Keeping Your Pets Safe this Halloween

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With Halloween approaching, Pets Premier Mobile Veterinary Clinic would like to remind all pet owners to be very careful not to let your pets eat any chocolate and also candies/gum containing artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol.

Chocolate toxicity is mainly due to the caffeine and theobromine it contains, but the high fat content can also cause pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening condition. The toxic dose of chocolate depends on your pet’s weight and the type of chocolate ingested. Baking chocolate and dark chocolates are the most toxic, followed by semi-sweet and then milk chocolate.

Signs of chocolate toxicity include:

-Vomiting
-Diarrhea
-Tremors
-Seizures
-Hyperactivity
-Racing heart rate and/or abnormal heart rhythms
-Death

Xylitol, a very popular artificial sweetener, can cause severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), liver failure, bleeding and death. The effect in cats is undetermined, but ingestion should be avoided all the same.
Signs of Xylitol poisoning include:

1. Vomiting
2. Weakness/lethargy
3. Collapsing and/or seizures

**Some dogs do not show any immediate signs and later develop liver failure.

Here are a few important things to remember about Xylitol poisoning:

1. A tiny amount of Xylitol is toxic to your dog. This can be as few as 1-2 pieces of sugarless gum!
2. Xylitol is rapidly absorbed, so seek veterinary treatment immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested any Xylitol-containing products.
3. Even if your pet has no immediate signs of toxicity after eating Xylitol-containing products, you should seek treatment without delay!
4. Bring food labels with you to help your veterinarian determine how much Xylitol is in the product.
5. Xylitol can also be found in certain toothpastes.
6. There is no specific antidote to Xylitol. Treatment includes aggressive supportive care to maintain a normal blood sugar and monitoring liver enzymes and clotting values.

If your pet has ingested any chocolate or Xylitol-containing candy/products, please contact us or your local emergency clinic immediately. You should be ready to tell us which type of chocolate/Xylitol containing product, how much your pet has eaten, and when it was eaten. We can then determine if your pet has ingested a toxic dose. Immediate treatment gives the best outcome for both toxicities.

Senior Pet Care

Senior pets have health care needs that differ from younger animals. If your large dog is 6 years old or older, your cat or small dog is 8 years or older, your pet should be seen more regularly than a younger pet would.

If you notice an increase in water consumption and/or urination, or your pet begins to leak urine while resting, you should schedule a veterinary examination.

Senior cats need weight checks every 3 months, and full physical exams every 6 months, and senior bloodwork every 6-12 months. Senior dogs should be examined every 6 months and bloodwork should be evaluated at that time. Any lumps or bumps you may notice should be discussed. Also, mention any odd behaviors or any weight changes you have noticed.

Regular dental care is very important, regardless of the age or species. Some younger animals will develop dental disease by their first year of age, although many pets may not develop dental disease until later in life. Regular oral examinations for signs of dental disease will prevent the prolonged, painful symptoms that may cause pets to refuse food, or become ill. Proper dental care includes prophylactic dental cleanings, which are performed under general anesthesia. The ongoing infection caused by dental tartar and gingivitis can enter the bloodstream and damage the heart, kidneys, and liver.

Arthritis is another common disease associated with aging pets. There are several safe options for pain management and pain control. A simple blood test can determine if your pet is healthy enough for prescription pain medicine. In many cases, the addition of glucosamine in conjunction with a prescription pain medication yields the best pain relieving results.

To schedule an appointment for your senior pet, please call/text us at (678) 800-2260. If you prefer email contact, we can be reached at contact@petspremier.com

Thunderstorms and fireworks

Is your dog terrified of thunderstorms or fireworks? For some dogs, thunderstorm phobia can be serious, and even result in panicking that is severe enough to cause self-injury. Please talk to your veterinarian about medications and techniques to calm your dog and prevent panic during a storm or holiday. Here are a few tips that may help:

If you have a puppy, early training can reduce the incidence of thunderstorm phobia as an adult dog. A puppy that shows any anxiety over storms should not be comforted. This reinforces their fear. At a young age, feeding your puppy small bites of delicious treats when you hear loud thunder or see lightning can help them to associate a storm with fun, positive rewards and minimize future storm-related anxiety.

Some thunderstorm-phobic and firework phobic dogs are calmed by exposure to dog appeasing pheromones (D.A.P.). This is a natural method to decrease anxiety and stress in many dogs for a multitude of reasons.

For dogs who are too scared to respond to treats, a method of desensitization can decrease thunderstorm phobia over time. This includes repeatedly playing audio recordings of storms at very low levels in the background for short intervals. It is crucial to gradually increase the intensity and duration over a period of weeks to months without making any changes until your dog relaxes and accepts rewards at each intensity level. See your veterinarian about developing a specific desensitization plan.

Some dogs need a combination of desensitization and medications. Your veterinarian is the best resource for information about drugs that decrease storm-related anxiety. These medications can also be helpful during a holiday with fireworks. Anti-anxiety medications are different than tranquilizers and are preferred. Both types can be used on an as needed basis (in anticipation of a storm or holiday). Ask your veterinarian to explain the pros and cons of each type of drug in treating thunderstorm phobias.

Holiday Pet Hazards

We at Pets Premier Mobile Veterinary Clinic wish all our fellow pet lovers a happy holiday season!
The Holidays can unknowingly present some health hazards to your furry loved ones. Here are a few tips to ensure your family pets are protected.

1. Cats especially are attracted to tinsel, and can eat it. Tinsel and other colorful ornaments can cause intestinal obstruction if ingested, so keep them out of all pet’s reach.

2. Of course, all chocolate should be kept away from your pets. Baker’s chocolate is the most toxic. Also, avoid feeding them table scraps, especially fatty foods, as they can cause upset stomachs or a life-threatening condition called pancreatitis.

Here’s a list of problematic holiday foods:
• Alcoholic beverages (including Eggnog)
• Chocolate (baker’s, semi-sweet, milk chocolate)
• Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans)
• Moldy or spoiled foods
• Onions, onion powder
• Fatty foods
• Salt
• Yeast dough

3. Poinsettia, Holly, Mistletoe and Lilies are toxic, especially to cats, if eaten.

4. Keep your pets away from the Christmas tree. Aside from chewing the lights or electrical cords, ingesting pine needles and ornaments, or climbing the tree, the water additives can be harmful to your pet if they drink from the basin. Either cover the base, or add citrus peels to the water to discourage pets from approaching the tree in general.

5. Don’t leave lit candles unattended with animals. They can easily be knocked over. Liquid potpourris can cause severe oral, skin or eye damage, especially in cats.

We’re dedicated to supporting our local community

Pets Premier Veterinary Clinic is strongly committed to providing excellent, knowledgeable, compassionate, mobile veterinary care to Cherokee county.  We are also equally committed to supporting our local community.  Therefore, last year we developed a school donation program to benefit local Cherokee county schools.

For each mobile veterinary service we provide for a Cherokee county household with a student enrolled in a Cherokee county public school, we will donate $20.00 to their school of choice for the first visit and an additional $5.00 for each subsequent visit.

Our mobile veterinary services include veterinary house calls with physical exams, vaccinations, spaying and neutering, microchip implantation, mobile veterinary dentistry, preventative veterinary care, in-home euthanasia, behavior evaluations, senior pet check-ups, parasite screening, laboratory services, diagnosis/treatment of acute and chronic illnesses and puppy/kitten visits.

So far, with your support, we’ve raised and donated 800.00 to the Knox Elementary School PTA.

 

We’ll come to you, when it’s convenient, to provide low-stress veterinary care for your furry family members.