Newsletter march 2012
DURBANVILLE AND GOEDEMOED ANIMAL HOSPITAL
4 De Villiers Drive
Emergency number :
TEL: (021) 976-3031
9 Portulaca Street
ask for Vet on duty
TEL: (021) 975-6385
Dr. I. MENDELSOHN
1. Lead PoisoningThe most common cause of lead poisoning in pets is ingestion of lead basedpaint. Although lead based paint is no longer available it can still be present inold buildings. Lead can also be obtained via other sources: toys, fishing tackle, drapery weights, car exhausts, car batteries, plumbing materials and supplies, lubricating compounds, putty or tar paper, lead foil, golf balls, food packaging, improperly glazed food or water bowls. Water is rarely a source of lead poisoning.
2. AntifreezeEthylene glycol is a common cause of poisoning in pets. It is a clear, odourless liquid with a sweet taste which is attractive to pets and children. It is most com-monly found in antifreeze, but is also in many other products: photographic deve-lopment fluid, brake fluid, some cosmetics, some plants, air conditioning coolantand decorative snow globes.
3. Snow GlobesThese very pretty decorative items may be cute, but they contain antifreeze. This is not a toy for your pet to play with! If they break make sure you clean up the spillimmediately to avoid your pet ingesting the contents.
4. Snail baitSnail bait contains Metaldehyde which is highly toxic if inhaled and moderately toxic if ingested. These are typically bran pellets that are dyed blue. The lowestamount necessary to be fatal is a tablespoon of bait for the average dog and less than a teaspoon of bait for the average cat.
5. Some human foodsThe natural occurring theobromine in chocolate, cocoa, cola and tea can be verypoisonous especially to dogs. Dogs are unable to metabolize this element quicklyenough to avoid poisoning. The theobromine is a stimulant that may cause cardiacarythmia and seizures that can lead to death. Also never feed your dog raisins, grapes, onions, garlic, yeast dough, macadamia nuts, avocados or any food con-taining caffeine or artificial sweeteners.
6. Fruit pits and seedsFruit pits and seeds contain cyanide. Always make sure your pet does not haveaccess to your garbage bin. This will also prevent them from ingesting harmfulfood that have spoiled or have mould present.
7. Organophosphates and pyrethrin.
These are usually chemicals used to kill insects. Pyrethrins are commonly foundin flea shampoo, powders and topical treatments. Products that are labelled “doguse only” should not be used on cats as it could be poisonous. Incorrect use offlea treatments and garden pesticides can be fatal to your pet. Always followapplication instructions carefully or rather use safe pyrethroid compounds.
8. MedicationYour medication can be lethal to your pet. These inculde diet pills, prescriptiondrugs, vitamins, pain killers and cold medicine. Even if they only ingest a smallamount the effects can be detrimental. Keep your medications in closed cup-boards which your pets can’t access.
9. Household cleaners. Some of these products contain corrosive elements which can seriously harm yourpet. Always make sure these products are well stored away or substitute them with safer organic cleaners.
10. PlantsThere are quite a few commonly used ornamental or garden plants that can be toxic to your pets. A few examples of these plants are: chrysanthemum, spinach, philodendron, tomato vines, poinsettia, amaryllis, azalea, rhubarb and periwinkle.
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PUPPIES AND GROWING DOGS – WHY FEED PUPPY FOOD?
For the first few weeks of a puppy’s life the bitch’s milk is its sole source of nutrients. Initially the milk is rich in colostrum(1-2 days), which contains antibodies that provide some protection against infectious diseases. From the last trimester of pregnancy and throughout lactation the bitch should be fed a high quality puppy food to help puppy development, build up reserves for feeding and maintain body condition.
Puppies should be encouraged to take small but increasingly larger amounts of food as early as 3 to 4 weeks after whelping. Initially, soften the pellets with warm water to achieve a porridge consistency to encourage solid food intake, then gradually wean them onto dry pellets. Puppies can be fully weaned onto a highly digestible, energy- and nutrient-dense diet between 6 – 8 weeks of age. Energy and nutrient requirements are greatest between weaning and the time puppies reach 50% of their adult body weight.
Growing puppies have different nutritional needs to adult dogs. They require many more nutrients, vitamins, minerals and calories. Puppy food also contain higher levels DHA, a type of long chain Omega-3 fatty acid, which is essential for eye and brain development.
Puppies require 4 smaller meals after weaning, with the frequency reduced to just two daily feedings by adulthood. A complete and balanced diet need not be supplemented with vitamins and minerals.
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