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poison

I Hurt it On The Grape Vine

Toxic to dog: grapes, raisins and sultanas

Grapes, raisins and currants can be toxic to dogs (and possibly cats and ferrets as well).

The Signs

Vomiting and diarrhoea are usually the first signs, often developing within hours of ingestion and the vomitus or stools may contain pieces of the fruit. Other symptoms include abnormal drinking and urination, not eating, abdominal pain and lethargy.

Snake Bites in Animals in the Illawarra

Along with BBQ, sunscreen and tourists, hot weather also brings out the snakes around the Illawarra.

There are a number of species that inhabit our part of the coast and escarpment, from non-venomous Diamond Pythons to the mildly venomous Golden Crown Snakes as well as some highly toxic individuals. While there are small pockets of Copperheads and Brown Snakes in the area, the majority of snake bite pets that we see have been bitten by the generally shy, Red Bellied Black Snake.

Cats and Lilies - a lethal combination

deadly pink tiger lilly

(Not like Sushi and Wasabi or Lamb and Rosemary either)

 

Cats, as a general rule, are not Hoovers (in the classic labrador-style sense) but some cats will eat random things and sometimes those things are bad things- Lilies are one of those bad things.

‘Lilies’ actually refers to a number of plants of a number of species, some of which are very harmful and others are not.

That’s Not Dog Food!

grapes, milk, chocolate, beer, macadamias on onion with a big red cross

Dogs eat a lot of things, which isn’t the same as saying you can feed your dog anything, far from it!

Dogs are living longer and longer lives and this has much to do with the diets we feed them now. Modern foods are well balanced and provide dogs with age appropriate nutrition. Even though there are a number of great foods out there that dogs thrive on, many owners can’t resist giving their pets a few treats off the plate as well.

How to tell if your dog has been bitten by a red-bellied black snake

Matt Young's picture
A red belly black snake in green grass with the caption: How to tell if your dog's been bitten

The most common type of snake found in our area is the red-bellied black snake. They are not a particularly aggressive snake but we do see alot of bites in dogs as the dogs will corner the snake and bite them (so of course the snake bites back in defense). If you've found a red-bellied black snake and aren't sure if your dog was bitten here are some ways to tell:

1. Look for a bite

The fangs of the snake cause a puncture wound and the venom then causes the muscles around the wound to break down. The area becomes very inflamed. The bite wounds are usually:

Is your garden poisonous?

Matt Young's picture
A brunsfelsia shrub

Last week I had a dog called Josie come in because she was tremoring all over and appeared very agitated and distressed. She was very close to seizuring now but had been fine earlier in the evening.

I gave her some medication to make her vomit and along with some bits of plastic bag (she had also got into a nappy earlier in the day, so yes he was a garbage guts) there was some small pieces of plant material and very small seeds.

Is chocolate your poison of choice? Don't make it your pet's!

Matt Young's picture
No chocolate for dogs

Easter is that time of year when there is alot of chocolate around. While chocolate is yummy and has alot of positives there are 2 things that are bad about chocolate:

  1. It makes you fat
  2. It is poisonous to dogs and cats

I can't do anything about the first problem for you but I can help you with the second issue. 

How does chocolate poison dogs and cats?

Chocolate contains theobromine which acts as a nervous system stimulant in dogs and cats. Whether or not they are affected depends on:

The Perils of Poisoning Rodents

Matt Young's picture
Maja & Lily feeling sick and sorry for themselves

Oh no! Lily and Maja just chewed a box of rat bait!

Lilly and Maja came in earlier this week as they were found in the yard eating a packet of rat bait. When we suspect a dog may have eaten rat bait if it's within 1 hour of potentially ingesting it we give medications to induce vomiting to empty their stomachs.  This removes as much of the poison as possible to limit the amount that is taken into their circulation. Fortunately the poison contains a dye so it usually quite obvious when they have ingested the bait by looking at the vomit:

Cliff Notes: What not to feed your dog

Matt Young's picture
hamburger with grapes

Okay, so let’s say I have a dog.  Let’s say that, through no fault of either party, she came to me a lot earlier that would be ideal.  Like, a lot.

The first lesson this has taught me is never, never adopt a puppy younger than eight weeks old.  (You try crawling out of bed every two hours to soak kibble in lukewarm puppy milk, and begging a tiny but impassive canine to eat, eat, because some of us have to go to work tomorrow.  The powers that be only know what fall out her crippling curtailed socialisation with her mother and litter will have on her development, but I digress.  No use crying over spilt formula.)

The second is never, ever to parent from guilt.  Once, when Cliff was very small (five and a half weeks, and 1.7 kilos, if anyone is asking), she took it into her head that premium junior biscuits were boring.  Like any new parent, I panicked.  She would eat them soaked in puppy milk, but she was really starting to outgrow that so… I switched to regular.  Um, most dogs are lactose intolerant.  Mine sure is.

The diarrhoea was spectacular.  No one at the clinic is going to let me live that down in a hurry, but no permanent damage was done, except to the odd couch and carpet.  And curtain.  Like I said, spectacular.

But it got me thinking…  what if it had been worse?  I’m not talking about what to feed your puppy, because that’s easy.  Greater than 80% of the diet should be a premium, high quality diet; Royal Canin, Eukanuba or Hills, tailored to their size, and measured out to age, especially important for the first year, and really, really important for large breed pups.  But the tricky thing is what not to feed.

It’s that pesky 20%.

We all feed treats.  If you want to hear some embarrassing stories, ask anyone else at the practice when I’m out of ear shot what my dog is guilty of scrounging.  But what is right out?  To the point of being definitely non-negotiable?

 

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