April 2011 Pet Health News                                                                                   Can't Read This? Go Here
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Greetings,

Did you know grape skins are deadly to dogs? Keep your animal safe by reading this month's newsletter.

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Top 10 Pet Poisons

Common products that we use in our everyday lives that we considered harmless to us can be deathly to our pets. Here are the products that made the top ten list:

Medications for people
This is the number one reason calls are made to the animal poison control center. Over the counter meds such as ADHD medications, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen are left out in the open for your pet to grab. Make sure you keep them some place safe and out of reach from your pet.

Insecticides
The most common mistake people make is when they use flea and tick products; they apply the wrong treatment to the wrong species. This is a result of not reading the label carefully. Make sure that when you buy over-the-counter pet medication that you read the label completely and carefully before buying it.

Rodenticides
Baits that are used to capture rats and mice also attract pets. This can make your pet very ill. There are different types of rodenticides that can cause your pet to suffer seizures, internal bleeding, and kidney failures.

Human Food
Grapes, raisins, garlic, and other foods can cause your dog to become very ill. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure and garlic can cause anemia if ingested by your pet. Make sure to keep these out of harm's way from your pet.

Chocolate
Another food that is considered harmless to humans is a deathbed to pets. Chocolate contains meythlxanthines which acts as a stimulant to animals. Meythlxanthines can cause agitation, diarrhea, muscle tremors, seizures, and death.

Veterinarian Meds
Even though these medicines are intended for our pets, they are flavored and may be ingested more than needed if the pets find it tasty. Also, pet owners may give more than recommended due to lack of knowledge about the medication.

Plants
Plants may seem harmless but if they are ingested by our pets they can cause a lot of damage. If sago palms are ingested by dogs, it can cause liver failure and also if lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Keep household plants away from your pet!

Household Toxins
As common sense we keep household products away from our children; but not so much with pets. If household toxins like detergent, bleach, and disinfectants are taken by pets it will cause burns to the mouth and stomach. Ensure that you keep these products locked up safely.

Outdoor Toxins
Common outdoor toxins found are antifreeze, fertilizer, and ice melts. Make sure you keep them locked up somewhere safe, such as a shed or keep them stocked on higher shelves.

Herbicides
Herbicides are chemicals used on lawns to control weeds. When applying herbicides to the lawn, keep your dog inside and take anything else that may put in their mouth, such as chew toys and food bowls. Keep your pet away from that area until it's dry and always follow label directions.

If you feel that your pet has ingested something toxic contact your local veterinarian or call Animal Poison Control Center's.

Heartworm Prevention in Dogs

Heartworm is a parasite that does damage to your dog's heart. If heartworm in dogs is left untreated it can be fatal. It occurs when a mosquito bite transmits larvae into the body then the larvae enters the bloodstream and travels through the heart. Symptoms include coughing, exercise intolerance, and difficulty breathing. Although heartworm is fatal for your dog there are ways to prevent it.

Some conventional ways are:

1) Protect your pets from mosquitoes. Use mosquito repellant, especially in highly infested areas. This will keep mosquitoes away for a some time.

2) Keep your dog away from infected animals. Although, you may not know that the animal was infected until it's too late.

3) Give your pet heartworm pills. This kills the young heartworm so the infection won't spread. Most products contain Ivermectin which could cause an allergic reaction to your dog. Make sure to consult your doctor before using these products.

4) Do regular blood testing for your pet to make sure it's free from heartworm before beginning or continuing preventive medication.

Some natural ways are:

1) Provide your pet with a healthy diet. A diet of raw food and fresh water is beneficial to your pet because it protects it from all sorts of infections, including heartworm.

2) A healthy immune system is vital for your dog. It helps to kill off larvae of any heartworm that may enter the bloodstream. Frequent vaccination, a bad diet, and commercial pet food all weaken your pet's immune system.

3) A strong heart is important to prevent heartworm infection and the general health of your pet. A proper diet and daily exercise strengthens the heart and allows blood to flow through the body sufficiently and allows your pets body to fight back more easily. Although you may use natural ways to prevent your dog from getting heartworm, even the healthiest of dogs can still get infected. The best way to prevent it is to give your dog preventive medication. If your pet has a medical problem talk to your medical doctor or veterinarian before taking action.