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.
Christmas holly, or English Holly is a commonly prized holiday ornamental that may prove to be irresistible to your pets. Although there are two genera of holly, the Ilex genus, with its 29 species, are all toxic. The technical name for the Christmas holly is Ilex aquifolium.
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!
Worried about the “New Parvovirus?” Don’t be! If your pet is adequately vaccinated for parvovirus, then they will be covered for the newer strain. If your dog is not vaccinated for parvovirus, they can become infected with any strain of parvovirus, regardless of age. So if your dog has not been vaccinated in the past year for parvovirus, see your veterinarian today! Don’t delay! It could mean the difference between the life and death for your four-legged friends.
Is your pet suddenly lame when you have seen no indication of trauma? Have you recently removed ticks from your pet or are you late on your tick treatment this month? Has your dog had any abnormal bleeding or are his joints swollen or painful? Then you may want to consider the possibility that your dog could be suffering from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF).
Do you have a beautiful, full, dark green exotic palm tree as a houseplant? Do you have exotic palms as part of your landscaping? If you have pets or livestock that can access these plants you may want to rethink the use of them in your garden.
Has your West Highland white terrier suddenly collapsed? Does your standard poodle have chronic vomiting and diarrhea? Your pet may be dealing with a condition called Hypoadrenocorticism.
Has your dog been losing weight lately, exhibiting chronic vomiting, had diarrhea, or hematochezia (blood in the feces)? Alternatively, does your dog have an ulcerated, draining skin lesion that just won’t heal? Is your dog a sports breed like a Labrador retriever, or does he love the water? Do you live in an area with a warmer climate? Then your dog could be suffering from an infection called Pythiosis.
Bailey, a three year-old Shih tzu, was ordinarily a bundle of energy. This day, however, he was far from acting himself. We could only get a half-hearted wagging of the tail from him, and that took some coxing. We could tell simply from the expression on his face that he was not feeling at all well.
Is your dog having trouble getting around? Do you think your dog may be running an elevated temperature? Think you might help him out by giving him an aspirin? Don’t! Aspirin may be toxic to your pet, especially in high doses.