The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

April 10, 2018
by Lynn Merton
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How Unsafe is Raw Meat for Your Pet?

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There’s one thing about owning a pet that’s universal. We always want the best for them. They’re creatures that love us no matter the day. So they deserve all our love in return. We all know that dogs are descendants of wolves, and wolves are predators. They get food by hunting. They prey on weaker animals and that’s how they survive. Cats are part of the same family as lions, leopards, cheetahs, and tigers – all of them carnivorous predators.

Cats and dogs are domesticated. But knowing where they came from, you might think it’s a pretty good idea to switch them onto a raw meat diet. While a raw meat diet does have its ups, there are also various downs that you should be aware of.

What are the risks involved in feeding your pet raw meat?
In a recent study done about the safety of raw meat for pets, researchers found that 86% of all raw dog and cat foods had dangerous bacteria in them. They studied 35 commercial cat and dog foods. When you feed your cat or your dog cooked or dry food, the food has been through processes that clean it and make sure it’s healthy for consumption. Whereas with raw meat, that is almost never the case.

The study shows that the infections that are spread by these parasites found in raw meats don’t just affect pets, but also humans. You can easily get the infection when you pick up animal waste. You can sometimes even get infected if an animal carrying the infection licks your hands or face.

Here are a few tips you could use to prevent illnesses from raw foods
If you still choose to go ahead and feed your pet raw meat, then here are a few things you should keep in mind. There is a good chance that you could infect your pet and yourself with L. monocytogenes and salmonella. You might accidentally touch your mouth after you’ve handled the raw food. So the diseases travels that way and festers. If you get some of the salmonella or L. monocytogenes on your clothes or your hands, you’re also at risk of transmitting it to other people.

To prevent all this from happening, wash your hands. A simple hand wash is enough to prevent the outbreak of salmonella. After every time you come in contact with your pet’s raw food, make it a point to wash your hands. Wipe down objects you’ve touched with cleaning detergent. Make sure that all the surfaces you came in contact with are disinfected and clean. You can also try and run the kitchen utensils and other things you’ve touched through the dishwasher.

April 10, 2018
by Lynn Merton
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Common Houseplants That Are Toxic to Cats

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Are you planning to get some pretty house plants that look great indoors and right outside your windows and cool your house down in the warm summer months? Do you plan to have plants through the year in and around your house? If you have a cat at home, you might want to read up about common houseplants that are potentially toxic for your kitty.

Here are a few common houseplants that are toxic for your house cat:

  • Aloe: Aloes are very common houseplants and can also be used as medicinal plants for humans. However, saponins, common chemical compounds found in most aloes including aloe vera, can be toxic for cats if they nibble of the leaves. Symptoms of aloe ingestion can include loss of appetite, diarrhea, reddish urine, among other symptoms in your cat. It could take many hours, or even several days, or the symptoms to appear, but you must rush to the vet if you see any of these symptoms in your kitty.
  • Spanish thyme: This is a common medicinal houseplant, also known as Indian Borage, Country Borage, and Coleus, among others. This plant contains a lot of essential oils, which can be highly toxic to your cats. If you have this plant at home, ensure that it is out of reach of your kitty. Ingesting this plant and nibbling on the leaves can cause vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and other serious symptoms and will need immediate medical care.
  • Jade plants: They are large plants, also called money trees at times. They used to be common houseplants, and it seems like they are making a comeback as houseplants now. If you are planning on getting one of these plants, ensure that your kitty does not have access to it. Nibbling on the leaves of this plant can be highly toxic for your cat and can even be fatal if not treated in time. Poisoning from this plant can lead to vomiting and poor muscle function in your cat.
  • Monstera: This is commonly also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant because of the way its leaves look and is a very popular houseplant. However, if you have cats at home, it is best to avoid getting this plant home. The leaves of this plant can be extremely toxic for your cats and nibbling on them can leave your cat in extreme pain. Your cat may require emergency care if it ingests even a few bites of Monstera, although most cats usually stay away from this plant.

Cats are curious animals by nature and if there are any new things around, they will explore them, including plants. Even if they are plants cats would never eat, they might nibble just to get acquainted with the new object in their house, so you should be really careful about the plants you get at your place.

April 6, 2018
by Lynn Merton
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Holiday plans that are utterly unsuitable for dogs

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Holidays are a time of fun and festivities. For dog lovers and their pets alike, this also means more time spent in each other’s company! To avoid unnecessary hiccups and to make this joyful occasion even happier, it is crucial to chart out a dog-friendly vacation plan. Here are some things to avoid while doing so:

  1. Long and unplanned trips
    For traveling with dogs, doing proper homework while making a travel plan is absolutely necessary. It won’t do to have a road trip without planning for safe food and toilet breaks. Proper harness is required for securing Fido safely to his seat. Flying to the holiday destination requires another set of precautions. The airlines would have their set of rules and regulations for transporting a pet, which if not followed, would put both the dogs and their owners in a sticky spot.
    The next important part of holiday planning is arranging the accommodation and scheduling the activities. If the hotel is not pet-friendly or there are activities where pet participation is not allowed, Fido would be far better off staying at home with a dog-sitter or in a dog kennel till the owner gets back.
  2. Climates vastly different from what Fido is used to
    It won’t do to take Fido to a holiday destination that he wouldn’t enjoy. Travel, by itself would be stressful on any pet. Add to it a climate too hot or humid for the dog’s breed, there are high chances of his falling ill. If medical attention or medication is unavailable at this point, the situation can spiral out of control.
  3. Noisy parties
    A dog’s senses are far sharper than a human’s. It would be cruelty to inflict upon dogs the noise of a loud party, especially if there are fireworks involved. Some dogs may not be comfortable with crowds either. If the pet owner plans to attend any such event, the dogs must be given a safe, noise proof room of their own so that they feel safe and comfortable.
  4. Holiday decorations or food that might harm Fido
    Several things that are normal for humans are toxic to dogs. Some holiday decorations such as tinsel, potpourri, mistletoe and holly, confetti, and even the water beneath a Christmas tree can be dangerous to dogs if they ingest them. The same goes for food items containing xylitol, chocolate, alcohol, macadamia nuts, raisins and grapes. Dog owners should also be wary of candles and electric lights placed at locations where the dogs can knock them over and get injured in the process.
    In short, if our furry friend is taking part in the holiday festivities, it is our responsibility to ensure that they have a safe and happy holiday as well.

April 5, 2018
by Lynn Merton
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All you need to know about antifreeze poisoning in dogs

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Antifreeze poisoning is a harmful and potentially lethal condition for dogs which occurs minutes after they ingest any antifreeze spilled or leaked on garage floors. Ethylene glycol is the chemical in antifreeze which gives it this toxicity. It is poisonous even in very small quantities. What makes it even more dangerous is the fact that it has a sweet taste. Animals tend to drink it if the liquid is left unattended in their presence.

Symptoms

There are three stages after antifreeze poisoning:

  1. Within half an hour, the dog starts drooling, vomiting, drinking water and urinating frequently, showing lethargy, walking with an uneven gait and having seizures.
  2. After 12 to 24 hours, the symptoms seem to recede. But the toxin would be silently wreaking havoc on the internal organs during this period. The rapid breathing and heart rate may escape the eye.
  3. After 36 to 72 hours, the illness manifests with renewed vigor. The dog at this stage would have massive kidney failure shown by the swollen kidneys and limited urine production. The chances of survival at this stage are slim.

That is why it is absolutely critical that treatment is begun within eight to twelve hours of poisoning. Even if it is just a doubt, it is better to rush the dog to the veterinarian than take chances.

Diagnosis

The veterinarian will examine the dog and listen to the owner’s account of the series of events preceding the poisoning. In the meanwhile, blood, urine and sometimes vomit and stool samples are also tested to confirm the diagnosis. Ultrasound scan may also be done to see whether the liver and kidneys have swollen, a common response to antifreeze poisoning.

Treatment

If detected within the first few hours, the line of treatment will be to induce vomiting or voiding to clear out all traces of the toxin before it is absorbed into the system. A drug fomepizole (also called 4-MP) or ethanol may be given in controlled quantities if poisoning is detected within eight to twelve hours. It would work by blocking the metabolism of the toxin into the body. Simultaneously, intravenous injections will be given to the dog to prevent dehydration and bring up the pH of the body.

However, if there is excess urea in the blood and very less urine production, it generally indicates liver failure and that the toxin has more or less been completely absorbed. So treatment is given focusing on the symptoms. Peritonial dialysis may be used to remove the wastes body. Recovery at this stage would span over a couple of weeks.

The severity of this condition should never be underestimated. The odds of fatality after antifreeze poisoning are very high. So prevention is indeed better than a cure.

April 4, 2018
by Lynn Merton
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Poinsettias and Dog Poisoning: What’s the Connection?

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Poinsettias are pretty plants that grow both indoors and outdoors. They are popularly called holiday plants as they are a common sight around Christmas in North and Central America. These plants have large, bright red flowers which have clusters of tiny yellow flowers at their center. Parts of this plant, mainly the leaves and stem, contain a white, sticky secretion that is the main cause of concern when discussing toxicity in animals. What exactly is poinsettia poisoning in dogs?

Are poinsettias toxic to dogs?

The answer is both yes and no. Yes, because the sticky white secretion form the plant is mildly toxic for most dogs and ingesting this secretion can cause a number of problems for your dog. The secretion contains certain chemicals that can irritate skin and digestive tract in dogs, which can lead to a number of symptoms that indicate poisoning and toxicity. No, because contrary to popular perception, poinsettias are only mildly toxic to dogs and only if consumed in large quantities.

The level of toxicity your dog may suffer from poinsettia ingestion depends on a number of factors:

  • Size of the dog: If you have a small dog and it has ingested an entire poinsettia plant, then there is a greater risk of toxicity than if you have a bigger dog or the dog has ingested only a small amount of poinsettia. If your small dog has ingested a large amount of the plant, it is best to get in touch with your vet to know the symptoms and ensure you dog is safe.
  • Amount of poinsettia ingested: Poinsettia is only mildly toxic to dogs, which means you only need to worry if your dog has ingested a large quantity of the plant. If your dog has nibbled on a few leaves or flowers of the plant, it is probably not a cause of concern and your dog will be alright.
  • Age and general health of the dog: Older dogs and dogs with poor digestive health might react more severely to poinsettia ingestion than younger and healthier dogs. Such dogs will usually exhibit telltale signs of toxicity, and you need to take them to the vet right away once you notice the symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of poinsettia ingestion and poisoning

  • Excessive drooling
  • Itchiness and irritation of the skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Scratching face repetitively

If you are unsure how much poinsettia your dog has ingested or how unwell your dog is after ingestion, it is bets to take your dog to the vet for a quick checkup. This will ensure that your dog is cleared for poisoning or is given timely treatment if there are any indications of severe poinsettia poisoning.