Archive for January, 2011

It isn’t just about bad breath… onions, garlic, and leeks are hazardous to your pet!

January 31, 2011

What they’re in:  The small amount of garlic sometimes found in dog treats is unlikely to be harmful to dogs.  However, if cats or dogs ingest a tasty pan of sautéed onions, garlic, or leeks, poisoning may result.  The ingestion of large amounts of garlic pills or powder may also cause poisoning.  Garlic was once thought of as a “home remedy” for flea infestations; however, it has been shown to be ineffective and is not recommended by Pet Poison Helpline.

Threat to pets:  These vegetables can cause red blood cell destruction and result in anemia.  Ingestion of onions or garlic greater than 0.5 percent of a dog’s body weight is potentially toxic.  For example, this equates to a 30-pound dog ingesting about 2.5 ounces of onion or garlic.  Cats and Japanese breeds of dogs (Akita, Shiba Inu) are even more sensitive to the effects of these plants.

Signs:  Onion or garlic smell on breath, lethargy, pale mucus membranes due to anemia, tachypnea (elevated respiratory rate), tachycardia (elevated heart rate), vomiting, and a reduced appetite.  Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is rare but possible.

Treatment:  Induce vomiting and then administer multiple doses of activated charcoal to decontaminate (adsorb and remove toxins).  Check packed cell volume or blood smears daily to evaluate anemia.  If anemia is severe, initiate blood transfusions. You can also administer intravenous dextrose (sugar) if needed.

Prognosis:  Excellent with early intervention and appropriate care.

Call us today at 614-888-4050 if you have any questions or concerns.  Remember that our extended hours make it convenient to treat your pet, both for wellness visits as well as for any more urgent needs!

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When should you worry about pet vomit?

January 25, 2011

Each week at The Animal Hospital of Polaris, we see many cases of a pet experiencing recurring or serious vomiting.   At one time or another your pet may have a bout of vomiting.  Usually, your pet will have eaten something disagreeable, eaten too much or too fast, exercised too soon after eating or any number of non-serious conditions.  Vomiting may be a sign of a very minor problem…or it may be a sign of something very serious.

There are multiple causes of vomiting.   An occasional, infrequent isolated episode of vomiting is usually normal and may not necessarily be cause for a rushed trip to our offices.  You’ll want to monitor the duration and frequency of vomiting in your pet.   If, for example, the vomiting continues after your pet eats or if your pet acts lethargic, or doesn’t want to eat, then immediate medical attention is warranted.

Vomiting is a symptom that can be caused by disorders of the gastrointestinal system or it can be secondary to a disease from a different system (such as from cancer, kidney failure, diabetes, or infectious diseases).  This can make the diagnosis of the cause of the vomiting a challenge but in cases of frequent and prolonged vomiting…run, don’t walk to your veterinarian!

Athough we have a regular veterinarian at The Animal Hospital of Polaris, we are available to see patients on an emergency basis at an affordable cost.   So, providing an alternative to local, dedicated emergency clinics will save you money, reduce anxiety and provide a more convenient option.

3 Resolutions for your Pets

January 9, 2011

Most of us have spent time this past week contemplating, listing and committing to resolutions for the upcoming year.  We’d like to challenge you to include your pets and their care in your resolutions.  Consider the following:

1. Brush, Brush, Brush: It is amazing how the dental health of your pet can impact their overall level of health.  With February rapidly approaching and recognizing that month as “Dental Health Month”, it is a great time to be reminded that our pets deserve a new toothbrush and yummy toothpaste… and a commitment from us as owners to take better care of our furry friend’s teeth!

2.  Healthy Body Weight: Admit it….you made a resolution to either lose weight in 2011 or eat healthier or exercise more (or all three if you are really committed).  Why not extend these same resolutions to your pet?  Take more walks with your pet, consider how healthy the food you serve to your pet really is and if you have questions about your pet’s weight, talk with one of our technicians or veterinarians.  Our Pudgy Paws program might be a perfect tool for your pet to return to a safe and healthy weight…give us a call today and we’ll fill you in on the details!

3.  Annual Examinations: Here’s an important resolution…taking your pet to the veterinarian for their annual examination.  The earlier you can catch any concerns or signs of disease the better.  It seems so easy to do and yet with our busy lives, time slips away and we forget to schedule the ever important annual examinations that keep our furry family members healthy.  For those senior pets (those over the age of 7), our recommendation is for twice annual examinations to stay ahead of any potential health concerns for aging pets.

We know it is hard enough to make and commit to our own resolutions…but our pets are important and we should consider a commitment to their overall health as well.  If you should have any questions or need to schedule that annual examination, give us a call today at (614)-888-4050!