Notes on Autumn from Dr. Kerry McLaughlin
With Contributions from Dr. Sarah McCready
- Candy: After Halloween has come and gone, there’s lots of extra candy around the house. Most people know that chocolate is toxic to dogs and can cause problems ranging from mild gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, diarrhea) to more severe signs such as arrhythmias, seizures and even death. Another less known toxin is xylitol which is an ingredient in sugar-free gum. Xylitol ingested in even very small amounts can lead to life threatening hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver toxicity. Make sure to keep your children’s Halloween candy up high and stowed out of reach from pets! If your pet does get into a toxin please call our office or you can always reach the Pet Poison Helpline after hours (1-800-213-6680,a one time fee applies).
- Rodenticides: Now that the weather is cooling down, the rodents are seeking shelter indoors as well. If you or your neighbors are having pest problems, make sure to discuss the safety of rodenticide products with your exterminator. There are several different types of rodenticides and each can cause different life-threatening problems in pets.
- Back to school: Fall means back to school and the return of school art projects. Most school supplies are generally non-toxic to pets but ingestion of foreign material could lead to an intestinal obstruction which can be life-threatening and require surgery. A less known danger is Gorilla Glue- this special adhesive is sweet to the taste so extra tempting to dogs, and once ingested it can foam and expand within the stomach and cause obstruction and bloat-like symptoms.
- Disaster Preparedness: As we have seen and experienced, the end of October is peak hurricane season. Make sure to keep your pets prepared for a natural disaster by keeping them up to date on vaccines and make sure to have their leash, harness, or carriers easily available. Here are some more helpful emergency preparedness tips from the ASPCA: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/disaster-preparedness
- Turkey Day: While we humans love to indulge during the holidays, we do NOT recommend feeding holiday table scraps to your furry friends! Cooked meat bones can splinter after being cooked and can cause major gastrointestinal issues for pets if they are ingested. Also, high fatty meals and foods they are not used to can lead to conditions like pancreatitis and gastroenteritis. Just stick to extra special pet treats if you want to let them join in on the fun!
Fall is the perfect time of year to get out and about with your pet! The cooler temperatures make it easier to exercise with your furry friend and enjoy the fall foliage. Here are some tips to keep your pet safe while you are on the go.
Flea/tick prevention: Although the weather is cooling down, fleas and ticks are still very much present during the fall months. Make sure to continue your pet’s flea/tick preventative ideally year-round but at minimum until the temperatures have reached freezing. If you are hiking with your pet, consider combining an oral tick preventative along with a topical for added protection. Ask your vet if you suspect your dog might have increased tick exposure.
Apple and Pumpkin picking: Enjoy some apple cider and bring your pet with you! Small pieces of apple or pumpkin puree can also be a great treat for your pet (avoid the apple seeds ). If you are taking your dog or cat be sure to have proper identification on their collar and make sure their microchip information is up to date.