Archive for April, 2012

See on Scoop.itAnimal Health

This article originally appeared as Using Warming, Cooling, or Neutral Food Energy to Promote Your Pet’s Health and Nutrition on PetFoodDirect.com Since the onset of my veterinary career, I’ve had a strong interest in how the foods our pets consume…

See on www.patrickmahaney.com


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If I didn’t have animals

Nothing makes the beginning of the work week better than a little dose of humour.  This one comes courtesy of billfoundation.org


I could walk around the yard barefoot in safety.

My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and laminated.

All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would be free of hair.

When the doorbell rings, it wouldn’t sound like a kennel.

When the doorbell rings, I could get to the door without wading through fuzzy bodies who beat me there.

I could sit on the couch and my bed the way I wanted, without taking into consideration how much space several fur bodies would need to get comfortable.

I would not have strange presents under my Christmas tree — dog bones, stuffed animals, toys, treats nor would I have to explain to people why I wrap them.

I would have money … and no guilt to go on a real vacation.

I would not be on a first-name basis with 6 veterinarians, as I put their yet unborn grandkids thru college.

The most used words in my vocabulary would not be: out, sit, down, come, no, stay, and leave him/her/it ALONE.

My house would not be cordoned off into zones with baby gates or barriers.

My house would not look like a day care center, toys everywhere.

My pockets would not contain things like poop bags, treats and an extra leash.

I would no longer have to spell the words B-A-L-L-, F-R-I-S-B-E-E,  W-A-L-K, or T-R-E-A-T.

I would not have as many leaves INSIDE my house as outside.

I would not look strangely at people who think having ONE dog/cat ties them down too much.

I’d look forward to spring and the melting of snow instead of dreading mud season.

I would not have to answer the question “Why do you have so many dogs/animals?” from people who will never have the joy in their lives of knowing they are loved unconditionally by someone as close to an angel as they will ever get.

. . . How empty my life would be!








Courtesy of Billfoundation.org

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Have you taken inventory of your medicine cabinets lately? Are you properly storing lawn and garden pesticide containers? When you tidy up around the house, do you put food, liquor and tobacco products safely out of harm’s way? These precautions are second nature to households with children, but homes with animals must be just as secure.

1. Research your plants 

Do you know what plants are poisonous and what plants are not?  The easiest way to keep your pet safe is to be aware of the plants you have in and around your home and yard.  While some plants are harmless others, such as azalea, Easter lily, mistletoe or oleander, can be toxic and even fatal if ingested.  If you are not sure if the plants you have in your home are safe you can visit the ASPCA Poison Control website (http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/) and search for specific plants.

2. Check out your cleaning products  

Spring cleaning is an integral part of saying goodbye to winter and welcoming in the warmer weather.  But some cleaning agents can be toxic and downright dangerous to your four-legged friends.  Always keep cleaning products stored out of reach of prying paws and never allow your pet access to any areas where cleaning products have been used or are stored.  While exposure to some cleaners may only cause mild upset stomach, others can cause severe burns to the tongue, mouth and gastrointestinal lining.

3. Keep bait out of reach

Sadly, every year many dogs and cats succumb to poisoning after ingesting rat, roach, ant, snail or slug bait.  Rat bait, for example,  works by interrupting an organism’s ability to clot causing widespread and rapid internal bleeding.  Since most bait contains substances meant to attract their intended target (such as peanut butter or sugar) these products can also be very attractive to your pet.  It is critical that these products not be left anywhere your pet can access.  If you suspect your pet may have ingested rat/roach/ant/snail/slug bait call  TO YOUR NEAREST VETERINARY OR EMERGENCY CLINIC IMMEDIATELY.

4. Don’t self medicate

Did you know that your bathroom could be the most dangerous room in your house?  That’s because this is where most people store their prescription and over-the-counter medications.  While some medications used in humans are also safely used in our feline and canine companions, there are many others that can be highly dangerous and even deadly when used inappropriately in pets.  Pain killers, cold medicines, anti-depressants, vitamins, diet pills and anti-cancer drugs are just some of the types of human medications that could be lethal if ingested by your pet.  For example, Tylenol (acetaminophen)  is very toxic and potentially deadly for cats and  Advil (ibuprofen) is toxic and dangerous to dogs, with the potential to cause stomach ulcers and liver failure.  The morale of the story?? NEVER give your pet ANY medications unless under the direction of your veterinarian.

5.  Say no to chocolate

Most pet parents know that giving their dog or cat chocolate is a major no-no.  Chocolate contains the alkaloid theobromine, which is highly toxic to our four-legged friends.   Early symptoms of theobromine poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased urination. If not treated quickly these symptoms can rapidly progress  and possibly become fatal if not treated. If you suspect your dog (or cat) may have eaten chocolate call you veterinarian immediately. And this Easter, ensure that the Easter Eggs are out of reach from your pets!

6. Common doesn’t always mean safe

In addition to the obvious household poisons, there are a multitude of common household items that have been shown to be toxic to our pets. These include:

* pennies (which contain a high concentration of zinc)

* mothballs (contains naphthaleneor paradichlorobenzene which is highly toxic)

* fabric softener sheets

* automatic dish detergents (contain cationic detergents which can cause corrosive lesions)

* batteries (contains acids or alkali which can cause corrosive lesions)

* homemade playdough (contains high quantity of salt)


* coffee grounds

* alcoholic beverages

* grapes/raisins (the mechanism of toxicity is not understood but ingestion can cause kidney failure)

* onions (causes a condition known as hemolytic anemia)

* garbage gut (toxins produced by bacteria fermenting in the garbage can cause rapid and severe signs of toxicity include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, painful abdominal distention, shivering, shock, and collapse).

7. Keep your garage safe 

We’ve all heard the horror stories about pets being intentionally or unintentionally harmed by antifreeze poisoning.  The truth is all automotive products, such as oil, gasoline and antifreeze, are highly toxic to dogs and cats and should always be stored in areas that are fully inaccessible to your pets.

8. Check with your vet before applying over-the-counter flea/tick products

Protecting your dog or cat from common seasonal parasites, such as ticks & fleas, can be an important part of good preventative pet care.  Unfortunately, there are many products on the market that, when used incorrectly, can be highly dangerous to your pet.  Always be sure to read and follow ALL label instructions.  Products that are labeled “for use in dogs only” should NEVER be used on cats or other pets.  Better yet – speak with your veterinarian before applying any type of flea or tick product to your pet. If you are uncertain about the usage of any product, contact the manufacturer or your veterinarian to clarify the directions BEFORE you use it.

9. Stay off the lawn 

While many provinces and cities have banned the use of toxic insecticides on lawns and gardens, many others have not.  It is important to know that fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides may be  highly toxic and may pose a serious health risk to your pet.  The most sensible advice is  to keep your pets away from any treated areas until the product has completely dried.  And never store these products anywhere your pet can access.

With a little common sense you can keep your pet safe!

AAHA Healthy Pet (http://www.healthypet.com/PetCare/PetCareArticle.aspx?title=Poison_Safe_Household)
Wikipedia, Theobromine poisoning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine_poisoning)
ASPCA, Toxic and Non-toxic plants (http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/)

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FYI - This egg does not count as part of the contest. There are 5 other eggs hidden in various blogs. Happy hunting!

The countdown to Easter has begun and to help you get in the egg-hunting spirit we’ve set up our own online Easter Egg Hunt.

From now until Easter (April 2-6) we will pick one winner each day to receive a FREE bottle of Oximunol Chewables. How can you win? It’s simple!

1. Visit the Avivagen Blog at https://avivagen.wordpress.com (since you’re already here – well done on completing Step One!)
2. Find all 5 easter eggs hidden in various blog posts
3. Email the names of all 5 blogs where the eggs appear to j.febel@avivagen.com and you’re automatically entered to win* a free bottle of Oximunol!

*Winners will be randomly selected from all daily entrants.  Sorry, Canadian entrants only.  Any names not selected will be rolled over to the next days draw.

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