Archive for February, 2012

Announcement: Why Your Dog Shouldn’t Travel in the Back of a Pick-up

We’ve all seen trucks flying down the highway with what appears to be a happy dog riding loose in the bed. Those dogs always look like they’re having fun, with their noses pointed into the wind and their hair flying out behind them. Unfortunately, those same dogs often end up terribly injured or dead because of their owner’s habits.

According to a study by the California state legislature, approximately 100,000 dogs are killed nationwide every year because they either fell or jumped out of the bed of a moving pickup truck. Numerous others are seriously injured. Besides the injuries to the animal, there is no reliable estimate on how much damage or how many serious motor vehicle accidents such incidents cause.

Your dog, regardless of size, is like a ball in the back of your pickup. Centrifugal force can send him careening from side to side as you take a corner, and he has no way to grip the bed of your truck or hold on to the sides. He is in imminent danger of falling out if he is not in a crate or cross-tied in the back.

It is also very easy for many dogs to become distracted by something they see on the side of the road and decide to jump out to investigate. Another dog, a person they know, even roadkill — all are reasons your dog might not see the danger of jumping out of a moving vehicle.

Eye injuries are also common, caused by flying bugs, pebbles thrown up by tires, and the everyday dust and dirt of the roadway.

Your dog is also at risk of exposure to the elements by riding in the back of an uncovered pickup. Hot, sunny days can cause your dog’s body temperature to become elevated, putting him in line for heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. If your pickup bed is not insulated, the metal can become extremely hot and burn his paw pads.

In the reverse, you dog can suffer hypothermia and frostbite when riding in the back during cold weather. He has no way of protecting himself from chilly, wet winds, icy conditions, or rain.

Many local and state governments are now regulating how dogs can be carried in the back of pickup trucks. Texas and California, for example, now require all dogs riding in truck beds to be in crates or cross-tied to the truck unless the sides of the truck are at least 46 inches high. At that height, most dogs can’t jump or fall out.

Remember, even if crated or cross-tied, your dog is still at risk of death or injury if you are involved in an accident. The best way to prevent that happening is to purchase a canine seat belt online or at your local pet store and let him ride safely in the cab with you.

Just a couple of examples of Injuries sustained from riding in the back of a truck.  However, most dogs riding in the back of a truck do not survive a fall or being thrown out the the back of a pickup truck when braking quickly to avoid a road hazard to being hit by another vehicle.


Announcement: Household Chemicals Toxic to Dogs

What’s He Into Now?

Household Chemicals Toxic to Dogs

Many items that we use every day in our homes can be dangerous and poisonous to our furry companions. Without knowing what they are, we can be putting our dogs in danger of severe illness, even death. The following is a partial list of substances that should be kept far from the reach of our dogs and other neighborhood animals.

Antifreeze, containing ethylene glycol, produces increased thirst and urination, vomiting and diarrhea, seizures, panting, loss of appetite, acute kidney failure and possibly death. As little as 2 ounces of anti-freeze can prove fatal to a medium-sized dog within 24 to 48 hours. If you suspect your pet has lapped up any antifreeze at all, consider this a veterinary emergency and get her to your veterinarian immediately.

Because of the theobromine, a type of stimulant found in cacao shells, cocoa bean mulch can be toxic to your dog if ingested. It results in restlessness, hyperactivity, panting, vomiting and diarrhea, irregular heart beat, seizures, coma and eventual death if enough is eaten. 

DEET, or N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, found in insect repellents, was originally developed by the US Army as a pesticide to use during jungle warfare. It can cause tremors, over excitement, vomiting, and seizures if your dog eats any of it. It can also cause skin irritation if it gets on your pet’s coat and skin.

Acids and alkalis, such as those found in bleach, drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners,  and batteries, can result in burns on your dog’s tongue and gums, drooling, holes in the esophagus, stomach, and intestinal tract, severe abdominal pain, sepsis, and eventual death. You need to keep these products locked safely away from both pets and children.

Citrus oils, such as linalool and limonene, found in candles, mosquito deterrents, and room fresheners, produce weakness, drooling, tremors, depression, ataxia (the inability to walk correctly), low blood pressure, fevers and possible death.

Human pain medications, including aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen, should never be fed to dogs, unless recommended by a veterinarian. This includes products containing those medicines, including stomach gas reducers and certain antacids. These medicines trigger loss of appetite, bloody vomit, drooling, stomach ulcers, intense pain and drunken behavior.

Petroleum products, including gas, motor oil, kerosene, turpentine, paint thinner, and lighter fluid, result in tremors, breathing problems, coma, seizures, vomiting, respiratory failure and even death if not treated promptly after you dog ingests them. The old farmer’s remedy of treating mange with motor oil has long been proven ineffective, and can also kill your dog.

Mothballs, containing the chemicals naphthalene and dichlorobenene, are toxic to your dog, and if ingested, cause serious illness. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, damage to the liver, blood cells, and kidneys, brain swelling, seizures, coma, and even death. If your dog eats mothballs, you should consider this a veterinary emergency and seek immediate veterinary care.

Other toxins found in your home that can make you pet ill or even cause death include lawn fertilizers, the lead found in paint and golf balls (also responsible for intestinal obstructions), pine oils found in cleaning products, poisonous pest baits manufactured with arsenic, warfarin, and strychnine, and pennies made after 1982 that contain large amounts of zinc.

Note: If you suspect your pet has eaten any of these products or chemicals, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Announcement: People Food That Can Harm Your Dog

What Did He Just Eat?

People Foods That Can Harm Your Dog

While chocolate, avocadoes, and macadamia nuts may sound like good food to you – allowing your dog to have a little nosh on those foods can not only make her sick, it can be fatal if she decides she likes those treats and goes for more. Avoid the following foods when preparing a homemade diet or giving your dog treats:

Yeast Dough

Raw yeast dough can rise in your dog’s stomach, causing painful gas in the intestinal tract, possible blockages and ruptures. Once the dough has risen and is fully cooked, you can give your pet small bites of bread as long as the treats don’t constitute more than 5 to 10 percent of his daily caloric intake.

Grapes and Raisins

According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, grapes and raisins are known toxins in dogs, having caused numerous cases of poisonings, even though veterinarians have yet to pinpoint the specific toxin involved. Dogs typically experience diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy and eventually kidney failure that can lead to death. While many dogs can eat the occasional grape without incident, the ASPCA recommends never feeding your pet a large amount and NEVER feeding raisins, as even small servings of raisins have been linked to toxic reactions.

Onions, Garlic, and Chives

These vegetables and herbs can cause intestinal distress and lead to hemolytic anemia, a disorder of the red blood cells that can affect your dog’s spleen, liver, and lymph nodes. While cats are more affected than dogs, any animal eating large quantities of these particular foods, or their associated powders, is susceptible.

Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine

Methylxanthine, a type of stimulant, found in chocolate and coffee can cause severe digestive and neurological problems when ingested by your dog. Both theobromine, found in chocolate, and caffeine, found in coffee, are considered classes of methlyxanthine, and can induce vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. The darker and less sweet the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for dogs.

Macadamia Nuts

The macadamia nuts, commonly used in cooking and baking, can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, muscle spasms, and increased temperature in your dog. Symptoms usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.


The fruit, seeds, leaves and bark of the avocado can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting in your dog, and can be especially harmful to pets of the smaller breeds. The avocado contains persin, a fungicidal toxin similar to a fatty acid that, while generally harmless to humans, has negative effects on dogs.


The skin, fruit, and seeds of the eggplant contain toxins that can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, seizures, and heart arrhythmias in your dog. The seeds are particularly harmful as they contain cyanogenic glycosides that can result in cyanide poisoning.


Dogs absorb alcohol quickly and are prone to toxic reactions including diarrhea, vomiting, central nervous system depression, tremors, breathing difficulties, decreased coordination, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death. Never give any form of alcohol to your dog, including the kind found in certain food products.

Milk and Milk Products

While milk and its by-products, such as cheese, butter, and ice cream, are not necessarily considered toxic to dogs, canines are lactose intolerant and feeding these foods to your dog can cause intestinal distress, including vomiting and diarrhea.


Just like it does in humans, eating excessive amounts of salt can cause excessive thirst, increased urination, and possibly sodium poisoning in your dog. Too many salty foods result in symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.

Note: If you suspect your dog has eaten any of these foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

My Alaskan Malamute needs a detox?

Question by : My Alaskan Malamute needs a detox?
Well… our poor Alaskan Malamute is having issues yet again. He just never seems to get a break. I want to keep this short and hopefully someone can give me some suggestions. Here are his current “symptoms”:
– licking bum (has no anal glands since June), area is now red and has no fur.
– licking paws and nibbling on a sore that’s developed on one toe. Sore is swollen and red now.
– more whining that usual
– scratching his nose/mouth, will scratch in a very rough manner for 60-90 seconds if we don’t interrupt
– more nervous than he usually is
– rubs his face on the couch or dog bed immediately after eating

I expect it’s allergies and I want to “detox” him to try to get the flare up under control. Then I’ll start looking at other food options. I’d rather avoid the vet for now if I can (just for financial reasons). So here’s my plan:
– wash all floors with cleaner and then vinegar
– wash all dog bowls (food & water)
– wash floor of garage (very dusty, including drywall plater dust)
– wash dog beds
– wash Alaskan Malamute!
– rice only diet for 2 weeks
– no vaccines for now (I don’t want to get into that)

We were traveling A LOT over Christmas, and were around a lot of other dogs. He obviously snuck a few bites of other dogs foods here and there, and that may be what caused the flare up. However, we was licking his bum and that one toe for several weeks before Christmas too, just not as bad as now…

So what do you think? Can you recommend anything? Any help is welcome, as usual.

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