Paws A While

Keeping Your Pets Safe Over the Silly Season


Chocolate Toxicity

Chocolate is delicious for humans, but can be fatal if our pets ingest it. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which causes vomiting, diarrhoea, hyperactivity, increased heart rate, restlessness, muscle twitching, increased urination, excessive panting and if left untreated can be rapidly fatal.

If your dog does accidentally eat some chocolate, it is vitally important that they are seen within 30 minutes to an hour by your local veterinarian. The veterinarian will give a medication to make your pet vomit, which removes most of the toxins from the body. Sometimes, your pet will be hospitalised, where intravenous fluids may be used, an enema or stomach pump may be required, and we may also need to use muscles relaxants and activated charcoal.

Ensure all chocolate is kept out of reach from your pets.

Snakes Are Out and About!!

With the warmer weather upon us, snakes are coming out of hibernation.

Signs of snake envenomation includes: muscular weakness, wobbliness or paralysis, increased respiratory effort, trembling, salivation, vomiting, slower blood clotting time, bruising, blood in the urine, and abnormal neurological signs (including collapse, seizure, tremors, pupil enlargement).

The sooner the snake anti venom is given, the higher the chance of survival.

If you see a snake, please keep your distance, do not try to touch it or try to contain it and call WIRES on 1300 094 737.

Tick Paralysis In Dogs and Cats

Ticks are bloodsucking, external parasites. High humidity is necessary for all stages of the tick to survive and ticks are commonly found in a 20 kilometre band on the eastern coastline of Australia, from Lakes Entrance, Victoria to Cape York Peninsula, Queensland. Ticks are also found in the Lower Blue Mountains.

The tick toxin is injected into the host whilst the tick is feeding. The neurotoxin causes a rapidly progressive, ascending lower motor neuron paresis to flaccid paralysis. Pain sensation is preserved.

Some clinical signs include:
1. Loss of coordination in the hind limbs.
2. Change in voice or bark.
3. Retching, vomiting, coughing
4. Loss of appetite.
5. Difficulty breathing or increased respiratory rate.
6. Large and poorly responsive pupils
7. Progressive paralysis to the forelimbs and respiratory muscle paralysis in a few hours.

Treatment of tick paralysis is aimed to preserve life while the antitoxin has time to work and neutralize the tick toxin.

The tick is removed as soon as possible, tick antiserum is administered and supportive care is provided. Some cases may require 24 hour specialist care with a ventilator.

There are many products on the market that provide some protection against ticks, including: Bravecto, Nexgard, Simparica, Comfortis, The Big Five, Credelio, Revolution Plus, Frontline and many other products.
Perform daily body searches on your pet for ticks when visiting tick infested areas.

Pancreatitis and the Christmas Ham

The typical history of a canine patient that is diagnosed with pancreatitis is one in which the dog ate a high-fat meal or got into the garbage. Pancreatitis in dogs is an inflammatory reaction within the pancreas that can result in abdominal pain, inappetence, and vomiting. The inflammation results from the inappropriate, early activation of an enzyme within the pancreas, which causes the pancreas to digest itself. Avoid feeding fatty foods to your pets, including the fat from the Christmas hams.

Raison and Grape Toxicity from Christmas Cakes

Raisins and grapes are toxic to dogs. Grape and raisin toxicity in dogs can cause serious kidney damage that can lead to acute (sudden) kidney failure, which can be fatal. Do not give your dog raisins or raisin products, including the Christmas cake.

Heat Stroke

With the weather warming up it is important to look after your pets:
• Provide shelter for your pets, so they get away from direct sunlight.
• Provide plenty of water. Animals do not sweat like humans and they rely on the evaporation of the water in their mouths to cool themselves down. So they need extra water so they do not overheat.
• Provide extra water sources in case they are spilled.
• Provide kiddy pools so your pet can lay in the water.
• Bring your pets indoors with air conditioning, if possible.
• Consider day boarding in air conditioning.
• Avoid exercising your pets during the heat of the day. Walk them in the early morning, or later at night when it is cooler.
• Do not leave pets in a car or vehicle.
Please feel free to pop in anytime and meet the team at Orchard Hills Veterinary Hospital.

Please feel free to pop in anytime and meet the team at Orchard Hills Veterinary Hospital. For more information check out our Facebook, website , Instagram @orchardhillsvethospitalgrooms or call 02 4736 2027.


Article Written + Submitted by: Camille Brandt from Orchard Hills Veterinary Hospital
A: 377 Wentworth Rd, Orchard Hills P: 4736 2027

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