Everyday Hazards

There have been several reported cases of pets dying by suffocation when they stick their heads into a plastic bag. These are often potato chip-type bags, or the liners of cereal or cracker boxes. Please be sure to slice these bags open when you've finished the contents, and place them carefully in the trash so that your pet doesn't become a victim!

Another danger that you may not have been aware of is paper shredders. Dogs have occasionally stuck their tongue in the working part of a shredder and gotten it caught while it is running. The wounds that result can be devastating; some dogs do not survive, if enough of the tongue has been injured. Always be sure that your dog cannot access the shredder while it is running; unplug it when you are not using it.

Fall is the time of year when many people change their antifreeze. Make certain that you don't leave it lying in a collection container or in a puddle on the ground. Some pets find it accidentally when they are outside; it tastes sweet to dogs, who will often lick it up enthusiastically. Although cats don't have taste buds for sweetness, they make step or roll in it, then lick it off and swallow it. Pets may initially act drunk or wobbly; it then forms crystals in the kidneys, which will result in death if not caught early.

A recent report on heartworm disease in cats shows that it is more prevalent than FeLV and FIV (Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). In cats, it is primarily a lung disease, and is very difficult to accurately diagnose. Heartworm preventive should be given to all cats in our area, whether they are inside or outside, because we know that we have a high incidence rate of heartworm disease in dogs in our area. If your kitties are not on preventive, please call and we'll get them started right away!