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. Continue reading “The Dog Deaths From Raw Meat: What Went Wrong”
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. Continue reading “Help! My Dog Ate An Almond”
This week on our homemade diet page there is the grim spectacle of people telling other people off. One feeds their dog walnuts, and the other tells them they shouldn’t.
This debate is but a taste of what appears online. But who is correct?
Like with all internet myths, there’s a grain of truth in there. Let’s find it! Continue reading “Help! My Dog Ate A Walnut”
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. Continue reading “The Most Common & Serious Poisons Of Dogs”
In 2020, the American Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) published its data on poisonings in cats. It’s the best information we have on household dangers to our feline friends.
From a cat-owner’s perspective, it contain two important lists: the top 5 reported poisonings and the top 20 fatalities. As you’ll see, these are quite different. Continue reading “The Most Common & Serious Poisons Of Cats”
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. Continue reading “Dog Baiting In Adelaide: What To Know”
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. Continue reading “Designing A Cat Friendly Australian Garden”
The internet is full of useful lists of plants that are poisonous to dogs. However, it is a lot harder to find out what you can plant. That’s what I do here from an Australian point of view. Continue reading “Safe & Toxic Plants For Australian Dogs”
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:
- Is there muscle movement? This is common in seizures or poisonings.
- Is the dog unconscious? Look for a lack of response and passing urine or faeces.
- Are the eyes moving? Vestibular disease causes nystagmus or eye flicking.
- Is the heart rhythm normal? Place your hand on the chest and try to feel it.
- How long does it last? Fainting and airway issues usually only last for seconds.
- Is recovery quick? After seizures, dogs commonly appear incoordinated for some time.
- 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… Continue reading “Causes Of Collapse In Dogs”
Emergency facts (details below):
If A Dog Eats A Mushroom
- Go to a vet immediately to have it removed
- Do not wait until signs of illness appear
- Wild mushrooms eaten by people are not necessarily safe in dogs, especially if uncooked
Now dive deeper… Continue reading “Mushroom Poisoning In Dogs”
First aid (details below)
If A Dog Has Cane Toad Poisoning:
- Immediately clean as much toxin from the mouth as possible
- Use wet cloth, paper towel or running water
- Seek veterinary help for all but the mildest cases
Now dive deeper… Continue reading “Help! My Dog Was Poisoned By A Cane Toad”
Emergency Care: Xylitol Ingestion
If a dog eats anything containing xylitol:
- Get a vet to induce vomiting ASAP
- If xylitol was absorbed, blood tests will be required
- A glucose drip may be needed to maintain blood sugars until the xylitol is gone
Now dive deeper… Continue reading “Help! My Dog Ate Xylitol”
Recently I’ve seen two Australian Shepherd puppies sold with a list of 52 drugs to avoid. I understand the intention, but this list is incorrect and alarmist. It contains many perfectly safe drugs, some of which will be essential later in life. Continue reading “Drugs To Avoid With The MDR1 Mutation”
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. Continue reading “Causes Of Shaking & Trembling in Dogs”
I’ve been a vet for a quarter century now. Over that time I’ve seen just about everything go wrong that can.
Pet disasters tend to go along recurring themes. If you know what they are, you have an excellent chance to avoid them. Some might be upsetting, but I hope you can see the benefit in thinking about them now. Continue reading “Causes Of Sudden Death In Australian Pets”
‘Emergency Care’ (details below)
What To Do If A Dog Eats Chocolate
- Chocolate is a nervous system stimulant & causes seizures in dogs
- Death is more likely with dark or cooking chocolate & smaller dogs
- See a vet ASAP to have the chocolate vomited and signs monitored
now dive deeper… Continue reading “Help! My Dog Ate Chocolate”
There’s a common, popular treat causing kidney failure in dogs. It’s right there in your local pet store. It drives vets crazy because there’s nothing we can do to stop it except warn you not to buy it. Continue reading “The Problem With Jerky Treats & Tenders”
Emergency care (details below)
What To Do If A Pet Eats Onion
- Toxin absorption can be prevented by immediately seeing a vet to induce vomiting
- If onion has been absorbed then daily blood tests are needed to monitor anaemia
- Please see a vet even if the amount seems tiny: pets vary in sensitivity and the toxic dose is low
now dive deeper… Continue reading “Help! My Dog Ate Onion”
Before I show you the causes of the most serious problems we see in young puppies at my clinic, there’s one thing that you have to do: know where to go.
Plan your route before you need it. This map shows your closest 24-hour veterinary emergency hospital in Adelaide. Continue reading “Common Hazards To Puppies”
Most people will say having a new puppy in the house is a bigger shock than a new baby. With a baby you have plenty of time to get the house safe as they grow and develop. A puppy is in full-on grab-and-destroy mode from the day they arrive. Here’s a checklist to keep them safe and you sane. All of these points are covered in detail in Common Puppy Dangers. Continue reading “How to Puppy Proof Your House”
‘At A Glance (Details Below)’ Emergency Care
What To Do If A Dog Eats Rat Or Mouse Poison
- If less than two hours since ingestion, see a vet ASAP to cause vomiting
- Don’t panic: anticoagulant poisons have an effective antidote if started within 2 days
- Follow your vet’s advice on blood testing & when to stop treatment
Now dive deeper. Continue reading “Help! My Dog Ate Rat Poison”
What if common treatments recommended by your vet are causing deaths in dogs and cats?
‘Does Bravecto Kill Dogs?’ is a popular Facebook group with over 25,000 members dedicated to fighting the use of the popular 3-monthly flea control. Continue reading “Does Bravecto Kill Dogs?”
“If a dog eats grass it means they are going to die”. Amazingly I still hear this from time to time. Usually it’s not quite that dramatic.
Dogs and cats eat grass for a variety of reasons, some good, some bad. Continue reading “Why Do Dogs & Cats Eat Grass?”
Vitamin D is an essential part of any balanced diet. What you may not know is how dangerous it can be. Let me show you three poisonings that have already happened, and a fourth that just might. Continue reading “Vitamin D poisoning”
‘At A Glance (Details Below)’ Emergency Care
What To Do If A Dog Or Cat Eats Something Toxic
- Vets can remove poisons by vomiting or adsorbents if less than two hours
- Don’t try to cause vomiting at home unless no vet is available
- Many poisons cause delayed damage so see a vet even if your dog appears healthy
Now dive deeper. Continue reading “Causes Of Poisoning In Dogs”
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. Continue reading “Myth 21: Tea Tree Oil is good for my dog’s skin”
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. Continue reading “Poisoning in a puppy. Yes, the vet’s puppy.”
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.
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. Continue reading “Myth 7: If it is sold for pets, it must be safe”