Foxtails - Dangerous to Pets

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The hills are full of foxtails and now that the rains have stopped, they're drying up fast. We've already seen several patients for foxtail probes this spring. Foxtail-like clusters, seen on the stalks of certain grasses, are very dangerous for our pets once they dry and drop. These seed pods are not only barbed so that they stick tight to whatever they touch, they also contain an enzyme which breaks down cell matter. While this helps the seed to burrow into the ground it also allows them to stick to and burrow into our pets. Foxtails can work their way into your pet's skin, just as it does the soil, resulting in pain, discomfort, infection, and, in some cases, death.

Typical places for foxtails to embed are a pet's ears, nose, eyes, armpits, or between the toes, but they can work their way in wherever they attach. Depending on where and how deep it is, we may be able to remove a foxtail with tweezers or forceps. However, if it has migrated too far your pet will need to undergo surgery.

Obvious preventative measures are avoiding fields or trails where foxtails are prevalent and eradicating any from your yard. Since foxtails are designed to travel with the wind, they really can go anywhere. We recommend carefully examining pets after they've been outside to remove any rogue foxtails. If your pet has a long or thick coat, you may want to consider a body shave. Signs that your pet has an embedded foxtail include:

  • rubbing eyes, squinting, discharge from eyes
  • sneezing, pawing at nose, bleeding from nostril
  • shaking head, pawing at ear, head tilt
  • gagging, coughing, swallowing repeatedly
  • licking or chewing at a specific area, redness or swelling, limping

If you suspect a foxtail, call us immediately for our first available appointment. The sooner we can act, the less opportunity there is for the foxtail to migrate.

Easter Holiday Safety Tips

   We'd like to wish our clients and patients who celebrate it a very Happy Easter! Here are a few important safety tips to bear in mind:      Easter lilies, day lilies, and tiger lilies are toxic to pets, and just a small amount can be deadly for cats.      Chocolate can be extremely dangerous for pets leading to anything from Gastrointestinal upset to cardiac failure.      Candy that has the sugar substitute Xylitol, a sweetener, is toxic to dogs and cats. It's often found in candy, gum, and some baked goods. If your pet ingests it, a drop in blood sugar can occur and cause problems such as seizures and liver failure.       Easter grass and foil candy wrappers are non-digestible and can get caught in the intestines.      We're always tempted to share our holiday feast with our furry kids, but keep it to a minimum, and NO BONES! An overfed pet is not a happy pet, and bones can wreak all sorts of havoc in the intestinal tract.      Keep the curious pets out of the trash can. It's common to have the trash can out while cleaning up after a big party. Be sure that the pets don't have access.      Consider your pet's personalities. Some of our pets get easily stressed and might be happiest not joining the party. Make sure that your pet has a quiet, secure space to hang out away from all of the hub bub.      Don't let a furry friend slip out the door while guests are arriving and departing!

We'd like to wish our clients and patients who celebrate it a very Happy Easter! Here are a few important safety tips to bear in mind:

Easter lilies, day lilies, and tiger lilies are toxic to pets, and just a small amount can be deadly for cats.

Chocolate can be extremely dangerous for pets leading to anything from Gastrointestinal upset to cardiac failure.

Candy that has the sugar substitute Xylitol, a sweetener, is toxic to dogs and cats. It's often found in candy, gum, and some baked goods. If your pet ingests it, a drop in blood sugar can occur and cause problems such as seizures and liver failure.

Easter grass and foil candy wrappers are non-digestible and can get caught in the intestines.

We're always tempted to share our holiday feast with our furry kids, but keep it to a minimum, and NO BONES! An overfed pet is not a happy pet, and bones can wreak all sorts of havoc in the intestinal tract.

Keep the curious pets out of the trash can. It's common to have the trash can out while cleaning up after a big party. Be sure that the pets don't have access.

Consider your pet's personalities. Some of our pets get easily stressed and might be happiest not joining the party. Make sure that your pet has a quiet, secure space to hang out away from all of the hub bub.

Don't let a furry friend slip out the door while guests are arriving and departing!

Holiday Safety for pets

  This is such a fun and exciting time of year with lots of family & friends! Here are a few quick tips for keeping your pets safe and content during all of the holiday hub-bub:    Keep a close eye on pets around decorations.  Glass or metal ornaments, tinsel, and artificial snow are dangerous if ingested.  We recommend skipping tinsel if you have cats in the house.  It's pretty irresistible to them and can cause serious problems if eaten. Christmas tree water can also be toxic if ingested due to pesticides and fire retardants from the tree.    It's tempting to want to include our fuzzy kids in the holiday feast, but it's best to avoid "people foods".  Some foods, such as chocolate and artificial sweeteners, are very dangerous to pets. Other foods can be too rich and cause upset tummies or even pancreatitis. Bones are always a "no-no".    Be cautious with candles and floral decorations. Candles can be knocked over, or tails can swish into the flames. Holly, Mistletoe, Poinsettia and Lilies are all toxic if eaten.    Before placing that gift under the tree, be sure that it's not edible. You don't want to put a box of chocolates in reach of your curious pets!    Be sure that alcoholic beverages are closely monitored. If ingested your pet could become weak, ill, or in extreme cases, go into respiratory failure.    Keep a lid on all the trash cans! This one is pretty self-explanatory!    Holiday crackers, noise makers, and horns are great fun for us, but your pet's ears are very sensitive. If your party will include this type of hilarity, be sure that your pet is in a quiet spot well away from the noise. Confetti and tinsel can cause serious problems if ingested, sometimes resulting in surgery to remove.      Pay attention to your pet's needs during all the hustle and bustle.  Does she need a quiet place away from all the hub-bub?  Will he get so excited that he'll forget to eat and drink, and run himself ragged?  Will she enjoy playing with the small children that are visiting? Will he need a new puzzle toy, such as a Kong, to keep him occupied, or a good long run before the guests arrive? Make a plan!

This is such a fun and exciting time of year with lots of family & friends! Here are a few quick tips for keeping your pets safe and content during all of the holiday hub-bub:

Keep a close eye on pets around decorations.  Glass or metal ornaments, tinsel, and artificial snow are dangerous if ingested.  We recommend skipping tinsel if you have cats in the house.  It's pretty irresistible to them and can cause serious problems if eaten. Christmas tree water can also be toxic if ingested due to pesticides and fire retardants from the tree.

It's tempting to want to include our fuzzy kids in the holiday feast, but it's best to avoid "people foods".  Some foods, such as chocolate and artificial sweeteners, are very dangerous to pets. Other foods can be too rich and cause upset tummies or even pancreatitis. Bones are always a "no-no".

Be cautious with candles and floral decorations. Candles can be knocked over, or tails can swish into the flames. Holly, Mistletoe, Poinsettia and Lilies are all toxic if eaten.

Before placing that gift under the tree, be sure that it's not edible. You don't want to put a box of chocolates in reach of your curious pets!

Be sure that alcoholic beverages are closely monitored. If ingested your pet could become weak, ill, or in extreme cases, go into respiratory failure.

Keep a lid on all the trash cans! This one is pretty self-explanatory!

Holiday crackers, noise makers, and horns are great fun for us, but your pet's ears are very sensitive. If your party will include this type of hilarity, be sure that your pet is in a quiet spot well away from the noise. Confetti and tinsel can cause serious problems if ingested, sometimes resulting in surgery to remove.  

Pay attention to your pet's needs during all the hustle and bustle.  Does she need a quiet place away from all the hub-bub?  Will he get so excited that he'll forget to eat and drink, and run himself ragged?  Will she enjoy playing with the small children that are visiting? Will he need a new puzzle toy, such as a Kong, to keep him occupied, or a good long run before the guests arrive? Make a plan!

Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Pets

  Thanksgiving is an exciting holiday full of great food and family gatherings, but there are potential hazards for our furry family members. Here are some tips for avoiding an unplanned visit to the vet this Thanksgiving:     Some pets are true "party animals", but many get anxious with a lot of people coming and going. Be sure that your pet has a quiet, comfortable space to hang out if things get overwhelming.    If you are hosting this year, be sure that your pets are safely contained while guests are arriving and departing. You don't want to spend the holiday combing the neighborhood for a lost pet!     Many "people foods" can be dangerous to pets. Make sure to keep food and any alcoholic beverages well out of their reach.    It's fine to share a FEW nibbles of turkey with your pet. Just be sure that it is boneless and fully cooked. Bones are not only choking hazards, but can cause intestinal blockages. Raw, or undercooked, turkey may contain salmonella.    Sage, and other herbs, contains essential oils that can cause gastrointestinal upset, especially to cats. Keep the pets out of the stuffing!    Baking bread for the feast? No raw bread dough for the pets! The yeast in bread dough will cause it to rise in your pet's tummy which could become a life-threatening emergency.    It is a feast day and we want to share the bounty with our 4-legged family members, but keep it to a minimum. They won't be thankful for a belly-ache, stomach upset, diarrhea, or worse- pancreatitis.   

Thanksgiving is an exciting holiday full of great food and family gatherings, but there are potential hazards for our furry family members. Here are some tips for avoiding an unplanned visit to the vet this Thanksgiving:

Some pets are true "party animals", but many get anxious with a lot of people coming and going. Be sure that your pet has a quiet, comfortable space to hang out if things get overwhelming.

If you are hosting this year, be sure that your pets are safely contained while guests are arriving and departing. You don't want to spend the holiday combing the neighborhood for a lost pet! 

Many "people foods" can be dangerous to pets. Make sure to keep food and any alcoholic beverages well out of their reach.

It's fine to share a FEW nibbles of turkey with your pet. Just be sure that it is boneless and fully cooked. Bones are not only choking hazards, but can cause intestinal blockages. Raw, or undercooked, turkey may contain salmonella.

Sage, and other herbs, contains essential oils that can cause gastrointestinal upset, especially to cats. Keep the pets out of the stuffing!

Baking bread for the feast? No raw bread dough for the pets! The yeast in bread dough will cause it to rise in your pet's tummy which could become a life-threatening emergency.

It is a feast day and we want to share the bounty with our 4-legged family members, but keep it to a minimum. They won't be thankful for a belly-ache, stomach upset, diarrhea, or worse- pancreatitis.   

Tips for Flea Control

 

 

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLEAS

  • Just because you don't see them, it doesn't mean they aren't there. Fleas tend to stay deep in your pet's coat where they are difficult to detect. They are also tiny and they move really fast.
  • Even strictly indoor pets can get fleas. Fleas are teeny tiny and can easily sneak into any home with a likely host.
  • Fleas can live dormant in the environment for up to a year. They will hatch when exposed to light and vibration.
  • Not every pet is allergic to flea bites. That is why you'll see varied reactions from one pet to another. Unfortunately, if you pet is allergic to flea bites it only takes one bite to start a huge reaction.
  • Fleas can be deadly. If a pet is extremely infested with fleas they can become anemic and die. This is especially risky with very young and very old pets.

HOW TO TREAT FLEA ALLERGIES

  • Flea allergies will make a pet extremely itchy and uncomfortable. It they go untreated, the constant scratching can lead to staff infections, hair loss and a miserable pet.
  • Treatment may include anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics, and/or medicated shampoos.
  • Treatment will definitely include flea preventative medication.

FLEA PREVENTATIVE MEDICATIONS

  • There are so many options out there! Be cautious to always purchase the appropriate strength according to your pet's weight.
  • Never put a flea product on a cat unless it's specifically labeled for felines. Cats are very sensitive to many flea products and can become very ill. If your cat seems to be reacting to a topical flea product, bathe it and then bring it immediately to your vet.
  • We recommend Cheristin (a topical medication) or Comfortis (an oral medication) for cats.
  • For dogs we recommend Comfortis (controls fleas), Nexgard (controls fleas and ticks) or Trifexis (controls fleas, heartworm and many intestinal parasites) depending on your pet's needs. All of these are oral medications.
  • All pets in the household should be treated monthly, and we recommend year long flea control here in the Bay Area due to our temperate climate.
  • Good Sam is selling FLEA BUNDLES through the end of August. Buy a one year supply and save 15%. Call our office for more information (510)357-8574.

HOW TO TREAT THE ENVIRONMENT

  • If there are fleas on the pets, there are fleas in the environment.
  • We highly recommend treating your house and yard to get a handle on the flea population.
  • We recommend using Knockout Spray or Fleas Busters powder in the home. Vacuum first, and re-treat at least one time, 7 to 10 days after the initial treatment. You may need to re-treat several times depending on the severity of your infestation.
  • For the yard, we recommend using a yard & kennel spray, or hiring a professional exterminating company. Again, re-treat at least one time.

 

 


 

 

 

Summer Safety for Pets

  We all love spending time outdoors with our family and friends in the summer, and of course that includes our pets. Here are some simple precautions that you can take to keep your pets safe this summer.      FLEA AND TICK PREVENTATIVES     Make sure that all pets in your household are protected by flea and/or tick preventatives. Be sure to take advantage of our flea bundles, and save 15% on a one year supply of your flea preventatives. Dogs should also be protected from Heartworm, which is carried by mosquitoes, with a Heartworm preventative.     HIGH TEMPERATURE PRECAUTIONS     Pets can dehydrate very quickly. Be sure that they have access to clean, fresh water and plenty of shade. Be careful not to over-exercise them, and to keep them indoors and cool when temperatures are extremely high.    Never leave your pet in a parked car! Even with the windows down, the temperature in the car will rise to well above the outside temperature within minutes.    Remember that when the temperatures are high, concrete (and especially asphalt) get extremely hot. Your pet is much closer to these surfaces than you are, and will heat up quickly. Also, sensitive paw pads can burn very easily. If it's too hot for your bare feet, then it's also too hot for theirs.     KNOW THE SIGNS OF HEAT STROKE IN PETS     Symptoms include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rates, drooling, weakness, stupor, or even collapse. In more extreme cases you may also see vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. Cool your pet immediately with cold towels, and by applying rubbing alcohol to the paw pads. Then bring him/her immediately to a veterinarian.     WATER SAFETY     Do not leave your pets unsupervised around pools. Make sure that they wear flotation devices if you take them out on a boat. After swimming, be sure to rinse your pet to remove chlorine or salt from his/her coat.     OUTDOOR PARTIES WITH PETS     Outdoor parties and BBQ's are fun, and we love to include our furry family members, but be very careful that they do not have access to people foods, trash cans, or alcoholic beverages. Also be cautious when a lot of people are coming and going. You don't want to end the evening scouring the neighborhood for a lost pet. Is your pet microchipped? If not, call our office to take advantage of our 20% microchip special!

We all love spending time outdoors with our family and friends in the summer, and of course that includes our pets. Here are some simple precautions that you can take to keep your pets safe this summer.

FLEA AND TICK PREVENTATIVES

Make sure that all pets in your household are protected by flea and/or tick preventatives. Be sure to take advantage of our flea bundles, and save 15% on a one year supply of your flea preventatives. Dogs should also be protected from Heartworm, which is carried by mosquitoes, with a Heartworm preventative.

HIGH TEMPERATURE PRECAUTIONS

Pets can dehydrate very quickly. Be sure that they have access to clean, fresh water and plenty of shade. Be careful not to over-exercise them, and to keep them indoors and cool when temperatures are extremely high.

Never leave your pet in a parked car! Even with the windows down, the temperature in the car will rise to well above the outside temperature within minutes.

Remember that when the temperatures are high, concrete (and especially asphalt) get extremely hot. Your pet is much closer to these surfaces than you are, and will heat up quickly. Also, sensitive paw pads can burn very easily. If it's too hot for your bare feet, then it's also too hot for theirs.

KNOW THE SIGNS OF HEAT STROKE IN PETS

Symptoms include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rates, drooling, weakness, stupor, or even collapse. In more extreme cases you may also see vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. Cool your pet immediately with cold towels, and by applying rubbing alcohol to the paw pads. Then bring him/her immediately to a veterinarian.

WATER SAFETY

Do not leave your pets unsupervised around pools. Make sure that they wear flotation devices if you take them out on a boat. After swimming, be sure to rinse your pet to remove chlorine or salt from his/her coat.

OUTDOOR PARTIES WITH PETS

Outdoor parties and BBQ's are fun, and we love to include our furry family members, but be very careful that they do not have access to people foods, trash cans, or alcoholic beverages. Also be cautious when a lot of people are coming and going. You don't want to end the evening scouring the neighborhood for a lost pet. Is your pet microchipped? If not, call our office to take advantage of our 20% microchip special!