Goosepond Newsletter Winter 2009

posted: by: GAH Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Every one at Goosepond Animal Hospital would like to wish you a Happy and healthy New Year. It has been a very cold winter so far with more ice than snow. Please be very careful when walking your pet outside.

We have been seeing an increased number of dogs with urinary tract infections this winter. The main reason is that fluffy white stuff on the ground called snow. Blood in the urine is easily seen in snow. This leads us to believe that there may be undetected urinary tract infections during the warmer seasons.

When a dog or cat has a urinary bladder infection they usually need to urinate more frequently and may strain and pass small amounts. This is due to a feeling of urgency and discomfort. Some dogs will have accidents in the house, and some cats may urinate outside of the litter box. There are a small number of animals that will not exhibit obvious symptoms. Infections in these animals may go undetected for long periods of time. The urine does not always look bloody to the naked eye but can be seen under the microscope.

Male cats that are straining to urinate need to be examined quickly if they are not passing urine. They may develop a blockage in the urethra from gritty material produced in the bladder. This could lead to shock and death within 24 hours. Female cats almost never get urinary blockages due to the wider urethral opening.

Simple urinary tract infections usually respond well to antibiotic therapy. Rechecking the urine under the microscope after medicines are completed helps to determine if the infection has been successfully treated. Pets with recurrent infections or those that do not respond to antibiotic therapy may need further testing to determine the cause of the problem. Cats may need to have a medical diet for chronic urinary problems.

Home remedies for common ailments:

If your dog or cat is having mild to moderate diarrhea with no blood of less than 3 days you can give Pepto-Bismol liquid orally at the following dose:
  •     1 teaspoon per 10 lbs every 4-6 hours, for up to 3 days
  •     for larger dogs: 1 tablespoon per 30 lbs every 4-6 hours, for up to 3 days
Kaopectate may be used in dogs at the same dose. It is not to be used in cats because it contains an aspirin like product.
Fast the animal for 12-24 hours to allow the intestinal tract to rest. Water should be provided. The following food should be offered after fasting the dog:
  • A mixture of 2/3 boiled white rice and 1/3 cooked chicken or chopped meat (drain off grease).
  • Feed about 1/2 the normal amount of food in 3 small meals throughout the day.
  • Gradually increase the amount over 3 days, then begin adding dog food to the rice instead of chicken or chopped meat.
  • Then over the next 3 days, gradually increase the amount of dog food and decrease the amount of rice.
If diarrhea persists, the dog needs to come in for exam and treatment.

The following food should be offered after fasting the cat:
  • Lamb, chicken or beef baby food (small jars for 6 mo. old babies).
  • Feed 1/2 jar 3 times a day for up to 3 days.
  • Then mix with cat food in equal amounts for 2 days.
If diarrhea persists, the cat needs to come in for exam and treatment.


If your pet has been vomiting frequently over the last 12 hours and has not been able to hold down water it should be seen by the veterinarian. Vomiting animals may begin to dehydrate and lose electrolytes over 12-24 hours if vomiting frequently. Any animal that appears bloated (usually dogs) should be examined immediately. Dogs and cats that are retching frequently should be seen immediately. Any animal that has vomited blood should be seen. Dogs that are pacing and uncomfortable for more than one hour should be seen immediately.

Animals that have vomited a few times over an extended period of time may be watched at home for progression of symptoms. Food and water should be withheld for 12 hours. If vomiting persists, the pet needs to be seen. If vomiting stops, the animal can then be fed a bland diet. Follow the same dietary instructions as for diarrhea.

If your pet has history of chronic vomiting and you do not feel the need to come in, please consult with a doctor.

Leg Injuries
If you feel that your pet has a broken bone, contact the veterinarian immediately. If your dog has a mild or moderate lameness in his or her leg you may give aspirin at the following dose: one 325 mg tablet per 30 pounds of body weight two times daily. If there is no significant improvement within 24 hours, examination by the veterinarian is recommended. Do not use aspirin if there is significant bleeding, or if your dog is on another anti-inflammatory drug. If you have a cat with a leg injury you may give one 81mg aspirin one time. If your cat is under 7 pounds, give only 1/2 of the 81 mg aspirin. Do not use ibuprofen or Tylenol in dogs or cats.

Insect Bites
This is a very common occurrence in this part of the country. The most common symptoms are as follows:
  • Diffuse swelling of the face, ears or lips
  • Redness of the affected area
  • Hives on head or body
  • Scratching and itching of affected areas
Treatment involves the use of antihistamines
Benedryl given orally at 1 mg per pound body weight (a 50 pound dog would get 50 mg) every 4 to 6 hours until symptoms subside.


Poisonous Products
If your pet ingests a toxic substance in your house it is important to contact the veterinarian as soon as possible. Our website has a link for animal poison control as well. Many medications and foods may be poisonous for your pet. Some of the common pain relief products are as follows:
  • Aspirin - toxic to cats at normal adult doses above 81 mg at one time.
  • Dogs tolerate aspirin at 325 mg per 30 lbs per dose twice daily for up to 5 days per week.
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin) - toxic to cats, not recommended for dogs
  • Naproxen (Allieve) - toxic to cats, not recommended for dogs
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) - toxic to cats, not recommended for dogs
Excessive doses of these drugs may cause severe illness and possible death if left untreated. If your cat or dog has ingested a toxic dose of one of these medicines within the last 2 to 3 hours, vomiting may be induced by administering household hydrogen peroxide (3%) orally at 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds body weight not to exceed 3 tablespoons. Chances of productive vomiting may be increased if the dog is fed a small meal (such as 1-2 slices of bread) first. The peroxide may be mixed with an equal portion of milk or ice cream. The pet must move around afterward to help the peroxide foam up in the stomach. Hydrogen peroxide causes vomiting through mild gastric irritation within minutes and can be repeated only one time. Hydrogen peroxide can be safely used in dogs, cats, ferrets and potbelly pigs. Hydrogen peroxide should not be used to induce vomiting in rabbits, rodents, birds, horses and ruminants.

The veterinarian should be contacted as follow up treatment in the hospital or emergency room may be needed.

Common poisonous foods include:

  • Chocolate -
  1.  milk chocolate: 1 pound for a 16 pound dog (1 oz per pound wt)
  2. semi sweet chocolate: 1/2 pound for a 16 pound dog (1/2 oz per lb)
  3. baker's chocolate: 2-4 ounces for a 16 pound dog (1/8 oz per lb) Chocolate toxicity may cause vomiting, rapid heart rate, seizures, restlessness and in rare cases death. Vomiting should be induced, and activated charcoal may need to be administered orally to absorb more toxins. - The veterinarian should be contacted as soon as possible.
  • Grapes/Raisins - ingestion of this seemingly harmless and healthy fruit may cause kidney failure in dogs and possibly cats. This is a relatively new finding and not every animal is affected. A toxic dose for a 10 pound dog is approximately 3.5 oz for grapes and 1/2 oz for raisins. Vomiting should be induced if recently ingested, and the veterinarian should be contacted.
  • Avocado pits - these are toxic for dogs and cats. Vomiting should be induced and the veterinarian needs to be contacted.
  • Rat poisons - may cause internal bleeding if large enough amounts are Swallowed. Induce vomiting in the veterinary office immediately or at home if you can not come right in. - Vitamin K is the antidote for many forms of rat poison.
  •  Antifreeze - the older form of antifreeze (ethylene glycol) is highly toxic to animals at a fairly low dose. Crystals rapidly form in the kidneys causing painful and severe kidney failure and death. Vomiting needs to be induced if recently ingested and intravenous fluids with medications need to be administered to dissolve or prevent crystals from forming.
  • Poisonous plants - listed under web links on home page.
When not to induce vomiting:
  • Ingestion of chicken bones - may traumatize or tear the esophagus. The bones will pass through the gastrointestinal tract on their own. May cause diarrhea with blood. Contact veterinarian if this occurs.
  • Ingestion of drain cleaners - will burn the esophagus. Administer milk to protect the gastrointestinal tract. Contact the veterinarian immediately. A dilute vinegar solution may partially neutralize the toxic fluid.
  • Gagging - If your pet is gagging or trying to cough something up, inducing vomiting may damage or rupture the stomach. If the pet collapses or has trouble breathing, follow directions for CPR in this newsletter. If time allows, the veterinarian should be contacted and the pet brought in for treatment.

First Aid: A Guide for Every Pet Owner

Trauma Patients; DON'T PANIC!

Unconscious Animal: First Aid is as easy as A-B-C

    AIRWAY - Extend the head and neck

        Observe rib cage for movement
        Listen - put ear to mouth
        Feel - feel breath with ear

        Feel for a heart beat (behind left foreleg - lower chest area)
        Listen- put ear on chest

Pink - GOOD Blue or Pale = BAD
General Rule: If the animal is breathing = Cardiac function is present

Situations requiring C.P.R.;

When animal is:

    Not Breathing
    No Heartbeat Felt
    Poor Membrane Color

The above responses can be due to being hit by a car, electrocution, drowning, an allergic reaction, choking or other situations.

Administering C.P.R.;

    Extend head and neck- to check inside mouth and throat for foreign bodies

    Administer artificial respiration -
    In dogs over 15 lbs. - seal off muzzle with both hands, using mouth to nose method, give two good breaths (be sure to observe chest filling with air)

    In cats or very small dogs - seal off muzzle with both hands and mouth, using mouth to face method, give two good breaths (be sure to observe chest filling with air)

    Manual chest compressions - lay dog or cat on right side on firm surface Cycle: 10 chest compressions to two breaths

For severely injured, but conscious pets;

    Check mucous membranes for color- (pale color indicates shock or internal bleeding
    Control obvious bleeding
        Apply direct pressure

        In severe cases on extremities place tourniquet (must loosen every 10 minutes for about 1 minute)

    Immobilize injured areas
        Spinal or neck injuries - place on flat board
        Injuries to extremities - splints (rolled up newspaper or wood)
        Wrap with blanket to keep warm

For choking pets:

    Alert and conscious - Sweep finger to back of oral cavity to remove lodged object

    Unconscious - Sweep finger prior to chest compressions.

    Lay animal on right side, compress chest firmly to expel any objects that may be lodged in oral cavity or trachea.
    Perform C.P.R. if necessary

Note: It may be difficult or impossible to blow air into the lungs if the airway is blocked.