Top 5 Pranks to Pull on Your Dog

In honor of April Fool’s coming up, we decided to share a fun post with you, should you choose to prank your pets:

Have a great weekend and have fun planning your pranks! 🙂


Spring is here – do your pets have allergies?

As new plants and flowers burst into life this spring, so too do the symptoms of hay fever. But humans aren’t the only ones who suffer. Blooming plants, grasses and flowers can trigger allergic reactions called atopy in dogs and cats.
The allergy is similar to hay fever that humans suffer. The animal reacts to inhaled particles such as mold, pollen, and dust. But instead of sneezing, pets typically have itchy skin and will persistently scratch, lick and bite to get relief. Like in human sufferers, the allergy is an inherited predisposition.
“If left untreated, dogs and cats with seasonal allergies will scratch or lick themselves constantly,” says Dr. Link Welborn, AAHA past president. “In an attempt to relieve themselves, dogs and cats often create sores that become secondary infections.”
If the signs of atopy occur for less than three months out of the year, oral medications (like cortisone) may be used to control itching. In more severe cases, pets are given a skin allergy test to pinpoint what allergies the animal is sensitive to. Dr. Mulvany can exam, diagnose and treat pets with allergies.
If you suspect that your pet may be suffering from seasonal allergies, please visit our office.


Top 10 toxins: Protect your dog from common dangers

Chocolate, grapes and raisins may be delicious to you, but they can be toxic to pets.

The veterinarians and toxicology experts at Pet Poison Helpline have released their top 10 list of household items that generated the most poison consultations for dogs and cats in 2013. The items below are presented in order of frequency, with number one being the item that caused the most emergency calls to Pet Poison Helpline. If at any time you think your pet has ingested a toxin, call our office.

1) Chocolate: Dark equals dangerous! Baking and dark chocolate are the most toxic, and milk chocolate can be dangerous if ingested in large amounts.

2) Xylitol: This sweetener found in sugarless chewing gum and candy, medications and nasal sprays causes a rapid drop in blood sugar and liver failure only in dogs (not cats).

3) Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Ibuprofen, naproxen and so on, found in products such as Advil, Motrin and Aleve, are not easily metabolized by dogs; ingestions can result in stomach ulcers and kidney failure.

4) Over-the-counter cough, cold and allergy medications: Those that contain acetaminophen or decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine, are particularly toxic.

5) Rodenticides (mouse/rat poison): These may cause internal bleeding (brodifacoum, bromadiolone and so on) or brain swelling (bromethalin), even in small amounts.

6) Grapes and raisins: These harmless human foods may be tasty to you, but cause kidney damage in dogs.

7) Insect bait stations: These rarely cause poisoning in dogs—the bigger risk is bowel obstruction when dogs swallow the plastic casing.

8) Prescription ADD/ADHD medications: Amphetamines such as Adderall, Concerta, Dexedrine and Vyvanse can cause tremors, seizures, cardiac problems and death in pets.

9) Glucosamine joint supplements: Overdoses of tasty products such as Cosequin and Move Free typically only cause diarrhea; however, in rare cases, liver failure can develop.

10) Oxygen absorbers and silica gel packets: Iron-containing oxygen absorbers found in food packages or pet treats can cause iron poisoning. Silica gel packs, found in new shoes, purses or backpacks, is rarely a concern.

What to do if your pet gets poisoned

First, take a deep breath. The more calm, cool, and collected you are, the sooner you can seek the correct medical attention. Then get a handle on the situation by taking the following steps:

1) Remove your pet from the area. Make sure no other pets or children are exposed to the area, and safely remove any poisonous material.

2) Check to make sure your pet is breathing normally and acting fine otherwise.

3) Collect a sample of the material, along with the packaging, vial, or container. You’ll need that information to help our office or a pet poison expert assess the situation.

4) Don’t give your dog any milk, food, salt, oil, or any other home remedies. Doing so will likely complicate the poisoning.

5) Never induce vomiting without talking to our office or a pet poison expert—doing so may be harmful.

6) Get help. Program our office phone number into your phone, as well as a pet poison hotline number. There are two 24-hour hotlines:

Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680 ($35 per call) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 ($65 per call).

Remember that a pet’s prognosis is always better when a toxicity is reported immediately, so don’t wait to see if your pet becomes symptomatic before calling for help. Calling right away is safer for your pet and could help you save on treatment costs in the long run. Remember that there’s a narrow window of time to decontaminate in cases of poisoning.


Oscar party guidelines – pet safety

It’s almost time to watch the Hollywood glamor as the Oscar parties are shaping up for this rainy Sunday. The outfits, the nominations, the food, the predictions and games – all very exciting! But remember pet parents: nothing spoils the festivities like a sick or runaway pet.

Here are a few tips to keep your pet safe:

House Rules

If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you’re busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.

Careful with Cocktails

If your celebration includes adult beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, please warn your guests.

Always keep your pet’s tags on.

In the case they do get spooked and bolt for an open door or gate, an ID tag will be imperative to getting them home safely.

A Room of Their Own

Give your pet his/her own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the guests.

Party Noise

As you cheer for your favorite winners, please keep in mind that party decorations and popped balloons can get lodged in a pet’s intestines, if ingested, perhaps resulting in surgery. Please be mindful of your party decorations.

Stay dry, enjoy your weekend and have a fun party.