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List of Essentials to Build an Emergency Preparedness Kit for Pets


If and when disaster strikes, the last thing you want is to scramble for supplies.

Whether you have to hunker down or evacuate to safety, there won’t be much time to worry about finding food, water, and other necessities — and that's if the store shelves haven't been picked clean already.

So it’s vital that you not only have an emergency plan but also an emergency kit — for you and your dog or cat. Hopefully, you will never have to use this kit for the pets in your family. But you will feel a lot better knowing that you have what you need, even if you never need it.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Dog Emergency, Cat Emergency, Pet First Aid Supplies, Emergency Preparedness for Pets

Marijuana, Cannabidiol & Dogs: Everything You Want (And Need) To Know


As of 2017, more than half the states in the country have enacted some form of marijuana legalization and more are expected to follow. But as perceptions about legal weed dramatically shift in the country, it forces us to address the elephant in the room — or, in this case, the dog in the room.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Dog Emergency, Dog, Warning Signs, Pet First Aid, Foods that aren't good for dogs, Marijuana toxicity

Bloat in Dogs: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

 
If your dog’s stomach is bloated, or if they’re anxious, pacing, or repeatedly trying to vomit with no luck — or with just a bunch of saliva coming back up — they are likely suffering from Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV), also known as "Stomach Torsion," or “Dog Bloat.” 

Any dog can suffer from GDV, so it’s important that you recognize this condition and act quickly. GDV is painful and distressing and will be fatal if not treated by your veterinarian promptly.

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Topics: Stomach Bloat, Torsion, Dog Emergency, GDV, Bloat, Dog, Dog Health & Safety

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

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.

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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

Police Hero or Dog Rescuer? Both!

We animal lovers know the feeling when your pet is sick and you feel helpless.  Well, imagine if your dog is struggling to breathe, desperately gasping for what could be his last breath while you're otherwise helplessly racing to get him to the vet!

One Texas woman didn’t have to imagine this horrific scenario — it actually happened to Carolina and her 13-year-old dog, Scrappy, who had recently been diagnosed with Laryngeal Paralysis.

She "put the pedal to the metal" and was stopped by a patrolling Dallas police officer, who by the way has a series of (crime) prevention tips on YouTube - a kindred spirit for us at Preventive Vet - anyway, he didn't miss a beat. He grabbed Scrappy and took both of them to the Animal ER, stat! Likely saving Scrappy’s life, and definitely saving Carolina quite a bit of distress and anxiety!

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Topics: Dog Emergency, Dog Behavior, Dog Roar, Laryngeal Paralysis, My dog sounds hoarse, My dog is coughing, Larpar, Raspy breathing, Breathing problems, Respiratory problems, My dog is gagging often, Police Hero, Dog Rescuer

Dogs & Gorilla Glue® – A Pet Owner's Harrowing Experience


As a vet, I've seen the results of dogs eating Gorilla Glue and other polyurethane glues first hand. The stomach obstruction caused can be devestating, even fatal. It's the reason we've shared the dangers of polyurethane glues for some time now on our site, but it's the stories pet owners send us that really help to underscore just how important it is to take steps to keep these glues well out of your pets' reach.

Here's what Samantha C. shared with us:
"My dogs also got into this glue this week. They are still at the vet's recovering from surgery. My boxer had a basketball-sized amount removed from his stomach, and my Siberian Husky had a softball-sized amount removed. We were quoted $2K for their surgeries (total). They ate the glue in a fit of panic after I accidentally locked myself out of my apartment. They could hear me outside, and just freaked. They jumped up on a shelf in the laundry room, which they normally NEVER go into, and ate it."

We thank Samantha for sharing her story so that others may avoid a similar emergency. It can so easily happen to anyone! The effects of the common canine trait of "eat first, ask questions later," and why they find this type of glue so enticing are demonstrated in this time-lapse video.

        
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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, Dog Emergency, Dogs, Gorilla Glue, Video, polyurethane glues, gorilla super glue, super glue ingestion, super glue safety, isocyanate glues, Blog

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

Heat Stroke: What can I do if I see a pet in a parked car?


We all know that heat kills pets, right?

You've likely read stories about dogs that have died of heat stroke after having been left in a car on a hot day. Maybe you even know someone who lost a pet to heat stroke as a result of leaving their pet in a parked car? But would you know what to do if you ever encountered such a situation?

Take these three scenarios, for example…

Scenario #1… You're walking by a parked car on a warm day. You notice, there under the dash, a dog panting away with big, wide-open, clearly distressed eyes. There are slobbery nose prints and fog on the inside of the window.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Dog Health, Dog Emergency, Dogs, Cats, Summer, Heat Stroke, Pets, Cars, Signs of Heat Stroke, Blog, What can I do if I see a dog in a car on a hot day, Rescuing a dog in a locked car, Heat Exhaustion in Dogs

Help! What Should I Do if My Dog Bloats? Treatment for Bloat, Torsion, and GDV in Dogs


If you’ve read my other articles on GDV/Bloat in dogs – Understanding Bloat, Is My Dog at Risk of Bloat?, and Signs of GDV/Bloat in Dogs – you might be wondering if there is anything you can do at home? Sadly, the answer truly is… not really and, certainly, not reliably.

If you suspect GDV/Bloat, your dog needs to be brought for IMMEDIATE veterinary evaluation. Some people talk about giving certain over-the-counter medications to your dog in the earlier stages of GDV/Bloat, but honestly, doing so can make matters worse and the time it takes to do so may just be the difference between your dog living and dying. So, unless you are very familiar with this condition, and your veterinarian has instructed you otherwise, don't bother with any over-the-counter medications at home… just proceed directly to professional veterinary evaluation and treatment.

Even if you're concerned about the costs of appropriately treating a case of GDV/Bloat (more info on that in a minute), your dog should still be brought to the vet if you suspect this condition. If confirmed, and appropriate treatment cannot be authorized - for financial or other reasons - your suffering dog can be humanely euthanized at the vet's office, rather than left to languish and suffer the miserable death of GDV/Bloat. Please, don't trifle with this condition. Your dog deserves better.

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Topics: Torsion, Treatment for Bloat, Dog Emergency, GDV, Bloat, Treatment for GDV, Gastropexy

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.