Today was a fantastic PAT visit. Dahlia did overtime, and could have kept going, but don’t want to burn her out. She has a definite preference for men..lying in bed and offering her tummy for scratching..so out of character. She also played with several of the residents, and held “court”. All these residents sitting around the bench we were on, going from person to person. One of her best successes today was a resident terrified of dogs…but she slowly reached out her hand, tentatively patting her on the head, and then it happened. That magical moment when she confidently opened her hand and started stroking away. Marveling at how soft and silky she is, and smiling! And her first room visit with a new resident. He lay on that bed, playing with her, and giggling like a schoolgirl. Who needs expensive studies that tell us that dogs make our lives better? Perhaps the cost is a toll on the pet’s part. Dahlia’s head is getting so big she won’t be able to hold it up pretty soon!
The week of March 17th is “National Poison Prevention Week, and poisoning can happen to any pet at anytime, even from products around our house that we may or may not even think about. And since dogs “do the darndest things, they may be exposed to some of these products with good intention onthe part of the owner, intentional poisoning or abuse, by products left around the garage or driveway, or of course, the good old garbage. What are the most common household poisons? Read on!
Foods such as chocolate, onions, moldy cheese, raisins and grapes. If your dog ingests any of these, call your vet or poison control hotline.
Alkaline household cleanser such a solvents and paint strippers. the dog may walk into spilled products, or an owner may unknowingly may use them to remove paint from fur. They can cause inflammation of the kin, vomiting and diarrhea, seizures, or ulcers on the tongue. If you suspect the dog has had exposure to these products, DO NOT INDUCE Vomiting..what burned on the way down will burn on the way up!. If the dog’s skin has been exposed wash with soap and water.
Insecticides with “chlorinated hydrocarbons”…where are these found? Believe it or not, in concentrated insecticide rinses and flea collars, as well as mothballs. they can cause restlessness, agitation, “twitching”, seizures, excessive salivation, coma, and death. If skin exposure has occurred, wash the fur with soap and water.
Organophosphate insectcides: found in insecticidal sprays,, shampoos, and flea collars. Can cause drooling, respiratory distress, frequent urination and defecation, and muscle tremors. Thoroughly wash your dog with soap and water
Warfarin rodenticide: dog can eat the poison or a rodent that has been poisoned (and did you know, that “coumadin”, a common blood “thinner” is warfarin?).Because it “thins the blood” or inhibits clotting it can cause bleeding gums and bruising to the skin. The the dog could bleed to death. If the product has been recently ingested, induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide.
Strychnine rodentcide: used as a rodent bait and occasionally in intentional poisoning. Can cause stiffness and seizures and can lead to death within 1 hour of ingestion. induce vomiting immediately
Slug and snail bait (metaldehyde): Some dogs like the taste (go figure) and may eat it deliberately. Can lead to tremors, drooling, coma, or death. If recently ingested, induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide.
Antifreeze (ethylene glycol): this can lea from car radiators or be spilled when being added to a radiator. dogs love the taste of this, but is can lead to unsteady or wobbly gait, seizures, vomiting, collapse, coma, and death. if recently ingested, induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide.
Aspirin: sometimes owners give this to a dog with good intention to manage pain, but it can lead to appetite loss, depression, and vomiting. If you dog is in pain contact your vet for pain management options.Also unsafe are cold remedies, Advil (Ibuprofen, and Tylenol (acetaminophen).
Lead and other heavy metals such as zinc. Some dogs chew everything, so chewing on flakes old pain, fishing weights made of lead, old pipes, or batteries can expose your dog to lead poisoning. Initial sins may be vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal pain, staggering and unsteady gait, and paralysis. Induce vomiting if you suspect lead has been infested.
Illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and although not illegal, alcohol. (not that anyone has any of those around-be honest with your vet if you suspect your pet has had exposure to these products). The can lead to lack of coordination, agitation, fear and biting, and dilated pupils.
Sedatives and antidepressants : dog may have accidental exposure or been administered intentionally.. Can lead to depression, staggering gait, coma, and death. Induce vomiting.
With any possible exposure to a toxic substance, always contact poison control (1-888-426-4435) or contact your vet immediately! As a general guideline for treatment of potential poisoning, you should not induce vomiting if:
- the animal is having difficulty breathing
- having seizures, convulsions, or “fits”
- is not conscious
- has a history of bloat (you will know if your dog has had this)
- a slow heart rate
- if the toxin is likely to be a caustic, acidic, or petroleum based product
- if the object the dog ate was pointed or sharp and puncture the dogs intestinal tract (I had a dog eat a wooden Teriyaki skewer once, luckily he survived with veterinary care)
- or the product information says not to induce vomiting.
If you believe inducing vomiting is appropriate, use a 3% Hydrogen Peroxide solution of 1 teaspoon for very 10 pounds of body weight. This can be repeated up to three times, allowing 15 to 2 minutes between administrations.
When calling, the more information you can provide the better, so if you know:
- The name of the poison
- how much the animal ate or was exposed to
- when it happened
- your dogs vital signs(only you know what the normal breathing rate and pulse is for your dog), temperature, and the color of the membranes (the color of your dogs gums)
- approximate weight of the pet.
The life you save just might be your best friend’s!
Now this seems like a simple place to begin, but is anything in life easy?
Like anything else in training, you need to start in a distraction free area. As with all of our training, we want to teach with positive reinforcement, so be sure to be in a good mood, have lots of great tasting (and smelling treats), and an area that is free from distractions. So, let us begin….
Start by standing close to your dog (but not in front of him). Only say his name once, and as soon as he looks at you reinforce his attention with a treat. One of the things you don’t want to do at any time is that automatic repeating of his name (or a command) over and over if the desired response is not done…SIT SIT SIT SIT SIT SIT SIT only tells him that
this is the complete command, so when you say it once it “doesn’t count” and
that he can respond when it is convenient.
As soon he gives you hit his attention, reinforce his attention with a treat and lots of praise. If you call his name and he does not respond, then make a noise such as a whistle to get his attention, but do not repeat his name. As with all training, the reinforcement should be given as soon as he responds, so there is no question what he is being rewarded for.
When he starts to show progress on this exercise, you can move to an area with more distractions. Like all training you don’t have to schedule training sessions; “teachable moments” can occur at anytime you are together, so be sure to practice practice practice…hmm, should I have only said this once?
Portuguese Water dogs are one of several breeds of dogs that have webbed feet….the others are:
Akita, Brussels Griffon, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chinook, Field Spaniel, German Shepherd, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Irish Water Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Leonberger, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Otterhound, Plott Hound,Redbone Coonhound, Spanish Water Dog, Weimaraner, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.
Just the thought of worms makes your skin tingle doesn’t it?
During the course of a dog’s life, most will experience at least one episode of intestinal parasites. Usually it will be during a time when immunity is stressed by pregnancy, severe illness, emotional stress, or following surgery.
so, how do you reduce the risk? The key is to destroy the eggs before infestation occurs.
Good sanitation is a must….
if your dog is kenneled, don’t have dirt runs-use cement, which is watertight, is easy to clean, and doesn’t provide a good breeding ground where eggs and larvae can thrive. The next best surface? Gravel. Gravel provides good drainage.
Kennels and runs should be hosed down daily, and allowed to dry thoroughly before returning the dogs to the area. Concrete and gravel can be disinfected with lime,salt, or Borax…be sure to rinse surface well.
Lawns should be kept as short and only watered when dry.
Remove stools from kennels, runs, and yards daily.
Because other creatures such as rodents, fleas, cochroaches, and other insects can also transmit tapeworms and round worms (more to come at a later date on these), it is important that kennel areas be kept free of this unwanted guests. Many products are available (natural and otherwise) to help manage pests in your yard. Go to the web site of the “Toxic Information Project” for more information regarding safe methods of pest control or “eartheasy.com” for more information regarding pest control.
If using products from your local supply store, be sure to read and ensure you understand the instructions thoroughly before use!
To help keep rodents away do not have bird feeders near the area so there is no seed/food being dropped, and do not leave pet food outdoors. Only use garbage cans with secure lids to remove attractants.
Many intestinal parasites spend their larval stage in other animals, and can develop into adults if your dog ingests them, so don’t allow your pet to eat dead animals (I know, disgusting, but sometimes dogs just do “gross things” as we say around our house!). Do not allow your dog to run free so you can control what they ingest, and be sure to fully cook any fresh meat that your serve your dog.
Be sure to treat your dog with heart worm medications as recommended by your veterinarian.