Posts Tagged ‘Dogs’

I have a new pet! Now what? Part 1 – Dog Vaccines

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Have you ever thought about adopting or attaining a new pet but weren’t sure what to do with him/her once you got them? There is some basic veterinarian care you should do once you get your new pet. I’ve broken down this post into 3 different posts: dog vaccines, cat vaccines, and vaccines for exotic pets. This first part is addressing dog vaccinations.

First and foremost, you should always try and get as much medical history you can from the previous owner or shelter where you got the pet. If possible, get a copy of their medical chart. It’s important to know what vaccines they’ve received and when they need an update. Once they are completely in your care, it’s always a good idea to schedule a general check up (whether they need vaccines or not) to make sure they’re completely healthy.

If they are in need of vaccines, be sure to stay on top of them so they’re always up to date and fully protected. Here’s a list of vaccines for dogs that are highly recommended by veterinarians.


DAPP (Distemper, Adenovirus (canine hepatitis), Parainfluenza, Parvovirus) – Parvo (one of the things DAPP protects against) is a potentially deadly internal virus that is contracted most often by dogs between the ages of 0-2years and those that haven’t been vaccinated for the virus. It is highly contagious and can be passed through contact of feces (careful where you step!). It can live in the environment for years so it’s always a good idea to play it safe! Common signs are vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, not eating or drinking. Call a vet immediately if you suspect parvo. Puppies should be vaccinated at 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks and then boosted at a year.  Your veterinarian will help you determine vaccine needs after the 1 year booster.

RV (rabies) is a vaccine  required by law to have and is one of the most important, highly recommended vaccines. Rabies is a deadly zoonotic (can be passed from animals to humans) disease and is spread most often through bite wounds from infected animals.  They should be vaccinated for rabies at 12-16 weeks of age and boostered a year later.    Subsequent boosters are every 3 years.

           Bordetella – protects against kennel cough. If your dog is going to be boarded, go to the groomers, or if they’re around other dogs frequently, it’s always a good idea to have this vaccine. Bordetella is commenly given every six months to a year depending on  your lifestyle and contact with other dogs.

          Lepto (leptospirosis) – Pets can become infected by sniffing infected urine left by wild rodents such as raccoons, skunks, even mice.  More often, the leptospira are washed by rains into standing water. Then pets wading, swimming or drinking the contaminated water, develop the disease. Although this is the way that leptospira usually pass from animal to animal, they can also enter through a bite wound or through the pets eating infected materials. It’s more common in the late summer, early fall because that’s when wild creatures are encountered more.   It’s always a good idea to protect your pet against this virus if you like to go hiking, camping, etc. in a place where wild animals might be. Lepto is an annual vaccine. Best given right before the summer when there is more outdoor activities



Pet poisons in your purse! Who knew?

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Have you ever been worried about things your pets can get into that would be harmful to them? According to Pet Poison Helpline in Minneapolis, MN recently released a list of the “top 5 pet poisons” are found right in your purse. Who knew!? Your handbag can be a death trap for those curious, wandering noses (and mouths).

  1. Sugarless chewing gum and breath mints (xylitol)

A lot of top brand chewing gums contain xylitol which is a sweetener that is toxic to dogs. Some sugarless mints, flavored multivitamins, toothpastes, and mouthwashes may also be made with xylitol. When ingested, even small amounts of xylitol can result in a life-threatening and rapid drop in blood sugar, large amounts of xylitol can also cause liver failure. Each product has various amounts of xylitol, so if consumed contact your veterinarian or pet poison helpline at 855-213-6680.

2. Human Medications

Most women tend to carry around some type of pain killer in their purse for those periodic headaches, right? A lot of pill bottles are easy for dogs to chew through, they rattle when shaken which resemble pet toys. Common drug poisonings include non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, acetaminophen, and antidepressants. All of these are very harmful to dogs and cats when ingested. Of all medications, antidepressants account for the highest number of calls to Pet Poison Helpline, and can cause neurological problems like sedation, incoordination, agitation, tremors, and seizures.

  1. Asthma Inhalers (albuterol)

It’s common for asthma inhalers to be among the contents of a purse for emergency use. When accidentally chewed on and punctured by dogs, asthma inhalers can cause severe, even fatal, acute poisoning. Asthma inhalers often contain concentrated doses of beta-agonist drugs such as albuterol; each inhaler often contains 200 doses in one vial. When dogs chew through them, they are exposed to a large amount of the drugs all at once. This can lead to severe poisoning, resulting in life-threatening heart arrhythmias, agitation, vomiting, collapse, and death.

  1. Cigarettes (nicotine)

Not only are cigarettes bad for humans, but they are equally as bad for your pets! As few as three cigarettes can be fatal to a small dog, depending on the type of cigarette (“strength or lightness”). Cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and even smoking cessation gums contain nicotine which is toxic to dogs and cats. Clinic signs from nicotine poisoning happen very rapidly, as soon as 15 minutes, and can be fatal if not treated immediately. Signs of elevated heart and respiratory rates, neurological over stimulation, uncontrolled urination and/or defecation, tremors, seizures, paralysis, and death can be seen with accidental ingestion.

  1. Hand sanitizer (alcohol)

In today’s society where a lot of people are concerned about germs, most people carry around hand sanitizer in their purses (and for those mothers, their diaper bags). Many brands of hand sanitizers contain high concentrations of alcohol (ethanol) – nearly 100 percent alcohol! When a pet ingests a small bottle of hand sanitizer from having chewed through the bottle, it can have the same effect as a shot of hard liquor. Signs of alcohol poisoning include a severe drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia), incoordination, a drop in body temperature, neurological depression, coma and death.


Be prepared!

Be smart about where you put your purse. Keep it out of reach of your pets just as you would your children. Always have an emergency animal facility’s contact information as well as Pet Poison Helpline that you can refer to for those unexpected mishaps.