A Guide to Avoiding Pet Emergencies

What To Do If A Pet Ingests Medical Marijuana

Marijuana is becoming legalized and decriminalized in certain states particularly for medicinal use. While it’s still classified as illegal, new federal enforcement priorities essentially discourage federal prosecutors from pursuing non-violent marijuana users. In light of this easing up of restrictions, it’s not surprising that the Pet Poison Helpline is reporting a 200 percent increase in the incidence of marijuana poisoning seen in pets.

According to an article in the Denver Post, dogs and cats like marijuana and will eat the herb whenever they can get their paws on it. They’ll also eat marijuana-laced baked goods like pot brownies, which adds another pet toxin to the equation: dark chocolate. Even if you don’t use the stuff, your dog may come into contact with it when it’s out and about. One woman believes that her dog became ill after eating marijuana it found in a downtown park.

Signs of Marijuana Ingestion in Pets

A pet that’s consumed marijuana may appear depressed or drunk. They might cry out and exhibit difficulty walking. Their eyes might be bloodshot with dilated pupils. A toxic reaction to marijuana can cause their heart rate to slow down, and they may even fall into a coma.

What to Do

There’s no antidote you can give to help a pet who’s consumed marijuana. Just as in any poisoning case, it’s important to be up front with your vet and let them know what you believe your pet has ingested. They can pump the animal’s stomach or give it activated charcoal to absorb the toxins.

Inducing vomiting may work if you get help very soon after the pet ingests marijuana. However, that’s often unsuccessful because marijuana is a powerful anti-nausea medication. Depending on the severity of your pet’s symptoms, they may receive IV fluids and monitoring for low heart rate and seizures.

Good News

The good news is that it takes a very high level of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, to prove lethal to a dog or cat. In one study, out of 125 dogs presented to a veterinarian for marijuana toxicosis, only two died; it was unclear if that was due to the marijuana or the chocolate in the edibles.

Can Marijuana Be Used as Medicine for a Pet?

It’s currently illegal in every state for a veterinarian to prescribe marijuana for medicinal use in pets. According to the Denver Post article mentioned above, veterinarians believe that it’s only a matter of time before it’s made available for pets by prescription.

The amount of medicinal marijuana used for pets for symptoms such as anxiety and pain would be low. The aim of treatment is absolutely not to get a pet high; in fact, intentionally trying to get a pet high is considered to be a form of animal abuse, which is a crime.

For more information, visit http://www.akronvet.com or a similar website.

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Long Distance Moving: 3 Ways To Ease The Transition For Your Pet

Moving to another state or country is often a stressful experience, yet it can be especially traumatic for pets that are exposed to too many new experiences in a short period of time. With a long-distance move, it may not be possible to use the typical strategies such as taking your dog to the new home for brief visits. Fortunately, there are still several ways that you can ease the stress for your dog so that they can have a smooth transition to your new residence.

Schedule a Pre-and-Post-Trip Checkup

Prior to the move, it is important to make sure that your dog is in good health and up-to-date on all required vaccinations. For example, the CDC reports that some countries require blood tests to be conducted six months in advance to ensure that dogs are protected against rabies. Once you arrive in your new community, you will also want to schedule a visit with your pet’s new veterinarian at a clinic like Southwest Animal Hospital so that they can get acquainted. During this visit, your vet can also explain to you any health risks that exist in your area such as parasites. This way, you can begin preventative measures right away to keep your dog in good health.

Introduce Them to Their Crate

Whether you are traveling by plane or car, it is best to keep your dog secured in a crate. If your dog is unfamiliar with the crate, then you will need to spend a few weeks practicing crate training. Begin by placing a treat in their crate, and leave the gate open when they are inside. Over time, you can slowly transition your pet to having the door closed. Finally, you should practice driving with your pet in the crate so that they can become familiar with the sensation of being on the road.

Check for Pet-Friendly Lodging and Dining

Pets should never be left in the car for any period of time in extreme temperatures, and your dog will likely feel increased stress if they are left alone in an unfamiliar area. For this reason, you will want to find restaurants and hotels that allow your dog to stay with you. Make sure to keep your dog on their leash in public, and you may need to try a practice run in a hotel before your move if your dog has never stayed in one before.

Dogs are a valuable member of your family, yet it can be easy to overlook how the stress of moving can affect their well-being. As you prepare for your move, make sure to give your dog plenty of love and affection to help them feel secure. By preparing ahead of time and introducing your dog to new experiences slowly, you can ensure that your upcoming moving day is an enjoyable opportunity to bond with your pet.

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Horrible Smell In Or Around Your Home? You May Have A Skunk

If you smell something horrible in your house or outside your home, you just may have a skunk nearby. The smell is so strong that if a skunk sprays near the foundation of your home, it can permeate inside your home. Skunks spray when they are threatened, such as from animal or a human.  If you are having this problem, follow the tips below to get things smelling fresh again.

Signs There is a Skunk in Your Yard

A skunk may live nearby and it may even have babies, which adds even more to the problem. A skunk may live underneath your house or under a deck. If so, they will dig a burrow that can contains up to three chambers, and it could have many entrances. Each entrance will be about eight inches in diameter.

Skunks like to burrow in the ground as a place to live so you may notice holes in your yard. They are nocturnal animals, which means they sleep during the day. This makes it difficult to find them.

Why the Skunk Likes Your House

Skunks love a house where they have food available, such as from pet food, lawn grubs, vegetable gardens, bird feeders, and garbage. They also look for places they can live, such as the deck, porch, or a crawl space. Once they see they can eat and live comfortably, they will move in.

How to Remove the Skunk

If you find where the skunk is living, you should not try to remove it yourself. The main reason for this is they will spray you. You don’t even have to be close to it, as skunks can spray up to 15 feet. Skunk spray can also make you sick. It can cause skin irritation, nausea, and even temporary blindness if you are sprayed in the eyes.

Instead of removing it yourself, call an animal control specialist to come to your home. They possess the training, tools, and knowledge to take care of this problem. They will usually set a trap to catch the skunk, and then dispose of it for you.

Once the skunk is removed from your property, you may have to take care of the odor if it sprayed near your home.  There are many home remedies you will find, but they generally do not work well for an odor such as this. Instead, call a technician that is certified in removing skunk odor. To learn more, contact a company like Animal Control Specialists Inc

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Buying And Handling “Poisonous” Amphibians For Sale In Pet Shops: Valuable Information To Make You Less Afraid

Poison dart frogs, tropical rainforest frogs and golden frogs are all sold in pet shops across the country. They are so beautifully and brightly colored, and their tiny appearance makes you want to hold one. However, many people shy away from this kind of pet, worried that the biotoxins produced in the skins of these amphibians will kill them. While this is a great selling point, it is hardly the truth, and it can result in many curious pet owners shying away from buying these amphibians for sale. The truth about these creatures, and why typically poisonous amphibians for sale are nothing to be afraid of, follows.

It Is All About the Diet

The reason why pet shops can sell all of these brightly-colored little frogs and toads is that they are only poisonous in the wild. When they are captured in the wild, the critters remain in quarantine, fed only pet shop crickets, until their skin is no longer toxic. Then they are shipped to breeders and pet stores where they are sold. Their diets have everything to do with their ability to produce neurotoxins and biotoxins, and if they are not eating the toxic insects from the wild, they cannot and will not produce the same toxins once they are “domesticated.” As long as you continue to feed them crickets and grasshoppers, your poisonous pets are poisonous no more.

What You Do Have to Worry About with the Amphibians for Sale

All amphibians and reptiles are producers of bacterial infections. If you are going to buy these kinds of pets and you and the children you know are going to pick them up and handle them or just touch them to see how their skin feels, then you will need to wash hands constantly. The bacteria is in their feces, and since amphibians and reptiles are not bothered about crawling, hopping, climbing, swimming or slithering through their own feces, they can carry this bacteria around with them. It is also important to wash hands in between handling one frog or toad in the aquarium and handling another to avoid the transference of bacteria from one animal to the next.

If you handle these creatures in the pet shop, follow the same health and safety rules you would at home or in your classroom. Also, if you are not allowed to touch these animals in the store, be sure to ask the sales associate, store manager or store owner why. If there is concern that the poisonous amphibians are still actively poisonous and that is their answer, then you will want to go to a different pet shop because the amphibians should no longer be poisonous and the store may be getting its supply from a less-than-reputable breeder or procurer.

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Learning More About Feline Infectious Peritonitis And Your Cat’s Risk

Most cat owners know the importance of maintaining regular vaccinations for protecting their cat against disease. Veterinarian medicine has become advanced, providing medical care for cats that is helping them live longer and happier lives. However, taking steps to protect your cat from some viruses takes more than just a vaccine. Learn more about the virus feline infectious peritonitis, FIP, and what you can do to help protect your feline friend.

Defining FIP And Its Cause

FIP is caused by certain strains of the coronavirus. While most strains of coronavirus do not manifest as life threatening illnesses in your cat, the ones responsible for FIP do. The coronavirus strains that cause FIP can settle in your cat’s white blood cells. When the cells carrying the virus are moved throughout your cat’s body, they cause severe attacks of inflammation. The fight between the inflammation caused by infected white blood cells and your cat’s immune system create the disease FIP.

Looking At The Two Forms Of FIP

Two types of FIP exist: one being effusive (wet) and the other being non-effusive (dry). You should know that many cats never show symptoms of FIP and many survive the disease, some becoming carriers of it. However, some cats do succumb to FIP and when they do, it can be deadly. To date, there is no known cure for FIP. For now, the most your vet can offer for FIP is supportive treatment aimed at relieving the symptoms and making your cat as comfortable as possible.

While some cats never exhibit symptoms of FIP, especially if they are carriers, others suffering with the non-effusive form of the disease can exhibit fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and a dull coat. The non-effusive form of FIP presents with little fluid accumulation in the peritoneum cavity and is slow to progress. In the effusive form of FIP, a major defining symptom is remarkable fluid accumulation in the peritoneum cavity, causing your cat to have a ‘pot-bellied’ appearance. Many cats suffering with an effusive form of FIP do not show visible symptoms like fever and lethargy at the onset of the disease.

Lowering Your Cat’s Risk Of FIP

If you have one cat and he or she stays indoors most of the time, the risk of him or her getting FIP is low. The cat living in a household with multiple cats has a much higher risk of getting FIP, as does the cat that goes outdoors to mingle with cats from around the neighborhood. Follow these tips for helping to keep your cat’s immunity strong for helping to evade FIP:

  • Maintain yearly vaccinations. While there is no effective vaccine against FIP by injection, there is an intranasal vaccine that has been found to provide less than average protection against the disease. Researchers are still working to find a vaccine that will be successful at providing complete protection from FIP.
  • Take care to feed your cat a well-balanced, nutritional diet.
  • Avoid having too many cats to lower your feline’s risk of FIP due to overcrowding.
  • Always maintain sanitary conditions around and in your cat’s litter box.

Taking the best care of your cat can help to lower his or her risk to many diseases, including FIP. If you worry about your cat’s good health, discuss with your vet, one like Cat Care Clinic, about what you can do to lower the risk of disease and learn more about the proper nutrition your cat requires to maintain optimal health.

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American Pit Bull Terriers: A Few Furry Facts About The Dogs With The Coats Of Many Colors

Healthy pit bull terriers have silky-soft coats that are a joy to pat and stroke. To give your pit bull’s coat the best support and care, you should remember the following facts:

Every pit bull coat is unique.

There is no “wrong” color for a pit bull. They can be spotted, blue, mostly black, brindle, or white. They may have black, brown, or pink noses to match. It’s good to know the exact name for your pit bull’s coat type, however.

If he gets lost, or your vet needs to identify him, having that precise information will help. It’s a good idea to take front, back, and side pictures of your dog to have an even better visual I.D. in case of emergency. Email a copy to your vet for their files, and keep several copies yourself along with your pit’s microchip information if applicable.

Pits aren’t big shedders, but that comes at a price.

One of the nicest things about owning pit bulls is the fact that they are usually light shedders. With their fine, short hair, they’ll never turn your carpets into fur-covered messes unless you never vacuum again. This makes pit bulls the perfect indoor dogs.

But their thinner coats also make them shiver and suffer when temperatures are too cold. Even when kept indoors, pit bulls may be susceptible to drafts and colder air near the floor, since heat rises. Help your pibble out by having a warm doggy bed available, blocking drafts, and purchasing doggy outerwear like sweaters, snow suits, and fleece-lined paw booties.

Washing a dirty pit is a challenge.

Some dogs love water, while other dogs fear bath time. If your pit bull is the latter type, you may want to enlist help with the task by asking friends to assist you or taking your dog to a professional groomer.

If you want to bathe your frightened pit bull yourself, pick a day and time when you won’t be rushed, and take things slowly. Use treats, praise, and encouragement to coax and soothe your dog.

Also be sure to rinse all soap out of your dog’s coat, no matter how often they give you that “Let’s just get this over with!” look. Soap residue may irritate your pit bull’s skin and cause them to scratch or develop rashes, so be sure to use your fingertips to check that all soap is rinsed from your pit bull’s body.

If you’re buying a new pit bull puppy or dog, the breeder or pet shop will give you more tips on coat care, dog bathing, and doggy clothes suppliers.

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4 Reasons You May Need To Take Your Cat To The Vet

Chances are, if you have a furry feline in your home, you will want to take good care of this pet. Millions of people have a cat as a fun and playful companion, but having a pet can also mean a lot of responsibility, too. Keeping your cat happy and healthy should be at the top of your daily to-do list. However, there are certain symptoms that may indicate you need to take your feline to the vet.

Reason #1:  Meowing too frequently

If your cat is usually a quiet one and only meows when hungry or lonely, you can usually take care of these needs quicker. Simply feeding or petting your cat is often all that’s needed to keep your cat from constantly meowing. However, if your pet suddenly starts to meow without stopping, this is a sign that something is wrong, and your cat may be in pain. If this continues for an extended amount of time, you should visit your vet.

Reason #2: Sneezing and runny nose

Cats that have a runny nose or other cold symptoms should be monitored. Consistent sneezing or excessive mucus could be an indication of something much more serious, such as a virus. Be sure to take your cat to the vet to get the necessary immunizations to help avoid this situation from arising.

Reason #3: Loss of appetite

One sign of your cat being in good health is it having a healthy appetite. If your cat suddenly stops eating for an extended amount of time, this could mean there is a serious health problem. For instance, if a cat’s body goes into starvation mode, this could result in a fatty liver disease and other problems.

Reason #4: Loss of fur

If your cat begins to shed fur too frequently or loses patches of fur, this is an indication of a health problem. Some reasons for patches of fur disappearing include ringworms or an allergic reaction if your cat has been exposed to fleas. Regardless of the reason for the cat’s hair loss, you should see a vet because it’s possible your cat could swallow too much excess hair during grooming.

Keeping your cat healthy may mean a visit to a vet if you notice any of the symptoms that are listed above. Be sure to call a local veterinarian like TLC For Pets to get any of these issues diagnosed and treated quickly.

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