Dog Alerts

Is Your Dog Safe in Your Car?

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Cars have become more sophisticated, with many features designed to help keep drivers and passengers safe. But how safe is your dog when you drive in your car? CarRentals.com conducted a survey of drivers who have their dogs with them and discovered some surprising things. For example:

  • 47 percent of pet owners acknowledge it's dangerous to drive with an unrestrained dog in the car -- but they still do it
  • 71 percent of dog owners said they would use pet safety features -- if they were already built in to the car
  • 41 percent of dog owners who drive say their dog climbs into their lap while driving
  • 52 percent of drivers reach back to pet their dog while driving.

These are just some of the statistics -- but they clearly demonstrate that dog owners who drive with their dogs could stand to exercise more caution. Thankfully, CarRentals.com also provides very helpful information about how to drive safely with your dog. They discuss safety restraints, driving tips and what to do in case of an accident. Read their free guide here: https://www.carrentals.com/blog/car-safety-for-dogs/


Do You Have a Disaster Plan for Your Dog?

High-water-3063989_1920Hurricanes and floods are a reality of summer and fall in the Carolina mountains. The ASPCA offers some good advice about disaster planning for dog owners:

Ready Your Dog

  • Make sure your dog is wearing ID tags with your most up-to-date contact information.
  • Microchip your dog as a more permanent form of identification—in case collars or tags come off.
  • Train your dog to feel comfortable going into a crate with regular in-crate sessions with treats.
  • Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home in a crisis.

Prepare Your Home

  • Ideally, you should evacuate with your pet, but if you are unable to do so, a rescue alert sticker placed near your front door will let first responders know that you have a dog inside your home.
  • If sheltering in place, consider these things when choosing your safe room:
    • Be aware of hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.
    • Utility rooms, bathrooms and unfinished basements may be easier to clean if your pet has an accident.
    • Having a supply of fresh water is particularly important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have access to water during a power outage or other crises.
    • In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter.

Create an Emergency Kit

  • Obtain a crate that comfortably fits your dog, write your dog’s name and your contact information on a piece of duct tape and stick it on the outside of the crate in case you become separated from your dog.
  • Make a portable emergency kit that includes the following:
    • Medical records
    • Water (7 days’ worth of bottled)
    • Water bowls
    • Pet food (3-7 days’ worth of canned food with pop tops or dry food)
    • Pet’s medications
    • Pet first aid kit
    • Dish soap and disinfectant
    • Disposable garbage bags for cleanup
    • Extra collar, harness and leash
    • Flashlight
    • Blanket
    • Recent photos of your dog (hard copy in case your phone dies)
    • Toys

Consider putting the kit inside the crate and storing near an exit.

Image: Pixabay.com


Alert: Is Your Dog Food Linked to Canine Heart Disease?

Urgent alertThe latest scare regarding dog food concerns products that most dog owners think of as healthier: grain-free dog food.

A current investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is studying the effect of grain-free dog food on a condition called Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). According to the FDA:

"In July 2018, the FDA announced that it had begun investigating reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods, many labeled as "grain-free," which contained a high proportion of peas, lentils, other legume seeds (pulses), and/or potatoes in various forms (whole, flour, protein, etc.) as main ingredients (listed within the first 10 ingredients in the ingredient list, before vitamins and minerals). Many of these case reports included breeds of dogs not previously known to have a genetic predisposition to the disease. The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN), a collaboration of government and veterinary diagnostic laboratories, continue to investigate this potential association. Based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.

"We understand the concern that pet owners have about these reports: the illnesses can be severe, even fatal, and many cases report eating “grain-free” labeled pet food. The FDA is using a range of science-based investigative tools as it strives to learn more about this emergence of DCM and its potential link to certain diets or ingredients."

Certain brands of grain-free dog food seem to be more suspect than others. There is a lot more information about this from the FDA here: https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/news-events/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy


Got a Cold? Keep Your Meds Away from Your Dog

Allergy-18656_1920It's cold and flu season, so you may need some medications to relieve your symptoms. But if you're a dog owner, you likely don't think about the fact that cold and flu medications can be harmful to your dog.

The ASPCA Poison Control Center offers some helpful advice about cold medications that can be dangerous to your dog. Included on the list are:

  • Cough drops
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Dextromethorphan
  • NSAIDS
  • Ibuprofen
  • Antibiotics
  • Eye drops

Read this important article if you use any of the above medications: https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/dangers-treatment-options-cold-flu-medications

Image: Pixabay


Health Alert for the Holiday Season

StuartMiles-fdpGetting into the holiday spirit often means imbibing alcoholic drinks and baking holiday goodies. Well it turns out that both of those human actions have largely unknown risks to your pet.

Read this important health alert from the ASPCA. While it is written for animal care professionals, it has valuable information for dog owners. Use the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center as a resource for questions about any substances your pet may ingest.

Alcoholic drinks and yeast dough both have the potential to cause toxicity in pets, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center notes that pets seem to find both quite palatable.

Even though signs you’ll see from the ethanol are the same for both exposures, there can be some differences in the onset of clinical signs as well as some additional concerns.

Palatable Poison

Many dogs (and some cats) will happily lap up a cocktail that is left on the table. Parties are a very common time for pets to get into alcohol as drinks are often left unattended. The onset of action with alcoholic beverages is typically fast (within 30 minutes, potentially faster with higher dosages).

The opportunity for emesis with alcohol is often very short and is not recommended in symptomatic pets. 

Rising yeast dough (such as bread, roll, and pizza dough) is often seen as a tasty snack by pets. The yeast ferments the carbohydrates in the dough, producing carbon dioxide and ethanol. Unfortunately, this process continues in the warm, damp environment of a dog or cat’s stomach as well.

Treatment for Dough Ingestion

There are a couple of special considerations for bread dough that you won’t see when pets get into alcoholic drinks. The amount of dough ingested can be an issue. You can potentially see food bloat or even GDV, especially considering that the stomach can be distended with carbon dioxide.

With bread dough, you may see excellent emesis results (often the 1 pound dough will come up in a single lump, (though there are some cases with little to no recovery of the dough with emesis). When good emesis results are obtained, there will be a much faster resolution of clinical signs.

The onset of clinical signs is much more variable with yeast dough than alcoholic drinks – it can potentially take hours to see signs of intoxication.   

Results of Ethanol Ingestion

Ethanol intoxication from either dough or drinks can cause ataxia, depression, recumbency, hypothermia, disorientation, vocalization, acidosis, tachycardia, dyspnea, aspiration pneumonia, tremors, coma and seizures.

Treatment is largely supportive and symptomatic. Aspiration is common, so antiemetics are indicated. Airway protection may also be indicated in some cases. Monitor acid base status and correct acidosis, fluid therapy for support, monitor for hypoglycemia and supplement dextrose as needed. Diazepam can be given for seizures – and some comatose pets will need ventilatory support.

Image: Stuart Miles, Freedigitalphotos.net


Can Your Dog Get Water Intoxication?

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You're probably familiar with the concept of intoxication when it applies to humans who have to much to drink. Interestingly enough, intoxication is possible in dogs as well -- but it happens when they drink too much water.

Water intoxication is not common, but it is more possible during the summer months. This is when dogs tend to drink a lot of water to keep cool. They also could ingest large quantities of water when they are swimming or playing in streams, ponds and lakes. It is even possible to ingest water when playing with a garden hose.

TopDogTips.com has a handy infographic about water intoxication that details the risks, symptoms, and consequences of water intoxication. It also contains tips for prevention and home treatment, and it includes other water-related dangers for dogs.

You'll find the Water Intoxication infographic here: https://topdogtips.com/water-intoxication-in-dogs/


Top Four Toxic Items Dogs Ingest on July 4

Dog-2723108_640According to the ASPCA, there are four items that lead the list of toxic items ingested by dogs on July 4:

  1. Fireworks
  2. Certain foods
  3. Lawn products
  4. Pool chemicals

We often give our dogs credit for being intelligent in so many ways -- but when it comes to substances, most dogs will eat just about anything if they are curious or hungry. They can also be exposed to toxic substances unwittingly; for example, many products that you commonly apply to your lawn may be harmful to your pets.

For more information about the top four July 4 dangerous items, download the ASPCA flyer at the link below.

Download ASPCATop4July4

 

 


Tracking Your Dog with GPS

ID-10014990When it comes to getting directions, GPS on your smartphone is a given. What you may not know is that GPS is now becoming common for tracking dogs. There are numerous GPS dog trackers available on the market today; in fact, the choices can be bewildering. Here is some basic information about why tracking your dog with GPS makes sense, courtesy of TeletracNavman (and thanks to blog reader Natalie for pointing us to this resource):

  • 40 percent of dogs are startled by loud or unexpected noise. This "noise anxiety" can cause dogs to become frightened and bolt. A GPS tracker can help you find a frightened pet quickly.
  • When a dog goes missing and you aren't home, it could be hours before you take action. Some GPS trackers can notify you as soon as it happens.
  • A GPS tracker is your best friend when you are traveling with your dog. When you or your dog are unfamiliar with an area, it can lead to trouble.
  • If your dog likes to chase animals, cars or moving objects, a GPS tracker can help you track him down.  

TeletracNavman offers several other reasons for GPS tracking, plus a comprehensive list of helpful articles about losing a pet. You can find this resource here: https://www.teletracnavman.com/gps-fleet-tracking-education/tracking-your-dog-with-gps

Image: Simon Howden, Freedigitalphotos.net


April 8 is National Dogfighting Awareness Day

ID-100271616It is difficult for dog lovers in the Carolina mountains to believe, but dogfighting is going on right here in North Carolina. That's why the ASPCA has declared April 8 "National Dogfighting Awareness Day." According to the ASPCA:

"Dogfighting is one of the most monstrous forms of animal cruelty. Forcing animals to maul each other for entertainment or profit has no place in our society.

"We’re constantly working to pass stronger laws to deter and address this abuse—dogfighting is a felony nationwide, but stiff penalties are only one piece of the puzzle. We also need to ensure that dogs rescued from fighting can be rehabilitated and rehomed quickly. Passage of the HEART (Help Extract Animals from Red TapeAct will reduce unnecessary delays in the rehoming of victims rescued in federal cases."

The ASPCA is asking all dog lovers to sign a petition to the U.S. Department of Justice to support passage of HEART. You can sign it here: https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/tell-the-department-of-justice-have-a-heart-on-animal-fighting

For additional information about dogfighting and what you can do to stop it, visit: 
https://www.aspca.org/news/what-dog-fighting-and-what-can-you-do-stop-it

Image: Patrisyu, freedigitalphotos.net


Cold Weather Pet Safety

ID-10034507Keeping your dog safe during winter weather takes some common sense and preparation. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has several excellent tips for pet owners in the article, "Cold Weather Pet Safety."

Among the tips shared by the AVMA are the following:

Know the limits:  Just like people, pets’ cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. Be aware of your pet’s tolerance for cold weather, and adjust accordingly. You will probably need to shorten your dog’s walks in very cold weather to protect you both from weather-associated health risks. Arthritic and elderly pets may have more difficulty walking on snow and ice and may be more prone to slipping and falling.

Check the paws: Check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. During a walk, a sudden lameness may be due to an injury or may be due to ice accumulation between his/her toes. You may be able to reduce the chance of iceball accumulation by clipping the hair between your dog’s toes.

Provide shelter: We don’t recommend keeping any pet outside for long periods of time, but if you are unable to keep your dog inside during cold weather, provide him/her with a warm, solid shelter against wind. Make sure that they have unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water (by changing the water frequently or using a pet-safe, heated water bowl). The floor of the shelter should be off of the ground (to minimize heat loss into the ground) and the bedding should be thick, dry and changed regularly to provide a warm, dry environment. The door to the shelter should be positioned away from prevailing winds. Space heaters and heat lamps should be avoided because of the risk of burns or fire. Heated pet mats should also be used with caution because they are still capable of causing burns.

Read all the tips in this helpful article here: https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Cold-weather-pet-safety.aspx

Image: Photostock, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 


Dog Bite Prevention Week: May 15 - 21

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This is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, and it's a good time to make sure you and your family are practicing safety when it comes to your dog and others. Believe it or not, more than 4,500,000 people in the United States are bitten by dogs in a year.

We are providing an interesting, informative infographic about dog bites and dog bite prevention, courtesy of UltimateHomeLife.com

You can see it here: http://ultimatehomelife.com/dog-bite-prevention-week-2016-may-15-may-21/

 


ReTail Scene: Lost Dog? There's an App for That

ID-10080879Microchips and ID tags are the best way to prevent your dog from getting lost. If you do lose your dog, follow these helpful tips provided by the ASPCA. Be sure to report your missing pet to your local animal shelter as well.

Not surprisingly, another way to track down your dog is by using your smartphone and a specialized app. Here are some of the apps available to help you:

ASPCA
The ASPCA's mobile app offers you the ability to receive a personalized missing pet recovery kit, including step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances. You can also build a lost pet digital flyer that can be shared instantly on your social media channels. The app covers additional emergency situations.

Finding Rover
Finding Rover uses facial recognition technology to scan your dog's face and keep the information on file. If your dog is lost, Finding Rover notifies a large network of organizations and members who snap a photo using the app to see if there's a match.

iPet Alert
Think of iPet Alert as an Amber Alert for dogs. With iPet Alert, you can instantly alert others when your dog goes missing. A message is sent to local area vets and iPet Alert members to be on the lookout for your missing pet. 

PetRescuers
With the PetRescuers app by HomeAgain, you can help keep a lookout for lost pets in your area and recently found ones who have been reunited with their families. You can further expand your search beyond posting signs in your neighborhood by sharing lost pet alerts via Facebook, Twitter and email with ease. As a PetRescuer you will have access to articles and resources as well.

Pedigree Found
Pedigree Found is a real-time app currently available in New Zealand, but its availability may be expanded. You take a picture of your dog and then, if your dog goes missing, you use Pedigree Found to send out a free alert to Found members and people in your area using Google's ad network.

Tagg
Tagg is not just an app, it integrates with a GPS pet tracker that attaches to your dog's collar so you can keep track of your dog. Tagg allows you to define your dog's home base and tells you if your dog wanders off, and it can pinpoint a dog's location anywhere in the U.S.

Image: Africa, www.freedigitalphotos.net


Alert: Update on Canine Influenza Virus

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In late June, Carolina Mountain Dog reported on the relatively new "dog flu" known as Canine Influenza Virus (CIV). You can read the post here.

We have just received an alert from R.E.A.C.H., the emergency animal hospital in Asheville, that they have recently seen an increase in cases of CIV.

According to R.E.A.C.H., "Two patients have been tested and confirmed to have canine influenza. The flu vaccine may not be effective against this new and different strain. Signs of respiratory disease include coughing, sneezing, runny nose and eyes, fever and sluggishness. If your dog exhibits these signs, contact your regular vet or our hospital immediately. To protect your pet, don't let him or her interact with other dogs who are not his housemates.  For the time being, keep your dogs at home."

R.E.A.C.H. is open 24 hours a day. For more information, call R.E.A.C.H. at (828) 665-4399.


Dogs and Hot Cars

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Some dog owners STILL don't get it -- leaving a dog in a car when it's hot outside is a recipe for tragedy.

Here's what the ASPCA says about dogs and hot cars:

"As summer heats up, it’s tempting to bring your pet with you on car rides around town. Sadly, many people believe that cracking a window is enough to keep their dogs cool in the car while they make a quick pit stop—but they couldn’t be more wrong. When it’s 80 degrees outside, your car will be a staggering 114 degrees in less than 30 minutes.

Worse still, dogs can’t cool themselves down as easily as people, and once they overheat, they can suffer extensive organ damage or die. That’s why leaving an animal alone in a car is more than just a bad idea, it’s a form of animal cruelty."

Never leave your dog in a hot car -- and if you see a dog in a hot car, do something about it. The ASPCA's infographic on the subject has some helpful advice. You can download it below.

Download ASPCA-hot-cars-infographic

Please note: If you see a dog in a car, tell someone immediately! In North Carolina, any firefighter, rescue personnel or law enforcement who has probable cause to believe that an animal is confined in a motor vehicle under conditions that are likely to cause suffering, injury, or death to the animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or under other endangering conditions, may enter the motor vehicle by any reasonable means under the circumstances after making a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person responsible for the animal.


Puppies from Asheville Humane Compete in National "Puppy Bowl" on Feb. 1

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 10.13.55 AMThree puppies from Asheville Humane Society have been selected to be starting players in the nationally televised Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl!

The Puppy Bowl returns for its 11th consecutive year with an all-star, all-adorable cast that's ready to mix it up on the grand gridiron of Animal Planet Stadium. Puppy Bowl XI brings viewers a lovable lineup that's itching to play in a winning combination of terrier tackles, touchdowns, puppy penalties, fumbles and Fido first downs.

This year's big game is sure to be a tail-wagger. From barking beagles and spunky spaniels to everything in between, you'll see the cutest players taking the field on the most action-packed Sunday of the year. Plus, back for another year is the popular BISSELL Kitten Halftime Show, guaranteed to bring the house down! And, sideline reporter "Meep the Bird" will return to tweet live updates throughout the game. Follow @MeepTheBird on game day for the latest news, puppy penalties and behind-the-scenes moments from inside the stadium.

The Puppy Bowl airs before the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 1 from 3-5 pm. Watch as Asheville's own furry celebrities take the field!


5 Halloween Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 11.13.10 AM1. Lock Candy Away
Kids love to stash candy in their rooms, but a dog’s keen sense of smell will lead him to even the most cleverly hidden treasure. Contact a veterinary professional right away if your pet does get into Halloween candy, especially if it contains chocolate or is sugar-free and contains xylitol.

2. Ditto the Glow Sticks
Glow sticks are used to help keep kids safe while they are out in the dark. Pets (especially cats) find these glow sticks to be a lot of fun and often puncture them. While most of the sticks are labeled as non-toxic, they do have an extremely bitter taste and pets who bite into them may begin drooling and racing around the house. A little treat or sip of milk will usually stop the taste reaction.

3. Have Pets Identified and Visible
There are a lot of extra people on the streets at Halloween, and that combined with strange costumes can spook pets and cause them to bolt. If you take your pet out after dark, make sure he or she wears a reflective collar and is securely leashed. And make sure your pet has proper identification on the collar.

4. Keep Pets Calm
Even pets who are kept indoors may experience intense anxiety over the large number of strangely dressed visitors. Keeping your pet away from trick-or-treaters may do the trick, but if you think more will be needed be sure and speak with your vet well in advance about options to help calm your pet.

5. Check Those Costumes
Costumes can be fun for the whole family. However, if you are planning on dressing up your best bud, ensure that the costume fits well and isn’t going to slip and tangle the pet or cause a choking hazard if chewed on. And never leave a costumed pet unattended.

These tips were provided by the ASPCA Poison Control Center


R.E.A.C.H. Sponsors Pet Halloween Photo Contest

UnnamedR.E.A.C.H. (the Regional Emergency Animal Care Hospital) and Asheville Veterinary Specialists are sponsoring a Pet Halloween Photo Contest.

According to R.E.A.C.H.:

"We would like you all to send us your Pet's Halloween Photos! We will have a vote and 1st place will get a $50 gift card to Wicked Weed, 2nd place will get a $20 gift card to the Hop, and 3rd will get a $10 gift card to High Five coffee shop!

"Please submit your photos by October 24th by either posting them on our Facebook page or emailing pr@reachvet.com. Voting will begin immediately so the sooner they are in the more votes you'll get and the winner will be announced October 31st!"

Image courtesy of R.E.A.C.H.