Winter Newsletter 2017

Winter Newsletter 2017

Happy Holidays!

We are so happy you are part of our hospital community. This year has been a crazy year with families growing and changing and our hospital growing and changing. We are blessed!

In this issue read all about holiday hazards that your pets might run into. Be sure to participate in the monthly promotions to help pets and kids in our community. Together we can work to make the holiday season great for everyone!

This year Dr. Schad will be out of town visiting family over Christmas. Unfortunately, this means we will not be taking emergencies over Christmas. We are very sorry for this inconvenience. Great Lakes Pet Emergencies will be open and available for any emergencies you may have. We will be available over Thanksgiving for emergencies.

From everyone at River Rock to all of our clients we wish you a fabulous holiday season.

Sincerely, The River Rock Staff

Outbreak of Parainfluenza & Canine Flu

There are three very common respiratory infections in dogs. Occasionally you will hear about them in the news, at your groomer, but most often from your veterinarian here at the hospital. They are Canine Influenza, Canine Parainfluenza, and Bordetella. All of these can cause signs of illness often called “kennel cough.” Recently we have had outbreaks of two of these respiratory viruses. There are outbreaks of Canine Influenza going on in Toledo, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan. Dozens of dogs are sick in Toledo and all the sick dogs have come into contact with people or dogs present at one of two boarding and daycare facilities in the area. The CI virus is very infectious. It causes disease in greater than 80% of dogs exposed. This virus has a mortality rate of 8-10%. This means that 8-10% of the dogs affected may die. The symptoms of illness include cough, runny nose, fever, loss of appetite, and lethargy.  There is a great vaccine available that works on both of the strains of the Canine Influenza Virus and should be used in all dogs who go to boarding facilities, daycares, groomers, or other areas where dogs congregate.

The Saginaw Animal Care Center has been shut down for a few days this month due to an outbreak of Canine Parainfluenza Virus (CPIV). This virus causes similar signs of disease as the Canine Influenza virus. An outbreak can be quit severe and will affect 10-20% of a population that is exposed. In a shelter situation this is a huge problem since they see so many dogs every day. When an outbreak occurs the best option for any shelter or facility, is to close for a few days up to a few weeks to clean thoroughly. During this time they should also test all of the dogs in the facility and watch for any signs of disease spread. The intranasal Bordetella combo vaccine here at River Rock includes the virus Parainfluenza and, if given at least two weeks ahead of a visit to a boarding facility or groomer, it will help to protect you dog for getting sick with the virus.

Bordetella is the most common form of upper respiratory infection and has many of the same sigs as the above viruses. This is also easily prevented by using the intranasal or oral vaccines which are available here at River Rock. The injectable Bordetella vaccine has been proven to give very little protection to any dog and so we don’t offer this version. All pets who go to groomers, dog shows and boarding facilities need to be vaccinated against these viruses.  Hopefully you are planning ahead with your pet’s health. A vaccine may just keep your holiday happy and witout disease.

Holiday Hazards If your pet has come into contact with these, please call immediately!

Toxins in the Kitchen

  • Alcohol – Pets are so much smaller and can develop alcohol poisoning very quickly.
  • Chocolate – Theobromine in cocoa is a dangerous stimulant and can cause diarrhea, upset stomach, hyperthermia and most importantly, heart arrhythmias.
  • Avocado – The skin has persin which is toxic to birds and the slippery pit is a choking hazard for dogs.
  • Coconut and Coconut Oil – The oils in a coconut can cause severe stomach upset, loose stools as well as diarrhea and the potassium levels in coconut milk are dangerously high.
  • Grapes and Raisins – These fruits can cause kidney failure.
  • Macadamia Nuts – Weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia are the side effects of macadamia nuts when eaten by dogs.
  • Milk and Dairy – Pets are lactose intolerant and they develop intestinal upset from eating these products.
  • Onions, Garlic and Chives – Red blood cell damage and stomach upset happen with these.
  • Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones – Salmonella and E. coli are just two of the dangerous bacteria.
  • Salt and Salty Snack Foods – Pets can get diarrhea, tremors, seizures and even death from salt overload.
  • Xylitol, Sorbitol and other sugar substitutes – Fake sugars cause hypoglycemia in pets which can cause liver toxicity and death. Even one stick of sugar free gum can cause these problems.
  • Yeast Dough – The yeast in raw dough will cause severe bloating and may also lead to secondary ethanol intoxication from the by-products of digestion.

Toxin in the House

  • Bleach – Very dangerous on the skin/paws or if ingested please call immediately!
  • Carpet Fresheners – These often contain chemicals that cause chemical burns, respiratory signs of sneezing, runny nose and drooling this all depends on the ingredients in the product.
  • Essential Oils and Liquid Potpourri – Stomach upset, Liver toxicity and central nervous system depression can come from ingesting or applying these products.
  • Fabric Softener Sheets – Eating these can cause diarrhea, oral ulcers and vomiting.
  • Toilet Cleaning Tablets – Drinking treated toilet water can cause severe upset to the stomach.
  • Vinegar – This is very acidic and will cause irritation if used on the skin and can cause  diarrhea, vomiting and oral ulcers if ingested.
  • Antifreeze and Windshield Wiper Fluid – These are very dangerous and can kill your
  • pet if ingested. They are dangerously sweet to the taste and they shut down kidneys.
  • Ice Melt – Whether chemical or salt both are very dangerous if ingested.
  • Tinsel and Ornaments – Eating these items can cause intestinal blockages and death.

Toxic Medications

  • Adderall – This is a stimulant that can cause death in a pet if ingested.
  • Aspirin – Liver failure and GI upset are common with any use of this medication.
  • Cigarettes, E-cigarette Liquid and Nicotine Patches – The amount of nicotine in these substances can easily kill a pet as well as causing severe stomach upset, respiratory failure and an increased heart rate.
  • Ibuprofen and Naproxen – These are pain relievers are metabolized differently in pets and can cause stomach ulcers, as well as liver and kidney failure.
  • Kaopectate and Pepto Bismol – These medications have aspirin in them and can cause all of the associated side effects. Also they have very little helpful effects for your pet.
  • Pseudoephedrine – May be in your common antihistamines and can kill a pet. Please read your labels.
  • Prescription Medications – Medications prescribed to humans are very different in their dose and effect in pets please call if your pets come into contact with any prescription medications.

Toxic Holiday Plants

  • Sago Palm – This is very dangerous and will cause bleeding in the intestinal tract, liver failure, and death.
  • Tulip – This will cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, and hyper salivation. The bulb is the most toxic.
  • Azelea – This plant affects the nervous system causing weakness, seizures, and even death.
  • Lily – This is most toxic to cats and will cause kidney failure and death suddenly.
  • Christmas Tree Water – The preservatives used to keep the tree green and fresh can cause severestomach upset and diarrhea.
  • Holly – The roots and the berries contain saponins, methylxanthines, and cyanogens that cause stomach upset and nervous system depression not to mention the spiky leaves that can cause lacerations and punctures in the mouth, esophagus and stomach.
  • Mistletoe – The polysaccharides, alkaloids, and lectins in this plant cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Dogs at the Airport?

If you are traveling through the Los Angeles airport this holiday season you may be in luck. In a fantastic stroke of genius the LAX airport has begun a program called Pets Unstressing Passengers or PUP. This program is helping passengers relax during their travels by bringing dogs into the terminal with vests that read “Pet Me” to comfort passengers. The more than 72 dogs who have been trained and registered with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs take shifts getting petted for up to two hours. They all have individual trading cards with their pictures and  stats, like “Favorite Treat : Liver,” clearly listed. Children seem to really love the cards but I’m sure more than a few adults have a collection as well. What a great program to bring therapy dogs to a place where they are greatly needed!

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