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** This weather has been incredibly unpredictable this winter, but we know that SPRING IS COMING!! Keep an eye out for spring toxins that could be very dangerous to your dogs and cats!
-- Some of these you'll find in your own yards like true lilies and spring flowers.
-- Others you may find inside your home such as household cleaners (for all you spring cleaners out there), asthma inhalers, and decongestants.
> Click the article to read more about what these toxins are and what harm they could cause your pets! <__…/a…/2017/docs/3-17MFArticle2.pdf

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This is a very important message for all pet owners!!
We have been seeing a lot more heartworm positive dogs lately (6 SO FAR JUST THIS YEAR!!). It is the season for those nasty mosquitoes to come out and make giving your pets heartworm preventative every month that much more crucial!
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We hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

We'll be back in the office on Saturday, December 26th from 8am-12pm!!
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Last, but not least, of the HOLIDAY DANGERS from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center!!


- Don't propagate the myth: Poinsettias are barely poisonous to dogs and cats. When ingested, mild gastrointestinal signs (e.g. drooling, vomiting, diarrhea) may be seen. Other holiday plants such as holly and mistletoe can also result in similar clinical signs. The more dangerous flower or plant? The common "true" lily (such as the Easter, tiger, Japanese show, stargazer, rubrum, and day lily), that may be found in floral arrangements brought into the house by visiting holiday guests. 

- All parts of the plant, including the pollen and water in the vase, are toxic to cats, and result in sever AKI. As little as 2-3 leaves or petals can result in AKI, and clinical symptoms are typically seen within hours. Clinical signs include early onset vomiting, depression, and anorexia, which progresses to anuric AKI in 1-3 days. 

- Treatment includes aggressive decontamination (administration of one dose of activated charcoal), GI support, and IV fluid therapy for 48 hours (or until resolution of azotemia). Note: Subcutaneous fluids don't cut it - they aren't sufficient with this potentially deadly nephrotoxicant. With treatment, the prognosis is good if treatment is initiated early and aggressively. 

Christmas is drawing near (and FAST!!) so we have a couple more HOLIDAY DANGERS to keep away from your pets!
- Yeast-containing unbaked bread dough is not a common toxicant, but it is one that occurs more frequently during the Easter and Christmas holidays, when the prevalence of baking increases. Commonly found in pizza dough, roll products, and sourdough "starters," unbaked bread dough can cause both bloat and alcohol poisoning when ingested. When the bread dough hits the warm, moist environment of the stomach (which acts as an "oven"), it causes the yeast to ferment and produce carbon dioxide ethanol. This can result in gastric bloat or worse, gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), which can be life threatening.

- Clinical signs may include a distended abdomen, colic, attempting to retch, unproductive vomit, sprung ribs, agitation, shock, and collapse. Clinical signs from secondary ethanol toxicosis can also be seen and may include hypoglycemia, weakness, sedation, vocalization, behavioral changes, blindness, and drunkeness/ataxia.

- Treatment includes decontamination (if appropriate), gastric lavage with cold water (e.g. to stop the fermentation process, remove the presence of ethanol gas and bread dough, and to minimize the gastric distension of the bloat/GDV), administration of charcoal (1x), fluid therapy, anti-emetics, blood glucose monitoring and dextrose supplementation (if needed), and rarely, surgical fixation of the bloat/GDV.

NEXT WEEK YOU'LL READ ABOUT THE FINAL HOLIDAY DANGER FROM THE ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center!!! Keep your eyes open!

More HOLIDAY DANGERS for your pets to avoid this holiday season (ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center)

- Grapes and raisins have been associated with the development of acute kidney injury (AKI) when ingested by dogs. Common kitchen items found during the holidays that may contain grapes, raisins, or currants include holiday fruitcake, baked goods containing raisins, chocolate covered raisins, stuffing, etc.

- Previously, a toxic dose of grapes and raisins was reported; however, many ingestions should be treated as potentially idiosyncratic and be appropriately decontaminated and treated.

- Treatment should include aggressive decontamination (e.g. one dose of activated charcoal), anti-emetic therapy, fluid therapy, blood work monitoring, and symptomatic supportive care for 24-48 hours. While 50% of dogs that ingest grapes and raisins never develop clinical signs or azotemia, aggressive treatment is still warranted to avoid AKI.

Keep your pets safe this year from HOLIDAY DANGERS!!
(ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center)

 - Caffeine poses a significant risk to dogs, and is one of the few toxicants that have been observed to result in fatalities. While a small amount of caffeine is found in chocolate sources, other sources of caffeine may be more concentrated, resulting in more profound signs. 

- Caffeine is often found in coffee bean sources (e.g. coffee, chocolate-covered espresso beans, etc.), tea, diet pills, herbal products containing guarana, caffeine stimulant tablets and drinks (e.g. Red Bull, Monster), and even some gums. Clinical signs are similar to that seen with theobromine. 

- Caffeine has a short half-life (4.5 hours), and clinical signs can be seen within 30 minutes to an hour. Clinical signs and treatment are similar to theobromine (in chocolate), although signs may resolve within 12-36 hours.

- Toxic doses of caffeine are:
- - - > 15mg/kg : Signs of agitation
- - - > 25mg/kg : Moderate signs
- - - > 50mg/kg : Cardiotoxic signs

While the holiday season is in full swing, keep an eye out for your furry friends to prevent any HOLIDAY DANGERS from occurring! Each week of December we'll describe treats that are popular this time of year that are poisonous to cats and dogs! (ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center)
CHOCOLATE (Theobromine/caffeine)
- Chocolate seems to be associated with every single holiday in America! While chocolate toxicosis is rarely seen in cats, it is the #1 canine toxicant seen by ASPCA APCC during the Christmas holiday. Chocolate contains methylxanthines (e.g., theobromine, caffeine), which cause central nervous system stimulation, diuresis, and myocardial contraction

- Keep in mind that with chocolate, it's the dose that makes the poison. Typically, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous. For example, a 20kg dog would need to ingest approximately 14oz of milk chocolate, or 4.5oz of semi-sweet, or 2 oz of unsweetened chocolate to cause moderate signs of toxicity.
- Signs of chocolate toxicosis can be observed within a few hours, up to 10-12 hours out (as the absorption time is slow). Treatment for chocolate toxicosis will depend on what dose was ingested, and may include multiple doses of activated charcoal, gastrointestinal therapy, fluid therapy, blood pressure and ECG monitoring, and anticonvulsant therapy. In rare cases, hospitalization for up to 72-96 hours may be necessary with severe cases, as theobromine has a very long half-life (e.g. 17 hours).
- Toxic doses of theobromine can be seen at:
- - - > 20mg/kg: mild signs of agitation and gastrointestinal distress (e.g. vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain)
- - - > 40mg/kg: moderate signs of cardiotoxicosis (tachycardia, hypertension)
- - - > 60mg/kg: severe signs of neurotoxicosis (tremors, seizures)

Does your dog enjoy playing in leaves during the fall? Share a picture!

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This cat lover has created an innovative way for his cat to both explore and eat!
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