We Need to Talk …

tzu-w-presentFor several years now, we’ve seen and heard all the different news accounts of pets being made ill or out right poisoned by products manufactured overseas.  And it doesn’t stop with just products for animals … baby formula, pot pourri, toothpaste, sea food, toys … you name it.  In the interest of our health — and our pets health/well being — owners need to be hyperviligant about bringing in items manufactured outside the US.

The vast majority of our pets will be participating in Christmas with us.  Other family members include them in their holiday gift buying … and this is where we need to talk.  Many well-meaning gifters will not be aware of the contamination of products for our pets.  This is where you — as the owner — need to carefully inspect packaging for country of origin as well as overall safety of the item.  Read the label carefully — that country of origin is often buried in small print.  Does it have small pieces that can be chewed off and ingested?  It is a ball that a tongue can be caught in, cutting off circulation?  If your dog is a “heavy” chewer, can the item be easily destroyed and eaten?  If in doubt, get rid of it!  The toy or treat you toss out may just save you $$$$ in vet bills.

Santa Paws is coming!!
Santa Paws is coming!!

Dogs and chocolate. Dogs and high-fat foods.  All deadly combinations that are accessible during the holidays.  Chocolate is a known poison to dogs (especially dark chocolate and small dogs).  High fat foods can cause pancreatitis in dogs … an extremely painful and life-threatening condition.  Skip the fat, treat with veggies if one absolutely must (and not the veggies swimming in gravy!).

Santa Paws can continue to visit … just make sure that what he’s carrying in his sack is safe for those little ones (or not-so-little ones)!!

And, if you’re still feeding the ever-popular chicken strips to your dog, please read the latest update from the FDA as of December 19, 2008.

Mushroom warning …

We’ve all seen them, those little white ‘shrooms that pop up overnight in one’s yard.  However, if you have dogs, you may want to watch those little ones a little more closely …

Mushrooms found in yard kill family dog

 
One day she was playing with her dog in the yard and the next, the dog was dying and doctors say it’s because little Shiloh ate something that could be in your own backyard. It was wild mushrooms and unfortunately, Shiloh died a few days later. Now the pet’s owner wants to make sure others are aware of what can happen.“It was hard, she was mostly my buddy.” Tami Mungenast has pictures all over her house of Shiloh – a one-year-old, 90-pound Great Pyrenees. It only took one wild mushroom to kill her.“I never thought there’d be a deadly mushroom in my front yard.” Shiloh ate one of the mushrooms last month and four days later, she died.“She slipped into a coma and liver shut down.” Tami was desperate to find out what killed Shiloh so it doesn’t happen to her brother. “I’m neurotic about it right now.” Everyday she combs her yard looking for mushrooms.Shiloh’s vet says there’s no way to tell for sure exactly what mushrooms the dog ate but after having the dog’s liver tested, they found these mushrooms had a toxin called Galerina in them. It can kill anyone who eats it, like Shiloh did. “In about 24 hours her liver started to shut down and within three days, there was nothing you could do.”
 
Dr. Carolyn Orr says they see four to five dogs a year that have eaten wild mushrooms but Shiloh’s case was the most severe. That’s why her owner is making sure it doesn’t happen again. “Every day I scope the property and then in afternoon and just remove them. There’s nothing I can do to get rid of them.”Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and foaming at the mouth and usually these happen eight hours or so after the dog has eaten the mushroom.Shiloh’s vet says the best thing to do once you see your dog have these symptoms is get them to the vet. 

And again from headlines …  

Dog dies after eating toxic mushrooms in yard

08:49 PM EDT on Tuesday, September 30, 2008

By TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Tony: TBurbeck@WCNC.com
   

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Toxic mushrooms have killed at least one dog in the Charlotte area and have made several others ill, according to local veterinarians.

The recent soaking rains are to blame for mushrooms popping up around town.

Tiffany Salomon told NewsChannel 36 that her dog died of mushroom toxicity. She has three dogs — Alex, a Bichon; Riley, a Yorkshire terrier; and Gino, a Shih Tzu.

Salomon says the dogs are her family.

“I dress them up in clothes, give them baths. They’re just like children to me,” Salomon said.

All three dogs loved to play in the yard. But recent rains caused mushrooms to pop up.

“We never thought these things would be toxic,” Salomon said.

Some mushrooms are toxic. Gino ate one.

“They think it’s a toy and want to chew on it and play,” Salomon said.

Suddenly, happy healthy Gino was fighting for his life. It started with vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Mushroom toxicity attacked his liver, according to the veterinarian’s report.

“We tried everything we could. We did blood transfusions. It didn’t work. He was just bleeding too much,” Salomon said. “He was too ill and had taken too many in. His body was literally shutting down.”

Gino died.

“It’s like losing your family member,” she said.

Alex, the Bichon, was next. He, too, had bloody diarrhea. His diagnosis: suspected mushroom toxicity.

The veterinarian thinks Alex ate a kind of mushroom that doesn’t shut the liver down. Alex lived.

Gino and Alex’s vet says instead of trying to figure out which mushrooms in your yard are toxic or bringing the mushrooms to animal hospitals, your best bet is picking them and throwing them away. Eliminating the threat could be saving a life.