Thursday, August 25, 2016

8 Common Human Medications You Should NEVER Give To Your Dog

pet poison human medication

Last fall we published a list of 3 common medications that you should never give to your dog (or cat) (Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Acetaminophen) . We decided to add some more less common (but no less dangerous) human medications to that list!

Just remember that a medication that does one thing for people does not necessarily do the same for our pets!! And although this may be the list of the medications about which the APCC (ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center) receives the largest numbers of complaints, remember that any human medication could pose a risk to your pets – not just these ones.

Also, remember that these ingredients are sometimes branded without the component itself. Tylenol, for example, contains Acetominophen, so it is also poinsonous to pets.

1. Tramadol -  Tramadol (Ultram®) is a pain reliever. Your veterinarian may prescribe it for your pet, but only at a dose that's appropriate for your pet – never give your medication to your pet without first consulting your veterinarian! Too much tramadol can cause sedation or agitation, wobbliness, disorientation, vomiting, tremors and possibly seizures.

2. Alprazolam - Alprazolam (Xanax®) is prescribed as an anti-anxiety medication and a sleep-aid. Most pets that ingest alprazolam can become sleepy and wobbly; however a few will become very agitated instead. These pills are commonly ingested by pets as people put them out on the nightstand so they remember to take them. Large doses of alprazolam can drop the blood pressure and could cause weakness or collapse.

3. Adderall -  Adderall® is a combination of four different amphetamines and is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. This medication doesn't have the same effect in pets as it does in people; it acts as a stimulant in our pets and causes elevated heart rate and body temperature, along with hyperactivity, tremors and seizures.

4. Zolpidem - Zolpidem (Ambien®) is a sleep-aid for people. Pets commonly eat pills left on the bedside table. Zolpidem may make cats wobbly and sleepy, but most pets become very agitated and develop elevated heart rates.

5. Clonazepam - Clonazepam (Klonopin®) is used as an anticonvulsant and anti-anxiety medication. It is sometimes also prescribed as a sleep-aid. When animals ingest clonazepam they can become sleep and wobbly. Too much clonazepam can lower the blood pressure, leading to weakness or collapse.

6. Naproxen - Naproxen (Aleve®, Naprosyn®) is an over-the-counter pain reliever. Dogs and cats are very sensitive to naproxen and even small amounts can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure.

7. Duloxetine - Duloxetine (Cymbalta®) is prescribed as an antidepressant and anti-anxiety agent. When ingested by pets it can cause agitation, vocalization, tremors and seizures.

8. Venlafaxine - Venlafaxine (Effexor®) is an antidepressant. For some unknown reason, cats love to eat the capsules. Ingestion can cause agitation, vocalization, tremors and seizures.

If your pet HAS taken one of these medications, call the Pet Poison hotline immediately!

Source: AVMA

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Heartworm Disease in Dogs - 5 Myths You Might Have Heard

Dog Heartworm

Mosquitoes can cause all sorts of problems for humans: malaria, West Nile virus and Zika virus, to name a few. But we tend to forget that they can also cause a major health issue for our pets: heartworm disease. There’s a lot of false and misleading information out there about the condition, and some dog owners may not realize just how serious heartworm disease can be.

“Some pet owners I meet aren’t quite sure what heartworms are. And if their dogs don’t spend large amounts of time outside, they think they don’t need to worry about heartworm preventive. So misinformation is still a concern,” veterinarian Dr. Karen Todd-Jenkins says.

To help you get a better understanding of the condition and make more informed decisions about your dog’s health, we’re debunking five common misconceptions about heartworm disease.

1. Heartworm prevention isn’t necessary year-round.

Heartworms are spread to dogs through the bite of an infected mosquito. So if it’s the middle of winter, or you live in a dry climate with few or any mosquitoes, the logical conclusion might be that if there aren’t any mosquitoes around, dogs can’t get heartworm disease. Although it’s true that areas with a large mosquito population have higher incidences of heartworm disease, this condition has been diagnosed in all 50 states. Plus, it can be hard to predict when mosquito season will start and stop for your region. For this reason, the American Heartworm Society and many veterinarians recommend year-round heartworm prevention for pets. Believe us: Guessing when mosquitoes will and won’t be in your area is not worth the risk.

2. Heartworm disease is not a serious condition.

Heartworm disease is not just some annoying condition that will clear itself up over time — it’s a potentially fatal disease that can cause permanent damage to your canine’s heart, lungs and blood vessels if left untreated. If that doesn’t scare you enough, consider this: Spaghetti-like worms that infiltrate the major blood vessels of the lungs, and occasionally the heart, cause the disease. That’s right, they are literally heart worms. Furthermore, when heartworms die, worm fragments can act as clots, obstructing blood flow, and worms may release bacteria called Wolbachia, which are thought to contribute to an inflammatory response in the body.

3. Treating heartworm disease is not a big deal.

Treating heartworm disease isn’t as simple as giving your pet a few pills to clear up the condition.

The treatment consists of a series of drug injections that kills the worms. When the injections are given, your dog may have to stay in the hospital for observation. Additional medication may also be given to kill immature heartworms and address other disease complications.

During treatment — and for several weeks after treatment — your dog will not be able to exercise. Fragments of dead worms can block blood flow through pulmonary vessels, and when exercise increases blood flow to blocked areas, it can lead to complications and possibly death.

Bottom line: Heartworm treatment is not a quick fix.

4. Dogs receiving heartworm preventives do not require regular heartworm tests.

Pet owners who give their dogs heartworm preventive medication as recommended by their veterinarians deserve big kudos. But, unfortunately, even the best pet owners can miss a dose. That’s just one reason why regular heartworm tests are so critical. All it takes is one bite from an infected mosquito to transmit heartworms.

5. All dogs show signs of heart disease if they’re infected.

Some dogs may not show any signs of heartworm infection at all, which is another reason why heartworm disease testing is so important. Some signs to look for include coughing, shortness of breath and becoming easily fatigued with normal physical exercise. If the disease has progressed, the dog may lose weight and have difficulty breathing, have fluid in the abdomen or even die suddenly.

Heartworm disease is preventable. Don’t skip a dose or take the risk of not using preventive medication at all — it’s not worth the pain and suffering. Talk to your veterinarian about the best way to prevent your dog from contracting heartworm disease. You won’t regret it.

Source: Vet Street

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

4 Household Items To Clean Pet Stains

Clean Pet Stains

It's every pet owner's nightmare: You step into a fresh, wet " accident," and you're out of your go-to carpet cleaner. Not to worry — there are actually quite a few household staples that work wonders on pet-stained carpeting!

Whether you're house-training a puppy or caring for a cat who's having trouble with the litterbox, read below to learn which kitchen and laundry room standbys can be used for cleaning urine spots.

White Vinegar Pet StainsWhite Vinegar
White vinegar neutralizes odors and can clean stains both new and old. If the urine spot is still wet, blot (don't rub) the area first. Combine equal parts white vinegar with cold water, pour the solution over the stain, blot again and let it dry. Then, run a vacuum over the spot to finish the job.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Products for Your Pet's Oral Care

Products for Pet Oral Health

A majority of adult pets suffer from some degree of periodontal disease, which means that maintaining your pet’s oral hygiene isn’t a luxury — it’s a vital piece of her healthcare routine. Vet visits for dental cleaning or tooth extractions can be costly and stressful, so it's best to prevent the problem before it has a chance to start. 

We have blogged before about other tips to follow to keep your pet's mouth healthy, but here are some products you can invest in now to save money on dental cleanings later.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

RECIPE: Easy Banana Oatmeal Granola Dog Treats

Dog Treat Recipe

This week we have a great dog treat recipe for you to try: Banana Oatmeal Granola Bars which are low in calories but high in potassium, fiber, manganese, and vitamins B6 and C. Nutritional little nuggets of deliciousness both you and your dog will enjoy!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

5 Poisonous Mushrooms You Should Know

Poisonous Mushrooms

Mushroom poisoning in pets may be underestimated. Mushroom species can be difficult to nearly impossible for even mushroom experts (called mycologists) to identify. That difficulty is compounded by the fact that little is known about the potential toxicity of many species. 

Mushrooms reported as edible in Europe have been associated with toxicity cases in North America and vice versa. Mushroom toxicity reportedly can vary depending on habitat and/or what other plants or trees are growing nearby. And many mushrooms can contain more than one poisonous substance.

Toxicity also can depend on underlying health conditions in victims or on other substances they may ingest. And in our global economy, toxic mushrooms from other parts of the world that resemble species presumed edible in the United States have been imported to North America, further muddying the scene.

To be safe, it's best to keep your pet away from all wild mushrooms and call your vet immediately if you think your animal has eaten a mushroom. Below are a handful of the most recognizable species of toxic mushrooms.