National Poison Prevention Week

National Poison Prevention Week

While most of the time it is not something dangerous, unfortunately, there are numerous toxins and poisons in and around most homes that pets can get into.  March 20-26, 2016 has been proclaimed as National Poison Prevention Week which aims to spread awareness of harmful contaminates that can affect both humans and their four-legged family members.  Here are some tips to poison-proof your home and prevent accidental ingestion: Begin by checking any plants or cut flowers in the home or garden. Many plants, including lilies, azaleas, daffodils, lily of the valley and others are toxic.  Depending on the plant, just one or two nibbles can be fatal!  Home fragrances, such as liquid potpourri, can burn your pet’s skin and be toxic if your pet decides to give it a taste.  Spray aerosols or any heavily fragranced products should not be sprayed around birds, as they are especially sensitive to airborne chemicals.  Ashtrays, cigarettes, nicotine chewing gum or patches should be kept out of reach–even one cigarette butt contains enough nicotine to poison a pet.  Batteries should also be kept out of reach of pet’s paws, as they can cause chemical burns. The kitchen can pose many dangers to pets.  Human foods that are toxic to pets include raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, unbaked yeast bread dough, fatty foods, salty foods, and chocolate.  Other toxic kitchen hazards are caffeine, alcohol, table salt and xylitol.  Garbage cans should have a tight top lid so that curious pets do not go digging through the garbage, which can contain any of the above toxins, coffee grounds, moldy foods, bones, or many other...
Holly, jolly, holiday safety for your pets

Holly, jolly, holiday safety for your pets

Holidays can bring stress to all of us, and pets are no exceptions.  When routines are disrupted and new activities occur, your pet may be the first to notice.  Follow these tips to make the holidays and other events more relaxing for everyone, including your four-legged family members. Animals can become stressed with the hustle and bustle of holiday guests. Therefore, it’s best to keep your pets indoors and provide them with a safe, quiet, escape-proof room where they can get away from the energy and excitement.  Remember to provide plenty of food and water, and let your pet catch up on some Z’s! Holiday guests don’t know your pets’ routines. If your guests smoke, make sure they are careful with their cigarettes.  Also, let them know in advance whether they are allowed to give treats to your pets. As your holiday visitors come and go, there will be many escape opportunities for your pets. Make sure they are always wearing their current identification tags, consider having them microchipped (if they aren’t already), and keep watch of that door! Always keep your vet’s number handy, along with the number of animal poison control center, in case of an emergency. Safe Ways To Celebrate Make the holidays special for your pets, too!  Provide your furry friends with some extra love and attention to let them know they aren’t forgotten during the busy holiday times. Take your dog for an extra walk – it’ll help both you and your pet relieve some of that holiday stress. Keep a supply of pet treats handy and reach for one before you’re tempted to...

Halloween isn’t for scaredy cats – or dogs!

Attention, animal lovers, it’s almost the spookiest night of the year and were suggest taking the necessary precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying “trick or treat!”. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for furry family members. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or animal poison control at (855) 764-7661. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them. Keep electric lights and cords from decorations out of the reach of your pets. If they chew on them, they could suffer from cuts or burns, or worse, life-threatening electrical shock. Be extra careful when putting candles in carved pumpkins. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). But, for most pets, wearing anything but their “birthday suit” causes them undue stress so do everyone a favor and leave the dressing up to us humans. But… If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or...

Pet Care Series: 8 Steps to Keep Your Pet Healthy – Spaying and Neutering

At Rancho Bernardo Pet Hospital, it is our mission to be the most reliable, responsible and respected providers of veterinary services to pets and their owners. It is through continuous education of our staff that we are able to better provide the care your pet needs to live a long healthy life. In our pet healthcare series, we will take a look at the eight steps you should take to ensure your pet remains in prime health. This week, we will take a look at the fifth step: Spaying and Neutering. In every community, in every state, there are thousands of homeless animals. In the U.S., there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. Barely half of these animals are adopted; the rest are euthanized. What’s worse is these are not the offspring of homeless “street” animals – these are healthy, sweet pets who would have made great companions. Many people are surprised to learn that nationwide, more than 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters annually. Spay/neuter is the ONLY permanent, 100 percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats. Your pet’s health Through neutering, you can help your dog or cat live a happier, healthier, longer life. Spaying eliminates the constant crying and nervous pacing of a female cat in heat. Spaying a female dog also eliminates the messiness associated with the heat cycle. Neutering of male dogs and cats can prevent certain undesirable sexual behaviors, such as urine marking, humping, male aggression and the urge to roam. If you have more than one pet in...

Pet Care Series: 8 Steps to Keep Your Pet Healthy – Proper Nutrition

At Rancho Bernardo Pet Hospital, it is our mission to be the most reliable, responsible and respected providers of veterinary services to pets and their owners. It is through continuous education of our staff that we are able to better provide the care your pet needs to live a long and active life. In our pet healthcare series, we will take a look at the eight steps you should take to ensure your pet remains in prime health. This week, we will take a look at the first step: Proper Nutrition. What does proper nutrition do for your pet? The proper balance of nutrients is essential when feeding your pet. Animals (and humans) need a certain combination of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water every day in order to function properly. However, your pet’s nutrition needs are not the same as ours, but many of us are clueless about what exactly they are. Consider these facts: Small, low-activity dogs need only about 185 to 370 calories daily, while a large pooch between 67 to 88 pounds may need between 1,000 to 2,000 calories, depending on activity level and gender. Yet many of our dogs get far more food than they need. More than one-third of U.S. dogs over 1 year old are overweight. A healthy 10-pound kitty needs just 220 to 350 calories a day — about the number in a few ounces of cheese. No wonder the weight stats are about as bad for cats as dogs. At least one-quarter of U.S. felines are considered overweight or obese. Each and every nutrient in your pet’s food serves...
Pet Heatstroke in San Diego

Pet Heatstroke in San Diego

The summer heat is upon us at our San Diego veterinary hospital and tragically along with the hot weather comes heat-related pet deaths. Hyperthermia occurs when heat is produced or stored in the body at a rate greater than it is lost. When heat can not be dissipated adequately pets will experience a heatstroke which can result in death in less than an hour if not managed properly. This is because a body temperature of 103° F or above can cause organ dysfunction.Heatstroke can occur in all varieties of sizes and breeds of animals. However, pets which fall into the following categories are particularly suseptible to heatstroke: pets in age extremities (young/old) obese pets pets with previous history of heat-related disease brachycephalic breeds (EX. bulldogs) pets with thick fur/coats who arent assisted in adjusting to heat pets with insufficient access to water underlying heart/lung disorders pets with hyperthyroidism In San Diego county alone hundreds of pets will suffer from heatstroke this summer which can all be avoided if pet owners are educated about symptoms to look for and methods to prevent overheating in their pets. Symptoms Signs that your pet is overheating include: Heavy Panting Excessive Thirst Excessive Drooling Bright or Reddened Gums Moist Body Tissues Rapid Heart Rate Acute Kidney Failure Shock Stoppage of the Heart and/or Breathing Vomiting Blood Black, Tarry Stool Seizures Muscle Tremors Unconsciousness (Unresponsive Pet) Uncoordinated/Drunken-like Movement Weakness or Lethargy How To Keep Your Pet Cool To prevent your pet from overheating make sure that it has plenty of accessible clean drinking water at all times! If your pet spends a length of time...