Thanksgiving Do’s and Don’ts

Thanksgiiving dogThanksgiving is fast approaching.  A fun holiday for us and our family has the potential to be problematic for our pets.  Believe it or not the trouble can start while we are cooking, with pets trying to get scraps of food.

A ham or turkey may come wrapped in string that might seem delicious to your pet.  However, if they eat the string that the meat or poultry comes wrapped in, we will have Trouble with a capital T.  Most dogs just cannot resist the temptation.  Make sure the string is disposed of in a sealed container out of the dogs reach.  Eating string and other indigestible products can lead to an obstruction.

As the day moves on friends and family will be coming over.  There may be a lot of commotion, noise and people that are unfamiliar to your pet.  Please provide a safe place for your pet to hide and be left alone.  They need to have a quiet place to escape (just like we do), when it gets to be too much with food, water and a comfy bed.

Now that it is time to sit down and eat you may have the urge to feed your dog a special treat for Thanksgiving, they are part of the family right?  Yes, and No. Strange foods and diet changes are hazardous to your pets’ digestive system. These changes can potentially lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and a very sick pet.  Give only a small amount of table food on top or mixed in with your pets regular dinner.  Many foods are poisonous to pets, including but not limited to onions, garlic, chocolate, raisins and grapes. For a complete list of foods and household items that are dangerous or poisonous to pets please look at the. AVMA’s brochure and video.

Feeding your dog foods that are high in fat can lead the pancreas to overwork and become inflamed. This is serious and can be extremely painful.  Signs of pancreatitis include severe abdominal pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and depression. Hospitalization and intensive medical treatment are required.  Left untreated a severe case of pancreatitis can even result in death which we DO NOT want.

When the house is getting quiet and everyone is heading home please make sure your garbage can is on lock down.  If your dog or cat are able to get in and grab cooked bones we may have a big problem. Cooked bones that are chewed and swallowed can splinter, break and lodge in an animal’s throat or intestines with life-threatening consequences.  To ensure everyone remains healthy, make sure all leftovers are thrown away and out of your pets’ reach!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have we seen your cat lately?

Tabby kittenCats are masters at hiding illness.  If you see any subtle signs of sickness in your cat, it is time for a visit. i.e., inappropriate elimination, changes in food/water consumption, weight gain/loss, changes in grooming habits or vocalization as well as bad breath.  Please do not wait, come on in!

Cats need regular veterinary care, including wellness exams at least once a year. Cats age faster than you do, so an annual exam for them is similar to you visiting your doctor or dentist every four to five years. Prevention is always safer and less expensive than treatment, and why your cat needs to be seen at least once a year by your veterinarian.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners and America Animal Hospital Association recommends a minimum of one annual wellness exam for cats, with more frequent exams for senior and geriatric patients, or those cats with medical or behavioral conditions.

During the health risk assessment, Dr. Glasser will conduct a thorough exam of your cat. Here’s what to expect during the health risk assessment exam:

  • A review of your cat’s previous health records
  • Discuss medications your cat is currently taking, including flea prevention products
  • Note weight and age changes since the last exam
  • Ask about any lifestyle changes in your cat
  • Perform a physical exam including: teeth, mouth, eyes, ears, skin, coat, and paws
  • Ask about any unusual behavior in your cat, such as drinking more water, eating less or more, sleeping less or more,
    or a change in activity level
  • Treat any current condition, such as ear infection or ear mites
  • Recommend dental cleaning, if needed
  • Look for early disease signs and if suspected, recommend further tests
  • Recommend appropriate vaccinations your cat needs to prevent disease

Let us help you keep your cat healthy and live a long, happy life!

Keeping your pet safe for the holidays

holiday-400Getting ready for the holidays is always exciting.  But please keep in mind that the holidays can also be dangerous as well.  It is our job to protect our pets against unforeseen dangers.  When decorating your home please keep glass, or plastic ornaments out of paws reach.  Shards of breakable ornaments can be very sharp and get into the paw.  Tinsel may be very enticing due to its shimmer,  especially to cats, however is extremely dangerous to your pets.  If ingested it can obstruct the digestive tract, cause vomiting, dehydration and even emergency surgery.

When entertaining it may seem hard to resist, but please do not give people food to your pets.  What is yummy to you may lead to GI distress or can be toxic to your pet. Giving your pet fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis.   Treats, especially those containing chocolate, Xylitol, grapes/raisins, onions are a few that need immediate medical attention.  Treating a potential problem early is the key to a successful outcome.

With regards to plants;  poinsettia, holly and mistletoe can be dangerous and cause gastrointestinal upset or, in rare cases with mistletoe, cardiovascular problems.  Perhaps you should consider leaving the tinsel off the tree, especially if you have a cat in your home.   We also suggest if possible that you secure your Christmas tree to keep it from falling if your dog bumps it or your cat decides to climb it.

Unattended candles or the Chanukah menorah can pose a danger to pets as well.  Your cat or dog may wander too close to the flame perhaps either burning themselves or worse yet, starting a fire.  Please don’t leave the candles unattended with your pet around.

Please have a safe place for your pet to go when they need to get away from all the excitement whether in another room or in their crate.  Have fun, keep everyone safe.

These are just a few things to keep in mind this upcoming holiday season.

Do I have an Emergency with my pet?

Have you ever wondered if you have an Emergency and needs you to seek emergency care for your pet?  Here are a few emergencies that will need you to get to the nearest emergency clinic ASAP.  ANY concern about your pet’s health warrants, at minimum, a call to our office.  718-728-2822

  • Your pet isn’t breathing or you can’t feel a heartbeat.
  • Your pet is unconscious and won’t wake up.
  • Your pet has been vomiting or has had severe diarrhea for more than 24 hours, or she is vomiting blood.
  • You suspect any broken bones, lameness or inability to move leg(s).
  • Your pet is having trouble breathing or has something stuck in her throat.
  • Your pet has had or is having a seizure.
  • Your pet is bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth or rectum, or there is blood in her urine or feces.
  • You think your pet might have ingested something toxic, Common pet toxinsinclude but are not limited to:
    • Rat poisons (D-con)
    • Chocolate
    • Prescription, over the counter or illegal drugs (BRING THE CONTAINER WITH YOU)
    • Artificial sweeteners (e.g. xylitol)
    • Nicotine
    • Household cleaners.
    • Antifreeze
    • Certain household plants (e.g. Easter lillies)
    • Any kind of medication that wasn’t prescribed.
    • Please bring the ingested product if possible with you.
    • Your pet, particularly your male cat, is straining to urinate, or is unable to.
    • Your pet shows signs of extreme pain, such as whining, shaking, and refusing to socialize.
    • Your pet collapses or suddenly can’t stand up.
    • Your pet begins bumping into things or suddenly becomes disoriented.
    • You can see irritation or injury to your pet’s eyes, or she suddenly seems to become blind.
    • Your pet’s abdomen is swollen and hard to the touch, and/or she’s gagging and trying to vomit.
    • restlessness, retching and abdominal swelling in large breed dogs
    • You see symptoms of heatstroke.
    • Refusing to eat or drink for more than 24 hours.
    • Your pregnant dog or cat has gone more than three to four hours between delivering puppies or kittens.

Most important, remember to trust your instincts. You know and love your pet, and you have the right to be worried if something seems wrong.

Chocolate’s a No-No

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Chocolate is toxic to your dog (cats do not typically eat chocolate).  You may have heard of chocolate being bad for your pet but were unsure as to why.  A sudden high fat diet i.e. devouring a bag of candy bars left on the counter can create a lethal metabolic condition called pancreatitis.  Vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain are some of the symptoms that may appear.  Pancreatitis is due to the fat found in the chocolate, not the chocolate itself.

The chocolate itself is very toxic because of the theobromine that is found in the chocolate.  Theobromine occurs naturally in the cocoa tree/beans. The more chocolate liquor in a product, the more theobromine is present. Theobromine levels are higher in dark chocolates than in milk chocolates.  Higher quality chocolate tends to contain more theobromine than lower quality chocolate.  For instance, this makes baking chocolate the worst for pets, followed by semisweet and dark chocolate, followed by milk chocolate, followed by chocolate flavored cakes or cookies.  Why it is toxic to dogs and other pets but not people?  (I could not imagine a life without chocolate).  Animals metabolize theobromine more slowly than humans, therefore being in their system longer.  Theobromine may causes:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperactivity/restlessness
  • Increased urination or incontinence
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Racing heart rhythm progressing to abnormal rhythms

If you see that you dog at chocolate call our office 718-728-2822 immediately so we can induce vomiting and provide the necessary supportive care needed depending on the symptoms and time of ingestion.