Category Archives for Emergency Care

7 Common Things that Lead to Accidental Poisoning in Pets

We all want our pets to live long happy and healthy lives, but unfortunately, there are several things in our homes that can lead to accidental poisoning in our pets. Awareness is the key to preventing accidental poisoning emergencies. 

What may be good for humans may not always be good for your animals when it comes to food and medicine. A general rule of thumb is that if it is bad for your child, it’s bad for your pet. In honor of the National Poison Prevention Week (March 18th-24th), we’ll show you 7 different groups of toxins that you should avoid exposing to or giving your pet:   

 1. Household Products 

Unsurprisingly, most common household products that are harmful to people to ingest are also bad for your pets. Antifreeze, paint thinner, pool chemicals, and common cleaners like bleach and drain cleaner are considered toxic and can result in stomach, respiratory problems, and renal failure. 

A good way to prevent an accidental poisoning is to keep these household products out of the reach of your pets. Keep the toxic products out-of-sight in closed storage or place them high on shelves to avoid accidental spillage. Just as you would child-proof any potential household danger, you should pet-proof your house as well. 

 2. Human Medications 

While most human prescription medications are life-savers for people with medical conditions, even a small dose can be potentially fatal for our pets. Some of the more harmful medications include: 

  • Antidepressants 
  • Blood pressure medications 
  • Prescription anti-inflammatory and pain medications 

Over-the-counter medications can also present an accidental poisoning hazard for pets. Pain medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen. In fact, a single 200-milligram ibuprofen tablet can be toxic for most small or mid-sized pets. 

Remember to always consult your veterinarian about giving your pet any kind of medication even if it is over-the-counter and designed for the pet. Just like humans, pets can overdose or have unintended side effects from using even prescribed veterinary drugs. Some of the more easily overdosed medications include painkillers and de-wormers, so be sure to always administer the veterinarian-recommended dosage. 

SRVC has both in-house and online pharmacy services to make sure your furry friends have the medicines they need.  

3. Human Food 

We all love to treat our furry friends to a treat now and then, but not all treats are created equal. Many foods that are safe for humans are actually poisonous for our pets. Dogs are often in the spotlight since nearly 91% of calls to the Pet Poison Hotline involve dogs. Some of the foods to avoid accidental poisoning in dogs include: 

  • Alcohol 
  • Avocado 
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate 
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Macadamia Nuts  
  • Onion and Garlic 
  • Xylitol (often found in a surprising amount of foods) 

Many of the same foods can be toxic to cats as well. Since cats tend to be smaller than most dog breeds they are more susceptible to fatal accidental poisoning from even a small amount of human food.  

If you ever have any questions about what human food you can and cannot feed your pet, consult your veterinarian. In order to be safe, only feed your pet food and diets made specifically for your pet. 

 4. Rodenticides 

Rat poison and other rodent poisons can cause accidental poisoning when ingested by your pets. Symptoms of this type of poisoning often do not present themselves until several days after ingestion. If you suspect your pet to have consumed rodenticides or eaten a poisoned rodent, you should take your pet ASAP to your emergency veterinarian.   

In order to avoid accidental poisoning from rodenticides, be sure to keep the poison out of the reach of your pet, avoid setting traps near any pet common areas, and alert your neighbors when you set any traps. 

 5. Flea and Tick Products 

These products may be helpful for preventing flea and tick infestations, but they can accidentally poison your pet if not used carefully. Often the problem involves your pet eating one of these products or a small pet receiving more of the product than prescribed. Always talk with your veterinarian about how much you should give your pet even if it is an over-the-counter flea and tick product designed for your pet. Oftentimes veterinarians can prescribe your pet flea and tick medication that is not only more effective but would be administered at a safe dosage for your pet.

 6. Plants 

One of the most overlooked ways a pet can be accidentally poisoned is by plants. House and garden plants were originally taken from natural environments where they employ chemicals and toxins for self-defense. Some plants that can present dangers to both cats and dogs include: 

  • Azaleas 
  • Daffodils (bulbs) 
  • Lilies 
  • Rhododendrons 
  • Sago Palms (seeds) 
  • Tulips (bulbs) 

What if you have one of these plants in or around your house? For dogs, simply putting the plants out of reach will likely eliminate the problem. For cats, it can a little trickier since they like to climb things. We recommend avoiding having any type of toxic plant in a cat household, especially lilies since they can cause severe liver damage with only a couple bites.

If you want more information on what types of plants are toxic to your pets, visit the ASPCA Toxic Plant List website to learn more.

 7. Lawn and Garden Products 

Are you landscaping or fertilizing your yard? Be sure to keep your pets away from the lawn or garden since many of these products can cause accidental poisoning if ingested. Once the products have dissipated within a week or two, then you should be able to let your pet run around in the affected area. Also, avoid allowing your dog to roll in fertilizer mainly because it smells and no one likes a stinky dog!

What to Do If Your Pet Suffers Accidental Poisoning

  1. Stay calm and act fast – Although most toxins absorb quickly, if you act swiftly you can potentially prevent damage by taking your pet to the local emergency veterinarian.  
  2. Safely remove the toxin – Be sure to remove any more of the toxin from the pet’s reach so they cannot ingest any more of the toxin. 
  3. Contact your veterinarian immediately – During regular hours, bring your pet into SRVC. However, after hours you can either bring your pet to the local emergency clinic or call the main poison hotlines: 

 

Emergency Veterinarian for Accidental Poisoning in Little Rock, Arkansas 

Shackleford Road Veterinary Clinic offers many emergency services to help with accidental poisoning or any additional veterinary services for your pet. Be sure to get your pets regular check-ups at Shackleford Road Veterinary Clinic in Little Rock. Book an appointment today!

Choosing the Right Insurance for Your Pet

Insurance for pets is an often-overlooked benefit, but it’s exactly the backup you need when your pet requires costly medical treatment. Choosing the best pet insurance for your beloved pet can be a challenge, but here is some information to make your decision easier.

Which Route Should You Take?
When determining the best way to handle large medical expenses when they occur, you can take one of three actions:

  1. Take out a pet insurance policy for financial security and peace of mind.
  2. Put money aside every month in case of emergencies. However, if your pet requires major surgery or an extended treatment, you may not have enough saved up to cover all of the expenses.
  3. Finance your pet’s care through CareCredit, which allows you to pay expenses over time.
  4. None of the above. By not having a financial plan in the event of a major medical event, you’ll either have to find the money somewhere, or forego treatment altogether.

Whichever route you decide to take, you need to make sure it is one you won’t regret. Most veterinarians agree that the saddest part of their job is euthanizing treatable conditions due to economic reasons.

People often don’t realize that veterinary medical treatment, just like that for humans, can be very costly. A few considerations include:

  • Hospitalization
  • Medical tests
  • Prescription medications
  • Surgery
  • Anesthesia

Different Types of Policies
If you do decide that pet insurance is the way to go, you can choose from two basic types of policies. Each has its benefits and disadvantages, and unlike human health insurance, pet insurance companies allow you to choose your own care provider.

  1. Traditional Coverage – This plan is similar to human health insurance. While all policies are different, they do tend to cover your pet for any illnesses throughout its life, up to a maximum annual cost. You will pay a monthly premium, as well as an annual (or per event) deductible. You will also be responsible for a portion of the bill. Some policies also cover wellness exams for an additional fee.
  2. Accident Coverage – This type of coverage is pretty self-explanatory. The monthly premiums are lower, but illnesses or regular exams are not covered.

A Couple of Tips from Little Rock Veterinarians

  • Make sure you understand which type of coverage is appropriate for your pet.
  • Take a look at the maximum limit. Cheaper premiums will have lower limits.
  • Read the small print carefully. You don’t want to end up with a policy that doesn’t cover your pet’s needs.
  • You get what you pay for. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Pedigreed pets will be more expensive to insure compared to mixed breeds, and different insurance providers set different premiums. It’s worth shopping around before making a decision.
  • Once pets get to a certain age, many insurers will limit their coverage. If you want the best pet insurance, it’s better to take it out earlier on in your pet’s life.

At Shackleford Road Veterinary Clinic, our procedures are covered by pet insurance. Talk to us today to find out more.

Keep Your Pets Safe During Fireworks Season

Your pet has acute hearing. Loud bangs can cause a great deal of pain to their ears. By following these simple guidelines from Little Rock veterinarians, you can help keep your pet calm and safe.

Little Rock Veterinarian Tips for Keeping Small Pets Safe During Fireworks

  • If you have small pets, such as rabbits and birds, make sure you place their cages or hutches indoors in a quiet room, shed or garage.
  • Provide extra bedding for your pet so it feels snuggly and safe.
  • If you’re unable to bring your pet’s cage or hutch inside, turn the enclosure around to face a fence or wall instead of an open gate.
  • Cover hutches and aviaries with thicker blankets or even a duvet to help block out the sight of the fireworks and dim the sound of the bangs. Remember to leave enough ventilation.

How to Keep Cats and Dogs Safe During Fireworks from Little Rock Veterinarians

If you have dogs and cats, follow these easy tips from your Little Rock veterinarians:

  • Always keep your cats and dogs indoors when you hear fireworks going off.
  • Ensure that you walk your dog earlier in the day before the fireworks will be going off.
  • Close all your doors and windows and block off cat and dog flaps to stop your pets escaping to keep the noise out. Draw all the curtains and if your animals are used to the sound of a radio or TV, switch them on and keep them at their usual noise level to block out some of the fireworks.
  • We suggest that owners ensure their dogs are wearing some sort of identification that is easy to read, even while they are in the house. At the very least they should have a tag and collar.
  • Consider microchipping your pets so if they do get out, you have a better chance of being reunited with them.
  • Prepare a safety den for your pet where they will be comfortable. This could be under a bed with old clothes.
  • Allow your pet to pace and whine if they need to.
  • Try to remain calm and carry on as you normally would. Give your cats and dogs plenty of praise for their calm behavior. It is fine to pat your pet if it helps them to calm down, but if they would rather hide in a cupboard or under the bed, allow them do so.
  • If you know there are going to be fireworks, we advise that you don’t leave your pets alone.
  • Do not tie your dog up when fireworks are being let off nearby. This means either outside the house, outside a shop while you pop in or even in the car.
  • Please try not to take your pet along to a fireworks display. If they don’t typically whimper or bark at the noise, it doesn’t mean they will not be stressed. Excessive yawning and panting can also indicate that your dog is stressed.

If you would like to discuss further methods for keeping your pets calm during fireworks, contact Shackleford Road Veterinary Clinic today.

Dog has allergies

8 Ways to Keep Pesky Fleas and Ticks Away From Your Pets

If you’ve been in Arkansas for a summer, you know that with the arrival of warm, humid weather some other “friends” also arrive.  While summer means sunshine and cookouts, it also brings bothersome fleas and ticks attaching themselves to your beloved pet. May has been National Dog Month so it’s a great time to think about how to keep your pooch flea free.

8 Easy Steps For Flea and Tick Prevention

  1. Keep your home as clean as you can. Change your bedding frequently and vacuum your floors and furniture thoroughly. Use a new vacuum cleaner dustbag for each use to prevent flea eggs and larvae developing. After treating a flea infestation, you should immediately clean your entire house to stop the critters coming back.
  2. Keep your yard in check too. Discourage ticks from your yard, by keeping your lawn mowed, pruning your bushes, and removing any fallen leaves.
  3. Get your pet kitted out with a flea collar to repel and kill fleas. It’s best to check with your vet before buying a flea collar to make sure that you’re getting one that works and isn’t harmful to your pet. Ensure the collar is fitted firmly to your pet’s neck so that it comes in direct contact with their skin. Adjust it until you can only fit two fingers underneath and trim any excess collar to stop your pet chewing on it.
  4. Buy a flea comb and comb your pet’s fur regularly. A tight-toothed comb can be used to remove fleas and their eggs as they grip firmly to your pet’s hair and fur. Have a bucket of warm water next to you during combing time so you can instantly drown any fleas you find.
  5. Give your pet a flea bath. A simple bath of lukewarm water and pet-friendly soap or shampoo can be effective in keeping fleas at bay or dealing with a minor infestation. For a stronger treatment, you can buy medicated flea shampoos from your vet.
  6. Ask your vet about spot-on treatments. These are medications which can be applied directly to your pet’s skin to kill fleas across its entire body. The American Animal Hospital Association recommends using flea treatments like this every month as a preventative method, even if your pet doesn’t currently have fleas. Read all labels thoroughly and seek advice from your vet to make sure you’re using the best treatment for your pet.
  7. Try oral flea treatments. If you have a serious flea situation you may want to combine spot-on and oral flea treatments for the most effective results. Seek advice from your vet about the best flea treatment for your pet. Remember that treatments can vary depending on the species and what might be effective for your dog could be toxic for your cat.
  8. You can also try powder and spray treatments. These are available cheaply but will need to be reapplied more frequently than spot-on and oral treatments. You should also take great care not to get them near the eyes, mouth and nose as they can be harmful to animals and humans if ingested.

If you’d like to find out more about keeping your pets free of fleas this summer, you can contact Shackleford Road Veterinary Clinic to book an appointment here.

10 Practical Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe from Fire

With summer coming and vacations, activities and the constant hum of everyday life kicking in it is often easy to overlook some important safety aspects in your home.  Here at Shackleford Road Veterinary Clinic in Little Rock, we know that your pet is part of your family. Naturally you want to keep them as safe as possible. It’s also important to minimize the risk of your furry friend accidentally starting a fire in your home. So here are 10 practical things you can do to keep your pets safe.

10 Tips for Pet Fire Safety

  1. Pet-proof your home. Just as you would baby-proof if you had a new baby, you should remove all potential hazards to make your home safe for your furry friend. According to the National Volunteer Fire Council, about half a million pets are affected by fires in the home every year so it’s vital that you take action to reduce the risks now.
  2. Never leave your pet alone near an open flame. It just takes one wag of a tail or swipe of a paw to lead to major problems. If possible, remove open flames completely. Try using flameless battery-operated candles instead to create mood lighting without the fire risk.
  3. If your pet can reach the counter tops, either by jumping up or by standing on its hind legs, you need to make all stove knobs safe. They can so easily be nudged by a curious pet and cause a fire. Consider getting knob covers to stop this from happening.
  4. Don’t leave glass water bowls out on wooden decks in the sunshine. The hot sunrays can actually ignite the wood through the glass and cause fires. Instead, use stainless steel or ceramic bowls for your pets’ drinking water.
  5. Does your pet just love to chew? Keep an eye on them and do regular checks around your home to ensure your animal hasn’t gnawed their way through any loose electrical wires.
  6. If you can, install pet doors to give your pets an accessible escape route. If you have to keep your animal confined, keep them in an area near the front door so they can be easily found by firefighters.
  7. Display a pet rescue alert sticker in your front window. This will let any emergency services staff entering your home know that your pet could be in there in need of help. Never re-enter a dangerous building to rescue a pet. Leave this to the trained professionals.  We have FREE Pet Rescue Alert Stickers Available in our Clinic – just ask!
  8. Ensure your pet has ID with up-to-date contact information or get your furry pal micro-chipped. This is vital in case you get separated during an emergency.  We’ve micro-chipped hundreds of animalsand we’re happy to do this for your pets!
  9. Think ahead and have a safe location planned where you can take your pet after a fire.
  10. Prepare a pet survival kit in a portable case that you can quickly grab in the event of an emergency. It should include enough supplies to last 7 days. Here are some ideas for what you might pack:
  • Medical records for your pet and any medications they may need
  • A photo of your pet in case they get lost
  • Emergency contact numbers for easy reference
  • Leashes, carriers and harnesses for transporting your animal
  • Cat litter and pan
  • Pet food and can opener
  • Plastic bags and paper towels to clean up any waste
  • Pet beds
  • Favorite pet toys

For more information about pet safety or to book an appointment with Shackleford Road Veterinary Clinic, just click here.

CPR for Your Dogs from Your Little Rock Veterinarian

If your dog becomes unconscious, respiratory arrest may occur, and usually occurs before cardiac arrest.  The heart my continue to beat for several minutes after the breathing stops.  Artificial respiration, or rescue breathing, must begin immediately to save your dog’s life.  If the heart stops, chest compressions must be given right away to keep the blood pumping.  Artificial respiration and chest compressions given together are call cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.

Artificial Respiration for Dogs

If your dog has gone into respiratory arrest, begin artificial respiration immediately.

  1. Lay your dog on his side on a flat surface.
  2. Be sure your dog has stopped breathing: watch for the rise and fall of the chest, feel for breath on your hand, look at the gums – they will turn blue for lack of oxygen.
  3. Check the airway – it must be clear.  Extend the head and neck.  Open the mouth and look for a foreign object.  If an object is blocking the airway, grab the tongue and pull it outward.  If this does not dislodge the object, use your fingers, pliers, or tongs to grasp it.  If the object cannot be reached or pulled out, use the Heimlich Maneuver.  Do not mistake the small bones in the throat for a foreign object.
  4. Once the airway is clear, begin rescue breathing.
  5. With your dog on his side, life the chin to straighten out his throat.
  6. Use one hand to grasp the muzzle and hold the mouth shut.
  7. Put your mouth completely over the nose and blow gently; the chest should expand.  Blow just enough to move his chest (blow harder for large dogs, gently for cats and small dogs).
  8. Wait for the air to leave the lungs before breathing again.
  9. Continue this, giving 20 breaths per minute (one breath every three seconds), until your dog breathes on his own or as long as the heart beats.
  10. Continue to monitor the heartbeat.

CPR for Dogs

If your dog’s heart has stopped beating, CPR must begin immediately.  It is best to have two people performing CPR – one continuing artificial respiration while the other does chest compressions.  Follow the instructions for artificial respiration, alternating with chest compressions.  For two people performing CPR, alternate one breath with three compressions.  For one person performing CPR, alternate one breath with five compressions.

For Small Dogs (under 30 pounds)

  1. Lay your dog on her side on a flat surface.
  2. Place the palm of your hand on the rib cage over the heart.  Place your other hand on top of the first.  (For puppies and kittens, put your thumb on one side of the chest and the rest of your fingers on the other side.)
  3. Compress the chest about one inch.  Squeeze and release rhythmically at a rate of 80 to 100 compressions per minute.

For Medium & Large Dogs (over 30 pounds)

  1. Lay your dog on her side on a flat surface.
  2. Place one hand on top of the other over the widest portion of the rib cage, not over the heart.
  3. Keeping your arms straight, push down on the rib cage.  Compress the chest 1/4 of its width.  Squeeze and release rhythmically at a rate of 80 compressions per minute.
  4. Continue CPR until your dog breathes on his own and has a steady heartbeat.

These tips will help you keep your pets alive until you can contact us.

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