Sago Palms – Extremely Dangerous For Cats and Dogs!


Sago Palms are EXTREMELY dangerous for cats and dogs!

If you aren’t already aware, I highly recommend you take a moment to learn about Sago Palms and the (very serious) danger they pose to your pets. And I would definitely encourage you to also share this article with your pet-loving friends and family — as they are likely unaware, too.

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Topics: poisonous plants for dogs, poisonous plants for cats, toxicity, pet poison control, Dog, Vomiting, Blog, Seizures, Diarrhea, Cat

Xylitol: The "sugar-free" sweetener your dog NEEDS you to know about


Xylitol: More Dangerous Than Chocolate, Yet Less Well Known About

Do you know what xylitol is? Are you (fully) aware of the danger it poses to dogs? You wouldn’t be alone if you answered “no” to either, or even both of these questions. In our ongoing Pet Safety Awareness survey over 50% of the respondents weren’t aware of xylitol or the danger it poses to dogs until they took the survey! By comparison, you’d be hard pressed to find a dog owner who isn’t aware that chocolate can be toxic to dogs. Right?

Yet xylitol can be far-more-dangerous to dogs than chocolate! The picture below shows the minimum amount of dark chocolate that could cause death in three different weights of dog — compared to the minimum number of pieces of xylitol-containing sugar free gum that could have the same devastating effect.

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Topics: Dog Safety, toxicity, Dog Emergency, Xylitol Dogs, Xylitol Gum, Xylitol, Xylitol Products, Is Xylitol Safe, Blog, Seizures, Liver Failure, Hypoglycemia

Blue-Green Algae in Water - Not Safe for Dogs or People


Avoid Water That Looks Like This

For many dogs, summer often means swimming in lakes, rivers, or ponds. Along with the standard water safety steps (close observation, doggie PFDs, etc) and post-swimming ear cleaning to avoid ear irritation and infections, there’s something else you need to be aware of when you take your dogs swimming (or hiking/camping near water)… blue-green algae.

These dangerous algal blooms are most common during periods of high heat.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Dog, Swimming, Ataxia, Seizures, Diarrhea, Skin irritation, Dogs Outdoors

Is Peanut Butter Safe For Dogs? Please Beware – Some Could Be Deadly!


If you're like many people, you might want to give your dog some peanut butter as an occasional treat. Or you might want to use peanut butter as a trick or reward to get your dog to take their medications? In many cases this is perfectly fine (so long as it's not in excess — as too much can cause pancreatitis and/or contribute to obesity).

However, with the introduction of a unique line of peanut and other nut butters onto the market — Nuts ’N More® —  the answer to the question of whether or not it’s safe to give, even a small quantity of, peanut butter to your dogs is no longer a straightforward one. Why? Because of the sweetener that’s been used to replace the sugar in this line of peanut and other nut butters. That sugar substitute is called xylitol.

Update (August 6, 2015): The list of peanut and nut butters containing xylitol that we have uncovered has now grown to FIVE! We have reached out to all of them to discuss this dog hazard and to secure increased awareness on their product packaging and websites. We will continue to keep you updated with progress. Here are the five companies (in alphabetical order): (1) Go Nuts, Co., (2) Hank's Protein Plus Peanut Butter, (3) Krush Nutrition, (4) Nuts 'N More, and (5) P28. While these are "specialty butters" that are mostly sold in nutrition stores and online (currently), the subtle presence of xylitol in these butters definitely highlights the importance of reading ingredient labels on products you bring into your home, and especially doing so prior to sharing anything with your pets and if your pets ever get into anything they shouldn't have. Please don't assume that things which are safe for you are also safe for your pets. As you'll see below, this can be a very dangerous assumption with xylitol!

Is Xylitol Safe For Dogs?

Xylitol is a sweetener that's gaining in popularity because of its dental benefits for people as well as its suitability as a sugar substitute for people with diabetes. Because of its ability to help prevent cavities and tooth decay and its low glycemic index, xylitol is proving to have some good dental and other health benefits for people. Unfortunately, while xylitol appears to be perfectly safe for people, it is extremely dangerous for dogs — even in small quantities.

  •  Ingestion of as little as 0.1 gram (g) of xylitol per kilogram (kg) of body weight (0.1 g/kg) can cause a rapid and dangerous drop in a dog’s blood sugar (a condition called “hypoglycemia”). Hypoglycemia can show as staggering, appearing disoriented, collapse, weakness, and seizures.

  • Just slightly more than that, approx. 0.5 g/kg xylitol ingestion, can lead to debilitating, and sadly often deadly, destruction of a dog’s liver cells.
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Topics: Emergencies, Dog Health, Xylitol Dogs, Xylitol, Pancreatitis, Diabetes, Toxicity in dogs, Poison control, Blog, Dog Treats, Seizures, Safe pet treats, Peanut butter, Hypoglycemia, Hepatitis

Homemade Playdough - salty and dangerous for pets

When looking for something fun and easy to do with kids at home many people turn to homemade playdough.

It can pose a serious health hazard to your pet

Most homemade playdough recipes (some can be found below BUT read this first) contain enticing ingredients that dogs and cats love. These recipes can contain flour, cornstarch, even oatmeal. And most call for a large quantity of salt, and it's this that can wreak havoc with your pet. Not only can these large quantities of salt cause neurologic problems such as seizures and coma, but they can also increase the workload of your pet's heart, which can prove problematic, especially in a pet with pre-existing heart problems.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, toxicity in cats, Dog Emergency, Dog, Cat Emergency, Toxicity in dogs, Poison control, Digestive obstruction, Seizures, Digestive irritation, Neurological problems, Coma, Salt toxicity, Heart Problems, Homemade playdough

Which Ice Melter Is Pet Safe?

Why some ice melters are safer for pets than others

When you and your neighbors are faced with icy driveways and sidewalks this winter, your choice of ice melter can affect the health and safety of your dogs.

Were you aware that there are a few pet safer choices for ice melters? (Note that NO ice melters are pet safe, some are just pet safER than others.)

Traditional ice melters, those containing sodium chloride and other salts, can lead to a wide variety of problems for pets:

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety, Dog, Blog, Dog Tips, Seizures, Digestive irritation, Burns, Digestive upset, Staggering, Depression, Skin irritation, Pet Safe Ice Melters, Dogs in the snow, Winter pet hazards

In Your Own Yard: Dogs and Poisonous Mushrooms


Don’t forget to check your yard for mushrooms each year, especially during a wet Spring or Autumn.

Mushrooms can kill dogs, and they can do so quickly!

Many dogs are sickened and killed each year after eating poisonous mushrooms. And depending on the type of mushroom and the size of your dog, it may not even take much to send you and your pooch rushing to the Animal ER.

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Topics: poisonous plants for dogs, Dog Emergency, Dog, Dog Walking, Poison control, Blog, Hunting Dogs, Ataxia, Amanita mushrooms, Seizures, Mushroom identification, Poisonous mushrooms for dogs

Rat & Mouse Baits—Dangerous For Cats & Dogs... Know the signs


Many cats and dogs will be the first to take the bait

Each autumn and winter, there is a concerning rise of dog and cat poisonings due to rat and mouse poisons (rodenticides) that are seen in veterinary hospitals and animal ERs throughout the world.

With the declining temperatures and summer’s food bounty going away, rats and mice start seeking shelter and food in our homes, garages, sheds, and barns. To combat them, many people will put out rodenticides - chemicals and “baits” designed to kill rats and mice.

Unfortunately, cats and dogs will often be the first to take the bait. And as if that weren't enough, they can also be affected by eating poisoned rodents! Signs of rodenticide toxicity can be seen within hours to days, depending on the type of rodenticide used. Common clinical signs include:

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, toxicity, toxicity in cats, Dog Emergency, Kidney Failure, poison control for dogs, Cat Emergency, Toxicity in dogs, Poison control, Poison control for cats, Breathing problems, Seizures, Rat Bait, Lethargy, Internal Bleeding, Coughing, Rodenticides, Vomitting

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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