Hazards and Dangers
This page is a growing collection of our regular pet care and prevention Facebook posts.
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Common Pet Poisons and Toxic Foods
Confused by the seemingly endless list of poisons on the internet? We have published our data on what pet poisonings we see in Adelaide.
Featured are a number of posts about common food hazards. Toadstools and toxic fish washed up on the beach are a common problem. Many human foods are toxic to dogs. See also the list at Dangerous foods for pets. If your pet eats any of these, SEEK IMMEDIATE VETERINARY CARE as if it is withn 30 minutes, the vet can take steps to prevent the toxin being absorbed.
Cats enjoy a safe nibble on grass but if they are given access to lilies, a small nibble can be fatal. Do not keep lilies in houses with cats.
Snakes and Spiders
Keep dogs leashed or fenced in areas where snakes may occur. Clean up rubbish and other ground cover and control mouse and rat populations to reduce the attractiveness of the area to snakes. Cats will seek out snakes so should be confined in Sept-April in these areas.
If a bite is suspected immediate veterinary attention is necessary.
Ingestion of Foreign Bodies (non-food items)
It is dangerous to let cats play with string, as it can cause the intestines to bunch up and cause every vet’s nightmare- a ‘linear foreign body’. Other common gastrointestinal foreign bodies include corn cobs, satay sticks, cooked bones, icecream sticks, meat wrapping, underwear and broken or chewed fragments of toys.
For any of these, the symptoms will usually be vomiting, no interest in food and lethargy. If you suspect your dog, ferret or cat has eaten any of these items, contact the vet immediately. Sometimes we can induce vomiting if it is still in the stomach but we may need to rehydrate, stabilise and operate if it is lodged in the intestines, before it causes a perforation and peritonitis.
How To Prevent Heat Stroke
- Clip long hair in the warm months
- Keep your dog at their ideal body weight
- Give dogs the freedom to choose a cool place on a hot day
- Provide a shallow wading pool if your dog likes water
- Allow access to the house if possible
- Board your dog in monitored air conditioned premises if necessary
- Do not exercise dogs above 26 degrees
- Make frozen treats for your dog on hot days
- Read more about dogs in hot weather here
The hidden damage caused by tennis balls
Many puppy owners tell us; “we wish we knew how much damage tennis balls cause before we started using them.” By the time they realise, it’s usually too late.
So what is the problem? For an unknown reason, tennis balls cause abrasion to the enamel surfaces of the teeth. Dogs that like them also tend to carry them frequently, exacerbating the damage. The wear to the teeth continues until the pulp cavity is opened, and the teeth die, usually with root abscesses.
The dog pictured below is a very mild case which we recognised early at her first vaccination. Before we stopped her, she had worn through the enamel into the dentine but the teeth should be OK. However, due to her early experiences she finds tennis balls everywhere and it is a challenge to find another ball which she will play with instead.
The dental model shows how a dog’s teeth should look. Above is a selection of the range of balls we have in the clinic which are not likely to damage the teeth. If you are reading this as a current or future dog owner, these are the balls to get your dog interested in fetching. Read more at Why Tennis Balls Are Bad For Dogs and Myth 8: My dog knows when to stop
From October through to late summer huge quantities of the grass seeds pictured are released into the parks, yards and streets around Adelaide. During this time we advise you check your dog’s feet between the toes every day. Otherwise the seeds can migrate under the skin and cause much pain before we remove them.
Watch the videos to see how they move and how to find them in dogs’ feet!
Car Accidents and Injuries
Be careful restraining your pets as many harnesses have not been evaluated in car crashes. The harness pictured below has been tested by the NRMA as per the picture opposite. For the whole story, read Safe car travel for pets