AFFORDABLE ANIMAL EMERGENCY CLINIC - 253.939.6272
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TIPS FOR PET LOVERS
2/19/2012 - Salmon can be harmful to your dog’s health if consumed raw. Each year dogs living in the Pacific coastal regions of the US and Canada contract a disease called Salmon Poisoning. This condition is not actually a poisoning but rather an infectious disease caused by eating uncooked salmon hosting a fluke worm (N. Salminocola) containing the Rickettsial organism (Neorickettsia helminthoeca). The disease is caused by this Rickettsial organism.
Salmon poisoning can be confused with other diseases. The signs can be similar to those your dog would show for parvo virus (i.e. vomiting and diarrhea with or without blood). Signs usually begin 5-7 days after eating an infected raw salmon but delays up to 30 days have been reported. Other signs besides vomiting might be a fever, weakness, swollen lymph nodes and rarely a nasal and or eye discharge.
This is very serious disease which if left untreated has a mortality rate of 50% to 90%. The disease progresses quickly and after the signs manifest can be fatal in 7-10 days. Therefore, it is important to treat these patients as soon as possible. Early treatment can have a profoundly positive impact on recovery.
Prevention of Salmon Poisoning means eliminating exposure to raw salmon. Please don’t feed raw salmon to your dog. Raw salmon is for your lips only – keep it away from your canine companions!
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2/12/2012 - Slug bait poisoning of dogs in Western Washington is quite common. This product is placed in gardens and flower beds when the snails and slugs are active. The active ingredient is metaldehyde and it is listed when present in various slug and snail killing products. However, be aware that the disclosure on some of the packaging can be very small or vague. One manufacturer’s packaging states in small print that their product may be harmful to animals. Well, there is no maybe about it! Metaldehyde is deadly and if enough of it is consumed it is fatal.
The dogs brought to the Affordable Animal Emergency Clinic typically present with tremors (shaking) that are getting more pronounced with time and ataxia (uncoordinated gait). Often the pet owner’s aren’t aware that their pet has been poisoned and the attending Veterinarian has to be alert to this possibility and ask the right questions (i.e. Do you have slug bait on your property?)
A quick diagnosis of metaldehyde toxicosis is critically important. Any delay in the diagnosis and treatment of the patient can be fatal. Metaldehyde poisoning if left untreated, it progresses to continuous seizures, hyperthermia and death.
Awareness of this common poison is paramount for its prevention. If your pet displays the above signs or has recently consumed a metaldyhyde containing product please take action immediately. Treatments are available and if done early enough is successful.
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2/5/2012 - Travelling with an unsecured family dog in the back of a pickup truck can be very dangerous for your furry friend and in the State of Washington it is illegal.
Many dogs are killed each year after falling, jumping or being thrown out of moving pickups. Survivors can sustain serious injuries such as fractures and severe road rashes. Amputations are not uncommon. If your canine friend has to be transported in the bed of a pickup truck keep him as safe as possible. If a tether is used, keep it short and secure it in the middle of the truck bed right behind the cab. The tether should be short enough so your pet can’t leave the bed of the pickup. The other option in moderate weather would be a crate that is secured well enough so it can’t slide and bang around.
At the Affordable Animal Emergency Clinic dogs are brought to us every year that have been seriously injured by jumping out of moving trucks. It’s a very sad situation. The suffering these dogs experience could be prevented if we all took the necessary precautions. Please secure your pets to safeguard them!
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1/29/2012 - Antifreeze is a pet killer. In fact, it is one of the more common causes of lethal poisonings in the Puget Sound area.
Ethylene glycol is the active ingredient in antifreeze that is responsible for its reputation as a killer, and it doesn’t take much. Drinking only a small amount of it can be fatal. In addition to antifreeze, ethylene glycol can also be found in some brake and transmission fluids. For this reason, a garage can be a dangerous environment for your pet companion.
Although cutaneous (skin) absorption has been reported in cats, the vast majority of poisonings in both dogs and cats is from consumption (drinking). A lethal dose in a 8 pound cat can be as little as a teaspoon. A lethal dose in a 10 pound dog is about 4 teaspoons. So, it doesn’t take much to cause great harm.
Antifreeze has a sweet taste that can be appealing to some animals, so don’t leave it out! Proper storage and disposal is of paramount important for prevention of a fatal poisoning. Antifreeze toxicosis if you catch it early enough can be treated and have a positive outcome, but this is a situation where the best treatment is avoidance and prevention.
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12/25/2012 - It's snowing in the Puget Sound area. Please keep your pets indoors during this cold weather to prevent hypothermia. Every winter we have pets brought to us that are suffering from the cold. Young and old pets are particularly vulnerable. Many pet stores carry booties that you can purchase and place on your pet's paws when walking outdoor in the snow. A quick way to warm up your pet is using a hand held hair dryer on a medium setting. You don't want to hold the hair dryer in just one position on your pet. You actively warm multiple areas by moving the hair dryer back and forth. Holding the hair dryer in one position on a pet without moving it could burn your pet. So move it back and forth. If you don't have a hair dryer you can heat up your pet with heated clean dry towels. Place the towels in the dryer for several minutes and then wrap them around your pet. This can be repeated multiple times until your pet's temperature is normal (>100F).