For the Dog lovers amongst us

bill_vincent(Central Maine)June 3, 2012

This was just posted by the admin oin one of the Germand Shepherd Facebook pages I'm a member of, and as many as we have in here both into gardening, and completely in love with their "fur-babies", I felt it necessary to post this.

Tamara, I know this is off topic, but please leave this here so as many people as possible see it? Thanks.

Summer time and gardening go hand-in-hand, and if you have a dog who is a part of your family, chances are they have "helped" you with your gardening chores.

But do you know that there are things in your garden that may be a health hazard to your dog? Chemicals used in and around your lawn and garden should instantly make those warning chimes go off in your head, and great caution should be exercised when using them. But there are many other hazards as well. I, for one, did not know that "slug-Bait" was so toxic, and so I found this post extremely informative and wanted to pass along the info to all of you.

I've also done a little more research and found this blog by the ASPCA. "What Dangers are Lurking in your Garden?" (click on the link for the full article).

....In it is a very informative list of PLANTS (with photos), that could be toxic to your animals, as well as some other facts that you may or may not, be aware of. ( ...example...did you know that cocoa mulch is another no-no if you have dogs running thru your yard?)

When we dog lovers, keep each other informed of potential dangers and threats, we stand a better chance of having a happy and safe summer. Nothing can end summer fun quicker than an emergency trip to your vet, because we simply didn't know WHAT to be on the look-out for! ~maureen

***This is strictly a FYI post and NOT meant to "scare" anyone. I feel that the more information you have, the better equipped you are in avoiding a potential disaster. Sharing because I CARE about you and your dogs!

Here is a link that might be useful: the link from the above text

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Thanks, Bill. My son gave me a gorgeous Mandevilla for Mother's Day and it's blooming beautifully. It's outside on the porch and the dogs don't bother it but I think I read it's very toxic. I want to bring it inside over the winter but need to research it because my four cats might get at it. That would be devastating. I've heard that before about cocoa mulch and since I live near Hershey, it's popular around here, but I don't use it.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 1:50AM
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Circus Peanut

Don't plant Morning Glories or any form of lilies where your cats might be tempted to chew on the plants or flowers - deadly toxic to them.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:55AM
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Not only are certain plant and chemical types poison to pets... but the ever popular CEDAR mulch is also very toxic. It's also sold as "pet bedding" in bales, and it works slowly on shutting down the internal organs of animals... especially the kidneys and liver. Ever wondered why hamsters and gerbils never live long? It's the cedar bedding. If you must use a wood product bedding, we suggest Aspen.

Cedar mulch is usually noted for helping to keep insects away from your gardens or around the home's exterior... and if bugs avoid it, that should tell us something.

With this year's heat in many areas of the country, it's also a good idea to watch how long you allow your pets to stay outdoors... always provide fresh, cool water and shade... and beware of long walks in the heat and sun.

Today's pets are not bred like yesterday's... and we have to remember that. Gene pools are not as strong as they once were, and unfortunately, many of our breeds today cannot tolerate the extremes they once could.

Heat stroke is common for many dog breeds of today... so take extra care to remember this... breeds with shorter snouts normally have inferior sinus and respiratory systems, and can't tolerate the heat and sun that other breed types can.

Just a few extra tips... it's not just the plants and chemicals we use... it's also the climate we have to take into consideration.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:39AM
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Good advice , Jodi. Especially good warning people about the dangers of heat in this crazy year.My OCD obsessed ball crazy dog worked himself into heat exhaustion a few months ago when it was only 60. But when I wasn't watching , people at the doggie park kept throwing balls when he'd drop them at their feet. He raced and jumped and came over and collapsed at my feet and could not get up. I held him for five minutes on my lap and then he wanted down for more ball chasing which didn't happen. Vet said it was simply exhaustion, even tho it wasn't that hot yet but a valuable lesson.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 12:09PM
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Along with this, don't ever let your dog get into a box of chocolates -- highly toxic and deadly!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 12:45PM
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As I mentioned last year, Lily... if or when the heat, or too much play, does exhaust your dog, get him to a cool water source as quickly as possible and begin cooling down his belly area... not icy cold water as you don't want to shock him... but cool water. Wet towels, a hose, whatever source you have available. Run the cool water over his belly and genital area first, then begin letting the water cool him down all over, taking care not to get water in his nose, which can work it's way into the lungs and set up respiratory issues... dogs don't sweat, so you want to bring down his body temperature relatively fast. From the neck down, beginning with the underbelly and genital area... this will help lower his body temp.

Never spray a hose directly at a dog's face. Water can enter the nasal passages and get into the lungs. This can end up causing problems such as drowning, pneumonia, etc...

Yes, especially with the strangely hot weather we're having so early this year, it's a good idea to keep a close eye on your pets.

Once you've cooled the body temp, make sure the dog can re-hydrate himself... always have cool water available, even if means bringing a small cooler with bottled water to the dog park with you. A dog like Lily's, one with a high prey drive, should have his water supplemented with an electrolyte source. You can find products online, at farm stores, your vet, or even human grade from a store such as GNC.

As I mentioned, and it's very unfortunate, but today's pets are not genetically built like the ones of yesteryear. Any short snouted breed should be kept calm on very warm days, or kept indoors in air conditioning. Remember, a dog's normal body temperature is 101 degrees F. So, what feels comfortable to us, might be too hot for the dog. Keep this in mind.

Even at 60 degrees F, a dog with high prey drive, or a breed with a shorter snout, can easily become exhausted.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 1:17PM
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You gave great advice , Jodi. Luckily Ziggy who is half Boston Terrier and the other half Sheltie, has the Sheltie long pointed nose. Otherwise from the neck back he has a Boston body. Pugs, bulldogs, Bostons are always snuffling and panting at the park even when it's not hot. I always have fresh water for them, and I did wipe him down with a damp cool rag when he became exhausted, but did it on his back, so now I'll know to roll him over and wet his tummy and genitals. The park has a drinking fountain for dogs(and people). . The electrolyte source I will look into.

Ziggy is such a muscular strong athlete of a dog with his ball abilities that he's been featured on the Dog park calender as Mr Both dogs have black fur which absorbs the heat so that adds to the problem. However the Dachshund is happy surveying his kingdom wandering around and trying to hump small fluffy little dogs. That's his only fault, and I do watch him, but it's comical to see the glint in his eye when a new fluffy girl enters the park. He's neutered,but remembers the good old days when he was a breeder

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 1:50PM
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Thanks for the link Bill. A lot of the plants I already knew about.....if they are poisonous to humans you can usually assume they are poisonous to animals but many plants that don't affect people can be still be deadly to animals and there were many on this list that I had never even considered. Really glad you posted this.
The dogs I have now have never shown any inclination to chew plants but when another dog takes up residence at my house I will definitely keep this list handy and be on watch. My back yard is fenced separate to the front and has very few plants in it as that is where my dogs have free run when outside. The lack of plants isn't as much from fear of them being poisoned, although I am careful what plants are there, but from the fact that my dogs could care less that a plant may be in their way.........they just plow right through it. The few groupings of plants that exists have little paths all through them. I'm thinking of making up little signs......Waggin Road, Poop Alley, Barkers Lane, Route of Three Dogs, etc.
What I worry about more than plants in my yard is the Bufo Marinus or Cane Toads. They secret a toxin from their back when an animal catches them which is absorbed quickly through the mucus membranes of the mouth.
This toxin affects the animal's nervous system causing profuse salivation, pawing at the mouth, a stiff walk, difficulty breathing and if an antidote isn't administered the toxin will progress to seizures, paralysis and death. If you catch it in time you can wash the animals mouth out really well with a hose and it will usually take care of it but it doesn't take long to get to the point where the antidote is needed.......especially with a small animal. Those toads are nasty

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 2:47PM
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My dogs don't eat plants or mulch, but they feast on the rabbit droppings in the yard like they are candy. It's pretty disgusting but it doesn't seem to hurt them other than giving them some hellaciously bad breath..
One thing I have done is to install an invisible fence so that I can at least control where they roam. I also try to give them a small treat when they come in....if they have acted right out there.
I think keeping an eye out and not letting them get into trouble is probably the best idea.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 3:05PM
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LB, those toads sound horrible. I like toads, but these guys--yeesh!

Thanks for posting this, Bill. Mine aren't big plant eaters, but you never know. We worry more about them getting into a porky, skunk, or God forbid, a wolf.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 3:35PM
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It's my pleasure, Lily, and everyone else... to share my many decades of experience with dogs, mostly the Molosser types... more commonly known as "Bull or Bully Breeds".

Mr. July... how cute, Lily! :-) And we've had a few "humpers" to deal with over the years, too... mostly the Olde Bulldogge males. They are somewhat randy, I must say! It's a bit embarrassing when they grab the first leg available and assert dominance, but I have to admit that it's rather comical, too! Oh, could I tell you stories!

Yes, there are plenty of dangers that we, as humans, don't always think about... like plants in our gardens, the types of chemicals we may use, or even the mulch type we choose... because we sometimes forget that our pets also use our yards, or like to dig in the gardens, etc...

It's good to be aware of the dangers out there, and it's also good to know what to do in case of an emergency in hot weather. I'm a little worried about the numbers of pet deaths we'll read about this year, as summer progresses and if it becomes something we weren't exactly expecting!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 4:45PM
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Thanks Bill - I installed a more or less little decorative fence around the paremeter of our back yard garden flower/flowering shrub beds for the sole purpose of keeping the little Shih Tzu out of the flower/ rose beds, her paw pads are so tiny (only a 7 pound dog) that the bark can leave splinters between her paws pads.

Luckily she seems uninterested anyway, especially since my lab isn't interested. She mimics the lab, even in interests! But other than my peonies, there doesn't seem to be anything poisonous out there to either of them.

The idea Jodi gave for cooling down a dog by starting with the belly came in very handy last year - it was our first full summer with the Shih Tzu, I didn't realize that the little one was overheated because she kept running, playing and chasing after the lab - until she suddenly stopped and lay down on her side, panting too much - it was only 63 out there, I was shocked - but it was in the sun and those kind of dogs are very sensitive to heat and cold. I cooled her down with wet cloths on her belly and it really worked and quickly, too - now I watch her much more closely, monitor her panting and she can't stay outside at all when it's hot. I do the ball throwing to them both and let them run and play in the early morning hours after my workout, when the sun has just risen well - it's very cool then and they can run to their hearts content and get their exercise in for the day. By 10am it's getting too hot now for them to do anything more than go out and do their business and come back in again, even my old lab is uninterested past that time.

When I have more time I'm going to read through the whole site.

Who is Tamara and does she participate in this forum under another name?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 4:59PM
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Tamara is the moderator.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 6:08PM
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Thanks Jodi. we have a delightful little cross (don't ask)who chases birds and their shadows and jumps at the trees and never knows when to stop.

Our previous dog, you know the progeny of that Labrador momma always so accommodating worked so hard to please us and we allow that faithfulness into us so that we as humans seem petty by comparison. Dogs make us better people.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 6:25PM
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Jodi, hamsters and gerbils don't live long because that's their lifespan. Cedar is not healthy for them no, and I recommend aspen as well. But let's be realistic here, they aren't going to live to 10 years.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 7:10PM
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"until she suddenly stopped and lay down on her side, panting too much -"

Actually, it's when they don't pant that I worry. When my big guy overheated, he clamped his mouth shut and got real dopey. I hauled him indoors, layed him down and packed ice bags in his armpits, groin, and belly. It took awhile till his mouth popped open, and he started panting; them he was back to his normal self. Now I'm super careful to keep him in during the hottest part of any very warm day (we don't have many).

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:24PM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

Here's two more urls. One in the text, and one as a link at the bottom:​dogandpuppyhealth/a/​Poisonous-Plants-And-Your-D​og.htm

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:26PM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

By the By-- I know this really isn't about poisonous plants and so forth, but I GOTTA play proud "pappa". We had Lukas professionally photographed last weekend, and at the link below are the 10 "finalists".

We ordered one 5x7 of each. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Lassie Turns Tri-colored!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:39PM
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#1 is my second fav. Take another look at #9. He's reading your mind--and the way there's no reflection in his right eye makes him look mysterious. He's such a good boy! You must be crazy about him, Bill :D

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:51PM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

Our favorites, if absolutely forced to pick one, were narrowed down to two. :-) 4 & 9.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 7:36AM
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While it might be true that the lifespan of a gerbil or hamster is not long by comparison to other pets, it could be lengthened a bit by avoiding the things that we know are toxic... the only thing is, no one tells us that Cedar bedding or certain diets aimed at pets are toxic. They intentionally bag Cedar up and sell it as bedding for pets... while on the flip side, tell gardeners that it helps to keep insects away. Kind of an odd clash of ideas, logically speaking, don't you think?

We have to face facts... an industry is an industry, and the bottom line is usually the profit line. It's just a sad truth about our society today. Greed for profit overrides the health of both pets and people, shameful as that is.

I cringe when I look at what's sold for the supposed health and fun of our pets... so much of it is geared toward sale to people, but not at all good for our pets. We've done so much research over the years... it's just mind boggling what people will buy into.

But we're not here to argue over pets... I've had my fill of that particular bent... and a lifetime of working with animals has taught me more than just a thing or two. And then there's the issue of breeders and lack of knowledge in this area... it's so very true that a majority of today's pets are not bred as they once were. Today, it seems to be more about cashing in on the popularity of a breed, instead of educating oneself on how to properly breed, maintaining a clean, healthy genetic pool.

Bill, I think I like #4 and #8 the best... one shows a full body shot, and the other shows a very regal head shot. Nice dog! I'm a little partial to the bullbreeds, myself... but still, he presents nicely in photographs. :-)

One of the things we've always recommended is keeping an emergency "battle kit" or "vet kit" handy... and knowing what to do in case of certain situations. We do this for our families as a matter of course... keep emergency medical supplies handy, perhaps a well stocked first aid kit... and we might take CPR or first aid classes... and we take a kit with us when we go on vacation, or camping. Why then, shouldn't we do the same for our beloved pets?

A few things to keep on hand might be: gauze rolls and other bandaging and tape... a clean, sharp pair of surgical type scissors... a few pairs of forceps in varying sizes... rolls of "vetwrap", which is sold at most farm or pet stores... we keep a bottle of Vitamin K liquid handy, which coagulates the blood in case of accidental rodent poison ingestion... blood stop powder, to stop bleeding wounds... liquid injectable antibiotic, and an antibiotic creme... hypodermic needles in varying sizes, with which to administer any liquid medications... a good, sharp set of pet nail clippers, and a pair of good tweezers... super glue or liquid skin, plus needles and surgical thread... electrolytes in powder form, and pre-mixed coccidia preventative... wormers for various types of parasites... and when we travel, we take extra food, bottled water, clean towels, a blanket, and a few other odds and ends. It's better to be prepared than not.

I realize that the average pet owner normally rushes to the vet, but when you live far from the nearest one, or you're out camping or somewhere remote, it pays to be prepared for an emergency... just in case. The little bit of first aid you can do might save your pet's life, and most items are available at farm oriented stores, such as Farm & Fleet, Rural King, or whatever store name is popular where you live.

We keep a much more extensive vet kit handy, loaded with supplies that the average pet owner wouldn't need, containing items that the average pet owner wouldn't use or be able to get. We keep a dorm sized refrigerator dedicated to pet items and medications that must be kept cold, and a large tackle box filled with medical supplies. But then, we've been handling situations for decades that the average pet owner might never encounter, such as difficult whelpings, etc... and we give all our own booster shots, wormings, etc. I guess you could say we're "old school" when it comes to the health of our dogs and livestock. To us, it's all second nature.

This year alone, with the heat exceeding normal temperatures, I've already seen small dogs locked in cars in store parking lots, panting heavily. Some people just don't think... they don't take into account that this isn't a normal year, temperature-wise. Nor do they appear to be using common sense. When it's hot and sunny, it's best to leave your pet at home where it can comfortably await your return in air conditioning, or shade, with fresh, cool water available.

There are really so many dangers we don't think about... because we think like the humans we are, and we often forget our pets have different needs. Too many people tend to give their pets human qualities... perhaps unconsciously so... but nevertheless... they are not human, and their needs differ from ours.

As example, for its size the horse is an extremely delicate animal, and any imbalance, such as sudden diet change, can harm one greatly. You wouldn't think so... but it's very true.

With all this in mind, let's hope for a safe and happy summer for our pets, and those everywhere.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 7:54AM
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Gorgeous dog, Bill!

Following up on what Heri wrote: if you live near where Canada geese flock and leave their droppings, do not let your dog eat these. They seem to like to eat these, but it is very toxic for the dog's liver.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 11:24AM
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I have never thought of having an emergency dog first aid box prepped for when we take our camper into the natl. forest - we go very deep in and in such a remote location that it would take hours to get to a vet, but there are a few things I could pack up, after reading your list. Not a lot would do any good, but some would!

Bill, your pics are just *darling* what a sweet furry face you have. Someday I must post some pics of my own two here, I have never posted pics anywhere so I'd have to figure that out, but maybe we could start a "pet parade" thread (in Conversations if having it here would be contentious) - where everyone can share pics of their pets, I think that would be so much fun!

Pets, children and grandchildren, I can never see too many pics of the best of what the world has to offer! :)

(although I wouldn't think that posting pics of children, grandchildren would be such a great idea)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 11:50AM
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Great looking dog, Bill. I like 4,8,9..

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 12:25PM
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Mylab, if you are going that far out into the wilderness, where it takes more than an hour to reach a veterinarian, a well packed vet kit could mean the difference between life and death for your dog. One never knows what might happen. Many of the same items could save your life, or that of a family member, as well.

I would keep a tackle box or backpack loaded with the following items: Ringers lactate, an IV set-up, plenty of vet wrap and gauze, needle and thread, sharp scissors, forceps, surgical tubing for tourniquet use, blood stop powder, super glue or instant skin bonder (available online)... if you are not comfortable with sutures, staple guns are available online, and come in different sizes. The size referred to as PMW 35, meaning wide with 35 staples, is probably the most common size. The kit comes with a staple remover, as well. Betadine antiseptic to cleanse wounds is also a good thing to have.

There's probably more that I'm missing... I'm just thinking off the top of my head.

As far as Canadian geese are concerned, it's not only your dog that can suffer certain effects from coming into contact with goose excrement. Humans can also be affected by several things, including parasites, fungi, bacterias, viruses, and other nasty things.

All bird species are carriers of coccidia and/or giardia, for one thing. But geese are also carriers of things like Crytosporidium parasites, Salmonella, Toxoplasmosis, a host of bacterias including E-Coli, Avian Influenza, and Encephalatic Viruses. They can also carry Histoplasmosis.

Birds are dirty creatures, truth be told, carrying many different dangers in their excrement... and if your dog lives outside where birds can share his water bowl, or spends time hiking where he will drink out of puddles, lakes or streams, it's a very good idea to keep him current on all vaccinations, wormings, and use a coccidia preventative in his water from time to time. We use a product called Corid, but there are others. It's not as big of a concern in adult dogs, but as the adults can be carriers, it can be devastating to very young puppies. It will cause a very watery diarrhea with a horrid odor, and the fear is in the pup dying of dehydration.

Proper worming is another area of pet care that's very important. Not unlike antibiotics, if the entire worming course is not completed, the parasites will return through the hatching of eggs, and they may become immune to the wormer type being used.

I once researched and wrote an article for our now defunct AB magazine on canine parasites, and what I found was simply astounding. There are so many different parasite types, and not all types respond to the same worming agents. A few types are actually transferable to humans.

The best thing you can do as a pet owner is keep your dog away from water sources heavily utilized by geese and other fowl. Keep current on all vaccinations and wormings. And be prepared for unforeseen accidents should you travel with your pets.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 2:49PM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

This is one of the good things about where we live-- there's an anumal hospital about a mile down the road. In fact, that's where the pics were taken, and where his doctor is, too. And they DO have 24 hour emergency service.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 5:20PM
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"We have to face facts... an industry is an industry, and the bottom line is usually the profit line. It's just a sad truth about our society today. Greed for profit overrides the health of both pets and people, shameful as that is."

Jodi, not everything can be seen through the prism of greed and profiteering. There are many companies that do good work out there, and they make a profit to boot. Not everything goes back to corporations.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

>Not everything goes back to corporationsThey're working on it.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 10:01PM
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