National Poison Prevention Week: March 19 – 25
The third week in March was designated by Congress over fifty years ago as a time to highlight the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them from happening to children and pets. This week was designated to create parental awareness of the dangers of common items we have in our homes.
Pets are curious. They can’t resist smelling and tasting things they encounter in their day.
Just like children, pets are vulnerable to accidental ingestion of potentially life-threatening common items. There are simple steps to reduce the chances of accidental ingestion of a poisonous substance for our pets.
When choosing indoor houseplants and outdoor plants for the yard, learn about the potential for toxicity to pets. For example, English Ivy, Bird of Paradise, and Azaleas are toxic to dogs, cats and horses.
People food can be toxic to your pets. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has created a list of foods that are harmful to your pets.
Almost any medication or supplement has the risk to result in toxicity when ingested in a high enough dose. Medications can be accidentally left within “reach” by pet owners or well-meaning travelers (guests in your homes). Your dogs and cats may nestle into an open suitcase in your guest room.
Many common household items can be lethal to your animals, including adhesives, mothballs, potpourri oils, coffee grounds, homemade play dough, fabric softener sheets, dishwashing detergent, and batteries. In your garage and basement, keep gasoline, oil and antifreeze stored in areas that is inaccessible to your pets. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze can be deadly to your cat, and about one tablespoon can be lethal to a twenty-pound dog.
During Poison Prevention Week, take some extra time to learn more about poison prevention. Check your home for any potentially toxic substances that may be within reach of your pet.
If you suspect your pet has ingested a harmful substance, immediately call us @ 636.225.8387 or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center @ 888.426.4435. Keep these numbers in a place where they are easy to find in an emergency!
We are so lucky to have such amazing patients, and we love getting to know their personalities and stories. We thought many of our fellow pet-lovers would also enjoy learning more about these fabulous "furbabies," so we're starting a new feature, Furbaby Friday! Stay tuned for more pet features!
Our first feature is Sophie! We asked her mom to answer a few questions about this awesome pup!
Your Name: Kimberly Kettler
Pet's name: Sophie (Her Royal Highness Sophie-Anne Vampire Queen of Louisiana)
Breed: Rough collie
The thing that makes me smile most about my pet is:
Everything about Sophie makes me smile…from her sweet furry face to her beautiful wagging tail and everything in between. Beauty and brains too…she’s not just another pretty face.
My pet's most endearing bad habit is:
She has no bad habits! She’s Mary Poppins…practically perfect in every way!
If my pet had a career it would be:
Sophie would be a superhero, of course (everyone knows that Lassie always saved the day!) She would follow Edna’s “no cape” rule and have a fancy Batgirl mask that magically adds dark makeup around her eyes when she puts it on.
Our favorite thing to do together:
Sophie is very affectionate and a real snuggle-bug…she’s very attached to her human and her human is very attached to her! She is happiest when she has my full attention…one-handed tummy rubs while I’m reading is not to be tolerated…and in return, I am rewarded with nibbles, kisses and forehead presses.
My pet's favorite place to hang out is:
She loves spending time with her Grandma and Grandpa (they don’t spoil her at all!) but when she’s at home, she can usually be found on my bed with her butt firmly planted in MY pillows.
What else can you tell us about Sophie?:
Sophie is very sweet, gentle, loving and loyal. She is truly amazing and I am extremely fortunate to have her in my life.
When the cushion in the joints breaks down, bones can rub against each other. This is arthritis and it occurs in dogs much the same way as people. While the progression of this disease can worsen its effects, it can also be managed so that it progresses more slowly and joint function remains intact.
Signs of Arthritis in Dogs:
November is National Diabetes Month. Many people don’t realize that their pets can develop diabetes and it can often be very similar to diabetes in humans. Over the next few weeks, we will be digging into what diabetes is, how it affects our pets’ health and happiness, and what can be done to treat and to prevent the development of diabetes.
Let’s start with an overview of diabetes and some of the terms associated with the disease. At its most basic level, diabetes is when the body cannot use the sugar from the food we eat. Normally, when food is digested, sugar (or glucose) is taken into the bloodstream and the body releases a chemical called insulin. Insulin is what activates certain channels in the cells of the body to accept the glucose in the bloodstream. Without insulin, cells won’t get the glucose they need for energy, and the body malfunctions.
In humans, diabetes is broken into two “types” depending on the source of insulin insufficiency. Type one diabetes is more common in young children. With this disease, the cells have a normal response to insulin, but the body is not producing insulin in normal amounts. This is thought to be due to disease of the pancreas, which is where insulin is produced. The exact cause is not known at this time, but right now it is thought to be due to an auto-immune disease damaging the pancreas. The most effective treatment of this type of diabetes is giving injections of insulin to help the body use the glucose being taken in through food. Dogs commonly develop a type of diabetes very similar to Type One diabetes in humans, but we will cover that in more detail later.
Type two diabetes is more common in older people, and is typically seen in people who have diets higher in sugar and who do not exercise as much. In type two diabetes, the body produces insulin normally, but the receptors on the cells that normally react to insulin have built up a tolerance due to overexposure over years of high sugar intake. This means that the body has to produce more insulin to give the cells the same amount of glucose, and eventually the body can’t produce enough insulin to keep up. This type of diabetes can sometimes be treated through diet changes, weight loss, and increased exercise, although insulin injections can become necessary in some cases. This type is very similar to the most common form of diabetes seen in cats.
Coming up next, we will take a more detailed look at diabetes in dogs. Keep checking back for more fun info about diabetes and other pet topics! If you are interested in more information about diabetes specifically in your dog or cat, check out this information from the AVMA, or give us a call with any concerns or questions you may have!