Did you know that cockleburs (Xanthium genus), those annoying burs that stick to your clothes and scratch your skin, are toxic if consumed? Most people are not in the habit of consuming the prickly, spiny seed pods, but they can be incorporated into animal feeds and hay. Horses, pigs, and cattle can all become poisoned. Pigs are the species most commonly poisoned from these seedlings.
Are your horses on a poor pasture this fall? Is there a beautiful red maple tree in the field? You might want to think twice about this tree being a pasture-mate to your horses. Green or wilted leaves of the red maple tree can be hazardous to your horse’s health.
Consumption of the wilted leaves of the red maple will cause an acute and profound Heinz body anemia (destruction of red blood cells) and methemoglobin production.
The toxin involved in the poisoning has, to-date, not been identified.
It is just a few short weeks before the Christmas holidays. Your best friend sends you a beautiful Christmas cactus to accent the season. Unfortunately your pets decide that the colorful flowers of your holiday plant are truly irresistible. Your dog, with the help of the family cat, uses the plant as a newly acquired play toy and disassembles the Christmas cactus while you are at work. Should you be concerned that some of the flat segments which comprise the Christmas cactus found their way into your pet’s stomach? Probably not!
Has your dog suddenly developed an anemia or lameness? Have you had a problem controlling ticks this summer? Then your pet may be suffering from an infection called anaplasmosis.
The castor bean plant (Ricinus communis) or palma christi is a common ornamental houseplant with large, palmated, lobed leaves that may be found in almost any location in the United States. The plant is also grown for the manufacturing of castor oil. This same plant has a more sinister side and may be used to produce a potent phytotoxin called ricin.
Laminitis, also known as Founder, is defined as inflammation of the sensitive laminae of the hoof. Laminitis is now thought to be a transient ischemia (loss of blood supply and therefore oxygen) associated with blood coagulation (clotting) and inflammation. The alteration of blood flow leads to the breakdown and degeneration of the union between the horny and sensitive laminae of the hoof.
In a natural environment the dog is a pack animal. When we bring a puppy into a human family the puppy naturally becomes part of a new pack—his adoptive human family. Unfortunately, the modern family is always on the go, and the new puppy is often left alone for long periods of time. It's unnatural for a dog to be isolated from his pack. The stress associated with isolation from the nuclear family can lead to a syndrome described as "Separation Anxiety."