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Posts Tagged ‘poison’

3 Weird Pet Problems You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

As a pet owner, you do your best to protect your pet from typical known hazards, such as diseases, traffic, heat stroke, and the like…but there are some weird problems pets can come up with that you’ve probably never heard of. For example:

  1. Tick bite paralysis…While not very common, this very real condition occurs when a female tick releases a toxin into a dog while feeding. Signs of tick bite paralysis show up 6-9 days after a tick has attached itself to a dog. The toxin affects the nerves carrying signals between the spinal cord and muscles. [Cats are less frequently affected by this toxin.]
    It is important to find and remove all ticks on the affected dog — and to bring the pet to the nearest veterinary emergency hospital for treatment, especially if the pet is having trouble breathing.
    What are the early warning signs of tick-bite paralysis? Read this article to get the full scoop.
  2. Water intoxication…According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, water intoxication, though rare, usually occurs during the warmer months when pets spend time at the beach or in a pool.
    Signs of water intoxication include nausea, vomiting, lethargy, difficulty breathing, and a swollen belly. In severe cases, the pet may be weak, unable to walk properly (stumbling), have seizures, have an abnormally slow heart rate, exhibit hypothermia (low body temperature), or even go into a coma.
    Pets that are suspected of having water intoxication should be taken to the nearest veterinary emergency hospital for life-saving treatment.

    Which pets are most at risk for water intoxication? Read this article to find out.
  3. Toxic vomit…If your pet eats a rodent poison containing zinc phosphide, the chemical can mix with stomach acids and water to create dangerous phosphine gas. If your pet vomits, the gas is released into the air, which can lead to poisoning in people and pets. Phosphine gas can smell like garlic or rotting fish — or it may be odorless.
    If you suspect your pet has ingested rodent poison, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435) and take your pet to the nearest veterinary emergency hospital for treatment.
    Which poisons contain the ingredient zinc phosphide? Read this article to get the list.

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This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or suggest a treatment for any disease or disorder. This article is not a substitute for veterinary care or a client-doctor-patient relationship, nor does it constitute such a relationship. Your pet’s veterinarian is the best source of information regarding your pet’s health.

Neither Dr. Miele nor Little Creek Veterinary Clinic or its staff is responsible for outcomes based on information available on this site.

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We’ve been talking lately about pet poison emergencies. But did you know that in some cases, your pet’s emergency can become a health hazard for you, too?

Your pet can become seriously ill if he ingests a certain type of rodenticide – but now comes word that what your pet eats can have serious consequences for you, too.

As reported in the June 2012 edition of DVM Newsmagazine, a particular ingredient in some rodenticides, known as zinc phosphide, can form a toxic gas when combined with stomach acids or water. The trouble for pet owners and veterinary staff begins when the pet vomits, releasing the newly formed gas phosphine.

Staff members at several veterinary clinics in the U.S. have been sickened as a result of dogs vomiting the rodenticide and releasing phosphine gas. Reported symptoms in people included headaches, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and nausea.

Other symptoms of phosphine poisoning in both people and animals include vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, even death.

Phosphine gas may smell like garlic or rotting fish, but it can be dangerous even when no odor is detected at all.

There are steps you can take to protect yourself and your pets:

*Never leave insect or rodent bait where your pets can reach them.
*If you set out bait, keep the portion of the label that lists the ingredients and emergency phone numbers. This information can assist in the treatment of a pet or person exposed to the poison.
*If you believe your pet has ingested the rodenticide, call Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-764-7661 for emergency assistance and instructions.
*Do not give food or liquids to your pet if it has ingested zinc phosphide, since the resulting stomach acids can produce more phosphine gas.
*Do not induce vomiting if you suspect your pet has eaten zinc phosphide. Always wait for instructions from medical personnel.
*Take your pet to the nearest veterinary emergency hospital. Open the car windows so the vehicle is well-ventilated if the pet throws up in the car.
*If your pet vomits indoors, immediately ventilate the area and leave until you have been given further instructions by a medical professional. If necessary, contact the Fire Department for HAZMAT response, or contact Poison Control (for human exposure) at 1-800-222-1222 for cleanup instructions.
*Phosphine gas is heavy and will sink to the ground. Therefore, stay above the animal’s level, to reduce your exposure.
*If you believe you have been exposed to phosphine gas, seek medical help immediately. 

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The list of rodenticides with zinc phosphide as the main ingredient includes:
Arrex, Denkarin Grains, Gopha-Rid, Phosvin, Pollux, Ridall, Ratol, Rodenticide AG, Zinc-Tox and ZP.

As other products enter the marketplace, this list may change. Always read ingredients and warning labels on rodenticides.

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Resources for this article:
The American Veterinary Medical Association
DVM Newsmagazine, June 2012 
National Pesticide Information Center 

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This post originally appeared on June 15, 2012.

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Will your pet's next meal come from the trashcan?

Will your pet’s next meal come from the trashcan?

If your dog gets into the trash, he could be in for more trouble than just a tummy ache. Moldy compost or garbage — especially grains, nuts, dairy, pasta, bread, and other foods — can cause a severe illness in pets known as Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis.

Let’s break that down:

Tremorgenic refers to a substance that causes tremors (severe shaking and trembling).

Mycotoxins are poisons released by fungi (mold), and mycotoxicosis is the resultant illness.

In some cases, the tremors are so severe that they resemble seizures. The pet can also develop a high fever, along with excessive panting and salivating. Also look for vomiting, gas, diarrhea, and lethargy. These signs can occur anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours after the pet has eaten the moldy and rotting food.

Once begun, tremors can last from hours to days, and immediate treatment is necessary to help prevent lasting damage. Dogs are more commonly affected than other household pets because of their tendency to get into the trash, but all pets that scavenge outdoors are at risk of eating spoiled foods.

Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis is considered an emergency. The affected pet will likely undergo blood tests and urinalysis, in part to rule in or out other possible causes of illness. Special laboratory tests can determine whether the pet is positive for certain mycotoxins, but those tests are not available at all locations.

Treatment of Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis is often based on known or suspected garbage ingestion. There is no antidote to the fungal toxins, so treatment consists of cleaning out the gastrointestinal system, relaxing tremorous muscles, relieving the symptoms of illness and allowing the body to recuperate. With treatment, pets may recover within 1-4 days, although some pets may be affected for weeks or months afterward.

Prevention of Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis is a matter of removing opportunity: keep pets out of compost piles and garbage, and never throw moldy foods or vegetable waste into the yard.

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This post first appeared on February 19, 2013.

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Will your pet's next meal come from the trashcan?

Will your pet’s next meal come from the trashcan?

If your dog gets into the trash, he could be in for more trouble than just a tummy ache. Moldy compost or garbage — especially grains, nuts, dairy, pasta, bread, and other foods — can cause severe illness in pets known as Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis.

Let’s break that down:

Tremorgenic refers to a substance that causes tremors (severe shaking and trembling).

Mycotoxins are poisons released by fungi (mold), and mycotoxicosis is the resultant illness.

In some cases, the tremors are so severe that they resemble seizures. The pet can also develop a high fever, along with excessive panting and salivating. Also look for vomiting, gas, diarrhea, and lethargy. These signs can occur anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours after the pet has eaten the moldy and rotting food. Once begun, tremors can last from hours to days, and immediate treatment is necessary to help prevent lasting damage. Dogs are more commonly affected than other household pets because of their tendency to get into the trash, but all pets that scavenge outdoors are at risk of eating spoiled foods.

Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis is considered an emergency. The affected pet will likely undergo blood tests and urinalysis, in part to rule in or out other possible causes of illness. Special laboratory tests can determine whether the pet is positive for certain mycotoxins, but those tests are not available at all locations.

Treatment of Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis is often based on known or suspected garbage ingestion. There is no antidote to the fungal toxins, so treatment consists of cleaning out the gastrointestinal system, relaxing tremorous muscles, relieving the symptoms of illness and allowing the body to recuperate. With treatment, pets may recover within 1-4 days, although some pets may be affected for weeks or months afterward.

Prevention of Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis is a matter of removing opportunity: keep pets out of compost piles and garbage, and never throw moldy foods or vegetable waste into the yard.

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     If you’ve ever considered giving Tylenol or its generic equivalent to a sick or injured pet, take our advice:  Don’t do it.

     Dogs and cats are not little people in fur coats.  Their physiology is significantly different from ours, such that our medicine cabinet staples can be poisonous to them.

     Tylenol (also known as acetaminophen) is deadly to dogs and cats.  Even one tablet is too much for a cat.  Acetaminophen causes severe liver damage, as well as damage to oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

     Signs of Tylenol poisoning include vomiting, breathing difficulty, lethargy, weakness, drooling, and brown-colored gums.  The second stage of poisoning includes swelling of the face, lips and legs; loss of coordination; convulsions and coma.  If a pet survives stage 2, it will go into stage 3 and exhibit jaundice due to liver failure; belly pain and an altered mental state.

     Tylenol poisoning must always be treated as an emergency:  take your pet directly to the 24-hour emergency hospital, such as the Tidewater Animal Emergency and Referral Center (364 South Independence Blvd. in Virginia Beach.)  Pets which recover may need to be on medications and specialized diets to compensate for reduced liver function, for life.

     In short, there is no acceptable case in which to give Tylenol or acetaminophen!

Resource:  http://petplace.com/dogs/acetaminophen-toxicity-in-dogs/page1.aspx

                   http://petplace.com/cats/acetaminophen-toxicity-in-cats/page1.aspx

Helpful Phone Numbers

Tidewater Animal Emergency & Referral Center…………757-499-5463

Pet Poison Helpline ($35 per incident fee)…………………1-800-213-6680  www.petpoisonhelpline.com

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center ($65 fee)…………1-888-426-4435  www.aspca.org/apcc

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     Yesterday I wrote about pet health insurance, including six companies which offer policies in Virginia.  One such company, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, also publishes a great little brochure titled “101 Things You Didn’t Know Could Harm Your Pet.”  I’ve noticed this brochure is popular among our clients.  If you have not yet gotten your copy, I will tease you with approximately 1/10th of the information inside.

     Herewith, Eleven of the 101 Things You Didn’t Know Could Harm Your Pet:

  1. Diet pills
  2. Fabric softener
  3. Mothballs
  4. Liquid potpourri
  5. Oven cleaner sprays
  6. Tobacco products
  7. Avocados
  8. Coffee
  9. Macadamia Nuts
  10. Tea Leaves
  11. Raw Yeast Dough

     Want to know more?  Stop by for your brochure, or call Jennifer at 757-583-2619 and ask to have a copy mailed to you.

P.S.  Always keep on hand the number for an animal poison control center.  These centers charge for their services, but they are worth the cost in an emergency.

  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center  1-800-426-4435
  • Pet Poison Helpline  1-800-213-6680

     I promise I’ll find something happy to write about next!  ~~  Jen

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