Common Household Toxins
As many pet parents know there are a wide variety of common household items that can be harmful or even deadly to our furry babies. Being sure you don't bring these items into your home or storing them out of the pets reach is a major part of being a pet owner. However, we do know that accidents can happen and when they do it can be very stressful. Below there is a list of toxic foods and plants to be mindful of all courteous to the AAHA website. AAHA Toxic Common Household Items
What foods are toxic to pets?
Many foods that are safe for people can be deadly to pets. Keep the following toxic foods away from your beloved companion:
- Xylitol (often found in sugar-free gum)
- Macadamia nuts
- Grapes and raisins
- Caffeinated drinks
- Raw yeast dough
- Raw or undercooked meat
Plants toxic to pets
Plants found in flower beds, vegetable gardens, and indoor planters and arrangements can be toxic to pets. Cats, who particularly like to munch on greenery, are sensitive to many plant types, but dogs also can be at risk. A complete list of toxic and nontoxic plants can be found on ASPCA’s website, but the most common toxic plants include:
- Autumn crocus
- Lily of the valley
- Sago palm
If your pet eats the leaves, flowers, or stems, immediately take him and a plant sample to your veterinarian. Although toxicity signs may not be apparent, it is vital to remove poisonous material as soon as possible to prevent toxin absorption into the body.
Even though we have it listed above Xylitol poisoning is one of the most common things we see animals for in regards to toxicity . Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol sweetener known for its low glycemic index and found in many popular products including peanut butter and sugar free candy. In pets, this sugar substitute can cause low blood sugar and liver (necrosis) destruction. While peanut butter is safe and used among many pet owners to “pill” their dog or as a treat and we do often recommend it, please be sure to double check the ingredients before giving it to your beloved pet. If you do use peanut butter or yogurt, PLEASE check the label for XYLITOL.
Even small doses can be fatal. If you have any questions, please call the office at (859) 873-6463.
Osteoarthritis in Dogs – Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis and Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of dog arthritis. While there are many different types of arthritis, osteoarthritis refers to degenerative arthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. Arthritis and osteoarthritis in dogs is the most common source of chronic pain for older canines.
Osteoarthritis is caused by progressive inflammation and deterioration of the soft tissue, cartilage and bone in one or more joints. It is a chronic and degenerative joints disease that leads to pain and decreased mobility. The cartilage in the dog’s joints breaks down and causes friction between the bones. Inflammation also can cause bony growth on the joints and thicken the soft tissue.
What Causes Osteoarthritis in Dogs?
Arthritis in dogs is most commonly a result of old age. It can also be linked to repeated trauma to the joint or old injuries. In some cases dogs suffer from congenital joint diseases such as osteochondrosis, or hip and elbow dysplasia that can result in arthritis as the dog ages. Metabolic diseases such as diabetes and Cushing’s disease have also been linked to wearing down the cartilage and causing osteoarthritis in dogs.
Two other factors that contribute to degenerative arthritis in dogs are activity level and weight. Dogs that are athletic and working dogs are more likely to develop arthritis. Overweight dogs are also at a higher risk for developing arthritis since their joints are under more stress.
Symptoms of Canine Arthritis
Dogs with arthritis tend to be less active than normal, and lethargic. They may have difficulty rising, climbing stairs, or jumping onto furniture and into cars. In some cases osteoarthritis causes cracking sounds when the joint is moved and a change in the dog’s ability to bark. Obvious signs of arthritis in dogs include stiffness, visible pain, and muscle wastage.
When the symptoms of arthritis begin to appear in your dog, especially if he or she is an older dog, an appointment should be made with a veterinarian immediately so that a diagnosis can be made and dog arthritis treatment can begin.
Diagnosing Dog Osteoarthritis
Diagnosing arthritis in dogs is done through several different procedures. First, your vet will have you describe the signs of osteoarthritis in your dog, and then they will do a physical and orthopedic examination.
Treatment for Osteoarthritis in Dogs
Dog arthritis treatment is designed to reduce pain and inflammation, improve joint function and whenever possible eliminate the cause of arthritis and halt the arthritic process, possibly through surgery. Treating osteoarthritis in dogs may include therapy as well as medication.
Dogs that are overweight should be put on a strict diet to get them down to a normal weight. This will put less stress on the joints and alter the amount of medication the dog needs to take. An exercise program should be started to reduce weight, maintain range of motion and muscle mass, and promote cartilage health. Exercise for dogs with arthritis should vary depending on the severity of the degenerative joint disease.
Dog arthritis medication should always be prescribed by a veterinarian. Arthritis medications can have serious side effects, so make sure the dosages are monitored by a veterinarian.
Depending on the severity of the dogs degenerative joint disease corticosteroids may be prescribed to control pain. Injections that decrease enzymes that damage cartilage and stimulate cartilage growth may be given to protect cartilage.
Another popular dog arthritis treatment is glucosamine. It has shown to rehabilitate and provide pain relief in dogs. Glucosamine for dogs is a natural way to stimulate cartilage health, since it is already found in the cartilage fluid. The glucosamine is absorbed and distributed to the joint tissue, where it works as an anti-inflammatory and joint regenerator. Ask your vet about glucosamine for dogs and other arthritis supplements for dogs.
Prevent Dog Arthritis
Osteoarthritis in dogs can be avoided by keeping your dog at a healthy weight and making sure he gets plenty of exercise. In addition, look for breeds of dogs that are not predisposed to hip dysplasia, which is a common cause of osteoarthritis in dogs.
Arthritis in dogs in a progressive disease that gets worse with time. However, with proper dog arthritis treatment the disease can be slowed. Joint replacement surgery for dogs may be done in extreme cases, with excellent recovery results.
Firework and Thunderstorm Anxiety
Every year we all know how terrifying it can be for our animals that aren't exactly a fan of fireworks or loud thunderstorms. Being prepared and proactive in comforting out animals for these situations is one of the best things you can do.
The 4th of July is always fun for people, but it can be stressful for our pets. To prepare yourself and your dog for that time of year take a look at this article that the American Animal Hospital Association published.
For those dreadful rainy days that come along we always know there is a chance of thunder. If you know you pet has anxiety with these sounds you can prepare yourself by making sure you have anti-anxiety medication on hand or using a product like a Thunder Shirt to keep them calm.