The Dog Deaths From Raw Meat: What Went Wrong

indigofera distribution picture

Update 3 August: What a difference a week makes!

The Maffra District Knackery has now admitted that they processed horses from the Northern Territory.

Now read on to see why it was always the most likely explanation…

An outbreak of liver failure in Victorian dogs has been linked to raw meat from a local supplier. At least 14 dogs died and a further 30 were hospitalised.

I’ve been following the story carefully. The more we know the stranger it gets.

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Help! My Dog Ate An Almond

almonds in bowl

Try searching “can dogs eat almonds” and you’ll see dire warnings, like “7 Dangers of Almonds for Dogs” or “Why Almonds Are Bad for Dogs“.

This is absolute rubbish and internet myth-making at its worst. Why is everyone so afraid of almonds? Because they only read each others’ blogs instead of trusting evidence or experience.

It’s always safer to say ‘no’ than ‘yes’, isn’t it! Here I’ll go through each of those ‘seven ways’ and demonstrate their lack of accuracy.

And what do you know, they actually missed a real problem too.

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The Most Common & Serious Poisons Of Dogs

home medications dog

In 2020, the American Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) published its data on poisonings in dogs. This could be the best information we have on household dangers to our canine friends.

From a dog-owner perspective, it contains two important lists: the top 5 reported poisonings and the top 20 fatalities. As you will see, these are quite different.

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Dog Baiting In Adelaide: What To Know

meat dog bait

In 2020, Adelaide has been awash with stories of dog baits being found in parks. Just this month we had:

  • green pellets found in a Thebarton park
  • meat with pellets at Shepherds Hill
  • kidneys stuffed with bait on the Torrens linear park
  • and yesterday suspicious mince found in Bennett Reserve on North East Road (pictured)

Leaving aside the twisted motives of why anyone would do this, it’s important to understand the risks and what you can do if it happens.

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Designing A Cat Friendly Australian Garden

cat in plants

More and more Australians are building an outdoor enclosure, or catio for their cat. Some make it themselves, others pay specialist companies to do it. Either way, there are two things that often get overlooked.

The first, assuming you plan on using them, is choosing plants that are safe for cats. I cover that later with an Australian perspective. The second is designing the space from a cat point of view.

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Causes Of Collapse In Dogs

dog fallen over

Emergency facts (details below):

When a dog suddenly falls over or cannot use their back legs, it is usually an emergency. You should travel to a vet.

On the way, take a video if you can. Here are some things to look for:

  1. Is there muscle movement? This is common in seizures or poisonings.
  2. Is the dog unconscious? Look for a lack of response and passing urine or faeces.
  3. Are the eyes moving? Vestibular disease causes nystagmus or eye flicking.
  4. Is the heart rhythm normal? Place your hand on the chest and try to feel it.
  5. How long does it last? Fainting and airway issues usually only last for seconds.
  6. Is recovery quick? After seizures, dogs commonly appear incoordinated for some time.
  7. What was the dog doing beforehand? Cardiac, respiratory and thermal problems are more common after exercise.

Cardiac arrest is an extremely uncommon cause, and therefore it is not recommended to try CPR. You will see that most causes either recover by themselves or require treatment that only a vet can give.

Now let’s dive deeper into each of these causes…

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Causes Of Shaking & Trembling in Dogs

dog shivering shaking

One night my own dog started shaking and shivering uncontrollably. Several frantic minutes went by. Was it a poison, was he unwell? The reasons why dogs tremble and shake go from simple to serious.

A minute later he squatted, passed a huge puddle of urine on the floor and the shaking stopped. He was busting to go to the toilet, and no-one realised. We all felt a bit silly, but that’s how hard it is.

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Myth 21: Tea Tree Oil is good for my dog’s skin

toyah the boxer

This is Toyah’s gift to all dogs with itchy skin. She had mild dermatitis for a while and her owners quite rightly thought a bath would help. They found a nice-looking soothing shampoo with tea tree oil and gave her a good clean. Instead of getting better, her dermatitis got dramatically worse, and three days later when she came to us her skin was looking angry and sore.

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Poisoning in a puppy. Yes, the vet’s puppy.

sick puppy

Just to to prove it happens to us all, here is Loki’s recent health emergency and some advice on how to identify and avoid pet poisons.
Four days ago Andrew’s 9 week Jack Russell Terrier was doing his usual morning routine of running around the garden seeing what could be destroyed or eaten. He was of course under supervision but all the same was darting in and out of sight among the bushes. All seemed fine but only ten minutes later he suddenly looked extremely unwell, vomited and passed diarrhoea. It was obvious something was terribly wrong so he was immediately rushed to the surgery.

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Myth 7: If it is sold for pets, it must be safe

pet treat recall

Update 2018: visit this page for details on the ongoing Senate inquiry into pet food safety.

Perhaps the biggest scandal of pet ownership in Australia is that there is no independent monitoring, testing or licensing of pet food products, and nowhere to turn when they cause harm. And equally shocking to vets is that it is easier to buy flea control products that are neither safe or effective than it is to buy good ones.

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