The Truth …… Can Giving My Dog Ice Water Cause Bloat?

Written by Dr. Karen Pearson, DVM Greenbriar Veterinary Hospital & Luxury Pet Resort

Can giving my dog ice water cause bloat?

Simple answer… no.

Longer answer….Gastric dilatation-volvulus(GDV) or bloat is a result of the dog swallowing too much air, fluid or both and the stomach “twists”.  It is not caused by a spasming of the stomach as the article would suggest. The stomach would actually have to twist to cause the bloat and not allow air to escape from the stomach. It is much more likely the dog gulped water down too quickly and with the big gulps, swallowed a lot of air causing the stomach to expand.  This is what can lead to bloat.

What to do when your dog is hot…

When your dog is overheated make sure to give them water, but monitor the intake. Dogs who drink too fast, especially larger dogs, are more likely to drink down large amounts of water with the air and lead to bloat.

Safer yet would be to hose them down or apply cool packs to their chest or inside their thighs.

So if you see this link going around facebook (http://wendtworthcorgis.wordpress.com/2010/07/31/no-ice-water-for-dogs-please-read-asap/), please know it is not entirely true.

Karen R Pearson, DVM

Dogs Drinking Ice Water

Practice Basic Pet Summer Safety

 

 

Practice Basic Pet Summer Safety

The weather has finally started to warm up. Here are some basic safety tips to help keep your pets safe this spring and summer:

Never leave your pets in a parked car

Not even for a minute. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, Falls Road Veterinary Hospitalthe temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die. If you see an animal in distress in a parked car, contact the nearest animal shelter or police.

Watch the humidity

It’s important to remember that it’s not just the ambient temperature but also the humidity that can affect your pet. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly. Taking a dog’s temperature will quickly tell you if there is a serious problem. Dogs’ temperatures should not be allowed to get over 104 degrees. If your dog’s temperature does, contact your veterinarian immediately!

Limit exercise on hot days

Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.

Provide ample shade and water

Any time your pet is outside, make sure he or she has protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water when possible. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don’t obstruct air flow. A doghouse does not provide relief from heat—in fact, it makes it worse.

Watch for signs of heat stroke

Extreme temperatures can cause heat stroke. Some signs of heat stroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.

Animals are at particular risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory disease. Some breeds of dogs—like boxers, pugs, shih tzus, and other dogs and cats with short muzzles—will have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat.

How to treat a pet suffering from heat stroke

Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to her head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over her. Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Take your pet directly to a veterinarian.

Prepare for power outages

Before a summer storm takes out the power in your home, create a disaster plan to keep your pets safe from heat stroke and other temperature-related trouble.

Please feel free to contact here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns. (301) 983-8400. http://www.greenbriarpets.com

 

The Danger of Chocolate To Pets

For a human, a few too many Easter eggs can be seen as a bit indulgent and lead to an afternoon on the sofa in a self-inflicted Danger of chocolate to dogs Falls Road Veterinary Hospitalchocolate coma.

But for a dog it can be potentially life-threatening and, in the most extreme cases, result in death.

Dog owners are warned to be on high alert this Easter and ensure the chocolate is hidden away to ensure dogs are not harmed as a result of chocolate poisoning.

With more instances of discarded Easter Eggs or half-eaten Crème Eggs lying around at Easter than at other times of the year, it is a potential minefield for canines all over the country, and can result in many becoming ill – or even die.

The reason for this toxicity is due to a natural chemical in the cocoa bean called theobromine. Easily digestible by humans, theobromine cannot be broke down by the dog’s digestive system and becomes toxic to dogs, having a serious effect on their nervous system and heart.

As the Easter weekend approaches and people have more chocolate in the home than usual, we’re reminding those with dogs and cats to keep it well out of their reach.

Like with most poisons the toxic impact is dependent on the size of the dog.

Heavier dogs are far less likely to be affected by the same amount of chocolate than those of a smaller size.

For example, it would take just one tablespoon of dark chocolate to severely damage a small Yorkshire Terrier, while 5 tablespoons would lead to a Lab becoming seriously ill.

Yet, it is not only the amount of chocolate that can have effect on how badly a dog reacts. The level of cocoa and the darkness of the chocolate can also have an effect. With darker chocolate containing more of the toxic theobromine than milk chocolate, less is needed to have an adverse effect.

Symptoms of concern for owners can be anything from vomiting, to rapid breathing, to seizures and need to be acted on to ensure that there are not more fatal consequences.

The effects of chocolate poisoning in dogs usually appear within a few hours of eating, and can last as long as 24 hours.

Initial signs can include excessive thirst, vomiting, a sore stomach and restlessness.

These symptoms can then progress to tremors, an abnormal heart rhythm, raised body temperature and rapid breathing.

In severe cases dogs can experience fits, kidney failure and can even die.

If your pet ingest chocolate you should contact your vet for immediately. Please feel free to contact us here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns. (301) 983-8400. http://www.fallsroadvet.com,

Taking the bite out of Fleas & Ticks

TAKING THE BITE OUT OF FLEAS AND TICKS

Fleas are truly devoted to their work. In one day, a single flea can bite your cat or dog more than 400 times. During that same Flea Control Falls Road Veterinary Hospitalday, the flea can consume more than its body weight of your pet’s blood. And before it’s through, a female flea can lay hundreds of eggs on your pet, ensuring that its work will be carried on by generations to come.

Flea bites may be merely a nuisance to some pets, but to others, they can be dangerous. They can cause flea allergy dermatitis—an allergic reaction to proteins in flea saliva. A pet’s constant scratching to rid itself of fleas can cause permanent hair loss and other skin problems. A pet can get a tapeworm if it eats a flea that has one. And flea feasts on your pet’s blood can lead to anemia and, in rare cases, death.

But fleas are not your pet’s only nemesis. Tick bites can give your pet such infections as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. And ticks can give those same infections to you.

In years past, veterinarians recommended getting rid of fleas by simultaneously “bombing” the house with insecticide, spraying the yard, and dipping the dog or cat. Today, treating only the pet often takes care of the problem. But if there is a severe flea infestation or if the problem persists, you may still need to treat the pet’s environment,

Types of Flea and Tick Products

Hundreds of pesticides, repellents, and growth inhibitors are approved or licensed to control fleas and ticks on cats and dogs or in their environment. Products range from oral medications that require a veterinarian’s prescription to collars, sprays, dips, shampoos, and powders that are available at retail stores. Some products kill only ticks or adult fleas—others break the flea life cycle by preventing flea eggs from developing into adult fleas.

Some flea and tick products are not prescription drugs, yet are available only through veterinarians. This is because the manufacturer chooses to sell its products through vets, so that the vet can provide important safety information to the client.

The Preventic collar is one such product. The collar kills ticks by interfering with a tick’s ability to feed on dogs. It contains the insecticide amitraz, which paralyzes the tick’s mouthparts. Amitraz should not be used on dogs that are sickly, pregnant, or nursing, or with certain drugs that may interact with the insecticide. The manufacturer, Virbac Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, sells the collar through veterinarians, who can ensure that a dog is healthy and can use the collar safely.

When to Treat

It’s best to treat your pet year round. The severity and length of the flea season vary depending on which part of the country you live in. It can last four months in some places, but in other places, like Florida, fleas can live all year long. Fleas can also  live inside a warm house year-round.

In many areas, September is often the worst month for flea infestation. In most parts of the United States, the greatest chance of infection by a tick bite is May through September, the period of greatest tick activity by “nymphs.” Nymphs are the stage of tick development that occurs after they have had their first blood meal and molt, and before they become adults.

Lyme Disease

About 200 species of ticks live in the United States. Some of these can transmit infectious diseases, such as Lyme disease, to pets and humans. Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted through the bite of the deer tick, also called the black-legged tick, which is no larger than the head of a pin.

Typical symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include joint soreness and lameness, fever, and loss of appetite. Symptoms in humans include fatigue, chills and fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and a red, circular skin rash.

Read the Label, Talk to Your Vet

When buying a flea or tick product, it’s important for pet owners to read the label and follow the directions carefully. There can be serious problems with the misuse of dog flea and tick control products containing the insecticide permethrin. Dogs can tolerate concentrated permethrin, but it can be lethal to cats. Never use products on cats that are labeled for use on dogs only.

If the label states that the product is for animals of a certain age or older, don’t use the product on pets that are younger. Flea combs, which can pick up fleas, flea eggs, and ticks, may be useful on puppies and kittens that are too young for flea and tick products.

Talk to your vet about the flea and tick product most appropriate for your pet. The product you use will depend on your pet’s health and age, whether your pet is a cat or a dog, and whether it’s an indoor or outdoor pet. Also check with your vet to determine whether the Lyme vaccine is right for your dog.

Using Flea and Tick Products Safely

  • Read the label carefully before use. If you don’t understand the wording, ask your veterinarian or call the manufacturer.
  • Follow directions exactly. If the product is for dogs, don’t use it on cats or other pets. If the label says use weekly, don’t use it daily. If the product is for the house or yard, don’t put it directly on your pet.
  • After applying the product, wash your hands immediately with soap and water. Use protective gloves if possible.
  • If your pet shows symptoms of illness after treatment, call your veterinarian. Symptoms of poisoning may include poor appetite, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive salivation.
  • Store products away from food and out of children’s reach.

Please feel free to contact us here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns. (301) 983-8400. http://www.fallsroadvet.com

 

Dog Profile Of The Week – German Shepherd

German shepherd dogs reach a maximum of about 25 inches in height, and they weigh up to about 95 pounds (41 kilograms).

He is a well-proportioned dog. The head is broad and tapers handsomely to a sharp muzzle. The ears are rather large and stand erect. The back is level and muscular, and German Shepherdthe tail is bushy and curves downward. The coat is thick and rough and may be black, tan, black and tan or gray. The coat should be harsh and of medium length; however, long-coated individuals occur often.

The breed lives about 10-12 years.

Personality:

German shepherd dogs get along well with children and other pets if raised with them, but in keeping with their guarding instincts, they tend to be leery of strangers.

The breed is considered to be smart and easy to train.

Some poorly bred German shepherd dogs can be high-strung and nervous. Coupled with poor socialization and inadequate training, over guarding and aggressive behavior are risks.

Living With:

Because German shepherd dogs are large and powerful and have strong guarding instincts, great care should be taken to purchase German shepherds from reputable breeders. Poorly bred dogs are more likely to be nervous.

To prevent over guarding and aggressive behavior, German shepherd dogs should be carefully socialized from a young age and be obedience trained. They should be with the family and continually exposed under supervision to people and other pets around the neighborhood; they should not be confined to a kennel or backyard either alone or with other dogs.

German shepherd dogs are active and like to have something to do. They need ample exercise daily; otherwise, they can get into mischief or become high-strung.

The dog sheds heavily about twice yearly, and the rest of the time sheds a lesser amount continually. To control shedding and keep the coat nice, brush at least a few times a week.

History:

German shepherd dogs are, as their name implies, a breed that originated in Germany. They were developed beginning in the late 1800s by crossing various herding breeds. The breed was subjected to stringent selection and it progressed quickly. In the United Kingdom, the dogs are known as Alsatians because fanciers of the breed there wanted to protect the dog from anti-German sentiments after World War I.

German shepherd dogs were introduced in the United States by soldiers returning home from World War I. The breed caught the public eye because of movie stars Strongheart and later, Rin Tin Tin. By World War II German shepherd dogs were the military breed of choice. The first guide dogs were German shepherd dogs. Today, they are one of the most popular dogs in America. In 1999, German shepherd dogs were third on the American Kennel Club’s list of the Top 50 Breeds.

The German shepherd dog is a herding breed known for its courage, loyalty and guarding instincts. This breed makes an excellent guard dog, police dog, military dog, guide dog for the blind and search and rescue dog. For many families, the German shepherd is also a treasured family pet.

Please feel free to contact us here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions. (301) 983-8400. http://www.fallsroadvet.com.

 

Pet Heat Advisory

We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but being overeager in hot weather can spell danger, warn ASPCA experts. Heat Advisory

Even the healthiest pets can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn if overexposed to the heat and heat stroke can be fatal if not treated promptly.

Take these simple precautions, provided by ASPCA experts, to help prevent your pet from overheating. And if you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, get help from your veterinarian immediately.

No Parking!
Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time—even with the windows open—which could lead to fatal heat stroke. Also, leaving pets unattended in cars in extreme weather is illegal in several states.

Know the Warning Signs
Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

Made in the Shade
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.

Summer Style
Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut helps prevent overheating. Shave down to a one-inch length, never to the skin, so your dog still has some protection from the sun. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. As far as skin care, be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.

Street Smarts
When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.

Make a Safe Splash
Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.

Screen Test
During warmer months, the ASPCA sees an increase in injured animals as a result of High-Rise Syndrome, which occurs when pets—mostly cats—fall out of windows or doors and are seriously or fatally injured. Pet owners need to know that this is completely preventable if they take simple precautions. Keep all un-screened windows or doors in your home closed and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.

If you suspect that your pet is experiencing any symptoms of illness or injury please contact you vet immediately!

Please feel free to contact us here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns. (301) 983-8400. http://www.fallsroadvet.com.