Tag Archives: toxicity

Happy HOWLoween: Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Harry Potter Houses

Harry Potter Houses

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, especially in Texas. The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing color, and the best holidays are about to begin! First up on the holiday list is… HALLOWEEN! I love seeing all the cute kids in the neighborhood dressed up in their costumes, but even more so, I love seeing how people dress up their pets! For example, my dachshund mix will be a hot dog this year… Stereotypical, I know, but he looks so cute! Although this holiday is fun and exciting, there are some threats to your pets that you should be aware of. Below are some great tips to reduce the risk of harm to your fur babies this holiday.

 

 

  1. Costumes
Frozen

Frozen

 

The first Halloween pet safety tip deals with their outfits! If you are putting your dog or cat in a costume, make sure that it fits properly! I know this sounds strange, but if there is a strap that goes across their chest, it may restrict their breathing if it is too tight. Also, you want to make sure that they aren’t stressed out about having some out of the norm clothing on them. On top of this potential stress, make sure to supervise them just in case they decide to destroy the costume. Your dog or cat could either get tangled and injure themselves or consume parts of the costume.

 

2. Trick

TRICK or treat

TRICK or treat

Do you have a protective or shy pooch? If you’re taking them on a walk while kids are trick-or-treating, make sure to keep a watchful eye on them. Your pet may get spooked from the screaming kids or seeing dogs and humans alike in costumes that they are not used to seeing. One of my dogs that I rescued gets scared very easily. Just the other day, I had a towel in my hair after a shower and she wouldn’t come near me!

Are your dog’s your personal alarm system and doorbell? Mine are! So when the doorbell rings, and there are some strangers in costumes and masks at the door, your dogs could react by running away or acting defensively. So just use caution when opening your door when your pets are near.

 

3. Or Treat

Trick or TREAT

Trick or TREAT

 

One of the most obvious threats to your pets on Halloween is all of the chocolate and candy that’s up for the grabbing! There is a pretty decent chance that your dog may get their paws on some chocolate at one point or another. We should all know by now that chocolate (or the cocoa found in chocolate) is poisonous to both dogs and cats, but did you know that candy is also very dangerous? Most candy has a chemical known as Xylitol that is used to sweeten, when it is consumed by dogs and cats it can lower the blood sugar or even cause live failure. Also keep in mind that the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it will be for your pets. This is because it likely has a higher cocoa content than lighter chocolates (milk chocolate, white chocolate)Foils from candy wrappers and lollipop sticks are also dangerous if consumed because they can get stuck in the stomach or GI tract. If you don’t think you’ll be able to keep your pet away from these dangers, then you could potentially keep them in a separate part of your home. Another concern that you wouldn’t think of is raisins! These are one of the most poisonous foods to dogs and can cause kidney failure. If your dog has consumed any raisins, grapes, or currents, it is essential that you get in contact with your vet, the Pet Poison Helpline (   http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/   ), or get them to an emergency hospital.

 

4. Holiday Decorations

Decorations

Decorations

 

Fake spiders and their webs are exciting new toys for your cats to play with, but these decorations could obstruct the GI tract and seriously harm your pet. Use caution when decorating your house for ANY holiday! I know that my cat loves to play “soccer” with any loose object and it will forever be lost. Also bear in mind that carved pumpkins can cause a couple of hazards:

  1. Your pet could knock it over and a fire could start if there is a lit candle inside.
  2. They could decide to EAT the pumpkin and cause some upset stomach. This might shock some because we know that pureed pumpkin is commonly used to ease upset stomach. However, too much of a good thing isn’t great!

 

Beanie Baby http://www.purewow.com/entertainment/20-Ways-to-Dress-Up-Your-Dog-This-Halloween

Beanie Baby
http://www.purewow.com/entertainment/20-Ways-to-Dress-Up-Your-Dog-This-Halloween

 

Would you like to read more helpful tips and tricks to keep your pets safe during the Halloween season? Check out these good reads:

http://patch.com/california/losgatos/tips-how-keep-your-pets-safe-halloween

http://dogs.about.com/od/caringfordogsandpuppies/qt/halloweensafety.htm

http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/blog/index.php/holidays/how-to-keep-your-pet-safe-on-halloween/#.Vij6Nmco6Uk

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/31/health/halloween-health-hazards/index.html

 

 

We hope you have a safe and spooky HOWLoween this year!!

 

Cupcake

Cupcake

Plants, Are They A Real Danger?

confused

Dogs and cats are very inquisitive. Sniffing, smelling, and usually tasting almost anything in sight. For that reason, we commonly see pets ingest items that are not their food. Plants are among one of the top items a pet will chew on and/or swallow, but are they a real danger? Can plants cause any harm if ingested? Many may not be aware of the unknown dangers that come from ingesting some plants. Certain plants are very poisonous to pets, and can be deadly if left untreated. The purpose of this blog is to inform you of which plants are poisonous, the common symptoms associated with ingesting them, and to give you tips on how to keep your house danger free even with these plants present.

Smelling plants

There are several factors to take in account when determining the risk of toxicity to your pet. These factors include what plant was ingested, which part of the plant, how much of the plant, and whether your pet vomited some of the plant. Toxicity levels can range from mildly to extremely toxic depending on what plant your pet took interest in. The most toxic plants to pets would be, Castor Beans, Mistletoes, any type of Mushrooms, all Ivies, and Oleanders. Common types of other toxic plants would be Aloe Vera, Poinsettia, Azalea, Sago Palm, Dumbcane, Carnations, Tulip, Chrysanthemum, Daffodil, all types of Lilies, and Marijuana.  Not all parts of every plant are poisonous. Depending on the type of plant, the seeds, leaves, roots, petals, beans, bark, fruit, and stems may all have a different toxicity level. It has been demonstrated in some studies, that if a dog or cat vomits part or all of the plant within 30 minutes of ingestion, it can reduce the amount of toxic effects. We do not recommend trying to force your pet to vomit at home without consulting your veterinarian first.

 

Oleander plant

Example of an Oleander

Mistletoe Plant

Example of a Mistletoe

Sago Palm Plant

Example of a Sago Palm

 

Aloe Vera Plant

Example of an Aloe Vera plant

 

Chrysanthemum Plant

Example of a Chrysanthemum

Diagnosis of toxic plant ingestion is usually based on the information you provide your veterinarian. Sometimes a presumptive diagnosis is made based on your pet’s illness if the plants are present within the home even if you did not see your pet chewing on them. Symptoms of toxic plant ingestion can range from mild to severe and vary based on which plant is the culprit. Therefore, it is always good to identify which plant and which part of the plant your pet could have swallowed. If you are unsure of what kind of plant it is, you can take a picture or better yet bring in a sample of the plant to your veterinarian so they may help identify what it could be.

 

Symptoms of toxicity usually appear within 30 minutes to 48 hours after ingestion. Some symptoms can include excessive salvation, foaming at the mouth, caustic or burning effect in the mouth or throat, swollen mouth, trouble swallowing, oral sores, anorexia (not wanting to eat), excessive drinking, vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinating, lethargy, and skin allergies. More severe symptoms could be sweating/fever, drunken walk, heart arrhythmias, rapid or trouble breathing, painful abdomen, tremors, seizures, acute kidney and liver failure, bone marrow depression, and even death.

 

Daffodil Plant

Example of a Daffodil

Lily Plant

Example of a Lily

Tulip Plant

Example of a Tulip

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you think your four legged family member may have ingested a toxic plant or if your pet is acting sick and you have toxic plants in your home, please contact your veterinarian and seek medical help right away.  Prolonged time between plant ingestion and medical help could worsen symptoms and make treatment more challenging. If you can’t immediately reach a vet, you can call the ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline at (888) 426-4435.  They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A fee of $65 may be charged to your credit card. Identification of the plant is critical. Have the plant itself and if possible the container, package or label available when on the phone or in the veterinarian’s office or the poison helpline. When contacting the poison control center, please also have this information ready:

 

  • Your name, address, and phone number.
  • If calling the 800 number, your credit card number.
  • The species, breed, age, sex, weight, and number of animals involved.
  • The poison your animals have been exposed to, if known
  • Information concerning the poisoning (the amount of poison, the time since exposure, etc.).
  • The problems your animals are experiencing.

poison

 

Safe guarding your house for your loved ones is possible. One of many ways of doing so would be to place a fence around your garden. If larger breed dogs are present, a higher fence may be necessary. Another way to protect your pets can be to put plants in hard to reach places, such as hanging from the ceiling, on the top of a shelf, or on a window ledge. Obedience training has also been known to work. Training puppies about what areas are ok and what areas are not ok to play in. Providing your pet with plenty of toys and safe items to chew on can help keep them from nibbling on plants. Outdoor supervision would be necessary if you have one of these plants present in your yard.  Of course the only guaranteed way to protect your pet is to eliminate these plants from your pet’s environment.

 

Here are a few links if you would like to read more on poisonous plants:

 

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control

http://www.dog-health-guide.org/dogpoisonousplants.html

http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/basics/top-10-plants-poisonous-to-pets/

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ccah/health_information/plants_pets.cfm