Daily Paws

Pet news, tips, entertainment and opinions from VetLocator.com

Archive for the ‘Emergency dog care’ Category

It’s about to be a scary time for pets…watch out

Sunday, October 17th, 2010
Image via Wikipedia

We live in an area of the country where people decorate for Halloween as much as they do for Christmas, and that is a LOT of lights and sounds and goings on.  And we happen to live in a neighborhood where there is a lot of trick or treating visitors – hundreds of children knock on our door each year.  It is fun for us, and for them, but it’s not fun for our pets.

Here’s our annual reminder to be good to your pets and keep them safe during this very scary time of year:

  • If you purchase candy for the trick or treaters – make sure you put it in a safe spot, away from hungry, curious dogs and cats (and kids for that matter).  Chocolate is toxic for our pets and can cause death if eaten in enough quantity.
    We’ve listed some signs of chocolate toxicity below.
  • During trick or treat night, keep your pets locked in a room that has some soothing music or the tv on to keep them calm.
  • Even though they are inside, make sure your pets have their id on in the event something happens and they get out, get spooked (pun intended), and run away.
  • If you have your own trick or treaters that come home with candy, make sure they also put their candy somewhere your pets can’t get to it.  Children sorting through their evening’s loot and spreading their candy out is a common way pets can get chocolate candy to eat.

Signs of chocolate toxicity

Pets who consume chocolate can experience vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination, irregular heartbeat, tremors, seizures and even death. These problems are mainly caused by a substance in chocolate called theobromine.

Chocolate can be harmful to dogs (the most common chocolate sneakers), cats, birds, rats and ferrets.  The amount of chocolate and the pet’s own system will determine what effect chocolate has, so if you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate and they are experiencing any adverse effects, get them to your veterinarian to be checked, right away.

We want everyone to have a safe Halloween night.

  • Halloween Chocolate a Serious Threat to Pets (nlm.nih.gov)
Enhanced by Zemanta

October is fire safety month. We have a plan for you and your pets!

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

My sister called me today to tell me it was 111 degrees in Long Beach California.  111!  Oh, right.  It’s Indian summer right now – it happens every year –  and the temperatures hover in obscene ranges as the dry Santa Ana winds punish region.  Often these dry winds are accompanied by California fires (in fact, I just stumbled across a website that lists all fires in California.  http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents/incidents_current )-  there were 12 major fires just this month!

But no matter where you live, having safety precautions in place in the event of a fire is important.

Recently I wrote about pet fire safety for you and your pets called, oddly enough, Fire Safety for Your Pets.  If you missed reading it, now is a good time to review- it being fire safety month and all….  The article discusses things you can do to make you and your pets safer in the event of a fire.  There is also a link to ADT’s website where, in exchange for your name and address, they will send you a free window decal indicating pets are inside.  These decals are good to have in the event of any emergency where your home is evacuated.  Rescuers will know to check for pets in the event you are not home when the evacuation occurs.  Your pet’s lives just might be saved because of that decal.

Here is the link to get a  free decal for yourself:  http://www.adt.com

The second part of your plan should be to have an evacuation plan in place.  I mentioned California – land of earthquakes and wildfires.  Well now I’m in Florida land of hurricanes.

As a result of living here, we’ve written several articles on hurricane evacuation plans, and those plans work just as well when planning an evacuation for any type of disaster be it hurricane, earthquake, tornado, flood, fire, etc.  You’ll want to have some things handy in the event you have to vacate suddenly and the time to put them together is before you need them.

Here are a couple of articles that you can use as guidelines for putting together your own plan:

Pet First Aid Kit :  It is always best to be prepared for emergencies and this applies to your pet’s health as well as to your own. A good suggestion is to have a Pet First Aid Kit handy located near your own First Aid Kit. We’ve put together a suggestion for what your kit should contain with our Pet First Aid Kit Checklist:

  • A card with your veterinarian’s phone number and the location of the closest emergency pet hospital and the poison hotline (you can find information for both all of these at www.vetlocator.com)
  • A roll of gauze to cover wounds. Gauze can also be used to wrap around the muzzle or beak of a wounded animal to keep them from biting.
  • Non-stick gauze pads for wounds
  • Towels for clean-up, covering the animal while moving or to keep warm.
  • Adhesive tape for bandages
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide for cleaning wounds
  • Eyedropper for giving medicine orally (a syringe without the needle works well too)
  • Saline solution to flush out debris in the eyes
  • A couple of pairs of disposable rubber gloves
  • Tweezers
  • Soap
  • Some extra food and treats
  • Leash or rope
  • Pet CPR reference from www.vetlocator.com

You should call your veterinarian as soon as you can to get advice on what to do in the emergency your pet is going through. If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, let your veterinarian know, or call the poison hotline immediately. You will be given instructions on how to proceed in the quickest way to help your pet.

Remember, it is important not to panic. If you suspect poison, time is critical so telephone someone right away. www.vetlocator.com has many resources available for maintaining the health of your pet in our resource library, www.vetlocator.com/library.php.

Editor – Daily Paws

To wrap up Dog Bite prevention week – help request from mailmen across America

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Dog bites are one of the hazards of being a postal carrier is the risk of being bitten by a dog.

Here are some tips from Katu.com:

“To spread the word that dog bites are preventable, the Postal Service is working with the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Other organizations include the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery and Prevent The Bite. The Verterinary Medical Association’s brochure, “What you should know about dog bite prevention,” offers tips on how to avoid being bitten, what dog owners can do to prevent their dogs from biting and how to treat dog bites.

Tips include picking a dog that is a good match for your home, socializing a pet and avoiding aggressive games. Meanwhile, the Postal Service offers these tips for avoiding a bite:

  • Don’t run past a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch prey.
  • If a dog threatens you, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
  • Don’t approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined.
  • While letter carriers are discouraged from petting animals, people who choose to pet dogs should always let a dog see and sniff them before petting the animal.
  • If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.

[Dog Bites can be prevented]

It’s good to be familiar with what you can do to prevent being bitten by a dog and how you can help our mail carriers remain safe from bites as well.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

What if your pet gets sick, you get help..but then your pet dies anyway?

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
Image by andy castro via Flickr

Every once in awhile I’ll come across something someone has written that so perfectly showcases challenges a pet parent will face one day that I don’t want to even try to give my take on it.

And that’s how I feel about this blog post that I discovered recently.  It perfectly shows what we’ll all be faced with at some time and very importantly what your vet’s responsibility in those scenarios are and what YOURS are as well.

Well written from the point of a veterinary technician, someone who sees these dramas played out on a daily basis.


What if….

Scenario 1:

What if your pet was very sick and when you took them to the vet they said that they didn’t know what was wrong with him, just take him home and make him comfortable. No offer of any diagnostics whatsoever. Then your pet died.

Scenario 2:

What if your vet did offer you diagnostics? But you elected to not have them done, it doesn’t matter the reason. Then your pet died.

Which scenario is the fault of the veterinarian?

Scenario 3:

What if your vet was given permission to do the diagnostics, got an idea what could possibly be wrong but wasn’t sure without further testing, but didn’t offer it to you because the testing was quite expensive and your pet died?

Scenario 4:

What if the vet did offer to do further testing you declined and your pet died?

Which scenario is the fault of the veterinarian.

Scenario 5:

Okay, you opted for all the possible testing, the vet made a definitive diagnosis, knew of a fantastic treatment protocol that could (nothing in life is a guarantee) save your dog BUT it’s very expensive and maybe your pet would die anyway. So the vet elects to not even mention it, after all, why would anyone want to spend that kind of money on a pet? Your pet dies a week later after treatments that were much more affordable and could possibly save your pet…but doesn’t.

Scenario 6:

Same as #5 but this time the vet DOES offer you the expensive treatment that you decline due to cost. Sadly the outcome is the same as #5.

Scenario 7:

Same as #5, but this time you opt to go for the more expensive treatment and though things look pretty good at first, your pet dies anyway. 🙁

Which scenario is the fault of the veterinarian?

If you said; #1, #3 and #5 you would be correct.

Does that make you at fault for the others? Absolutely not!!! Sometimes, our beloved pets die, no matter how much money we throw at their problem, no matter how much we love them. It sucks, but it’s not ALL about blame.

The problem that I’m trying to outline (I never claimed to be a writer folks, LOL) is that a veterinarian is under a moral & legal obligation to offer to you every thing that he or she knows is available that may help your pet when it is ill. It’s not a financial obligation. It’s what’s right. It would be downright mean and irresponsible to not inform you of ALL of your options to help your friend and companion.

Your obligation is to do what you’re capable of doing.

Don’t feel guilty because you can’t afford a treatment out of your financial capacity, it’s okay.

I can’t afford a lot of treatments for my own pets either. It hurts like hell, but it’s the truth. We hear stories of people taking out a 2nd mortgage for cancer treatments and the like for the pets, but they’re not common. One client I know sold her car! That was what THEY chose to do, but it’s not expected, by any stretch of the imagination, for every pet owner to do so.

Don’t be shy, say no if you need to do so. Above all…don’t feel guilty. It really is OK that you can’t afford an MRI, expensive cancer treatments or thousands of dollars worth of testing.

Nancy Campbell, RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician)


Linda Ferguson

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Cocoa mulch and your dog – not a good combination

Saturday, April 17th, 2010


Spring, gardens, mulch, fresh air, outside with our pets……YUM!   As Julie Andrews sang, “These are a few of my favorite things!”

As the urge to be outside in nature gets stronger, and you revel in the sights and sounds of the new life springing forth, be aware of some potential hazards that can harm your dog if you are not careful.  One of them is cocoa mulch – a product that has grown in popularity over the past several years because it looks great and smells delicious, just like cocoa.

Many dogs think so too, and there have been several occurrences of dogs getting ill and even dying after ingesting cocoa mulch.

Here is an excerpt on cocoa mulch from About.com:

Analysis: No question about it, chocolate and other products made from cacao beans — e.g., cocoa mulch — contain substances toxic to certain animals, including both dogs and cats. And the main culprit is indeed theobromine, a caffeine-like chemical which acts as a mild diuretic and stimulant in human beings but is poisonous to animals less well equipped to metabolize it.

Cocoa mulch, which consists mainly of cacao bean shells, contains a higher concentration of theobromine than chocolate processed for human consumption. Dogs are attracted to the scent and in documented cases have eaten the stuff, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, seizures and, in rare instances, death. While it’s equally toxic to cats, veterinarians say they are less likely to ingest cocoa products and therefore less at risk.

If you suspect your dog may have eaten cocoa mulch, the ASPCA recommends contacting your veterinarian immediately or calling the Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 for expert advice.

Symptoms of Theobromine toxicity may include:

  • vomiting & diarrhea
  • trembling, acting nervous
  • seizures, muscle spasms
  • excessive thirst
  • unconsciousness
  • death – although this is rare

Most dog owners know not to give their dog or cat chocolate because they can die from it.  Now you know about cocoa mulch and to keep an eye on your dog when you are out and about with him or her.

Keeping our pets safe is something we take seriously 🙂

Daily Paws

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Adam’s Updates: Another Recall – hoofs and ears, new VL recall resource and how to avoid the most common winter pet injury

Monday, December 14th, 2009


Latest pet product recall

Recalls………..sigh.  Here’s another one.

The FDA has issued another recall, this time for Pet Carousel beef hoofs and pig ears, due to possible salmonella contamination.  Here is the link to the official FDA release.

Unfortunately, pet product recalls are becoming an all too common part of our lives and while I am very happy to know the information, I wish pet food was safer.

I’ve kept a link to the FDA product recall page live on my Google Desktop so I receive the alert when they issue it.

Recently the FDA announced they’ve created a special tool so pet owners can view the latest recalls.  We’ve created a special page on VetLocator just for pet product recalls that you can visit any time.  On it you’ll find any new pet product recalls and other pet related links the FDA feels are important or of interest to pet owners.

Check it out!

(we also have a copy of the latest recall posted there too)


The #1 winter pet weather-related injuries

With the recent cold weather that much of the country is experiencing, it’s a good time to remind you that pets can get frostbite too.  While its not a problem here in Florida, we’re getting mufflered up when we go for our walks along the Gulf.  Those winter winds are CHILLY!!!  Even our pets are keeping close to warm places to ward off the cold days.

Animals who are outdoors in the freezing cold have some the of same problems we experience in the cold, namely frostbite and dehydration.  One veterinarian we talked to said that frostbite and dehydration are the most common weather-related injuries for pets in colder climates during the winter.  Just a heads up so you can keep your pets warm and healthy when it’s cold outside.

With all this cautionary news, we do want to change the subject to say:


Have a wonderful, healthy and happy holiday with your family and pets and our warmest wishes to you!


A Day In The Life of a Veterinary ER

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

This is a guest post from Jon Geller, DVM, an emergency veterinarian in Colorado:

Dr. Jon Geller, DVM Many emergency veterinarians enjoy the challenge of saving an injured pet in a gunshot wound case, especially when we have a good outcome.

It’s not very often however, that a dog comes into our ER in critical condition from a gunshot wound and survives and the dog’s owner ends up dead from the very same gun a short time later.

However, that is exactly what happened on the afternoon of November 2, 2003 and here is the sad tale that unfolded in our ER.

Mojo was a 3 year old Miniature Pinscher, but did not deserve the “land shark” label that many of these MinPins end up with, as he normally was affectionate and friendly. He did like to bark, however, and that tendency would end up leading to a tragic end for his owner because of it.

Mojo arrived at our emergency room with his owners Diane and Richard who rushed him in after he’d been found collapsed in their yard, struggling to breath.

When he arrived his gums were pale and he had a wound on the left side of his chest. After we gave him oxygen to help him breathe, a quick XRay showed two bullets lodged in his chest. One bullet was lodged right next to his spine in his chest cavity and the other one was down near the bottom of his chest.  He was lucky to be alive.

As soon as Mojo’s owner Richard realized what had happened, he left the emergency clinic telling us he was going home.

He appeared calm at the time, but his wife noted a look of determination in his eyes as he left.

After Richard’s departure our team of emergency vets and techs continued to work on Mojo, administering IV fluids, pain meds and more oxygen in our efforts to save the little dog’s life.

When Richard heard the cause of Mojo’s problems he knew immediately that the bullet had come from his neighbor because his neighbor frequently complained about Mojo’s barking.   As soon as Richard arrived back at his home in the rural town of Ault, Colorado, he grabbed a stick of lumber and went next door to confront his neighbor.

Now Richard’s neighbor ran a jewelry business out of his home and had frequently bragged to them about the collection of guns he kept for security.

The neighbor must have heard Richard arrive home and was waiting for him, apparently sitting in a chair in his living room with a shotgun laying across his lap. So when Richard knocked on his door and shouted at the neighbor to come outside the neighbor was ready with a gun.  Ready to defend himself against the owner of the dog he’d shot and tried to kill for barking too much.

Threats were yelled back and forth and when the neighbor refused to come outside, Richard broke the small view window in the top of the door.

That was all the neighbor needed.  His shotgun blast tore through the open window and hit Richard in the middle of his chest, fatally wounding him.

Richard died defending his dog.

The shooter of Richard and Mojo was taken into custody but was released from County Jail just 9 days later under the Colorado “Make My Day” law, where deadly force can be used to protect one’s self, family and property if they are threatened.

The issue of why he could shoot Mojo without penalty was never addressed.

And Mojo?

Our efforts to save Mojo proved successful. He was taken off of oxygen, moved out of intensive care, and started on oral pain meds and antibiotics.  The fact that Mojo survived provided some solace to Diane, Richard’s widow.

However, living next door to the killer of her husband and attempted killer of her dog proved too much for Diane.  Several months later she moved with Mojo to another state to try and put their nightmare behind them. As far as I know, they are getting along OK.

And you know something else?  Upon further investigation we discovered that the second bullet in Mojo’s chest was from a previous gunshot that had gone undetected, and multiple pellets were also found in the side of the house where Mojo used to roam the yard and bark.

It’s believed he had been used as target practice by the neighbor, whose intolerance of Mojo’s barking proved to test the limits of the law and human civility and cost one man his life.

Jon Geller, DVM


Recently there was a news story about a man arrested for stabbing his ex-girlfriend’s pet fish.  And at conference held in Oregon on the subject of Animal Law,  one of the topics was how animal abuse and domestic violence were connected, and the statistical results of a study on that topic.

The study, conducted both in Utah and in Australia, show that more than half of domestic violence cases also involved animal abuse.  The article is an interesting read and it can be found here: http://su.pr/5YDxjQ

The message from Jon’s story and the study is clear.  People who would abuse an animal ARE in need of help and anyone connected to such a person may be at serious risk.  It is not something to laugh off or ignore.

What do you think.  Do you think that violence against animals is a sign of violence against people?  That’s how I feel.

How about you?

You can leave your comment below by clicking on the blue link that says Comments or typing in the box.




Dog cancer miracle – and what it can mean to us

Sunday, October 11th, 2009


About a year ago, researchers at the University of Minnesota began an experimental procedure to save a dog from an aggressive brain tumor.

Researchers hoped that any success they achieved with Batman’s treatments would give them valuable insights into new ways of treating brain tumors in humans.

Batman had a common tumor called a glioma (a type of tumor with scattered invasive cancer cells).  Most dogs diagnosed with this type of cancer are dead within a month.

But Batman was an exception.  His experimental treatment worked! And now, over a year later, Batman is healthy and has no sign of cancer.

A miracle.

Not only was the treatment successful but his success was so dramatic, the National Cancer Institute is funding further research for up to 100 dogs.

So far 8 other dogs have undergone the same procedure and ALL of the dogs had their brain cancers shrink or disappear.

Researchers will finish their trials with dogs (and if you have a dog or know of a dog with cancer, it may qualify to participate in the trial FREE) and take the information they learn in the trials to develop a treatment course for humans with similar cancers.

They expect to begin clinical trials on humans in 2 to 3 years and if the results for humans is similar to those with dogs, then many people will benefit and their cancers will be cured.

And they will be sharing the same miracle that Batman did.

The miracle of life.

To read Batman’s story, click HERE.

In the resource link below, you can see a video on Batman and his surgeon and also get information on how to get free cancer treatment for dogs who qualify.

Resources:  Free Tumor Treatment for Dogs



Veterinary Hospital refuses to treat dying dog

Friday, August 28th, 2009


A Chihuahua lay dying in the arms of its owners……………………….

Recently Delaware boutique owner Liza Orlando finished work for the day and got ready to take a walk with her husband and two small dogs.

As they exited the shop their 4 year old Chihuahua, Fabio, ran outside and started barking at a larger dog that was passing by.

A dog fight ensued and Fabio was severely injured.

When the couple managed to get Fabio away from the bigger dog, he lay on his side, motionless and bleeding, but still alive. Fabio’s owners knew they needed to find a veterinarian ASAP.

As her husband frantically called 911 to locate the nearest emergency vet clinic, Orlando tended to Fabio, stemming the flow of blood from his wound and getting him ready to go to the vet. Orlando’s husband located a nearby veterinary hospital that offered 24-hour on-call care, they quickly made their way to the car and headed for the hospital.

But not all was working out the way it should.

24-hour on-call care usually means that there is a veterinarian on call 24-hours a day, but is not necessarily in the hospital.

And that’s what the Orlando’s discovered when they arrived at the veterinary hospital. The doors were locked and no one was there. There was, however, a number they could call for emergencies.

They called.

The only connection they could make was to the hospital’s answering service but not to a veterinarian.

Frustrated and panicked and they raced to a local human emergency room to see what help they could get for their dog. One of the nurses there gave them a warm blanket for Fabio in case he was suffering from shock. Someone from the human hospital then called the veterinary hospital and this time got the answering service to get the on-call vet on the phone.

The Orlando’s were relieved to reach the hospital’s vet until they learned that the on-call vet was at least 30 minutes away and was only on call for emergencies for EXISTING CLIENTS.

Despite Mr. Orlando offering to pay triple the veterinarian fees to get their dog help, the veterinarian would not see them at all because they weren’t clients, instead referring them to another emergency hospital in a nearby town, another hour away.

The Orlandos quickly left to get their dog help at the new veterinary hospital.

But Fabio didn’t make it to the next hospital. He died enroute in Mrs. Orlando’s arms.


The Orlandos say they are “absolutely disgusted” with the doctors and practices at the veterinary hospital and have filed complaints with every agency and newspaper in their area.

“Did not being a patient make Fabio less deserving of treatment as he was dying in my arms? These doctors are not animal lovers and they certainly aren’t veterinarians,” she said. “They are running some kind of exclusive members-only club. It’s repulsive to find that they allowed this to happen. Our Fabio would have been saved if they had not refused him treatment.”

The veterinary hospital says they don’t have enough manpower to maintain a 24-hour practice and feel they did their job by referring the Orlando’s to the closest 24-hour facility.

They don’t feel they did anything wrong.

“Any doctor who refuses treatment to an animal, or human, for that matter should be severely punished,” Orlando said. “The last thing this country needs is soulless businessmen and women masquerading as animal lovers.”

And the head of a local pet organization stated that she believes veterinarians should be forced to take a similar oath as doctors, which would require them to help pets in distress.

“It’s outrageous to make a grieving pet owner drive an hour to get emergency care for their animal,” she said. “The DVMA should be policing their own licensed veterinarians.”


How do you feel about this? Do you think the veterinarian should have been REQUIRED to treat Fabio or do you feel the Orlando’s should have confirmed the emergency vet status before taking their dog to the closed hospital?