People living in Florida, especially along the coastal areas, usually have a list of things to do and protect during hurricane season. Most important is the contents of a hurricane kit, but equally important is to prepare early for protecting your pets.
“A good practice is to start with,” said Dr. Adney at Day and Evening Pet Hospital, “is by calling our veterinarian clinic to make sure that your dogs’ and cats’ vaccines are up to date. Also, in case of an evacuation order, having a plan for boarding pets that you cannot take with you is essential. We can recommend such a place, as most emergency shelters will not accept pets.”
If an evacuation is called for, never leave your pet at home or in a vehicle alone. Even thunderstorms can traumatize your pet, and the risks of flooding, wind damage, and flying debris can threaten your pets. Like humans, your pets need their own storm preparedness kits. This can include:
1 – A comfortable carrier that will allow your pet to stand up, turn around and lay down for extended periods of time. Mark the carrier with your pet’s name and your contact information. Make sure the carrier is large enough so that being confined to the carrier for a few days is not too uncomfortable for your pet.
2 – A blanket or bed for the bottom of the carrier that is not so thick that it restricts air flow through the vents in the carrier..
3 – Medical records, medicines and other emergency supplies. For more information on this see our article on Handling Pet Emergencies.
4 – Food and water to last several days or a couple of weeks, stored in airtight containers. And dishes for both the food and water. Plastic milkl jugs that have been washed well are perfect for carrying water for your pet, and are easy to mark with your pet’s name.
5 – Collars, leashes and harnesses tagged with your pet’s name and your contact information.
6 – A microchip locator on each pet. We do inexpensive and painless insertions of a microchip at our pet clinic in Palm Harbor, and we are offering a special price for this at our clinic for the next several weeks. Call us at 727-785-7200 for pricing and mention you saw this article on our website blog on the internet.
7 – A favorite toy or chew bone to make your pet feel more at home in their carrier.
8 – A list of hotels/motels that you have called ahead of time to see if they accept pets in carriers in the rooms with hotel guests. Many of the privately owned hotels may make allowances for storm evacuation emergencies if you have a carrier that can confine your pet while in the guest room.
We can’t stop Mother Nature, but we can prepare for her worst by getting ready ahead of time, so when a violent storm does occur we are prepared to handle it and keep ourselves and our pets out of harm’s way. Having your hurricane kit as well as one for each pet will help keep trauma to a minimum and better ensure everyone’s safety.
“Many pets suffer from ear problems”, said Dr. Al Paredes, Veterinarian at Day And Evening Pet Clinic. The most common problems include ear tissue infection, ear mites, and chronic ear infections from a lack of regular cleaning.
Signs of Pet Ear Diseases
“The signs of ear diseases are easy to spot,” said Dr. Paredes. “If your pet’s ears have a bad odor, if they are scratching or rubbing their ears, shaking their head or tilting it to one side, check the ears for signs of discharge, swelling or redness in the ear canal, or painful areas around their ears.”
The Causes of Pet Ear Problems
Parasites are a common problem, but ear mites are generally seen in cats who will scratch at their ears. Mites are not generally seen in dogs’ ears.
Both dogs and cats can have problems due to allergies from something they inhaled, ate or touched. Allergies create changes inside the ear and we often see secondary infections in the ear caused by the initial allergy.
Yeast and bacteria can also cause infection, and they are often seen along with allergies, hormonal changes, or moisture in the ears. Ear cleaning alone may not take care of these, so a good antibiotic is sometimes recommended.
General ear cleaning on a regular basis can keep ear problems at bay. Have your pet’s ears checked when they are at the vet clinic for an exam, and ask us about ear cleaning solutions for your dog or cat to keep their ear problems to a minimum.
Pet health care tip. The holidays are here, and festive Christmas tinsel, ribbons and strings of lights are up, or going up, in homes across the city. What do these items have in common?
“To your dogs and cats, these things are toys, and your pets don’t know that they are dangerous,” said Dr. Al Paredes, veterinarian at Day and Evening Pet Clinic in Palm Harbor, Florida.
Ingesting tinsel and ribbon can cause choking, and a string of lights that is plugged in can cause electrocution if your pet chews on them, and is a choking hazard as well with small plastic holders and light bulbs on the wires.
Likewise, ornaments of glass, metal, plastic, or paper with glitter or paint can be toxic, even deadly, if chewed and swallowed, and choking can occur on small sharp edged pieces.
Don’t tie ribbons around dog or cat treats and leave them under the tree. They will be found easily by your pet, and the ribbon and packaging can cause choking. Also, don’t hang Christmas stockings within reach of your pets. The things inside those stockings, like chocolate or candies containing Xylitol artificial sweeteners can be toxic to your pets, and the small gifts inside the stocking can be a choking or poison hazard to both dogs and cats.
Take precautions to watch your pet when they are around areas where decorations and gifts tied with ribbon can be easily reached. We want your holiday, and your pet’s holiday to be joyous and happy. Keep them in an area where they cannot get to the decorations and gifts when you are away from home or not able to watch out for them when you are busy.
If you suspect that your dog or cat has ingested something that can harm it, call us at Day And Evening Pet Clinic at 727-785-7200 and bring your pet in right away for an examination. We are here to help you when you need us.
Happy Holidays to you all,
Dr. Al Paredes & Staff
Your pet can suffer from eye problems just like humans do. At the first sign of a problem it is important to have a veterinarian check your pet’s eyes right away. This can prevent more serious complications.
Common problems include red eye, cataracts, glaucoma, eye tumors, inflammation, defects of the eyelids, discharge, retinal degeneration and other problems.
Red Eye – Both cats and dogs can get red eye. This is when the blood vessels of the conjunctiva (the pink lining of the eyeball and eyelids), sclera (white covering of the eye), or cornea (clear surface of the eye) become enlarged or more numerous. It may also happen when the structures inside the eye become inflamed, with glaucoma (high pressure within the eye) or with other diseases of the eye socket. Irritation from allergies or infections caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi can also cause red eyes in pets.. Either one or both eyes can become red, depending upon what is causing the problem. It is important to keep your pets eyes clean, and to eliminate the cause with appropriate medication.
Cherry Eye – Unlike people, dogs and cats have a ‘third eyelid’ that contains a tear gland and is located in the corner of each eye. Normally this gland is not visible and it helps in the production of tears. This gland can “prolapse” or come out of its normal position and get swollen creating the condition. Cherry eye is not a common occurrence with cats.
Dry Eyes – This term is used describe a condition of decreased tear production. The term technically means “inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva from drying.” When the watery part of the tears is not produced in adequate amounts, the eye becomes inflamed, leading scarring and pigmentation of the cornea and can lead to decreased vision.
Ocular (Eye) Discharge – Ocular discharge is a common symptom of eye disease. Discharge may develop suddenly or gradually. The discharge may appear to be watery, mucus-like, or bloody. The amount of discharge is a good indication of how serious the disease is.
If you notice anything irregular occurring with your pets’ eyes you should call us right away at 727-785-7200 and plan to bring them in to the clinic and get it checked out immediately. Your pet is a s dependent on their vision as we humans are, and they are dependent on you to notice something is wrong. There are scientifically formulated products to keep you pets’ eyes clean
Pet Care Tip – Foods That Are Toxic To Dogs And Cats
Who can resist giving tidbits to a soulful pair of puppy or kitty eyes that plead for a bite of what you are eating, despite the fact that some human foods are toxic poison to your pet. The holidays are particularly touchy when your guests can hardly resist sneaking bits of food to your begging pets. While they mean well, it is best to ask that they not indulge your pets right up front so there is no question what your rules are.
Veterinarian Dr. Al Paredes says what you and your house guests don’t know CAN kill your dog or cat. Here’s a list of what NOT to feed your pets.
Foods That Are Most Toxic To Dogs and Cats
Avocados contain a very toxic component called Persin to most animals that can damage lung, heart, and other tissue in many animals.
Beer & Other Alcoholic Beverages
Alcoholic beverages can damage an animal’s liver and brain, and the effects can be deadlier on animals than on humans since they are much smaller than we are.
Two types of nuts are especially toxic: walnuts and macadamia nuts. The toxic effects can include vomiting to paralysis to death. Within 12 hours of eating the nuts, the pet starts to develop symptoms such as weakness , an elevated heart rate, an inability to stand or walk, vomiting, and hyperthermia (elevated body temperature.) These symptoms can be even more severe if your dog eats some chocolate with the nuts and can lead to kidney failure, and death.
Chocolate contains theobromine, and it can kill your pet if they eat it in large quantities. Dark and unsweetened baking chocolates are especially dangerous because these do not have the extra ingredients used in making milk chocolate which reduces the amount of theobromine in a serving. Giving your puppy a piece of chocolate candy, chocolate cake or chocolate icing could cause him to become ill. It can also cause a dog or cat’s heart to beat very rapidly or irregularly especially if the animal is being especially active after eating chocolate.
Candy and Artificial Sweeteners
Candy, cookies, drinks, gum or anything containing Xylitol (a common sweetener found in some diet products) can cause a sudden drop in an animal’s blood sugar, loss of coordination and seizures. If left untreated, the animal could die.
Coffee, tea, soft drinks, some candies and baked goods or any product that contains caffeine stimulates an animal’s central nervous and cardiac systems. This can lead to heart palpitations, restlessness, and even death, depending on how much the animal consumes.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. As little as a single serving of raisins can kill them. The toxic effects are cumulative. That means even if a dog eats just one or two grapes or raisins regularly, the toxin that builds in his system will eventually kill him.
Onions, Garlic, Chives
Onions can destroy an animal’s red blood cells and lead to weakness, anemia, and breathing difficulties. Their effects are also cumulative as the toxins build up in the system over time.
Raw Yeast Dough
Raw Yeast dough can rise in your pet’s digestive system causing gas to accumulate. This can be quite painful and can even cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. The risk diminishes after the dough is fully cooked because the yeast has fully risen, so pets can have small bits of bread as treats. However, the amount should be limited because of the high calories.
Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones
Both raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli that can be very harmful to pets. Also, raw eggs contain an enzyme called Avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), and that can cause skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.
Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. In other words, keep those salty chips to yourself!
Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.
Medicine Meant For Humans
A very common cause of pet poisoning is from animals ingesting a prescribed or over-the-counter medicine or drug meant for humans. So hide these medicines from your pets as diligently as you would hide them from a child.
Read The Label
Before you decide to give your pet any leftovers that have been processed (like that last few bites of canned beef & vegetable soup) you should read the label. Many processed foods contain high quantities of sodium (salt) and onions or onion powder for flavor. Some can even contain Xylitol or other artificial sweeteners that may be dangerous to your pet.
If you see signs that your dog or cat seems distressed in any way, bring them in to see us right away. You can call us at 727-785-7200 to discuss what you are observing that is causing you concern about your pet
During the hours our vet clinic is closed the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is a good resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435.
Don’t put off calling or bringing your dog or cat to the pet clinic if you suspect they have eaten something they shouldn’t. Foods that are toxic to dogs and cats can cause damage quickly, so fast treatment is the best option.