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Posts Tagged ‘summer pet dangers’

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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     One of the most serious risks of leaving a pet outdoors during the summer is Heat Stress.  Heat Stress occurs when the pet’s body is unable to cool itself, resulting in dehydration, brain damage, organ failure, even death. 

     Most pet owners are aware of the danger of leaving a pet in a parked car for even a few minutes.  However, pets left outdoors without adequate cool shelter are also at risk.  Purina provides the following tips and advice:

     “Any pet can suffer from heat stress.  However, particularly susceptible are:

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

     Help prevent heat stress by:

  • Providing plenty of clean, fresh water for your pet at all times.*
  • Providing adequate ventilation and air circulation when pets are kept in kennels or pens.
  • Providing shade cover when pets are outdoors.
  • Avoiding excessive exercise of pets during hot weather.
  • Never leaving pets in parked vehicles.

     “Some signs of heat stress are profuse panting and salivation, staring or an anxious expression, failure to respond to commands, warm dry skin, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, muscular weakness or collapse.
     “If your pet has heat stress, try to reduce his temperature by gradually immersing your pet in cool water, spraying him with cool water or applying ice packs to his head and neck.  Then take your pet to the veterinarian immediately.”

     *Keep in mind that water left outdoors (especially in metal bowls) can become too hot to drink or provide any cooling benefit.  Check and change the water often.

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

[Purina’s booklet of Spring and Summer Pet Care Tips is available at our office.]

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