Kelly's Pet Sitting
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PET LOVERS BLOG
|Posted on 14 November, 2017 at 17:51||comments (0)|
|Posted on 1 December, 2016 at 14:32||comments (0)|
I would like to share this article written by Dr. Karen Becker because being prepared in a pet poisining emergency can mean the difference between life and death for your pet. At Kelly's Pet Sitting in Medford, Oregon, our sitters are aware of the signs of poisoning and know what to do. Having a professional pet sitter care for your pets gives you an added benefit because we are knowledgable about emergency pet situations and can get your pet to the veterinarian immediately, if needed.
In 2013, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) processed nearly 180,000 cases of pets potentially exposed to toxic substances. The APCC has compiled a list of five important tips for handling a pet poisoning emergency in your own household.
Quick Tips for Dealing with a Pet Poisoning Emergency
1. Be Ready
Before you ever need them, make sure your veterinarian’s phone number, the number of the closest emergency veterinary hospital, and the number for a pet poison center are saved in your phone. The APCC number is 888-426-4435; the Pet Poison Hotline is 800-213-6680.And remember that you may be able to provide important, even life-saving initial treatment at home if you have a pet first aid kit ready and easily accessible in an emergency.
2. Keep Your Cool
Maintaining your composure when faced with a pet emergency can be hard to do, but it’s really important if you want to insure your furry family member gets the help he needs. If you stay calm, you’ll be better able to provide first aid, as well as vital information to the people treating your pet.
3. Evaluate Your Pet’s Condition
It’s important to make a clear-eyed observation of your pet’s condition. Is she behaving abnormally? Is she bleeding? Is she having trouble breathing? Is she having convulsions or seizures? Is she unresponsive? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, your pet needs immediate medical attention. Call your vet or the nearest emergency animal hospital and alert them that you’re on your way.
4. Be Prepared to Answer Questions
What is the toxic substance you know or suspect your pet ingested? Either pack up the substance itself (this is ideal), or write down the exact name of the product or medication. You’ll also want to write down the strength (typically in milligrams) of the drug, the concentration of active ingredients in herbicides or pesticides and the EPA registration number, and any other information you think might help the veterinarian who will be treating your pet. When did the poisoning happen? Did you catch your pet actually ingesting the substance? Has your pet vomited? If so, did she vomit up any of the poison or packaging?
5. Be Proactive
If you know or suspect your pet has ingested a poison, don’t wait for symptoms before seeking help. Time is of the essence in preventing the poison from being absorbed by your pet’s body. The faster you are able to treat your furry companion at home (with guidance from your vet or a pet poison hotline), or get her to a veterinarian, the better her chances for survival and a full recovery. By Dr. Karen Becker
|Posted on 28 April, 2016 at 21:04||comments (0)|
SYMPTOMS THAT DOG AND/OR CAT OWNERS SHOULD NOT IGNORE
This is Part 1 in a 2 part series of symptoms that dog and/or cat owners should not ignore, and should seek veterinary attention right away. They are not in order of importance, as they are all important.
In these tough economic times, pet owners are looking for ways to save money on their pets. Unfortunately, this also leads people to delay seeking medical care because they’re uncertain if a visit to the vet is absolutely necessary. Most people know if a pet has collapsed, had a seizure, is bleeding, bloated, unable to walk, or has been injured they should see their veterinarian quickly. But what about other, more subtle symptoms? When should you absolutely, positively take your pet to the veterinarian?
We all want our pets to be healthy and well, but there are times in every pet parent’s life when one of our beloved pets may have an illness, injury, or medical condition necessitating a trip to their veterinarian. I had the pleasure of speaking to Dr. Dwight Sinner of Siskiyou Veterinary Hospital in Medford, Oregon. *For more information, see bottom of blog*. Dr. Sinner was kind enough to list the following symptoms in your dog or cat that pet parents should NEVER ignore and should contact their veterinarian right away.
Vomiting and/or diarrhea Diarrhea: A single bout of diarrhea is generally not a concern in dogs, but if it persists for more than a day, it can lead to dehydration, or it may indicate an underlying health issue and should be checked out by your veterinarian. Bring your dog to the vet if his diarrhea continues for more than a day, or if you observe lethargy, vomiting, fever, dark-colored or bloody stools, straining to defecate, decreased appetite or unexplained weight loss. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice your puppy has diarrhea, as it can be an important indicator of serious diseases in young dogs. There are many causes of diarrhea in dogs. Some of them include: change in diet or food intolerance, ingestion of spoiled food, poisonous substances or toxic plant material, ingestion of an object. Diarrhea can also be due to an allergic reaction, bacterial or viral infection, internal parasites, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney or liver disease, cancer or tumors of the digestive tract, colitis or gastroenteritis. Stress can also cause diarrhea so having your pet sitter monitor your dog for diarrhea is very important since being away from you can cause stress. Vomiting: An occasional, isolated bout of vomiting may not be of concern. However, frequent or chronic vomiting can be a sign of a more serious condition such as colitis, intestinal obstruction or parvovirus. If your dog’s vomiting is not an isolated incident, please bring him to the vet right away for a complete exam and diagnostic testing. Any of the following symptoms along with the vomiting would indicate contacting your vet right away: diarrhea, dehydration, lethargy, blood in vomit, weight loss, change in appetite , increase or decrease in thirst or urination. Your professional pet sitter at Kelly’s Pet Sitting will monitor your dog’s food and water intake, bowel and bladder habits and keep you and your veterinarian informed of any change in habits.
Seizures or convulsions Seizures can look like a twitch or uncontrollable shaking and can last from less than a minute to several minutes. Some of the causes of seizures are: epilepsy, eating poison, liver or kidney disease, low or high blood sugar, strokes, or other conditions. When the seizure stops they usually appear confused and unsteady. Call your veterinarian right away to have him evaluated. Some dogs may need to take medication to help control the seizures. Your professional pet sitter will be able to administer medication while you are away and to notice any seizures and let you and your veterinarian know what transpired.
Blood in urine or stool If you notice your cat litter box has any blood in urine or stool, or if you notice blood in urine or stool of your dog, contact your veterinarian right away. There are many illnesses that may be causing this and it is best to get your pet evaluated and treated as soon as possible. Your Professional Pet Sitter monitors your pet’s stools for any sign of illness.
Not eating for 1-2 days Because loss of appetite in dogs or cats can indicate illness, it is important to seek veterinary care if you notice changes in your pet’s eating habits, especially if your dog usually gobbles up their food & suddenly does not eat. We have noticed in our pet sitting service that some pets may not eat the first day or possibly, the second day their owners are away. We also know of various methods that may help your pet to eat. At Kelly’s Pet Sitting, we ask if your pet normally nibbles or gobbles their food so we can maintain records of how your pet is eating. That way, we can keep you informed and seek veterinary care if needed. We send daily updates to let you know how your pet is doing for your peace of mind.
Inability or painful urination and defecation There are many causes of inability or painful urination or defecation. The treatment might be as simple as feeding a high fiber diet, giving plenty of water and laxatives as prescribed by your vet. But it could be something more serious. Get to know your pet’s normal pee & poop schedules so you can determine what is normal for your pet. When you hire Kelly’s Pet Sitting to care for your pets, we always monitor your pet’s elimination and look for any signs of abnormality so we can alert the pet parent and take your pet to your veterinarian if indicated.
Unexpected weight loss or weight gain If you are feeding a regular, healthy diet to your pet that is appropriate to their breed, activity level, and size and suddenly your pet has an unexpected weight loss or gain, it is imperative that you take your pet for an exam with your veterinarian. There are many causes for this ranging from thyroid disorders to diabetes, and many others. Your vet will let you know what diet and/or meds your pet may need in order to maintain their weight and health.
Increases in water drinking or urination or accidents in the house If you notice your pet drinking more water than is normal for them, or suddenly having accidents in the house with a house-trained dog, this can signal a lot of potential problems. For cats that are suddenly urinating outside of their litter box, this could be a symptom of a urinary tract infection, or other problem. Excessive water intake and urination could be a sign of diabetes, kidney disease or other problem in your pet. Please have your pet evaluated by your veterinarian, who will provide treatment.
Weakness or collapse In hot weather, heat stroke is a definite possibility. Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of water if it is hot outdoors. And keep them in a shady place out of the sun and be careful not to over-exercise them in the heat. Keep them indoors when it is extremely hot. Be especially careful with brachycephalic dogs (dogs with short noses) such as pugs, boxers, or any dog with a short snout, etc.) as they cannot breathe as easily as other dogs. If your dog should show signs of weakness or collapse, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Red or painful eyes and/or loss of vision Examine your dog and cat eyes and lids for signs of redness, discharge, cloudiness or change in eye color. Be sure to protect your dog’s eyes from shampoo during bathing and please drive with your dog’s head inside of the vehicle, as debris or insects, as well as the wind drying out their eyes, can cause injury. If you notice your pet bumping into things, have your veterinarian do an exam. They may have cataracts or other eye problems affecting their vision.
Tumors or lumps You may be snuggled up with your canine buddy, and all of a sudden, you notice a lump. Before you freak out that it may be cancer, realize that most lumps are fatty tumors, and are more common in older pets. Often these are benign, meaning not cancerous. Fewer than half of lumps and bumps you find on a dog are malignant, or cancerous. Still, it is best to let your vet evaluate the lump to determine if it is nothing to worry about or something that needs to be further evaluated.
*Dr. Dwight Sinner graduated from the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Pullman, WA in 1982. He has owned Siskiyou Veterinary Hospital since 1984. He has special interests in dog and cat surgery, dental procedures, and knee stabilization procedures. Siskiyou Veterinary Hospital is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM, and Saturdays, 8:00 AM – Noon and 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM. After hour emergencies are referred to the Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center at (541) 282-7711. In his spare time, he enjoys time with his family, bicycling, hiking, and volunteering at his church.
DISCLAIMER: Of course, this list cannot explain every symptom that could indicate an emergent situation, so if in doubt, ALWAYS call your vet if you have concerns.
At Kelly’s Pet Sitting in Medford, Oregon we have every client fill out a Veterinary Authorization listing the name and contact information for their vet, as well as names and descriptions of their pets. All of our pet sitters are experienced in what symptoms to look for in your pets while in our care and to contact you and/or your veterinarian for advice and/or treatment. We also have the number of the Emergency Vet in Medford should your veterinarian not be able to see your pet after hours
Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center 541-282-7711. Pet Poison Number (1-888-426-4435 or 1-800-548-2423. Sources: pet.webmd.com, dogtime.com
|Posted on 8 April, 2016 at 16:31||comments (0)|
|Posted on 11 March, 2016 at 23:45||comments (0)|
I was recently interviewed by Robert Hudson, the creator of www.oregondoglife.com
This website has some great blogs about dogs and he supports dog adoption and education for dog owners everywhere. He had some great questions about Kelly’s Pet Sitting in Medford, OR that I wanted to share with my readers.
How long have you been doing this and what led you to get into this business?
I have been pet sitting in the Medford, OR area for 10 years and am now in my 5 year doing this on a full time basis. 3 years ago I started hiring staff because the demand for our services was more than 1 person could handle. We now have 2-4 pet sitters available at any given time.
WHY I started this business: Years ago, when my husband and I were traveling out of state to visit relatives, we took our dog Kacie to a local kennel. She did not do well there, even though it was a reputable kennel. She was so stressed and wouldn’t eat or play – just shut down. I knew there had to be a better way, so I started Kelly’s Pet Sitting to offer care for pets in their own homes, where they are most comfortable. I have found that pets are less stressed when they are in familiar surroundings and stay on their normal routine.
What do you like most about your job?
Caring for pets is my passion. So, not only am I able to spend my days with cats, dogs, rabbits, birds and other pets, I know I am helping pet parents. So many people have told me that they did not want to leave their pets in a kennel or impose on family or friends to watch their pet. Once they found us, they are so relieved to have the peace of mind knowing their pets have a professional pet sitter caring for them.
Have you ever had to care for an animal that was difficult to handle?
The most difficult animals for us are that ones that are afraid of having someone new in their home. We have had cats that are wary of strangers and hide under the bed. We do more than just feed and clean the litter box. We love and understand cats, and in most cases we are able to help the kitty feel comfortable enough to come out and make friends with us. We also encounter dogs who are nervous or shy and we spend the time with them helping them to be calm and confident. Some of these dogs need extra attention to get them to eat. We sit with them and hand feed them if necessary until they begin to trust us.
Another challenge is dogs that pull on their leash during walks. For these dogs, we have been able to help by using positive reward methods or no-pull harnesses which do not cause any pain to the dog. We always try to make dog walks fun, and keep dogs safe on their walks.
Why do you think your customers keep coming back to you?
Our clients tell us that they love the peace of mind we offer. They know they can count on us to be trustworthy, and give compassionate care to their precious pets. We send daily text messages to let them know how their pets are doing, so they don’t worry. We do not cancel on them last minute. We are open 7 days per week, all year long – EVEN Holidays! They also like that we are trained in pet first aid and know how to handle sickness or injury and take the pets to their veterinarian if needed.
What is the toughest part of your job?
The toughest part of this job is when clients move out of our area or a pet we have cared for passes away. We have developed a bond with the animals we care for and we grieve for them as if we lost one of our own pets.
What area do you service?
We are in Southern Oregon and service communities in Medford, Central Point and Jacksonville, Oregon.
Any advice for people wanting to start a business like yours in their area?
Having a full time pet sitting business is the most rewarding work I have ever done, and is also one of the most challenging things I have ever done. If you have a genuine love for animals, are willing to often work 7 days per week, including holidays, this career may be the right fit for you. I recommend volunteering at an animal shelter to gain experience with handling many different personalities. You should have a knowledge of animal care, know symptoms of illness, understand dog body language, and have pet first aid training. Operating a professional pet sitting business may require a business license for your city, and you should absolutely have pet sitting insurance and bonding. I recommend joining an organization for professional pet sitters, such as Pet Sitters International (aka PSI) which we belong to. They offer resources and ongoing education to pet sitters and pet business owners that can help you get started on the right PAW!
How do our listeners contact you?
Pet parents can contact Kelly’s Pet Sitting by phone: 541-601-7461, or email: [email protected] or visit our website: www.kellyspetsitting.net and fill out the contact form.
|Posted on 2 December, 2015 at 15:30||comments (0)|
MEOWY CHRISTMAS AND YAPPY NEW YEAR FROM KELLY’S PET SITTING!
With the holidays here and all those yummy treats being passed around, does your dog or cat look at you with pleading eyes? I know mine do, but we try to limit human food for our pets. So, I thought it would be fun to share some dog and cat treat recipes you can make at home. That way you can spoil your pets a little too. With all of the pet food and treat recalls happening, it’s hard to know which brand of treats you can trust! The four-legged members of your family will be so happy you took the time to show you care by providing them with wholesome treats. Moderation is important. Please remember: These are treats and should not be substituted for the main course. Use in moderation – Do not exceed 1/10 of your dog’s diet. Caution: If your dog has known food allergies or is on a restricted diet, consult your veterinarian before preparing and serving any of these recipes. So without further ado, let’s “dig” right in!
CINNABONE – The perfect bone for the dog with a sweet tooth!
2 TBS Honey 1/2 cup Milk 1/2 tsp Cinnamon 1/2 cup Wheat Germ
2 TBS Molasses 1/2 cup Brewer’s Yeast*
2 TBS Vegetable Oil *look in health food section
1-1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together honey, molasses, oil, milk and cinnamon. Gradually add flour, yeast, and wheat germ. Roll dough to 1/4" thickness and use cookie cutter to cut into shapes. Bake at 350 degrees on an ungreased cookie sheet for 20 minutes or until bottoms are brown. Depending on size of cookie cutter, makes 1 to 1-1/2 dozen.
P-NUT BUTTER/BANANA COOKIES - Your Pup will not be able to resist!
1/2 cup Peanut Butter 1/2 cup Wheat Germ
1/2 cup Mashed Banana 1-1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 large Egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine peanut butter, banana and egg in a large bowl. Stir well. Gradually add wheat germ and whole wheat flour. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutter. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Makes about 1 dozen.
PUMPKIN DOG BISCUITS – Perfect for the Holidays!
2 Eggs 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 cup Canned Pumpkin 2-1/2 cups Brown Rice Flour *
2 TBS Dry Milk Powder 1 tsp Dried Parsley (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, whisk together eggs and pumpkin to smooth. Stir in dry milk, salt, and dried parsley. Add brown rice flour gradually with spatula or hands to form a stiff, dry dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and if dough is still rough, briefly knead and press to combine. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutter into shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn biscuits over, then bake an addition 20 minutes.
· Brown rice flour gives the biscuits crunch and promoters better dog digestion. Some dogs have allergies and do not tolerate wheat.
CHICKEN JERKY – You won’t have to worry about China Products!
Slice chicken strips into long thin strips. (TIP: Chicken that is partially frozen slices much easier) Place on greased cookie sheet (I use PAM spray). Bake 3+ hours at 180 degrees. Let cool and store in plastic bags. Can be frozen for later.
AND LET’S NOT FORGET ABOUT OUR FURRY KITTY FRIENDS!
KITTY TUNA DREAMS – Your kitty will love these treats!
1/2 tsp Vegetable oil, or more as needed. 2 eggs, beaten
1 cup canned tuna in oil 1 tsp Brewer’s Yeast (optional)
2 cups bread crumbs
NOTE: Recipe directions are for serving size of 72 (double batch)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet with vegetable oil. Drain tuna and reserve oil; add enough vegetable oil to make 1/4 cup total. Combine tuna, reserved oil, bread crumbs, eggs, and Brewer’s Yeast in a bowl. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of tuna mixture 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes. Cool biscuits and store covered in the refrigerator.
FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS, MAY YOU AND YOUR PETS HAVE A PEACEFUL AND MERRY HOLIDAY SEASON!
Kelly’s Pet Sitting in Medford, OR is open 365 days a year – That’s right! We care for your pets during the holidays so you can travel and enjoy your out of town family. We do appreciate advance notice for holidays, as we do get fully booked at those times. Go to our website for more information: www.kellyspetsitting.net. You can contact us at: [email protected] or call: 541-601-7461.
Here is a link to “Bake A Bone Dog Treat Maker” on Amazon
Link to Dog Treat Recipe Books on Amazon
|Posted on 25 June, 2015 at 3:10||comments (0)|
REVIEWS of Kelly's Pet Sitting, Medford, OR
Our goal is to provide the very best pet care available and to give our clients peace of mind while they are away. We love getting positive reviews and our clients say it best. I would like to share with you a few of these reviews from some of our very satisfied clients.
Kelly has taken care of my pets several times now. She is an amazing person who understands the needs of both the owner and their pets. I love the texting service of a daily update. When I return home my pets are happy and well taken care of. - Gigi M. Medford, OR 97501
We have used Kelly's Pet Sitting Service several times now and we are very impressed with the level of quality and caring that she gives to our two dogs and our cat. We recommend her to anyone who is seeking the same. It should be noted that I rarely endorse someone, so, I admit that she has impressed us. - John M., Medford, OR 97501
Thank you for the pictures. I also want to thank you for your great care of Cody and Maddie. We both commented after you left that we had never seen them so content and calm at the motel You truly have a gift with animals. If we are ever in a similar situation, you will be the first one we call. - Jacky O, Motel Client – Quality Inn, Medford 97504
Thank you for being there. When I know you are coming over to check on our two fur-babies I don't worry when we are gone. Thank you again. - Laurie P., Medford, OR 97504
I look forward to our ongoing “work” relationship It is such an important one, and will be for years to come, as we will utilize your services often! It is so nice to finally have someone reliable, personable, and trustworthy to watch our pets, and stay in our home, and not have to worry. You are a “Gem” for the work you do. - Patrick C., Jacksonville, OR 97530
Thanks so much! Such an amazing service you guys provide. Really appreciate it! - Danielle G, Medford 97501
This is just a sampling of the compliments we receive for our devoted care of pets. We are a small family owned business of experienced professional pet sitters and we are licensed, bonded, insured for your protection. If you would like to have the feeling of trust that comes from knowing your pet sitter has everything handled while you are away, give us a call to set up your complimentary “meet and greet”. 541-601-7461.
|Posted on 4 February, 2015 at 3:10||comments (0)|
WHY DOES MY CAT DO THAT?
I have been studying Pet Sitter's International Certification Program Coursework to further my education in the areas of pet care, health, behaviors, etc. in order to be the best pet sitter I can possibly be. I wanted to share some of the information I am learning with pet owners, particularly CAT owners in this blog.
Cats are not fond of change, so pet sitting is the best option by far for taking care of a cat while the owner is away. But there are still issues with cats that pet sitters need to recognize, know what's behind the behaviors and how to deal with them.
Our cat companions can be a real challenge at times. Sometimes we just don't understand why our cats are acting strange, or being destructive. As a professional pet sitter, I know that sometimes cats can act differently for a pet sitter than they do with their pet parents. And, I am also owned by 3 cats myself, so I know how perplexing cat behavior can be.
Here are some possible explanations for “WHY do they do it?”
A good example of that is going outside of the litterbox. The cat may have had a sub-clinical medical problem and when you add any sort of stress, it goes over the edge. That's why a problem seems to appear suddenly – out of the blue. An experienced pet sitter can alert you to any changes in litterbox habits that may indicate a health concern that would warrant a check up by your veterinarian.
Some cats you sit for, you may never see. You peek under the bed and there they are! With a cat like that, you don't want to reach in and try to haul it out Believe what it's telling you. If it's looking for a fight, leave it alone. Make sure your pet sitter is experienced in cat behavior in order to make your feline feel relaxed and comfortable while you are away. I find that almost every cat I have cared for comes out eventually to see me, even if I have been told “I will probably never see the cat.”
You've got to give a cat an opportunity to be a cat or it will act out. Cats are predatory, playful, territorial. Providing a cat with the attention it needs, whether it be petting, lap time, chasing after toys or laser lights, are all easy outlets for you to provide for your feline friend. Cats need daily interaction with their humans. For social and active kitties you may want to have your sitter visit two times a day.
A lot of people get injured by introducing a cat to a dog by holding it out and saying, “Kitty, meet Doggy.” You are the nearest vertical object and that cat wants to get away and high up to safety. At this point, you simply become an obstacle to go over or through. If you try to handle the cat, you'll get bit or scratched. Cat scratches or bites can be very serious – always seek medical attention. Also, it is best to let your cat be the one to initiate contact with a new person in your home at their own comfort level.
Cats are the best blackmail artists in the world. They will meow and meow and they won't give up! They know they'll eventually get the attention they want. A dog will ask for a while, then go away. Not a cat. See if you can figure out what your kitty is asking for. Is it affection? Play time? Wanting to be petted? Note: Sometimes they are just beggars for more treats or food. Be sure you are feeding them a nutritious diet and the proper amount to keep kitty at a healthy weight. But, a couple treats never hurt, right?
Destructive scratching is usually territory marking, exercise or claw sharpening. Be sure you have several scratching posts available for your kitty. Kittens need to be taught where it is appropriate to scratch. I sprinkle cat nip on the areas I want kitty to scratch and I provide vertical and horizontal scratching opportunities in various locations throughout my home.
Cats need a place to “do their business” that is private and away from their feeding areas. The general rule is one litter box per cat, plus one extra if you have multiple cats. They should be placed in different areas of the house and cleaned daily. If you need to change the type of litter you use, it should be done gradually. Cats do not usually like change and may go outside the box when there are sudden changes.
THE “FELINE TOOL BOX”
There are some things that I have found useful in my profession as a cat sitter, as well as sharing my own home with cats.
|Posted on 5 January, 2015 at 18:54||comments (0)|
The Dangers of Antifreeze
My blog this month is a post by Dr. Jeff Grognet and Mike Annan at ACE Academy for Canine Educators. Antifreeze is so deadly that I wanted to highlight the importance of keeping it out of reach from your pets. Without immediate veterinary treatment the prognosis for recovery is very grim. Dogs and cats are very curious by nature so I felt this was extemely important to share.
Ethylene glycol, the most common type of antifreeze commercially available, has an extremely sweet taste. This means that pets, wildlife, and even children are attracted to it. Unfortunately, ethylene glycol (EG) is also very toxic. Once it is absorbed through the intestinal lining, it is metabolized in the body to a chemical called oxalate. In the blood, oxalate causes little harm, but when it concentrates in the kidney tubules, it forms microscopic crystals. These crystals plug the tubules, block urine flow and shut down urine production. With nowhere to go, toxins build up in the bloodstream and poison the pet. When EG is first consumed, the animal suffers from vomiting and delirium but, in many cases, owners do not notice these symptoms. Over the next few days as kidney function deteriorates, drinking increases significantly. Once toxins reach a toxic level, which is normally three to four days after EG consumption, appetite falls and the legs become weak. Over time (a few more days), the toxins cause extreme lethargy and dullness. Pets can then slip into a coma or begin convulsing. Death soon follows. Treatment, once signs are evident, is considered futile. The kidneys are already damaged beyond repair. The only ones that recover from EG toxicity are ones that are caught consuming EG and treated immediately. If therapy begins within an hour of consumption, the conversion of EG to oxalate can be inhibited and the poisoning averted. The treatment for EG poisoning is administration of ethyl alcohol (the one you drink) intravenously. The high level of ethyl alcohol in the blood saturates the enzyme that converts EG to oxalate and stops oxalate from being created. The EG is eliminated from the body and causes no harm. Alcohol intoxication must be continued for 48 hours. Because EG poisoning is so deadly, it’s not surprising it is the number one cause of fatalities in dogs and cats. It is also an issue with children who may find the bright, often yellow container attractive and consume it. This has led to pressure from both veterinarians and animal welfare groups against antifreeze manufacturers and government for change. Years ago, and even now, groups promote the use of the non-toxic antifreeze propylene glycol instead of EG. Labeled as “pet-safe”, propylene glycol is slightly more expensive than EG, bit it is a great way to protect dogs. You can ask your mechanic to add this instead of the traditional antifreeze on the next radiator fill up. The other way to protect pets is to make EG unpalatable. This is done by adding a bittering agent. British Columbia was the first province to enact laws protecting dogs from this toxic antifreeze. Legislation took effect January 1,2011 and it makes it mandatory to add an extremely bitter substance to antifreeze and engine coolant. But, this only affects EG sold at the retail level in BC. Though the bittering agent will lessen the appeal of EG to pets, it does not eliminate its toxicity. You still need to be careful when handling or disposing of any antifreeze product. And, a loophole is that mechanics aren’t required to use the safe antifreeze because they aren’t selling it. So, make sure you know what is added to your radiator.
Dr. Jeff Grognet and Mike Annan
ACE Academy for Canine Educators
|Posted on 20 December, 2014 at 3:24||comments (0)|