Elderfox's Blog

Thoughts of an elder writer-in-progress

BEING ONE’S OWN SELF. . .Good ole summer time

on August 2, 2010

Outdoor living is fun for all, but there are hazards unbeknownst to dog owners.  Barbeques for example are harmless?  Okay, but what about that foil you tossed carelessly in the plastic garbage bag and set aside. . .plastic and aluminum foil, the latter coated with meat drippings, can choke or lodge in the intestines of a dog.  And perishable dog food left out thru a hot summer day while the dog is preoccupied with all the kids and company, when finally eaten that evening, can be spoiled and cause severe intestinal upsets.  And those pesticide sprayed areas–to keep insects at bay and guests/family comfortable–can poison your dog (even inhaling pesticides fumes over a period of time can cause serious illness, even death).  Then there are the rodent poisons, your neighbor has spread around and your dog has snacked on a mouse that has died from poison bait.  Frolicking in your pool?  Are the anti-alge chemicals and other pool maintenance materials locked away?  Or maybe mom’s ibuprofen bottle fell into the grass, or your daughter’s diet pills, and puppy enjoyed chewing off the plastic bottle cap and eating the pills…those little white thingees that can cause a toxic reaction.  Or perhaps your youngest decided to give your dog a handful of chocolate . . . .

 Being able to “read” your dog is beneficial when it comes to recognizing stress.  In puppies not so much.  However,  If you become aware of your dog vomiting, trembling, or being in pain during or after a fun day’s romp at a barbeque fest, call your veterinarian immediately and follow the advice quickly: fast treatment is essential.   

POSSIBLE SIGNS OF TOXICITY:  Lethargy, Breathing difficulty, Unusual Thirst, Pale Gums, Dilated pupils and bumping into things, Excessive diarrhea, Foul breath odor, Frequent swallowing, Shivering, Convulsions.    Show goers, be aware of the possible hazards when traveling to strange places and exercising your dogs along a roadside or fields or areas where the show is being held.  Dogs can even pick up poisons on their paws and lick them later and become ill.  (NOTE:  Unusual barking and seemingly blindness occurred in a Shetland Sheepdog we were showing.  The toxicity that nearly killed him, our later  investigation discovered, was due to a cattle truck being washed out with a hazardous substance that drained into the exercise area, two days before the show.)

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