Where did Summer go? Fall is right around the corner! We are all looking forward to cooler weather and the fall colors. As Summer turns into Fall, the staff at Portsmouth Veterinary Clinic have some fall tips to keep your pet healthy and happy:
The Chrysanthemum (mum) is a seasonally blooming flower that is commonly associated with fall. Toxicity can occur if your dog or cat ingests the mum's flower, stems, or leaves, all of which can cause the following clinical signs:
Other plants producing blooms with a toxic potential for dogs and cats include:
As you prepare for Halloween, remember that Halloween is a fun time for children and families but can be a nightmare for pets.
If you are going to dress your pet in a costume, be sure is does not constrict movement, hearing, vision or the ability to breath, bark and meow. Put the costume on your pet before Halloween so that your pet can get used to the costume and to be sure they will wear it. If they seem distressed or exhibit abnormal behavior, let them go in their “birthday suit”. Bandanas are a great way to dress up a costume-adverse dog or cat.
Keep your pet away from the chocolate and baked goods. And XYLITOL! All forms of chocolate -- especially baking or dark chocolate -- can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures.
Outdoor cats should be kept inside several days prior to and several days after Halloween. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents.
Restrict pets from lit pumpkins. Pets can knock into lit pumpkins, causing skin burns and larger fires.
Monitor the front door and your pet. As the trick-or-treators approach and ring your doorbell dressed in unusual and scary costumes, some pets will be scared, anxious or territorial. Putting your pet in a secure room away from the door may work best for some pets.
If you use rodenticides to protect your house, porch, basement or garage from mice or rats, rodenticides are highly toxic to pets. If ingested, the results could be fatal to your pet. If you use these products, please place them in areas inaccessible to pets. Please use extreme caution when using these products.
Engine coolant can be dangerous to pets. Ethylene glycol-based coolants are highly toxic. Please keep your pets away from ethylene glycol-based coolants and, if spilled, should be cleaned up immediately. Consider switching to propylene glycol-based coolants—though they aren't completely nontoxic, they are much less toxic than other engine coolants.
If your pet ingests either of these items, please call us right away.
Turning the clock back for Daylight Savings Time means less daytime hours and dog owners end up walking or exercising their canine companions in the darkness of early morning or evening. Remember that reduced light makes it more challenging for drivers to see animals (and people) in driveways, sidewalks, and roads. Be sure your pet is using a collar or chest harness with an up-to-date-tag and walk your dog using a leash. Implanting a microchip or checking the information on your pet’s existing microchip improve their likelihood of a safe return should they go missing.
All of us at Portsmouth Veterinary wish you a safe and happy Fall! If you have any questions about your pet’s health, please give us a call. That’s what we are here for!