diagnosed and treated, the fatality rate is quite low. Deaths are usually caused by secondary complications, such as pneumonia. It is important that dogs with CIV receive proper veterinary care.

How Is Canine Influenza Virus Diagnosed?
Veterinarians will typically conduct a thorough physical examination and run a series of tests to diagnose the illness.

How Is Canine Influenza Treated?
Because CIV is a virus similar to the flu in humans, there is no specific antiviral medication available. However, supportive care and appropriate treatment of secondary infections are important. Your veterinarian may advise the following to soothe your dog while the condition runs its course:

  • Good nutrition and supplements to raise immunity
  • A warm, quiet, and comfortable spot to rest
  • Medications to treat secondary bacterial infections
  • Intravenous fluids to maintain hydration
  • Workup and treatment for pneumonia

Be advised, while most dogs will fight the infection within 10 to 30 days, secondary infections require antibiotics and, in the case of pneumonia, sometimes even hospitalization.

What Should I Do if I Think My Dog Has Canine Influenza Virus? 
If you think your dog has canine influenza virus, immediately isolate him or her from all other dogs and call your veterinarian.

Can I Catch Canine Influenza From My Dog?
So far there has been no evidence to indicate that dogs can transmit CIV to humans.

How Can I Help Prevent My Dog From Spreading the Disease? 
Any dog infected with CIV should be kept isolated from other dogs for 10 to 14 days from the onset of signs. Dogs are most infectious before signs are apparent, and can continue shedding the virus for approximately 10 days. This means that by the time signs of the illness are seen, other dogs may have already been exposed.

Source: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/canine-influenza-viruscanine-flu

The Importance of a Pet First Aid Kit

First Aid Kits for Pets in Grapevine, TX

Picture this: You’re out hiking through the woods with your dog, and you notice a deep gash on his paw pad, or worse, he gets bitten by another animal. What’s the first thing you would do? Would you be prepared to help him? As a pet emergency practice, Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas wants to not only treat emergencies; we want to prevent them. That’s why we recommend that you always have a pet first aid kit in your home and as part of your luggage when you travel with your pet. This is especially important during hikes through the woods and other areas where an emergency situation could occur.

Consider the supply list below when packing your pet’s first aid kit, keeping in mind that the kit is intended as a temporary means of treatment until your pet can see a veterinarian. Always consult your primary veterinarian before administering any first aid treatment. For after-hours emergencies, you can call us at 817-410-2273. We’re open 24/7, 365 days a year.

  1. Copies of pet’s medical records or phone number to your primary veterinarian
  2. Sterile gauze
  3. Soft fabric muzzle (for dogs) or restraint bag (for cats)
  4. Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting)
  5. Digital pet thermometer
  6. Cotton balls
  7. Adhesive tape
  8. Extra leash
  9. Eye dropper
  10. Scissors
  11. Antiseptic
  12. Tweezers
  13. Antihistamine
  14. Styptic powder
  15. Water-based lubricating jelly

Having a fully packed pet first aid kit can make the difference between life and death for your pet, so it’s important to be prepared. Contact your primary veterinarian if you have any questions about your pet’s first aid kit and any other items you should bring when traveling with your pet. You can also call us for more information, and remember, Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas is available every night, weekend, and holiday to provide emergency care for your pets.

Easter Pet Poisons

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The veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline receive hundreds of calls this time of year from pet owners and veterinarians concerning cats that have ingested Easter lilies.

“Unbeknownst to many pet owners, Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “All parts of the Easter lily plant are poisonous – the petals, the leaves, the stem and even the pollen. Cats that ingest as few as one or two leaves, or even a small amount of pollen while grooming their fur, can suffer severe kidney failure.”

In most situations, symptoms of poisoning will develop within six to 12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Symptoms worsen as kidney failure develops. Some cats will experience disorientation, staggering and seizures.

“There is no effective antidote to counteract lily poisoning, so the sooner you can get your cat to the veterinarian, the better his chances of survival will be,” said Brutlag. “If you see your cat licking or eating any part of an Easter lily, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately. If left untreated, his chances of survival are low.”

Treatment includes inducing vomiting, administering drugs like activated charcoal (to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines), intravenous fluid therapy to flush out the kidneys, and monitoring of kidney function through blood testing. The prognosis and the cost – both financially and physically – to the pet owner and cat, are best when treated immediately.

There are several other types of lilies that are toxic to cats as well. They are of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species and commonly referred to as Tiger lilies, Day lilies and Asiatic lilies. Popular in many gardens and yards, they can also result in severe acute kidney failure. These lilies are commonly found in florist bouquets, so it is imperative to check for poisonous flowers before bringing bouquets into the household. Other types of lilies – such as the Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies – are usually not a problem for cats and may cause only minor drooling.

Thankfully, lily poisoning does not occur in dogs or people. However, if a large amount is ingested, it can result in mild gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Other Dangers to Pets at Easter Time

Pet Poison Helpline also receives calls concerning pets that have ingested Easter grass and chocolate.

Usually green or yellow in color, Easter grass is the fake grass that often accompanies Easter baskets. When your cat or dog ingests something “stringy” like Easter grass, it can become anchored around the base of the tongue or stomach, rendering it unable to pass through the intestines. It can result in a linear foreign body and cause severe damage to the intestinal tract, often requiring expensive abdominal surgery.

Lastly, during the week of Easter, calls to Pet Poison Helpline concerning dogs that have been poisoned by chocolate increase by nearly 200 percent. While the occasional chocolate chip in one cookie may not be an issue, certain types of chocolate are very toxic to dogs. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. The chemical toxicity is due to methylxanthines (a relative of caffeine) and results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and possibly death. Other sources include chewable chocolate flavored multi-vitamins, baked goods, or chocolate-covered espresso beans. If you suspect that your dog ate chocolate, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

Spring is in the air and Easter is a wonderful holiday. Remember that your pets will be curious about new items you bring into your household like Easter lilies, Easter grass and chocolate. Keep them a safe distance away from your pets’ reach and enjoy the holiday and the season.

 

SOURCE: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/seasons/easter/

Oleanders are Poisonous to Pets

Harmful Flowers to Pets

Oleanders are beautiful flowers often seen along roadsides in the North Texas community, but did you know that these stunning plants are also toxic for animals, including cats and dogs, but even horses, cows, and birds? The level of toxicity caused by the consumption of parts of the oleander may be severe. Signs that your pet has been poisoned by an oleander plant include:

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Weakness
  • Collapse
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Death

What is an Oleander?

An oleander is an outdoor shrub known for its evergreen qualities and it’s small, delicate flowers. These plants are native to Texas but can also be found in other warm climates such as California and Hawaii.

Other plants with similar poisonous effects include

  • Dogbane
  • Giant milkweed
  • Foxglove
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lily of the valley
  • Milkweed
  • Star of Bethlehem

The toxins contained in these plans are similar to certain human and animal heart medications. The level of toxicity is contingent on the amount of the plant that is consumed. If the plant is picked and put into a vase, the water in the vase may even take on toxic properties.

It is safer for your pet if you avoid having this and other toxic plants in your home and yard. Keep a close watch on your pet while you are on walks and adventures to ensure that they do not consume a toxic plant. If they do, please contact us at the Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas immediately to ensure that emergency care is administered right away.

Winter Dangers and How to Protect Your Pets

During the winter months, your pet may be faced with more dangers than they’re used to, even in our mild climate here in Texas. At the Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas, we want to keep our clients as informed as possible about your pet’s needs to help you keep them safe. Some of the top winter dangers your pet may encounter include:

Rodenticides

When the weather begins to get cool, rodents such as rats and mice may begin looking for shelter from the elements. These creatures are commonly considered pests and many homeowners want to get rid of them immediately. While this is an understandable reaction, some methods of dealing with pests can be dangerous for your pets! We recommend using traps to kill these pests and avoid rodenticides or poisons. Rat poison is extremely strong and can harm or even kill a pet that gets a hold of it. If you have pets in your home, we strongly suggest that you do not use poison in your household at all.

Antifreeze

Winter Dangers and How to Protect Your Pets

As the temperatures begin to drop, you may choose to use antifreeze, but it’s important to be aware of the dangers that antifreeze can pose to your pet! Antifreeze is toxic to dogs and cats and unfortunately it can also be appealing to them with its sweet taste and smell. Many companies have heard the veterinary industry’s concerns and have introduced non-toxic antifreeze products. If you must use this substance, we recommend that you choose a type that is labeled as pet-safe.

Frostbite

While our temperatures don’t often drop to extremely low levels, it is still possible for our best friends to develop frostbite here in north Texas. We recommend that you always keep your pet safely inside your home and only let them out for short periods of time. If they spend lots of time outside, be sure to offer them a safe shelter where they can stay warm and protected at all times.

If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s safety this winter, please contact us to learn more. That’s what we’re here for!

It’s Important to Protect Your Pet All Season Long

Holiday Pet Tips in Grapevine, TX

During the holiday season, there are so many dangers our pets may encounter, but if a few extra precautions are taken, you can keep your best friend safe. We see many pet emergencies all year round, but the most common emergencies during the holiday season are often related to holiday foods and décor.

Top 5 Most Common Holiday Dangers

These are some of the most common dangers that are often seen during the holiday season:

  • While we can handle having a few drinks in celebration of the season, our pets cannot. It’s important to always keep alcoholic beverages out your of your pet’s reach to ensure that they’re safe from the danger of alcohol poisoning.
  • Christmas trees. It isn’t the holiday season without a festive tree! However, these lovely decorations can also cause a few hazards in the home. Christmas trees can be knocked over by overly adventurous and curious pets, causing damage to the home and injury to the animals!
  • Electrical cords. Does your best friend like to chew? The sight of all those new cords under the tree may be too appealing for your pet, so we recommend disguising and hiding electrical cords to prevent your pet’s curiosity. It’s also important that they never be left unattended around the decorations!
  • Holiday meals and sweets. You hear all year round that there are foods your pet should never consume, but during the holiday season we have so much more of those dangerous foods around the house! Traditional holiday meals contain so many of those dangers, like poultry bones, onions, garlic, grapes, and more. In addition, we often do a lot of baking during the holidays, introducing our pets to even more potential dangers with chocolate, sugar, macadamia nuts, raisins, and more. Keep those foods and treats out of your pet’s reach at all times!
  • Poinsettias and other holiday plants. For some odd reason, the most popular plants to bring inside the home at the holidays are toxic to your pet! Poinsettias, amaryllis, and lilies of all kinds are dangerous and we recommend keeping them out of your pet’s reach at all times. You may also want to consider purchasing silk flowers for the look of the festive plant without the dangers.

If you have any questions about your pet’s safety and well-being this holiday season, please contact our team with questions. That’s what we’re here for! Have a happy and safe holiday with your pet this year.

It’s Important to Protect Your Pet All Season Long

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During the holiday season, there are so many dangers our pets may encounter, but if a few extra precautions are taken, you can keep your best friend safe. We see many pet emergencies all year round, but the most common emergencies during the holiday season are often related to holiday foods and décor.

Top 5 Most Common Holiday Dangers

These are some of the most common dangers that are often seen during the holiday season:

  • While we can handle having a few drinks in celebration of the season, our pets cannot. It’s important to always keep alcoholic beverages out your of your pet’s reach to ensure that they’re safe from the danger of alcohol poisoning.
  • Christmas trees. It isn’t the holiday season without a festive tree! However, these lovely decorations can also cause a few hazards in the home. Christmas trees can be knocked over by overly adventurous and curious pets, causing damage to the home and injury to the animals!
  • Electrical cords. Does your best friend like to chew? The sight of all those new cords under the tree may be too appealing for your pet, so we recommend disguising and hiding electrical cords to prevent your pet’s curiosity. It’s also important that they never be left unattended around the decorations!
  • Holiday meals and sweets. You hear all year round that there are foods your pet should never consume, but during the holiday season we have so much more of those dangerous foods around the house! Traditional holiday meals contain so many of those dangers, like poultry bones, onions, garlic, grapes, and more. In addition, we often do a lot of baking during the holidays, introducing our pets to even more potential dangers with chocolate, sugar, macadamia nuts, raisins, and more. Keep those foods and treats out of your pet’s reach at all times!
  • Poinsettias and other holiday plants. For some odd reason, the most popular plants to bring inside the home at the holidays are toxic to your pet! Poinsettias, amaryllis, and lilies of all kinds are dangerous and we recommend keeping them out of your pet’s reach at all times. You may also want to consider purchasing silk flowers for the look of the festive plant without the dangers.

If you have any questions about your pet’s safety and well-being this holiday season, please contact our team with questions. That’s what we’re here for! Have a happy and safe holiday with your pet this year.

Can This Food Harm Your Pet?

Pet Safety in Grapevine, TX

Believe it or not, there are so many dangerous foods which can affect our pets’ health and well-being and the veterinary team at the Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas wants to help you keep them safe. Especially during the holiday seasons, there are many popular human foods that our pets may encounter, some of which can be dangerous for them, and it’s important for all pet owners to know the difference.

Some popular foods that can harm your pet include:

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Milk and other dairy products
  • Onions
  • Poultry bones
  • Raisins
  • Xylitol found in sugar free candy
  • …and more

How to Protect Your Pet During the Holidays

During the holiday season, it’s important to talk with your house guests to make sure that no one gives your pet treats without your consent. This is the best way to ensure that your pet doesn’t eat anything without your knowledge. It is also important to keep an eye on fallen table scraps which your pet could pick up and eat without warning. We recommend keeping your pet in a separate room during holiday mealtimes and parties to avoid this concern.

Remember that if your pet does consume food that is dangerous for them, our emergency veterinarians can walk you through it and help you determine if emergency care is necessary. The Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas team can provide treatment to your pet at any time during the holiday season if they consume anything dangerous for them. After all, your pet’s safety is crucial if they are to lead a long and healthy life.

Will This Kill My Pet?

At Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas, we hear this question a lot. The good news is that there are toxins that are actually not dangerous for our pets if they’re consumed! If your pet has eaten one of these three common household items, rest assured that the results will not be fatal. If you still have questions or concerns about your pet’s safety, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can help you with your pet’s needs.

My Cat or Dog Ate Ant Bait

Why is it that our pets, especially dogs, are often drawn to these kinds of substances? Well, ironically things like peanut butter and other sugary sweet substances attract ants and dogs both. If your pet consumes ant bait, the concentration of toxins in each application is generally so minimal that most pets are just fine. However, if your pet eats the plastic casing for ant bait, there could be a concern with foreign body obstruction.

 

My Dog Ate Silica Gel

You know those little packets that come in shoeboxes and purses? They don’t even smell or taste appetizing, but for some reason many dogs will eat them. If yours does, rest assured she will be fine. These packets may cause stomach aches, but nothing serious will happen to her.

 

My Cat Ate Glow Sticks

 Why? We don’t know. Many cats just love consuming glow sticks. When they do, they may exhibit signs that they’ve been poisoned. Their distress will manifest itself in the form of drooling, foaming, head shaking, running around, even hiding. This is not because they’ve been poisoned but because the taste is extremely bitter! If your cat eats a glow stick, try to wipe out his mouth and give him something tasty to eat. He will feel better soon!