Posts Tagged ‘Dogs’

Hot Spots-A Dog’s Worst Friend

In Health Tips on May 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm

dogWith all of the fluctuations in Wisconsin’s weather I want to talk about a common infection, Hot Spots! A hot spot is basically a warm, painful, swollen patch of skin which the hair has become moist and the dead hair has becomes trapped. This usually happens is dog breed with long hair, Golden’s, Newfoundland’s, Great Pyrenees.


Hot spots can be extremely painful to the touch. Many pets won’t let you anywhere near the area. Because of this it makes it very hard to treat at home. Many dogs need sedation to take care of the issue.

The first step is to clip away all the hair around the area, the area needs to breath! Then cleanse the area with dilute betadine or chlorehex solutions and allow the area to dry.

The final step is to treat the area with an antibacterial steroid cream or powder.

If your dog is likely to scratch at the area use an e-collar to prevent this. Sometimes a corticosteroid will be given to prevent itching.


If your longhaired dog enjoys baths or swimming makes sure s/he is fully dried afterwards. This will help prevent the dead hair to become moist and trapped causing the infection!

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Animal Gun Shot Wounds

In Health Tips on May 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm

If your pet was shot by a gun, no matter the location, you are going to want to get him/her to the vet a.s.a.p. But before getting into the car there are a few things to do.

If you can, try and see if your pet is still breathing and has a pulse. If not begin CPR. Start by giving your pet 5-10 breaths by closing their mouth and breathing into their nose. You should see their chest rise. If there is no pulse, being compressions to the chest. Your pet can be laid on their side and you can give compressions on the side of the chest. Rotate between breaths and compressions.

If you have a second person, have them try to apply pressure to the wound. If you are in the middle of a field use as clean of a shirt or piece of material you have. Either apply pressure with your hands or wrap it around.

Next, get into your car and get to the vet. If you can, try and call to give them a heads up, this way they can be prepared!

At the vet let them know everything you have done. Most likely they are going to ask if you would like CPR preformed and then take your pet away from you into their emergency room. I know you will want to go with, but it truly is best if you stay in the waiting room. While you wait clean yourself up a bit. Someone will come back to update you and get information about what it going on as soon as they can.

This is a very real problem. Many hunting dogs will accidentally be shot when out and about in the field. Just be prepared to take action! What questions do you have?

Here is a video to learn more about performing CPR on pets. 

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Poisonous Plants for Dogs

In Health Tips on April 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm

558925_3759422476433_1504517167_nAs we all know, dogs love to eat things off of the ground, including plant materials. But do you know what plants are poisonous for your dog? The ASPCA is a great resource to use when searching specific plants. The website tells you which animals the plant is toxic to and the clinical signs to look for.

What I think is important for you to know are the top 10 toxic plants for dogs. These include:

  1. Black Walnut’s- the nut doesn’t do much harm by itself that is until mold starts to grow. Commonly the tree drops the nuts and they begin to grow mold. That mold can cause tremors and seizure.
  2. Lilies- ingestion can cause gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea, depression, anorexia and tremors.
  3. Grapes- small amounts of the fruit from the vine can cause vomiting and diarrhea and lead to kidney failure.
  4. Azalea’s- Ingestion of a few leaves can cause drooling, loss of appetite, vomiting, weakness, paralysis, and even death.
  5. Mushrooms- this fungus can cause vomiting and diarrhea, swelling to the brain or even death depending on the species of mushroom.
  6. Marijuana- this can cause a slow heart rate, lack of coordination, disorientation and tremors, which can last for a few days.
  7. Daffodils- the bulbs are the most dangerous part of this plant. If ingested can cause vomiting, salivation, diarrhea, convulsions, tremors and heart irregularities.
  8. Sago Palm’s- even part of this plant contains cycasin, which can be fatal.
  9. Castor Bean’s- the toxic substance is ricin, which can burn your dog’s mouth. This leads to excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, and even death.
  10. Dieffenbachia- this can burn your dog’s mouth and cause the esophagus to swell, which could block the airway.

Don’t take the chance with any of these plants. If you have them in your home or around your yard be careful! Remove them if possible. As you can see these can cause some major problems.

Have you looked up the plants you have around your home yet? Check out the ASPCA’s website and search your plants!

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What you Shouldn’t Feed Your Dog

In Health Tips on April 15, 2013 at 7:58 am

photo copyOwning a dog is a great lifetime experience for any person. You quickly learn the do’s and don’ts. One don’t that is important to learn right off the back, and even keep a list of, are the foods you should not give your dog.

The reason I feel this is a helpful list to keep around is because how many times are you eating or cooking and your dog is sitting at your feet waiting to pick up whatever is dropped? Or, if you have a child, how many times has your kid thought the best thing in the world was dropping food for the dog to eat?

You may be aware of some toxic foods for dogs, but there are many that have other side effects you might not think of. Lets just start a list:

  1. Chocolate– the toxic substance is theobromine, which is in every kind of chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. If your dog has had chocolate, he/she could experience vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and even death.
  2. Candy and Gum– the toxic substance in candy, gum, toothpaste (human), and diet foods is xylitol. This substance causes an increase in insulin. This then causes a drop in your dog’s blood sugar, which can lead to vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination and even liver failure.
  3. Coffee and Tea– Caffeine is a toxic substance, which is in many drinks such as coffee and tea. Caffeine can cause increased heart rate, restlessness, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and bleeding.
  4. Grapes and Raisins– these can cause kidney failure. Early signs include vomiting, lethargy, and depression.
  5. Onions and Garlic– these destroy your dogs red blood cells. Early signs include weakness, vomiting, lack of interest in food, breathlessness, and eventually anemia.
  6. Avocado– the toxic substance is called persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  7. Macadamia Nuts– symptoms include muscle tremors, weakness, vomiting, fever, increased heart rate, and eventually fatal at a small dose.
  8. Alcohol– this should be obvious, but alcohol has the same effect on dog’s liver and brain as it does on humans. A small amount can cause vomiting, diarrhea, nervous system issues, difficulty breathing, and even produce coma.
  9. Dairy Products– these products cause unwanted diarrhea. They upset the digestive system and create food allergies including itchiness.
  10. Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums– the pits and seeds are the problem with these fruits. They can cause inflammation on the small intestines, intestinal obstructions, and even cyanide poisoning.
  11. Fat Trimmings and Bones– the fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis and the bones could cause an obstruction.
  12. Raw Eggs, Meat, and Fish- first off, raw foods could cause food poisoning such as salmonella. Raw eggs interfere with the digestion of B vitamins causing skin issues. Some fish contain parasites, which could be fatal. Common signs include vomiting, fever, and enlarged lymph nodes.
  13. Salt– too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination, sodium poisoning, depression, fever, and even seizures.

As you can see many foods that you eat can cause problems in your dog. The only way to prevent this from happening is to feed your dog his/her standard diet. A few human foods that are ok to feed include: vegetables, fruits (other than plums, peaches, and avocados), pasta, and rice. These are the safest bet.

What have you learned over the years of owning a dog and the foods they get into?

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Easter Lilies and Your Cat

In Health Tips on March 26, 2013 at 9:55 am

As Easter is fast approaching I want to stress to every cat owner about the potential hazards that may take over your house without even realizing it. With Easter, comes flowers, candies, and other materials cats think are toys and dinner.

photo (1) copyLilies:

I hope if you own a cat you are aware of the dangers lilies bring to your pet. When a cat eats a lily you don’t physically see any signs of toxicity until 6-12 hours after ingestion. At this point you might notice your cat vomiting, seeming lethargic, or just acting sick. Unfortunately we are not sure why lilies are toxic, but we do know that the entire plant can cause problems for cats if ingested. If your cat is not treated right away, your pet could develop kidney failure.

If you do notice that your cat has eaten any part of a lily take him/her into your vet right away. They will want to start IV fluids to flush the toxicity out of your cats system. They will also start your cat on stomach protectants.

With medical treatment right away, your cat will leave the hospital healthy and ready to eat more lilies. The key, keep them out of reach!

Candy, Chocolate, and Gum:

In many candies and gums contains an ingredient called Xylitol. This is important to know because it is extremely toxic to dogs. Xylitol is lethal at a very small dose. A 10-pound dog could die if it consumes one stick of gum containing xylitol. If consumed, dogs can develop hypoglycemia (low glucose) or hepatic necrosis (liver failure).

Chocolate as many know is toxic to dogs as well. It contains an ingredient called theobromine. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it becomes. If your dog consumes chocolate you might see the following signs: excitement, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, excess thirst, seizures, and possibly a coma.

If your dog consumes chocolate or candy make sure to have them vomit right away. Also call your vet. They will give you specific instructions on what to do. Before calling your vet, try to get a good idea of how much they ate and exactly what it was. This way your vet can determine how toxic what they ate is.

Easter Grass:

One last item around during Easter is the Easter grass many products come with. Cats are highly interested in this stuff. It is light and moves around while making a fun sound. And as you know since owning a cat, cats love to eat things like this. If your cat does eat this, or anything else like strings, this is very dangerous because it can cause a linear foreign body.

The reason linear foreign bodies are so dangerous is because they can cut away at your cat’s intestines and esophagus. Once a cat consumes Easter grass I would not recommend pulling it out or making your cat vomit. If you pull it out, it could cause more damage if it is further down in the digestive track. Take your cat to your vet, they will know the best procedure.


Keep plants, candies, chocolate, and Easter grass away from your pets! Easter is supposed to be spent with family and friends, not in the emergency room for your cat or dog. As an owner your responsibility is to keep them healthy and safe!

Has your pet gotten into something over a holiday and landed you in the emergency room?

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The Runs of Diarrhea

In Health Tips on March 18, 2013 at 10:42 am

Every pet owner, at some point or another, has encountered the challenge of having an animal with diarrhea. We all now this is an unpleasant experience for both the animal and owner. Your pet has the urgency to always have to “go,” and you have the task of cleanup. But, why do our pets get diarrhea in the first place?



One of the main causes is from eating something your pet shouldn’t. This causes an upset stomach just like we get. Other reasons diarrhea occurs includes:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Toxicities
  • High fat diets
  • Sudden change in diet
  • Reaction to medication or allergens
  • Virus
  • Gastrointestinal disease such as inflammatory bowel disease, liver or kidney disease, cancer, etc.
  • Parasites
  • Poor diet
  • Compromised immune system

As you can see, if your animal begins having diarrhea, there are a number of different causes. When an animal has diarrhea they tend to have a frequency of needing to go out, straining to defecate, they could become dehydrated, lose their appetite, or even develop a fever.

What should you do?

Since diarrhea can be a common theme, I suggest starting with a 12-hour period of no food. This can clear the stomach of any bad foods and helps to start over. After 12 hours is up begin with a bland diet, starting with small portions and working up to a normal meal.

A Bland diet could include lean ground beef, cooked thoroughly making sure to drain out all grease and serve it with cooked rice. Or, cooking a boneless, skinless chicken breast and shredding it over rice. These are some easy to make at home recipes.

Otherwise your veterinarian might be able to provide a few cans of a bland prescription diet such as Science Diet I/D or Royal Canine gastrointestinal. For these food, you need a prescription from your vet. These diets help ease the stomach and hopefully recover your animal’s problem.

After you start feeding your pet a bland diet, continue to do so until their stool looks normal. Also make sure they are only receiving this diet, no treats or table scraps. If the pets stool turns normal within 72 hours, begin slowly transitioning their food back to their normal diet. Do this over the course of 3-4 days.

If their stool does not improve within 72 hours, or your animal begins having blood in their stool you should call your vet and let them know what you have tried. At this point, your pet is probably dehydrated and what you thought was simply a case of an upset stomach, could reveal there is something else going on.

Diarrhea can be more then a simple case of an upset stomach. It might actually be the only sign you get from your pet when something more serious is going on. But if it were my pet, and he was completely healthy, I would start with the bland diet and if that does not work I would talk with my vet and begin running some tests. If you are lucky you might catch a disease or problem before it becomes more serious.

Diarrhea is a common problem but could become serious. Does your pet get diarrhea? What causes it? What do you do to stop or prevent it?

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Twisted Stomach: Not Just for Cows

In Health Tips on February 25, 2013 at 8:11 pm

ImageHave you ever come home to your dog looking a bit off? Your dog seems lethargic, anxious, possibly trying to vomit, and looks a little larger around the stomach. If this has happened to you then you probably already know the importance of bloat.

Dog’s have a tendency to become bloated after eating or drinking too much, or if they are active after eating or drinking. A bloated animal is referred to as a GDV—

gastric dilatation volvulus—if the stomach flips. If the stomach becomes distended with air or fluid than flips over, this is a true emergency! When the stomach flips, there’s no way to release the fluid and gas that has accumulated. These animals require surgery, and fast!

If the stomach is only distended with air and fluid, and not flipped, your pet should still be seem by a veterinarian because you can’t tell without an x-ray the severity of the situation. What the vet will look for is what’s referred to as the “double bubble.” This is where two gas-filled sections of the stomach appear. This is how vets know the pet has a GDV versus a gas-distended stomach.

So, if it is a GDV surgery is the only cure. The vet will go in and release the gas and suture the stomach against the animal’s body wall to prevent any further flipping. If the dog doesn’t have the double bubble we still need to get the air out. Generally a tube is placed down the dog’s throat and into the stomach to release the air. This is a very safe and effective procedure.

After surgery or releasing of the air, food and water should be restricted for at least 24-36 hours. Dogs should also be under veterinary care during that time to watch for further problems.

Now, I take care of a variety of dog breeds. Deep-chested dogs like your greyhounds, great danes, labs, goldens, shepherds, collies, etc. are one’s to be careful of. Another breed many don’t think of are dachshunds. To prevent something like this from happening here are a few things you can do:

  • Feed your pet 30 minutes before or after exercise
  • Do not allow water 30 minutes before and after meals
  • Never let your pet drink a full bowl of water at one time
  • Feed multiple meals versus once a day
  • Make sure your pets food is put in a safe location

There are times when your running late, or your dog gets into a large amount of food, this happens. But doing your best to prevent bloat can save you a trip to the emergency room and a couple thousand dollars. Share your pet’s stories with me! Has your pet ever bloated?

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