Health care for our pets from theVet’s Corner
Anti Freeze: As Spring & Summer approach, many of us begin to once again work on our cars and change fluids for warmer weather. We must remember to NEVER leave antifreeze lying around, even for a few minutes. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that is attractive to animals; however it is very deadly to them. This is so even if small amounts are heavily diluted, such as residue in a draining pan or on a rag.
If you see your pet ingest antifreeze, call your veterinary hospital immediately or seek veterinary care at an Emergency Hospital that carries the antidote. They will attempt to induce your pet to vomit and if that fails, administer an antidote. Unfortunately, the antidote only works if administered within the first 4-8 hours after ingestion. Often times, owners are unaware that their pet has ingested antifreeze until the pet begins to show symptoms the next day.
Initial symptoms include trouble breathing and coughing. This is often followed by nervous system signs such as twitching, trembling and seizures. Finally the pet will start to drink and urinate excessively as the kidneys begin to fail.
There are several brands of antifreeze available today that are non-toxic to children and pets. Check the labels at the store; if the product is toxic, it will be clearly marked. Please remember to be careful with the products you use in and on your vehicle. Use and dispose of properly to avoid potential disasters.
Dr. John Charos
LYME DISEASE: Lyme disease is a debilitating tick-borne disease in which dogs are 50% more susceptible than humans, with new infections doubling over the last decade. Our first line of defense is to test and vaccinate. Ticks can transmit to humans and animals through a bite and initiate a multi-system inflammatory disease. The most common carriers of the deer tick are birds and mice. Long Island and parts of Queens are now considered the #1 area for Lyme. Dz and the Vx is highly recommended. Common signs of Lyme disease include swollen joints, stiffness, lameness, fever, lethargy, dermatitis, loss of appetite, depression and vomiting. If left untreated, degenerative joint disease, cardiac disease, kidney disease and even death can follow.
Vaccine is not the best prevention, prevention is the best prevention. Treat and check your pet and treat your yard. The vaccine is not that effective. While nothing is 100% most studies show treatment is greater than 80% effective.We recommend monthly tick preventative products be used all year round if we don’t have a prolonged freeze. It is up to pet owners to notice early signs and do routine tick checks after outings. Tick removal should be done by your veterinarian or properly pulled with gentle traction by grasping the head of the tick with tweezers. Never twist or jerk when removing, or this could lead to injecting more of the tick’s saliva into the pet, thus causing infection. You must be diligent and check your pet and yourselves after walks. Use a layered approach to protecting yourself and your pet.
Dr. John Charos
Ever Wonder Why Your Pet Reacts to Storms?
Dr. Keith Niesenbaum, VMD
This spring has brought a large number of particularly severe thunderstorms to our area. Thunderstorm phobia is a very common problem in our pet dogs. Traditionally, owners have asked for sedatives for their pets. Unfortunately, the traditional medications do not alleviate the anxiety, they only sedate the dog. Then we have a sedated, but still anxious animal. The other problem is that many of these medica- tions can take up to an hour to work, and by then the dog is really in a state. This is all complicated by the fact that dogs can sense the change in barometric pressure that proceeds the storm. So, by the time you hear the first clap of thunder, they are already in a frenzied state.
When dealing with thunderstorm phobias there are several points to remember.
- Address the problem in the young dog as soon as it becomes apparent. The longer you let this go, the more the anxiety re-enforces itself and the more difficult it is to deal with. 2. Remember that our dogs often know the storm is coming before we do. They may actually be afraid enough that they show the anxiety behaviors just when a front comes through, even if there is no thunder.
- Tranquilizers do not always work well. For severe cases of thunderstorm anxiety your veterinarian may prescribe an anti anxiety medication. For less severe cases certain pheromones, either as collars or sprays may work.
- Medication always works better when used in conjunction with behavior modification. Talk to your veterinarian about desensitization or other techniques that might help your pet.
Phobias can become problematic enough that dogs will injure themselves trying to find what they perceive as a safe place to be. Work in conjunction with your veterinarian to help your pet get through this summer storm season safely.