Posts for category: Pet Safety
We are no strangers to the traumas that may occur during training exercises with your pet. We don’t claim to have seen it all, but we have seen enough (hit-by-cars, rope burns, leash injuries) to warrant caution when choosing your pet’s training equipment.
Although one of the hottest selling pet products in recent years, you may be surprised to learn that retractable leashes have also drawn much criticisms from the veterinary profession. According to a recent article on the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), communities have considered trying to ban the devices, and some pet-friendly businesses and dog-related events discourage owners from using them. Even most puppy training classes and behaviorists require you to use a standard 6 ft. leash in class because they give you more control over your dog, keep your dog at a manageable distance, and it is relatively easy to use especially during the early learning stages.
Use caution when using products such as retractable leashes, prong collars, choke collars. Improper use of these training mechanisms can be very problematic for both you and your pet.
Teaches dog to pull on leash.
Having your dog on a retractable leash, allows them too much freedom especially if used for training. Your dog may not learn that there are pressure restrictions while being on a retractable leash, allowing your dog to pull even harder.
Many times it also puts the handler in a position of constantly being reactive instead of proactive on the walk. A dog may be allotted too much leash and for whatever the reason, run into the road with oncoming traffic or even fight with other animals before the owner has time to retract the leash.
Referring back to our previous article, Dog Training Part One: How to Choose the Right Collar and Leash, you must take on the role of the pack leader and train your dog to view you as the one in charge. A dog that thinks that he/she makes decisions AND that he/she is entitled to unlimited space and freedom is a dog that will never recognize you as a leader, which has the tendency to cause greater behavioral issues down the line.
Easy to break
The cables aren’t infallible, especially for use with strong, energetic breeds. Always check your gear for bites or rips before walks. During training exercises, practice calling your dog back a lot, so it works in an emergency. If all else fails, make a game out of it to try to get your dog to chase you should he brake off his leash. Remember, to have your pet microchipped or use a GPS locating collar for instances like these.
May cause injuries to both pets and people if not used properly.
The most common injuries reported are muscular injuries (such as neck strain or sprain) or more severely, a cervical intervertebral disc herniation from the pet being yanked back with the leash (DeGioria, 2014). To prevent such occurrences, always use a back-attachment harness when using retractable leads, never a prong collar, head collar, flat collar, or front-attachment harness, because of the damage they can inflict on your pet. It is also possible for the pet to be entangled in the leash cord or ingest the cord, both of which may cause even further harm to your pet.
People certainly aren't immune to injury, either. Manufacturers warn that if used improperly, a suddenly yanked retractable leash can cause people to fall or sustain friction burns or get fingers/hands tangled in the cord itself.
With so many options available nowadays (from traditional leashes to harnesses and gentle leaders), it is no wonder the immense amount of time one can spend in the pet aisle searching for the best collar and leash option for you and your pet.
Please refer to our previous blog articles listed below for training tips and recommendations for collars/leashes or contact our office directly for specific recommendations for your pet based on his/her medical and breed background to ensure your pet’s safety and happiness.
DeGioria, Phyllis, Injuries, Behavioral Problems Linked to Retractable Leashes, The Vin News Service. March 27, 2014. http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=31352&callshare=1
This holiday season as we’re hosting guests and decorating our homes we should keep in mind while decorating our dwellings with greenery or accepting floral gifts, be aware of the potential for toxicity that festive plants can have for pets.
The Amaryllis contains Lycorine and other noxious substances, which cause salivation, gastrointestinal abnormalities (vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, and abdominal pain), lethargy, and tremors in both cats and dogs. The bulb of the plant is reputed to be more dangerous than the flowers and stalk.
In dogs and cats, consumption of Holly leaves and berries causes gastrointestinal signs like vomiting and/or diarrhea and lethargy.
Decorative Pine Trees
There are a variety of pine trees that have the potential for causing toxicity, including the Australian, Norfolk, and Norfolk Island Pine. Additionally, the water used to nourish a pine tree can be quite noxious. Bacteria, molds, and fertilizers can cause your pet to become extremely sick with only a few laps.
Consumption of mistletoe berries or leaves can cause severe gastrointestinal, cardiovascular (low blood pressure, low heart rate), and neurologic (collapse, unusual behavior) signs.
This plant has an over exaggerated bad rep for being toxic to our pets. Though we shouldn’t be overly worried, poinsettias do contain a latex-like sap that causes oral irritation and vomiting.
All in all, the best way to keep your pets safe from potentially harmful plants this season is prevention. Try to keep pets separate from areas where these plants are in your home, or you may opt to forgo keeping these plants in your home this season. In any case, if your suspect that your pet may have ingested a plant that is toxic or anything harmful for that matter, please contact our office immediately. Also, the ASPCA has a Poison Hotline you can contact at (888)426-4435 for any poison related emergency.
Have a safe and happy holiday!
In response to recent concerns over the heartworm, flea and intestinal parasite prevention Trifexis, we have an excerpt from a statement from Elanco, manufacturers of Trifexis:
November 11, 2013
Since the product came to market in January 2011, all reported potential adverse events have been reported to the FDA and appropriately investigated. There is no link established between product use and death.
We take the safety of our products very seriously and thoroughly investigate potential concerns related to product use, including the cases explored by WSB-TV. In the instance of the three litter mate puppies, the investigation is ongoing, but based on the information we have received, there are multiple other factors associated with the unfortunate death of these puppies. Specifically, via necropsy, all were diagnosed with myocarditis, and inflammation of the heart muscle. It is noteworthy that with more than 50 million doses of Trifexis dispensed in the U.S. alone, there have been no breed-specific trends or patterns with a similar familial type response as seen in this case.
In the older dog, the pet’s medical history suggests the probability of conditions that were present even before the dog’s first dose of Trifexis, including a potential mass in the animal’s lungs suggested by X-ray.
These data suggest it is unlikely that Trifexis was the cause. Further, the attending veterinarians have indicated other factors were involved.
If you have any further concerns about the use of Trifexis in your pet, or suspect that your pet may be having a reaction, please contact our office immediately!