Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!


...... from all us here at Vet Associates.

Not so sweet.....


Meet Cagney. Cagney is a 7 year old cocker spaniel that got a surprise visit to his vet after he decided to help himself to some chocolate covered cranberries. Now that the holiday season is upon us, many of us are surrounded by all sorts of chocolate. Normally this isn't a bad thing, however, for all the dog owners out there it can become disastrous. Chocolate is toxic in dogs because it contains the alkaloid theobromine. Theobromine is similar to caffeine and is used in medicine as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and a smooth muscle relaxant. Theobromine can be poisonous in large amounts. Cagney ate a questionable amount. Once at the vet, he was given a medication that made him vomit up the chocolate. This medication usually only works if it is given soon after ingestion. Once we saw how much Cagney had eaten, the amount was no longer questionable. He ha consumed a potentially dangerous amount. Treatment is based on amount. In cases where the chocolate was eaten hours before, or the time is unknown, activated charcoal is given to block the absorption of theobromine. Depending on the history and the response of early treatments, other supportive care (fluids) may be in order.
In the pictures above you will see Cagney getting activated charcoal. A messy but very effective treatment. Cagney went home the same day and is doing great.
Please be careful all year long but especially around the holidays. Keep track of how much chocolate you have and keep it out of reach. If there is any question, it is better to play it safe.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Cookies!



Below is a recipe for some tasty homemade dog biscuits. They make a great Christmas gift for our furry loved ones. Please be aware that these are special occasion treats and shouldn't be given as regular year round cookies. Also, if your dog has a sensitive stomach or any allergies please check with your vet first. For most dogs, this is a perfectly safe recipe that will be greatly appreciated.


biscuit dough:
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup water

glaze:
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons milk

1. Preheat the oven to 275°.
2. In a large bowl: combine the flour, oatmeal, wheat germ, peanut butter, vegetable oil, honey, baking powder and water.
3. Mix the ingredients until thoroughly combined.
4. Roll the dough out to a ½-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes and place on baking sheets.
5. In a small bowl, mix together the egg and milk. Brush the glaze on the biscuits.6. Bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pans, and bake for an additional 20 - 30 minutes, until biscuits are golden and firm.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Answers to food quiz...

1. Many people give this fruit to their dogs as a treat. However, just a few bites can cause fatal kidney failure in some dogs.

*Grapes
Both grapes and raisins can be toxic. Some dogs eat them with, seemingly, no ill effects. However, some dogs become ill after ingesting only a few grapes or raisins. The first symptom is vomiting, followed by acute kidney failure, from which many dogs do not recover. As of yet, the toxin is unknown, nor do we know why some dogs become sick and others eat grapes or raisins without a problem.

2. Which raw fish can cause poisoning in dogs?

*Salmon
Salmon and trout can be infected with a parasite called Nanophyetus salmincola, a type of trematode worm. The worms themselves can be infected with a type of bacteria known as Neorickettsia helminthoeca. The bacteria only infects canids; other animals show no symptoms from eating it. When dogs eat raw fish infected with this bacteria, they can show symptoms including weakness, vomiting, loss of appetite, swollen glands, and fever. Ninety percent of untreated dogs die. Cooking kills the worm and the bacteria.

3. This food is sometimes used to season dogs' meals, but can cause anemia.

*Onions
Onions and garlic contain a chemical called thiosulfate. When ingested either in large quantities or in small quantities over a long period of time, they can cause an anemia called Heinz body anemia. This is reversible if you stop feeding the onions or garlic.

4. In some dogs, this sweetener can cause hypoglycemia.

*Xylitol
This toxicity usually occurs when dogs eat large amounts of sugar-free candy or gum. In humans, xylitol does not cause a drop in blood sugar; in dogs it does. This can lead to weakness, staggering, and other symptoms of hypoglycemia. There is also some evidence that some dogs may develop liver failure after ingesting xylitol.

5. Dogs- especially dogs that are fed a straight diet of dry food with little variety- may get an inflammation of the pancreas called "pancreatitis" if they eat certain foods that they are not used to. Which of the following is most apt to cause pancreatitis?

*Turkey skin
In dogs, pancreatitis often results from eating a very high-fat meal. While dogs that are used to eating a high-fat diet, like sled dogs, can eat pure fat with no problems, dogs that are not used to such foods often cannot. When such a dog eats a high-fat meal, its pancreas overproduces enzymes, to the extent that they actually begin to "digest" the pancreas and inflame it. Common culprits are turkey skin and ham fat. Symptoms include vomiting and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency, and such dogs must be treated by a vet. Some breeds, like miniature schnauzers, are genetically predisposed to pancreatitis.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dangerous food quiz

1. Many people give this fruit to their dogs as a treat. However, in some dogs just a few bites could cause fatal kidney failure.

*Grapes
*Bananas
*Apples
*Strawberries

2. Which raw fish can cause poisoning in dogs?

*Eel
*Sardines
*Salmon
*Bass

3. This food is sometimes used to season dogs' meals, but can cause anemia.

*Peanut butter
*Bacon fat
*Onions
*Chicken broth

4. In some dogs, this sweetener can cause hypoglycemia.

*Sucralose
*Saccharin
*Xylitol
*Aspartame

5. Dogs- especially dogs that are fed a straight diet of dry food with little variety- may get an inflammation of the pancreas called "pancreatitis" if they eat certain foods that they are not used to. Which of the following is most apt to cause pancreatitis?

*Raw eggs
*Mashed potatoes
*Candy
*Turkey skin

ANSWERS TO BE POSTED TOMORROW (12/4/08 )