Fire Saftey for Pets - Have a Plan

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Did you know that an estimated 500,000 pets are affected each year by home fires? Also, the National Fire Protection Association estimates about 1,000 house fires are accidentally started by family pets each year. Here are some fire safety tips for you and your pets: 

  • Make sure to extinguish any open flames that are unattended. Pets are curious and will want to investigate candles, fireplaces, and especially cooking appliances.
  • Remove stove knobs or cover them when leaving the house. Pets like to explore when you aren't home and the stove top is very interesting to them.
  • Consider flameless candles, especially if you have cats. They are notorious for flicking their tails over lit candles.
  • Use metal or ceramic dishes outside, especially on a wood deck. The sun's rays filtered through a glass container can heat up and ignite. 
  • Young puppies should be secured in a safe area when left home alone.
  • If you don't have a pet door, be sure to keep your pets in areas near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
  • Practice escape routes with your pets. Be sure that leashes and carriers are easily accessible and that you have a plan.
  • Consider using a monitored smoke detection service as an added layer of protection. These smoke detectors are connected to a monitoring center and can help save pets when they're home alone.
  • Affix a pet alert window cling to your front window. These stickers tell firefighters how many of what types of pets are in the house and can save them critical time. We have these available here at Good Sam. Just come on by and ask a receptionist!

Firework Safety Tips for Pets

   Here are some tips for getting your furry kids through the Independence Day hullabaloo:      Tire them out! Take your dog on an extra-long hike, throw the ball, or have a rousing game of chase-the-feather with your kitty. If they're exhausted, they will be less affected by the noise.      Let them hide. Give them a safe, cozy spot to get away from all the commotion. You can even play classical music or turn the TV on to help block the noise.      Keep pets indoors. Close all doors, pet doors, windows, and curtains/blinds if possible. Run a fan or turn on the air conditioning if possible for background noise. If your pet is in a crate, cover the crate with a blanket.      Make sure all doors and gates are secure and your pets all have tags and/or microchips just in case. When pets are in a panic, they can become escape artists.      Consider purchasing a      Thundershirt     . These pet shirts are designed to apply pressure to your pet's body like a hug. This pressure helps to calm the nervous system. Several of our clients have used these with good results.      Another resource that we've had some clients use successfully is noise cancelling headphones, called      Mutt Muffs     , for pets.      Reassure your pets. Maybe even give a few treats when the noise begins. You want to comfort your pets if they are asking for reassurance, but be sure to stay calm and behave as if everything is fine. If you act anxious, they will pick up on your stress.      Puzzle toys, like a Kong, can be great distractions during fireworks.      If loud noises make your pet extremely anxious, you may want to consider a sedative. Call our office to see if that would be a good option for your fuzzy kid.

Here are some tips for getting your furry kids through the Independence Day hullabaloo:

Tire them out! Take your dog on an extra-long hike, throw the ball, or have a rousing game of chase-the-feather with your kitty. If they're exhausted, they will be less affected by the noise.

Let them hide. Give them a safe, cozy spot to get away from all the commotion. You can even play classical music or turn the TV on to help block the noise.

Keep pets indoors. Close all doors, pet doors, windows, and curtains/blinds if possible. Run a fan or turn on the air conditioning if possible for background noise. If your pet is in a crate, cover the crate with a blanket.

Make sure all doors and gates are secure and your pets all have tags and/or microchips just in case. When pets are in a panic, they can become escape artists.

Consider purchasing a Thundershirt. These pet shirts are designed to apply pressure to your pet's body like a hug. This pressure helps to calm the nervous system. Several of our clients have used these with good results.

Another resource that we've had some clients use successfully is noise cancelling headphones, called Mutt Muffs, for pets.

Reassure your pets. Maybe even give a few treats when the noise begins. You want to comfort your pets if they are asking for reassurance, but be sure to stay calm and behave as if everything is fine. If you act anxious, they will pick up on your stress.

Puzzle toys, like a Kong, can be great distractions during fireworks.

If loud noises make your pet extremely anxious, you may want to consider a sedative. Call our office to see if that would be a good option for your fuzzy kid.

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!