Thursday, October 11, 2018

Weekly Roundup - Kids In The Dog Park, A Bar For Dogs, And Therapy Squirrels!

Welcome to the newest column on the Toronto Pet Daily, the weekly roundup! At the end of each week we'll be looking at animal stories that have pet parents in Toronto talking. Before we start there are a couple important things coming up. First, if you would like to submit an article on a topic you are passionate about, feel free to reach out to the TPD on either Facebook or Twitter (@TorontoPetDaily) and we can go from there. Also, don't forget that starting next week on October 16, readers will be able to submit nominations for the 8th annual, "Best of Toronto" awards! Alright, on to the crazy week we've had!...


Kids and Dog Parks

Recently a three year old girl was viscously attacked by a large dog in a Mississauga dog park (the event happened a couple weeks ago but I haven't gotten around to discussing it). In light of the tragedy several city council councillors are calling for a ban on kids in dog parks. Brampton for instance, already has a ban on children under 10 years of age from entering a leash free zone. Several people have voiced objection to such a ban and to them I'll simply say, "You are out of your doggone mind!".

In no way am I chastising the parents of this particular little girl, as they've absolutely been through a scare of a lifetime and I am incredibly empathetic to them, but the obvious needs to be stated :

CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED IN LEASH FREE DOG ZONES.

It doesn't matter how good your child is with dogs, nor does it matter how closely you are paying attention to your kids. Dogs are pack animals and within that pack (keep in mind I once counted over 60 dogs in one off leash Toronto park....that's quite the pack!) some can be quite rough (and clumsy!) when they are socializing, not to mention the not uncommon bursts of aggressive and/or protective behaviour that can arise within the pack. One might say, "Well if a dog is aggressive or clumsy it shouldn't be in a dog park." Here's the thing : Any perfectly behaved dog can get overly excited in a park filled with other dogs, and nobody can guarantee the manner in which a particular dog will react in a given situation. You know who else can be unpredictable/aggressive/clumsy/protective when surrounded by dozens of their own kind? KIDS! So let's make a deal. Let's agree that dog parks are specifically designed for dogs just as kid parks are specifically designed for kids. I'll keep my dogs out of the kid park as long as you keep your kids out of the dog park. OK? OK!


Therapy Squirrel

This week police had to remove a woman from a flight after she refused to get off the plane with her therapy squirrel. Yes, you read that correctly. I think we can all agree therapy pets provide an invaluable resource in our world. That being said what's next, Therapy Africanized Bees? I'm sorry but this is all kinds of ridiculous, and I have no doubt that soon enough legislation will have to be passed to determine acceptable emotional support animal. The woman claims to have informed the airline she had a therapy, "pet", she simply forgot to tell them it was in fact, a squirrel, which by the way is not an approved therapy animal. Oh, and the squirrel wasn't in a crate. And she delayed the flight by two hours. And she took a squirrel on a plane.




Toronto's Doggy Brewery

While our city has at least 30 dog friendly licensed establishments, I believe Black Lab Brewing is the first Brewery to cater to canines. The establishment in Leslieville opened over the Thanksgiving weekend, and you can find out more on the bar's Facebook page. The brewery has a tasting room, private party room, retail and bottle shop, and a coming soon patio. Really though, I was sold dogs and beer!

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That's it for this week! Remember you can always join the discussion on the Toronto Pet Daily Facebook page!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Common Pet Toxins And Treatment

This page lists some common toxins and their effects and treatments. Diagnosing toxicity based on clinical signs is very difficult. Toxins do not always show the typical clinical signs listed here. If you suspect your pet has come in contact with a toxin, even if they aren't showing clinical signs, go to a veterinarian immediately.

Coffee

Mechanism of action: Intoxication is due to the ingestion of caffeine which results in stimulation of the nervous system.

Clinical Signs:

* increased heart rate
* increased respiratory rate
* hyperexcitability
* tremors
* seizures
* heart rate irregularities

Treatment: There is no antidote. Treatment is supportive depending on clinical signs. Contact your veterinarian ASAP.

Chocolate

Notes: Dark chocolate is the worse than milk chocolate, which is worse than white chocolate. Also, the higher the quality of the chocolate, the more toxic it is (e.g. baking chocolate is much more toxic that inexpensive Easter chocolate).
Mechanism of action:

Intoxication is due to the ingestion of theobromine which also results in the stimulation of the nervous system.

Clinical signs:

* increased blood pressure
* increased heart rate
* heart rate irregularities
* excitability
* nervousness
* tremors
* seizures
* possible coma

Treatment: There is no antidote. Treatment is supportive depending on clinical signs. Contact your veterinarian ASAP.

Easter Lilies:

Notes: The entire plant is toxic to cats.

Mechanism of action: An unknown toxin causes significant damage to the kidneys leading to kidney failure within 24-48 hours after ingestion.

Clinical Signs:

* vomiting
* loss of appetite
* depression
* weakness
* increased urination
* increased consumption of water
* dehydration

Treatment: There is no antidote. Aggressive intravenous fluids may increase recovery rate. Please contact your veterinarian ASAP.

Antifreeze:

Mechanism of action: The toxic effects are due to ethylene glycol and this product is pleasant tasting to animals. This will cause central nervous system depression and eventually lead to kidney damage.

Clinical Signs:

* nausea
* vomiting
* depression
* loss of balance
* seizures
* increased urination and drinking
* increased heart rate
* increased respiratory rate
* coma
* may lead to death

Treatment: There is an antidote and time is of the essence. The animal must be seen by a veterinarian ASAP.

Hartz Onespot treatment / over the counter flea products

Notes: These contain pyrethrins and pyrethroids. Never use these on cats.
Mechanism of action: Some over the counter flea products can be toxic especially to cats. These products are toxic to the nervous system.

Clinical Signs:

* depression
* increased salivation
* muscle tremors
* vomiting
* loss of balance
* respiratory distress (difficulty breathing
* loss of appetite
* seizures

Treatment: There is no antidote but there are medications to control the seizures or tremors. Treatment is supportive depending on clinical signs. Must be seen by a veterinarian ASAP.

Rat poison (rodenticide):

Mechanism of action: Most rodenticides are vitamin-K antagonists. Vitamin K is required for a normal blood clotting response.

Clinical Signs:

* blood loss in:
o stools
o vomit
o nose
o urine
* depression
* pallor
* weakness

Treatment: Effects are reversed with vitamin K administration. Must be seen by a veterinarian ASAP.

Tylenol: (acetaminophen)

Mechanism of action: One of the products of acetaminophen when metabolized is a toxin that can cause damage to the liver in dogs and to red blood cells in cats.

Clinical Signs:

* blue or brown mucous membranes (gums)
* difficulty breathing
* facial swelling
* depression
* hypothermia
* vomiting
* weakness
* coma
* death

Treatment: There is an antidote. Please contact your veterinarian.

Marijuana:

Mechanism of action: When ingested, a percentage of THC goes into the bloodstream.

Clinical Signs:

* behavioral changes
* euphoria
* increased heart rate
* hypotension
* muscle weakness
* red eyes
* depression
* stupor
* loss of balance
* hypothermia
* possible vomiting

Treatment: If ingestion is recent, your veterinarian may decide to induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal afterwards to minimize absorption. May need other supportive treatment depending on clinical signs. Please contact your veterinarian. You need not worry as all information remains confidential. We just want to take care of your pets.

Nicotine: (cigarettes)

Mechanism of action: Affects the nervous system including the brain.

Clinical signs:

* excitement
* hyperactive
* salivation
* vomiting
* diarrhea
* increased respiratory rate
* urination
* tremors
* muscle twitches
* difficulty breathing
* increased heart rate
* collapse
* coma
* may lead to death

Treatment: This is an emergency situation. The animal must be seen by a vet ASAP to be stabilized. An antidote exists depending on clinical signs being exhibited.

Organophosphates:

Notes: These include pesticides, fly bait, etc.

Mechanism of action: The product will cause a constant state of nerve stimulation.

Clinical signs:

* difficulty breathing
* salivation
* constricted pupils
* urination
* defecation
* heart rate abnormalities
* twitching
* muscle tremors
* weakness
* paralysis
* convulsions
* loss of balance
* anxiety
* respiratory failure
* depression
* aggression
* death

Treatment: There is an antidote. The animal must be seen by a veterinarian ASAP.

Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatories

Notes: These includes ibuprofen (Advil), aspirin, etc.

Mechanism of action: Inhibits the protective barrier of the gastrointestinal tract leading to gastrointestinal ulceration. This product may also cause damage to the kidneys.

Clinical Signs:

* abdominal pain
* lethargy
* anemia
* blood in stool
* blood in vomit

If perforation of the ulcer occurs, this may cause:

* fever
* increased heart rate
* shock

If renal damage occurs, this will cause:

* increased drinking
* increased urination

Treatment: There is no antidote. Treatment is supportive for the ulcers and kidneys. Contact your veterinarian ASAP.

***Information taken from Secord Animal Hospital.