As the holiday season approaches, thoughts of pumpkin pies, gingerbread houses and sugar plum ferries occupy a lot of our free time. I’ve heard many people joke about going into a diabetic coma after taking in too much sugar. You may not realize that, although it’s not quite as straightforward as that, our canine and feline family members too can have serious consequences from an imbalance in blood sugar levels.
By Emilio E. DeBess, DVM, MPVM, State Public Health Veterinarian, Oregon Department of Human Services
FDA warns about feeding your pet a raw-food diet
In a new study, compared to other types of pet food tested, raw pet food was more likely to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, the FDA said “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cautioning pet owners about feeding their animals raw diets, warning that those who do may have a higher risk of getting infected with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.”
It’s that time of year when all of us start seeing more mushrooms around. The combination of sun, rain, and increased organic material on the ground is perfect for fungal growth. This year in particular has been very good for mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest and those mushroom hunters who know what they are doing, have had a banner year. However, the conditions that make for amazing edible chanterelles, also lead to more of the poisonous variety as well.
As the fall sets in, I always feel that I really want to eat more. The colder weather means we are inside, closer to the kitchen. I find I’m baking more and thinking about desserts for upcoming holidays. As we eat more, and spend more time in the kitchen, our furry companions tend to join us and they know just how to meet our eyes, do tricks and convince us, that they too need a little extra something yummy.
Dogs and cats eat many of the same things we do but they metabolize both foods and drugs differently than humans. Cats, in particular, have different metabolic pathways in their livers, which mean that some drugs that are safe for people or dogs are very dangerous for them. Following are five (5) common items which can be potentially deadly to your pet.
I think many people dread taking their cat to the veterinarian. Cats often do not like their carriers. They may yowl in the car and then either be scared or become small lions when they arrive. It often seems like maybe these visits aren’t so important. However, vaccines and annual wellness checks are very important; both for your cat’s long term well being and for you and your family.
Much is known about common toxins for pets like chocolate, ethylene glycol, and grapes or raisins. Macadamia nuts and onions (or garlic) are two toxicities that can be difficult to diagnose as their symptoms can closely mirror other more common problems.
Zoonotic diseases are defined as those that can pass between humans and animals (domestic or wildlife). Intestinal parasites are extremely prevalent in the pet population, and therefore pet owners as well as the general public, can be at risk for infection.
When I was in my clinical year of veterinary school, students had to rotate through the small animal ICU. As a fourth year students soon to be released into the world as newly fledged doctors, we were responsible for the care and management of upwards of 20 critical cases every shift. Each patient had a clipboard with a ‘flow sheet’ to record vital signs, weight, blood pressure, urine output, medications, and other necessary treatments. Our job as students was to assess each pet on a daily basis and modify treatments or medications based on physical exam or bloodwork results.