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~ Pet Health Issues ~

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The trouble with dogs and cats is that they can't speak a language, other than the body type. Many symptoms are common to both serious diseases as well as innocuous passing ailments. These symptoms could mean your pet's life is literally on the line. Call your veterinarian immediately for advice.

  • Blood in the stool, bleeding from mouth and rectum or vomiting and bloody diarrhea can be a sign of many things, including internal hemorrhage from poisoning.

  • Copious diarrhea that comes on every half hour or hour, with no eating or drinking can cause shock.

  • Difficulty in breathing, especially with blue gums, can be a sign of heart failure.

  • Abdominal swelling with attempts to vomit, especially in the deep-chest dog breeds, is a symptom of bloat and "a serious emergency" often requiring immediate surgery.

  • Frequent drinking and urination, accompanied by depression, vomiting, diarrhea and discharge of reddish mucus, six to eight weeks after heat in an unspayed, intact (virgin) female dog or cat are signs of pyometra, which is very common and very deadly. It comes on slowly over months or years and is also marked by irregular heat periods.

  • Difficulty in giving birth is an emergency. Some strain is involved in a normal birth, but if there is continuous labor without results, it could be life threatening.

  • Seizures should be reported to a vet immediately. The cause could be poisoning. Don't try to restrain the animal during convulsions.

PLEASE Read This and Send it to Family & Friends!

Written by:
Laurinda Morris, DVM
Danville Veterinary Clinic
Danville , Ohio

This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever seen at MedVet. My patient was a 56-pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix that ate half a canister of raisins sometime between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Tuesday.  He started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking about 1AM on Wednesday but the owner didn't call my emergency service until 7AM.

I had heard somewhere about raisins AND grapes causing acute Renal failure but hadn't seen any formal paper on the subject. We had her bring the dog in immediately. In the meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet and the doctor there was like me - had heard something about it, but....   Anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center and they said to give IV fluids at 1 ˝ times maintenance and watch the kidney values for the next 48-72 hours.

The dog's BUN (blood urea nitrogen level) was already at 32 (normal less than 27) and creatinine over 5 (1.9 is the high end of normal). Both are monitors of kidney function in the bloodstream. We placed an IV catheter and started the fluids. Rechecked the renal values at 5 PM and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine over 7 with no urine production after a liter of fluids.  At the point I felt the dog was in acute renal failure and sent him on to MedVet for a urinary catheter to monitor urine output overnight as well as overnight care.

He started vomiting again overnight at MedVet and his renal values have continued to increase daily. He produced urine when given lasix as a diuretic. He was on 3 different anti-vomiting medications and they still couldn't control his vomiting. Today his urine output decreased again, his BUN was over 120, his creatinine was at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated and his blood pressure, which had been staying around 150, skyrocketed to 220.. He continued to vomit and the owners elected to euthanize.

This is a very sad case - great dog, great owners who had no idea raisins could be a toxin. Please alert everyone you know who has a dog of this very serious risk. Poison control said as few as 7 raisins or grapes could be toxic. Many people I know give their dogs grapes or raisins as treats including our ex-handler's. Any exposure should give rise to immediate concern.

Even if you don't have a dog, you might have friends who do. This is worth passing on to them.

  1. Your dog’s normal temperature is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures may necessitate a trip to your veterinarian, depending on other symptoms. Feeling the ears, nose or head is not considered a reliable method; you have to determine the internal dog temperature to find out for certain. This is done using an oral or rectal thermometer, either digital or mercury. Ear thermometers can also be used in dogs. They are generally fast and easy but it is essential to use a proper technique to obtain an accurate temperature reading.

  2. SCENTED CANDLES CAN SOMETIMES KILL BIRDS: It has been reported that certain scented candles have caused the deaths of birds. Better to not use any and be safe rather than sorry. Many candles also contain lead wicks which emit poisonous fumes

  3. Poisonous plants: Make sure to keep your cat or dog away from these denarius plants: Amaryllis, Azalea, Caladium, Calla or arum lily, Daffodil, Delphinium, Elephant’s ear, English holly, Foxglove, Ivy, Jade plant, Jerusalem cherry, Morning glory, Mums, Privet, Wisteria

  4. Lyme Disease: Lyme is a bacterial disease spread by ticks. Symptoms in dogs include lethargy, joint pain, lack of appetite, lymph node enlargement and fever. Some dogs have antibodies to the disease, indicating that they have been exposed, but they show no symptoms.



Vaccinations are a safe and effective way to protect your pet from acquiring dangerous and debilitating diseases such as distemper, parvo-virus, rabies, kennel cough, feline leukemia, FPV, and many other diseases.    

Puppies and kittens require more frequent boosters because the immunity the received from their mothers may interfere with their ability to build immunity through their response to vaccinations. Also, their immune systems are not yet mature enough to mount a full response.

Typical Puppy Vaccination Schedule



6-8 weeks Distemper, ardenovirus (CAV-I), canine parainfluenza virus (CPiV), canine parvovirus (CPV).
9-12 weeks Distemper, CAV-I, CPiV, CPV, leptospirosis, coronavirus (CoV), intranasal Bordetella and CPiV.
14 weeks Distemper, CAV-I, CPiV, CPV, leptosperosis, CoV, Lyme disease.
16-18 weeks Rabies, distemper, CPiV, CPV, leptospirosis, Lyme disease.

Typical Kitten Vaccination Schedule



6-8 weeks Panleukopenia (FPV), Rhinotrachetis (FVR), Calicivirus (FCV)
12 weeks 2nd FPV, FVR, FCV; Draw ELISA test for Feline Leukemia (FeLV); If ELISA is negative, give 1st FeLV.
16 weeks 1st Rabies, 2nd FeLV, 3rd FPV, FVR, FCV
15-16 months & Annually FPV, FVR, FCV, FeLV, Rabies (rabies will be repeated according to type of vaccine initially employed).



Summertime can be dangerous time to travel with your pet, as the risk of heatstroke is increased. Pets should never be left alone in a completely enclosed car for ANY period of time. Here are some common signs of heatstroke to look out for:

  • Panting and quick, shallow breathing

  • excessive salivation

  • unusually hot body temperature (over 104 degrees)

  • Disorientation

  • Red tongue

  • Vomiting

If you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke, take steps to cool him down immediately. Apply a cool, wet towel to his body and keep him out of sunlight. Give him small doses of water. Even if you pet appears to recover, take him to a veterinarian immediately. A qualified doctor will take the necessary steps to make sure your pet is fully recovered.


 Protecting Pets from Poison


There are some of those that are under the impression that animals know instinctively to avoid poisons. This is false. They don't, no more than a small child. It is up to us to ensure their safety. 

Plants: Many common plants, including houseplants, can be deadly. For example, Philodendron is extremely dangerous to cats. Crocus, daffodil and hyacinth bulbs are poisonous as are tomato plants and the berries of mistletoe.

Some of the symptoms of poisoning are:

  • Cats will immediately lose interest in their food

  • Both cats and dogs may become lethargic

  • They may drool an unnatural amount

  • Have trouble walking

  • Ultimately they will go into convulsions

  • Depression, unaccountable excitability, diarrhea and shock are also symptoms.

You can tell an animal is going into shock by pressing the animal's gum with your finger. The pink will turn grayish white; when more than a coup of seconds pass before normal color returns, it usually means the onset of shock. An animal in shock will have a weak, rapid pulse and dilated pupils. Under these conditions, do not give anything by mouth. Start artificial respiration if necessary, keep the victim warm and rush him to the veterinarian. Below is a list of common poisons and the first-aid steps to take until professional help is available.  Let's hope you never need to use it.

  • Corrosive acid: Do not induce vomiting. Give milk or water to dilute poison, even if you must force it on the pet. Give orally baking soda, milk of magnesia or some other mild alkaline substance.  Finish the treatment by getting as much edible oil (salad oil, olive oil) and/or egg white into the animal as you can.  (at least one ounce of oil per 20 pounds of body weight).

  • Corrosive Alkali: Do not induce vomiting. Give water or milk to dilute poison. Give a mild acid--Vinegar, lemon, lime or even orange juice. As above, finish the treatment with edible oil or egg whites.

  • Fungicides, herbicides, Insecticides, Most Household Cleaning Agents, Medicines, Lead, Moth balls, Rodenticides, Turpentine, Poisonous Plants and when in doubt as long as you're sure it wasn't a petroleum product, or an acid or an alkali of corrosive strength: Dilute with milk or water. Induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide, ipecac syrup or table salt (use salt for adult animals only). Read the labels, if available and use the recommended antidotes.


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