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    #IfOnlyIKnew: Why Laundry Soap Should Make You Pause


    Growing up in rural America, having animals around was as common as a bowl of cereal on a Saturday morning. You didn’t give it a lot of thought, it just felt right. Cats were the pet of choice in my family. In fact, I don’t recall a time where we didn’t have a feline walking the hallways of our home. I do recall our cat Candy giving birth to a litter of six inside one of my dresser drawers, ruining my favorite train shirt. That’s a story for another time. The point of all of this is that cats have always and continue to be an integral part of my family. However, recently I wondered that if pets are part of my family, have I been concerned about their well-being as I would my child? When we make the conscious decision to be responsible over someone or something, we owe it to them to do our very best. I’ll admit it wasn’t until recently that I realized that I should have been protecting our cats in the same way that we protect our young children. Both are very curious and that can sometimes lead to devastating events. Read More

    Topics: pet safety, toxicity in cats, Pet Proofing, Cats, Christmas pet dangers, #IfOnlyIKnew

    How to Easily Put Together a First-Aid Kit for Your Cat


    What to put in your cat first-aid kit and why


    When your cat suffers an illness, injury, or poisoning, knowing what first aid to do (and not do) can have a big impact on their recovery, safety, and comfort. It can also help your emotional stress, because you'll have a plan of action to follow whenever a problem arises. For these, and many other reasons, I always recommend that cat owners take a pet first-aid class. But that's not the end of the story.

    Regardless of whether you've taken (or are planning to take) a first-aid class, you still need to have the supplies and gear to be able to administer first aid to your cat. And that's where having a good pet first-aid kit (or two) comes in.

    Make Your Own Cat First-Aid Kit

    To make it easy for you to put together (or check) your pet first-aid kit, we have a shopping list (for mobile or printable) for you to take to your nearest pharmacy to grab your cat's first-aid supplies.

    Each item on this list has been vetted to ensure that you're getting the right products and brands that will be most effective, practical, and safe for your cat's first-aid kit.

    Have a dog? Check out this first-aid shopping list for dogs.

    Read More

    Topics: Cat Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, First Aid, Pet First Aid Kits, cat first aid, Pet First Aid, Pet First Aid Supplies, Pet First Aid Kit

    Light Up Your Pumpkin—Not Your Pets


    Do you have carved pumpkins you want to light up?

    When it comes time to lighting up your (beautifully) carved creations, it’s best if you opt for an alternative to traditional or tea light candles.

    Not only will options like a powered flameless candle likely last longer than a regular candle, but you’ll also avoid the potential for your pet to burn themselves or the house while walking past or investigating your pumpkins. Carved pumpkins do smell good!!

    Read More

    Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety, holiday pet safety tips, Dog, Blog, Burns, Cat

    Why is Chocolate Toxic for Pets?


    Most pet owners already know that chocolate is bad for dogs. In fact, so many people are aware of this common toxicity that veterinary hospitals across the country regularly receive phone calls from pet owners concerned because they realized their pet just ate some chocolate – even if that pet is a 65-pound Labrador Retriever that just ate a few M&Ms.

    So in this article, we won’t focus on the fact that chocolate is bad for pets – you (hopefully) already know that. We’re going to focus on why chocolate is toxic, which types of chocolates are the worst, and what signs you should look for in the event you suspect chocolate toxicity.

    Read More

    Topics: pet safety tips, pet safety, toxicity, chocolate toxicity, holiday pet safety tips

    The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 11 - Cyclamen)


    DAY 11: Cyclamen

    I suspect this is a pet toxicity that many of you were unaware of. In fact, I suspect many of you have never even heard of a cyclamen before – right? However, you've likely seen them around and may have even had them on your holiday table – these plants are common in supermarket floral departments and home & garden centers.

    Although not nearly as popular as the poinsettia around the holidays, the cyclamen is often found in homes this time of year. And not many people know about the dangers of the cyclamen.
    Read More

    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Plants Poisonous for Cats, holiday pet safety tips, Poison control, Christmas pet hazards, Poinsettias, Plants Poisonous for Dogs, Cyclamen

    The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 6 - Ornaments)


    DAY 6: Ornaments & Other Tree Decorations

    From cuts on paws from those that break to gastrointestinal obstruction from those that get ingested, ornaments and other Christmas tree decorations pose a wide array of hazards to your pets. It’s this scope of problems and the prevalence of such decorations in homes this time of year that make Christmas tree decorations the 'poster children' for Day 6 of our The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series.

    Read More

    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, holiday pet safety tips, String, Dog Booties, Christmas pet hazards, Pet emergency, To pull or not to pull, Cats and string, Bandages, Use of bandages, Septic peritonitis

    The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 5 - Lilies)


    DAY 5: Lilies

    While lilies don’t exactly ‘scream’ Christmas – flowers do – and lilies are amongst the most common types of flowers found in bouquets at all times of the year, including Christmas.

    Lily toxicity is something everybody should be aware of, regardless of whether or not they have cats. Even non-cat owners need to know about this because they may well be the one to send you or bring over your next bouquet of flowers! If they’re not aware of the danger they won’t know to advise the florist that lilies should not be included in the bouquet.

    Lilies Kill Cats!
    Stargazer lilies, Rubrum lilies, Tiger lilies, and the other members of the Lilum genus, the ‘true lilies’ as they are known, are highly toxic to cats. So too are certain types of Day lilies.

    These types of lilies are so toxic, that a nibble on one or two petals, a lap of spilled vase water, or the ingestion of a small amount of pollen (such as what happens when a cat grooms itself) can be enough to put a cat into expensive, debilitating, and potentially fatal acute kidney failure.
    Read More

    Topics: Cat Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, toxicity in cats, Lilies, Tiger Lily, Lily Toxicity in Cats, Stargazer Lily, Lily Flowers, Rubrum Lily, Plants Poisonous for Cats, pet poison control, Poison control, Poison control for cats, Christmas pet hazards, Flowers

    The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 3 - Mistletoe)


    DAY 3: Mistletoe

    Before you pucker up to kiss your sweetheart, be sure that bunch of mistletoe is well secured to the door jam. Though a strategically placed sprig of mistletoe may get you that Christmas "snog" you've been dreaming about all year, it may also land your dog or cat in the hospital if it falls to the ground or they find another way to get their paws on it.

    Be aware

    Even when eaten in small quantities, mistletoe can cause your pets excessive drooling and digestive upset. The latter of which may manifest as vomiting and diarrhea - which kinda ruins the thought of the previously mentioned snog I guess, doesn't it? But even bigger problems are in store for your pet if they ingest a larger quantity of this common Christmas decoration.

    In these situations your pet may experience heart and/or neurologic problems, which could include abnormal heart rate and rhythm, decreased blood pressure, and a staggered walk. If left untreated, these signs can progress to collapse, seizures, coma, and even death. Now I've really ruined the thought of the snog, haven't I? I'm sorry, truly, I am... but you really should be aware of this.

    If your pet has ingested any quantity of mistletoe...

    ...you should seek immediate veterinary advice. You can do so from your regular veterinarian, the local Animal ER, or from a dedicated animal poison control hotline . Though severe toxicity from mistletoe is uncommon, many factors will influence the degree of toxicity your pet will experience should they be unfortunate enough to ingest it. And as with all potential or known toxicities, you should not delay in seeking professional veterinary advice. The sooner appropriate actions are taken, the greater the chances that a better outcome will be realized.

    Preventing mistletoe toxicity

    • If you hang mistletoe in your home, be sure it's well secured.
    • Take the berries off of any mistletoe you hang in your home.
    • Be careful when putting up (and taking down) your holiday decorations; do not leave the mistletoe laying around where your pets can get to it.
    Read More

    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, toxicity, Plants Poisonous for Cats, holiday pet safety tips, Vomiting, Poison control, Christmas pet hazards, Diarrhea, Neurological problems, Plants Poisonous for Dogs, Mistletoe

    The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 9 - Ribbons & Bows)


    DAY 9: Ribbons & Bows

    You’d be forgiven for thinking that curly ribbon and gift bows are good toys for your cats – after all, pictures and videos of playful cats rolling around with such objects can be found everywhere online, on television, and in print ads. But we in the veterinary profession also want pet owners to be aware that another place we commonly see kittens and cats playing with Christmas ribbons – or at least the debilitating and expensive results of such activities – is in the veterinary clinics and Animal ERs all across the country.

    This article will tell you what you need to know to recognize, react, and prevent this common holiday pet hazard. So dig in, read on, and don’t forget to share this information with your friends and family.

    Read More

    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, holiday pet safety tips, Vomiting, Christmas pet hazards, Pet safety and houseguests, Linear Foreign Body, Cats and string, Diarrhea, Hiding, Septic peritonitis

    Cat Got a Cold? Do NOT Reach for the Tylenol!


    One problem that frequently has cat owners calling or visiting their vet about is ‘kitty cold.’ Whether it’s a snotty nose, goopy eyes, or a case of the ‘sniffles’, kitty colds are common, and especially so in kittens and cats that have come from shelters.
    Read More

    Topics: Cat Health, pet safety tips, cat health problem, pet safety, toxicity in cats, cat health questions, cat health issues, Poison control, Poison control for cats, Blog, Can I Give My Cat Tylenol, Kitty Colds, Cat Tips, Acetaminophen

    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.

    Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.