By Dr. Pickett
Bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and some ants deliver venom when they sting. The result is almost always redness, swelling and pain. The estimated lethal dose is 10 stings per pound of body weight, so death is exceedingly rare. Anaphylactic shock also is very rare in pets. Anaphylaxis, an exaggerated allergic reaction that can be fatal, is unrelated to the actual number of stings.
If your pet gets stung and you see the stinger, remove it. Apply a cool compress to the area. If your pet seems particularly uncomfortable, lidocaine spray will numb the sting. An antihistamine, such as Benadryl, helps minimize the swelling and redness. A pain reliever can ease discomfort. If your dog makes a sport of chasing or snapping at bees, ask your veterinarian about having some of each in your home pharmacy in case the need arises.
Still want to know more? Take a look at this Bee Stings 101
Halloween is a holiday that humans and animals can enjoy together. There are many exciting aspects of Halloween but that doesn’t mean there are no risks. See below and read how to have fun while keeping your animal friends safe.
CANDY – Don’t feed your pets Halloween candy! Chocolate in all forms, especially dark or baking chocolate, can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is found in most sugar-free candy and it is also toxic to animals. Also be sure to throw away all wrappers as they present a choking hazard.
CANDLES – Make sure to keep any lit candles or jack-o-lanterns out of reach from pets. They are attracted to the bright light and can either burn themselves or cause a fire.
CHIP YOUR PET – Make sure your pet is properly identified with a microchip and collar and tag. They can easily escape through an open door when you greet trick-or-treaters or while trick-or-treating. Only 22% of lost dogs and less than 2% of lost cats that are not microchipped are ever returned to their owners.
COSTUMES – Make sure any costume you put on your pet fits properly and is comfortable. Also make sure that it doesn’t have any pieces that can be chewed off and doesn’t affect your pet’s seeing, hearing, breathing, or moving. You should also avoid any costumes with metal pieces. Some metals (like zinc) are dangerous if ingested. If your pet does not want to wear a costume, you should not force it. Never leave your pet unattended while he or she is wearing a costume.
DECORATIONS – Make sure to keep all wires and electrical cords out of reach of pets. If they chew on them, they could suffer from cuts, burns, or receive a shock. Also keep pumpkins and decorative corn out of reach. While these are considered relatively nontoxic, they can produce stomach upset if ingested.
GLOW STICKS – Although the liquid in glow sticks and glow jewelry has not been known to be toxic, it causes pain and irritation in the mouth and will make your pets salivate excessively and act strangely.
KEEP YOUR PET INSIDE – There have been reports of pranks being played on pets that are outside. You should bring any outdoor cats inside a few days prior and a few days after Halloween as well. If you bring your pet trick-or-treating with you, make sure you keep them on a leash with a firm grip. Animals can be spooked by all the people and costumes they may see. While inside, put them in a safe space where they are comfortable. The constant motion of trick-or-treaters at the door can be stressful and upsetting to pets.
We hope you have a wonderful and safe Halloween full of devilish dogs, cool cats, boo bunnies, and more!
Did you know that obesity is not just an epidemic in humans but also in pets? According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), over 57% of dogs and 52% of cats are obese and these numbers are on the rise. Much like humans, obesity in pets can lead to diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, joint problems, and ultimately a shortened life expectancy.
Based on a survey created by APOP, a surprising 93% of dog owners and 88% of cat owners thought their pet was in the normal weight range. This disparity is known as the “fat gap” and is thought to be one of the primary factors in the growing rate of pet obesity. To tell if your pet is a healthy weight, use this scoring system
. Your pet should rank at about a 3 if he or she is a healthy weight.
To keep your pet at a healthy weight, take care in providing him or her with a healthy diet and ensuring the proper amount of exercise. Pet foods have become more calorically dense and people are feeding their pets more. If your pet is already overweight or obese, talk to your veterinarian about the best course of action. Your vet will probably recommend a controlled diet and specific type of food.
It can be hard to know what the proper caloric intake and weight should be for your pet so APOP has provided a few useful tables to help. This information does not replace the advice of your veterinarian and should only be used as a starting point.
Pet Caloric Needs – http://www.petobesityprevention.org/pet-caloric-needs/
Ideal Weight Ranges – http://www.petobesityprevention.org/ideal-weight-ranges/
Besides the ocean, there are many other dangers that your dog can encounter at the beach. Being alert and attentive and following some of these rules will make your beach getaway proceed without problems!
First, make sure to adhere to the beach’s specific rules as these are actually laws and you can be given a citation or fine. Some common laws include cleaning up after your dog, requiring your dog to wear a collar and ID tags and be up-to-date on vaccinations, be on a leash, and so on. Make sure to check prior to leaving to see if your beach destination is pet friendly!
Just like people, dogs can only handle so much sun. Sunscreen that is safe for your dog is available at pet stores or online. Do not use a sunscreen unless it is specifically labeled safe for animal use. Make sure there is a shady spot for your dog to retreat to like an umbrella, picnic table, or tree and bring plenty of fresh, cool water and a dog bowl. Offer water refills often, making sure that the water does not get hot in the sun. Watch for signs of overheating, which can include: excessive panting or drooling, vomiting or diarrhea, collapse, and loss of consciousness. If you start to see any of these signs immediately move your dog to a cooler environment. While staying calm and speaking in a soothing voice, wrap the dog in cool, wet towels. A fan can be used to help blow air over the animal to speed up the cooling and applying isopropyl alcohol to the paw pads will facilitate cooling and should be repeated as the alcohol dries. It is important to never fully immerse your overheated pet in water as it may increase their anxiety.
Hot sand is also a very real concern. Foot pad burns can occur when the sand is too hot. If a person cannot walk barefoot, their dog cannot either. While on the sand, lead the way for your dog to make sure they won’t step on anything sharp. Broken glass and shells are only two of many things that can hurt your pet’s paws. If your dog’s paw gets cut, apply pressure to the wound to ease the bleeding. If it’s severe, seek veterinary attention immediately. Once in the water, jellyfish and rocks start to potentially pose problems. If your dog gets stung by a jellyfish, douse the affected area in vinegar to ease the pain and kill off the stinging barbs before trying to remove the tentacles.
If your dog does not come to you every time you call them, keep them on a leash. You can buy a long-reaching leash (20-30 feet) which will still allow you and your dog to play with a ball or Frisbee without worrying about the possibility of them running away.
Pay close attention to your dog’s swimming habits. Fitness level, experience, and even breed of dog can influence how well your dog can swim. Poor swimmers and brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Boxers should probably not spend much time on the beach. When in doubt, put a life vest on your dog and keep an eye out. If your pet does go in the water, make sure to remove them if they start to drink the water. Instead offer fresh, clean water since salt water is bad for dogs and can cause gastrointestinal problems. Salt water may also cause some irritation to their skin and paws. Rinsing your dog off with fresh water before you leave or shortly after getting home will help him or her stay comfortable and happy.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, have fun!
It’s almost the 4th of July and while that means water, fireworks, BBQs, and fun for humans, for pets this holiday could be anything but. See the following safety tips to keep the holiday weekend fun for both you and your pets.
• Public fireworks displays: Do not bring your pets to see fireworks. Animals are much more sensitive to noise than humans and the loud noises can scare many animals and many get lost. Pets should be left at home where it is quieter and escape-proof.
• “At home” fireworks: Besides the risk of severe burns that lit fireworks can cause, many fireworks contain potentially toxic substances that will cause your pet to have gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, a painful abdomen, and bloody diarrhea.
• Sunscreen and insect repellent: Unless the product is specifically labeled for use on animals, do not apply sunscreen or insect repellent to your pets. Both products contain harmful substances if ingested by animals. This is also true of citronella candles, insect coils, and oil products.
• Alcoholic beverages: Keep alcohol beverages out of reach. If ingested, alcoholic drinks can cause your pet to become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed, or could go into a coma. In severe cases death from respiratory failure is also a possibility.
While this list has many “don’ts”, we do encourage you to enjoy your weekend and spend time with your family, friends, and pets! We wish you a happy, healthy, and safe 4th of July weekend.
Enjoy your time outside this summer with your dog! Make sure that they drink often and be aware of heat stroke symptoms. If you notice any of the symptoms below, please help your dog drink and contact us ASAP.
Signs of heat stroke:
- Gums and conjunctiva of eyes bright red
- Panting hard
Pets, Cars & Heat
Brutus, Duke, Coco, Lola and Jake…sure, they’re fairly common pet names, but they’re also the names of just a few of the pets that died last year because they were left in cars on warm (and not necessarily hot) days while their owners were shopping, visiting friends or family, or running errands. What’s so tragic is that these beloved pets were simply the victims of bad judgment.Want numbers? An independent study showed that the interior temperature of vehicles parked in outside temperatures ranging from 72 to 96° F rose steadily as time increased. (And cracking the windows doesn’t help).
To learn more, go to: https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Hot-Cars-and-Loose-Pets.aspx
It’s National Pet Identification Week — the perfect time to make sure you’ve taken every precaution to be reunited with your pet if he or she becomes lost. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recently found that only 33 percent of pet parents admitted to always having ID tags on their dogs and cats.In addition to that crucial step, pet owners should also have their furry friend microchipped. Collars with pet identification are accessible to anyone who finds your lost pet. But, tags can become hard to read, and collars can be broken or removed. Microchipping your pet is a method of permanent identification. Microchips cannot be easily misread, and the permanent identification number is tamperproof. The information about the pet and owner is usually readily retrievable.A microchip is a very tiny transponder that is encoded with a unique identification number. Before insertion, the sterile microchip is scanned in the package to confirm that the identification code of the transponder matches that shown on the label of the bar code on the package.
Credit: Web Vet
Central Pennsylvania Animal Alliance: All You Can Eat; All They Can Spay!
Join the CPAA for their 10th
annual Spay-ghetti Dinner from 4-7 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at the Camp Hill United Methodist Church.
Delicious spaghetti in homemade marinara sauce, meatballs and vegan balls, rolls and drinks are on the menu for just $7 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under. Kids 2 and under eat for free. Tickets are sold at the door, or you can order them in advance online at www.cpaa.info
Yummy homemade desserts will be sold for just $1 each. And don’t miss out on our unique raffle items and 50/50 drawing. See you there!