Posts Tagged ‘pet emergency’

If you or any member of your household is using 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) cream, it is important that the medication is never within reach of your pets.

5-fluorouracil is typically prescribed to treat skin cancers and other skin disorders in people. Its mode of action, which causes cell death, can be fatal to pets that ingest the cream. 

And according to the FDA, a pet may be exposed: 

  • by chewing through the medication packaging (often a tube)
  • when licking their owner who has applied the cream on themselves
  • by coming in contact with 5-FU residue on hands, clothing, carpets, furniture
  • by ingesting residue in cloths or medication applicators
  • when grooming itself after contact with a person who uses 5-FU (more likely in cats).

Time is not on your side:

Within 30 minutes of ingestion, a pet may begin vomiting and exhibiting tremors, ataxia (loss of muscle coordination, trouble walking), and seizures. Death can occur within six hours after exposure.

Treatment may not be available or effective:

Unfortunately, “there is no defined effective treatment for 5-FU toxicosis in dogs and cats,” according to a report in Vetted™ magazine, a professional veterinary publication. Exposure to even a small amount of 5-fluorouracil can be fatal to pets, even with aggressive emergency care.

If you believe your pet has been exposed to any medication intended for humans, immediately contact an animal poison control hotline, such as

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435*    or

Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-764-7661*

*A fee will be applied to your credit card.

And be sure you know the location of the nearest pet emergency hospital. In Hampton Roads, we recommend Bay Beach and BluePearl.

Your best bet is prevention:

If you or someone in your household uses 5-fluorouracil [it may also be packaged as Carac, Efudex, or Fluoroplex], take special care to prevent your pet from any contact, no matter how small, with the drug. When discarding spent tubes, applicators, or anything that has contacted the medication, place the trash bag in an area that is inaccessible by your pets. Laundry that may contain traces of the medication should also be placed out of reach.

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Information for this article is condensed from Vetted™, August 2019, Volume 114, Number 8

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Holiday schedule

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If you want to carry your pet’s records while you’re on-the-go, Pawprint has an app that allows you 24/7 access to your pet’s medical information.

When you download the app, Pawprint* contacts your pet’s veterinarian to request records, then uploads them to your account.

Click to enlarge.

Then you’ll be able to set reminders for vaccine boosters, flea and heartworm treatments, even daily walks.

You can add other people to the account, so your go-to pet-sitter can access your pet’s records if you have to go out of town and your pet needs medical care.

You’ll have proof of your pet’s vaccination, as close as your smartphone — which can come in handy at the groomer’s, dog park, or even the veterinary emergency hospital.

If you are a client at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, you can request that we share your pet’s records with Pawprint, or any other pet record app of your choice.

*Other similar apps may be available. 

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Note: Neither Dr. Miele nor Little Creek Veterinary Clinic or staff warranty or guarantee the service provided by Pawprint, nor are the above-named responsible for any costs incurred or damage to your electronic device as a result of downloading the app.
Always use discretion when downloading any app to your electronic device. Some software can cause harm to your device; some software incurs a fee for usage. Always research an app before you download, as you assume liability for any damage or costs incurred.

 

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With daily high temperatures in the 80s and 90s,
it’s time for a reminder on how to prevent deadly heat stroke in pets.

Photo by Pixabay via Pexels

For long-time readers of this blog, this post on heat stroke looks familiar. Why? Because I’ve been posting it nearly every year since 2010. Every year, pets suffer heat stroke, but it doesn’t have to be that way. So I’ll keep repeating this column until heat stroke in pets is a thing of the past.

Heat Stroke in Pets

Do you know how to protect your pets from heat stroke during the muggy days of summer? This goes beyond the usual caveat of “never leave your pet in a car while you go shopping, babysit, attend a sporting event, spy on your ex, etc. Here are some tips to keep your pet safe in the yard or out and about:

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible, especially if they are sluggish or panting soon after going outdoors.
  • Limit exercise to brief walks in the coolest parts of the day. Keep in mind that hot pavement and sand can burn pets’ paws.
  • Provide plenty of cool water. Check water throughout the day, as it can become hot if left outdoors. 
  • Kennels and pens should have good ventilation and air circulation and should be kept in shaded areas.

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke or Heat Stress

Your pet may need emergency assistance if it exhibits any of the following signs:

  • Excessive panting and drooling
  • Bright red gums
  • Balance problems
  • Lethargy
  • Staring or anxious expression
  • Labored breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Failure to respond to commands
  • High fever
  • Collapse

What To Do

Lower your pet’s body temperature by easing him into a cool (not freezing) bath. Water from the outdoor hose may be hot, so that may not be your best option.  

Bring your pet indoors and place him in a tub, taking care to keep his mouth and nose above water [we use stacks of towels to accomplish this.] 

Apply ice packs to his head and neck. 

Call your veterinarian for further instructions. In most cases, your pet will be hospitalized for treatment and observation. By necessity, this sort of care may take place at a veterinary emergency hospital.

Who Is At Risk of Heat Stroke?

Any pet can have heat stroke, but some are more susceptible than others. All pets need to be protected on hot days. However, these pets are more likely than others to have a problem:

  • Very young and older pets
  • Short-nosed/pug-nosed breeds
  • Overweight pets
  • Pets with cardiovascular or respiratory disorders
  • Pets with a previous history of heat stress

Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency. If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, we recommend taking him to the nearest veterinary emergency hospital for comprehensive care.

[Information borrowed from “Summer Pet Tips” by Ralston Purina Company and “Summer Safety Tips” by Firstline magazine.]

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This article was originally published on July 28, 2010.

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National Poison Prevention Week is March 17 – 23, 2019 — but we’re getting an early start.

Today’s topic: What you need to know about essential oils and your pets

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center [ASPCA APCC] warns pet owners to use caution when using essential oils in the home — especially when the oils are highly concentrated – because of the risk of creating or exacerbating health problems in pets.

According to the APCC, “Essential oils have long been used for maladies such as nasal congestion, anxiety, sore muscles and more. And with the popularity of oil diffusers—an easy way to release oils into the air—there is more alarm about how oils may affect animals.”

  • It is best not to give or apply highly concentrated oils to pets.
  • If a pet has an underlying health problem, particularly a respiratory issue, it may be best to avoid use of essential oil diffusers in the household.
  • Do not use an essential oil diffuser in the house if there are birds present. Birds are more likely than other animals to suffer respiratory effects from a diffuser due to their specialized respiratory system.
  • If using a diffuser or warmer make sure they are out of reach of pets and that pets can leave the area if the smell is getting too strong for them.
  • Don’t keep a diffuser in the same room (or use a strong concentration) for animals who groom themselves. Pets that groom themselves include [but are not limited to] dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and birds.
  • Pets that have respiratory problems or broken skin, or other health issues, are at higher risk of toxic exposure.

Pets that have been exposed to a toxic level of essential oil may show the following signs, according to ASPCA APCC:

  • ataxia (stumbling, incoordination)
  • muscle weakness
  • depression
  • behavior changes
  • hypothermia (dangerously low body temperature)
  • collapse
  • seizures
  • pneumonia

If you suspect your pet is having a reaction to essential oil exposure, contact an animal poison control center such as ASPCA APCC. Their number is 1-888-426-4435. A $65 fee may be charged to your credit card. Information will be provided to you and, if medical attention is recommended, to the veterinary hospital of your choice.

In the case of suspected poisoning or toxin exposure, we recommend contacting BluePearl at 757-499-5463 for 24/7 emergency veterinary care.

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Protect your pet

It’s safe to say that most, if not all, households have a supply of medications on hand, for the human residents of the house. Many of these homes also feature pets — and to a curious dog or cat, your medication could look like a delicious treat.

Dr. Justine Lee, a veterinarian who is board-certified in toxicology [a science dealing with poisons], has 3 recommendations that everyone can follow to reduce the chance that their pet will become a victim of accidental medication poisoning.

  1. If you use pill boxes, put them out of your pet’s reach. Cats and some dogs can climb onto the counter and grab hold of whatever they find there, so remove the temptation.
  2. Hang up backpacks, purses, and briefcases because they often contain basic (but dangerous) items like pills, Tylenol, xylitol gum and candy, coins, and cellphones with batteries.
  3. Ask house guests to keep medications in sturdy containers, out of the pet’s reach. “It’s really easy for dogs to chew into [plastic bags and suitcases],” warns Dr. Lee.

And if you suspect your pet has gotten into your medication? Take action right away by calling the Pet Poison Helpline — there is a fee for service, but the information they provide can help save your pet’s life.

Pet Poison Helpline 
Call 1-855-764-7661
Open 24/7
$59 incident fee applies 

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It’s that time of year! Please be sure you have enough prescription foods and medications on hand to last your pets through the holidays.

Otherwise, Contact Us now to place a refill order. Some medications and food may not be available without adequate notice, so call now.

For the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, Little Creek Veterinary Clinic will be open regular business hours on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

 

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