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Putting a Halt on Feline Halitosis

Having your beloved cat go under the extreme lengths of anaesthesia for a mere teeth cleaning procedure is a stressful ordeal for you both. Then after all the trauma and perhaps a few tooth extractions along the way, your cat often still suffers from the foul-smelling breath they started with.

Read on as there is far more than meets the eye when it comes to feline halitosis…

What causes feline halitosis?

One of the main causes of feline halitosis is the accumulation of bacteria on teeth that emits an unpleasant odour. Plaque is produced when this bacteria bonds with the teeth and, if not removed in time, it will develop into tartar. Tartar is far more challenging to eradicate from the teeth than plaque. This conglomeration of plaque and tartar can quickly progress to halitosis if overlooked.

Your cat’s diet could also be a contributing factor to the unwanted onset of halitosis and it could be as simple as an allergy to the ingredients in what they’re consuming. Halitosis could also merely be caused by a piece of food stuck in the teeth. Baby teeth could also be lurking in your adult cat’s mouth, harbouring unwanted plaque and bacteria.

Some cats are predisposed to inflammation and infection of the gums. Bacteria plagues the gums as well as the supporting tissues of the teeth, resulting in gingivitis or periodontal disease which also contributes to halitosis.

Whilst halitosis is usually quite manageable, it also could be a warning that something more sinister is disrupting your cat’s health and may become a critical medical problem if not treated. Conditions such as cancer, metabolic disorders (sugar diabetes), respiratory, gastrointestinal, liver and kidney problems may manifest as halitosis and these conditions should be investigated.

What symptoms should I be cautious of?

  • Unusual smelling breath:
    • Abnormal sweet or fruity breath could indicate diabetes, especially if your cat has unusually increased their fluid consumption or urination frequency.
    • Urine-smelling breath can be a sign of kidney disease.
    • A peculiar foul odour associated with yellowing of the corneas and/or gums, vomiting or loss of appetite could indicate a possible liver problem.
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Drooling
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Loss of mouth control, difficulty opening or closing
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhoea
  • Excessive brownish tartar on your cat’s teeth

If your cat is displaying any of these signs, consult your veterinarian straight away.

Treating feline halitosis:

Treatment of halitosis is determined by the root cause/s thereof. If halitosis is triggered by periodontal disease, the vet will probably schedule your cat in for a dental cleaning procedure because tooth loss may result if left unattended. In some cases, tooth extractions may have to be performed if the supporting bone and tissue have lost significant volume. The vet may also prescribe odour reducing medication that controls the bacteria production in the mouth. 

If periodontal disease is not a contributing factor to your cat’s halitosis, the vet will then need to run tests to discount any other possible triggers. The appropriate treatment plan will depend on the underlying cause/s identified. 

Preventing feline halitosis:

It’s essential to be proactive rather than reactive regarding your cat’s health and wellbeing by adhering to the following preventative tips:

  • Frequently monitor your cat’s breath and the associated symptoms of halitosis
  • Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian so they can observe and track your cat’s dental condition.
  • Brush your cat’s teeth daily to prevent plaque build-up (tips on Brushing Your Feline Friend’s Teeth)
  • Ask your vet about supplementary oral health products that you can use at home.
  • Discuss with your vet a diet that will assist in keeping halitosis at bay.

You know your cat best, so any changes in odours or behaviour should immediately be reported to your vet so that you allow your cat a healthy, prosperous life. Don’t underestimate the significance of your feline friend’s “bad breath”, it could be far more ominous than you realise.

For Your Infurmaton:

Small cat breeds and brachycephalic breeds, for instance Persians and Himalayans, have closely set teeth and are consequently most predisposed to periodontal disease.

 

Written for inFURmation
by Taliah Williamson

Making ‘Scents’ of Essential Oils and Cats

The alluring fragrance that essential oils emit in our homes cannot be disputed, however they aren’t as compelling or harmless to our feline friends. Not only do cats have a far keener sense of smell than humans, but essential oils from which these heavenly fragrances come from, are potentially detrimental to them so we must introduce essential oils into our homes responsibly.

Symptoms of Toxic Poisoning:
Feline livers struggle to metabolise certain components found in most essential oils as they do not have the necessary detoxifying enzymes in which to do so. This causes toxicity levels in the bloodstream to rise, ultimately leading to poisoning or death. Toxins can accumulate over an extended period, so symptoms of poisoning may not be apparent immediately.

The following are associated symptoms of toxic poisoning:

  • disorientation
  • partially paralysed
  • vomiting
  • drooling
  • convulsions

Methods of Toxic Poisoning
Although inhalation isn’t ideal, toxicity is most rife when essential oils are ingested. This happens when a cat grooms itself and subsequently licks essential oils that may have accidentally spilled onto their fur. Inhalation of essential oils can aggravate ailments such as asthma or other respiratory illnesses that your cat may suffer from.

Essential Oils Considered Poisonous to Cats:

  • Bergamot (bitter orange) (Citrus aurantium spp. bergamia)
  • Birch (Betula spp.)
  • Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
  • Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
  • Fir (Abies spp.)
  • Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
  • Lavender (Lavandula)
  • Lemon (Citrus limonum)
  • Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
  • Melaleuca (Melaleucaalternifolia), also known as Tea Tree
  • Mandarin Orange (Citrus reticulata)
  • Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia)
  • Orange (sweet) (Citrus silences)
  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
  • Peppermint (Mentha Piperita)
  • Pine (Pinus spp.)
  • Sage (Salvia officinalis)
  • Tangerine (Citrus reticulate)
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
  • Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
  • Any other oils comprising phenol

* spp. is the abbreviation for “species”.

Please note that just because an oil is excluded from this list, does not mean that it’s considered safe for felines. Have your fur baby’s best interests at heart by making certain that you are purchasing an essential oil that will not affect them negatively.

Toxicology reports have discovered that cats are far more vulnerable than other mammals to two constituents in essential oils called pinene and limonene. These components are found in pine and citrus essential oils and make up ingredients in natural pine and citrus cleaning products as well as natural repellents for ticks and fleas.

Pawtionary (Cautionary) Measures:

  • Ensure that essential oils don’t rub off your skin and onto your cat.
  • Regardless of certain product instructions, never apply essential oils directly onto your cat. They may attempt to lick it off when grooming and ingestion is the most dangerous route for toxins to plague the feline body.
  • Ensure any materials cleaned with essential oils are stored out of reach from your cat.
  • Store all your oils away from your cat’s reach. Essential oil bottle lids can leak and this could wreak havoc to your cat’s health if ingested by them.
  • Where possible, dilute your essential oils so that if your cat does ingest them, the consequences will be far less dire than if consumed in higher concentrations.
  • As soon as you notice a leaking diffusor, safely dispose of it in a place that’s out of your cat’s nosy reach.
  • Always keep the local poison control centre’s contact number at hand in case of emergencies.        

Safer Alternatives to Using Essential Oils:

  • Oil burners aren’t the best substitute because the risk factors associated with them are too high. Cats can either knock them over causing a fire, burning themselves or ingesting the spattered oil.
  • Aerosol diffusors and those containing hydrosols instead of essential oils are considered safer alternatives as the scent is released in the form of a mist which is more diluted and challenging for inquisitive furry felines to access.

If you choose to use essential oils in your home for any reason, do so with the utmost caution as these seemingly harmless oils could be detrimental to your four-legged baby.

Written for inFURmation
by Taliah Williamson

Sidestepping the Perils of your Garden Plants

There is a surprisingly large number of plant species that render themselves poisonous to our furry companions. Although some are more toxic than others, it’s important to survey your garden, identify these perilous plants and either restrict or remove them for the safety and wellbeing of your pet.

Did you know that by either adding bran flakes to your pets’ food or including more vegetable fibres in their diet, they may be less inclined to seek out your garden vegetation?

A practical way to assess the most common of these poisonous plants is to classify them according to which system in the body they affect:

NERVOUS SYSTEM:

Melia azedarach (Syringa berry tree)
Alternative common names:
Seringa; Persian lilac; bead tree; berry tree; Cape lilac; China berry; China tree; white cedar (English), maksering; sering; bessieboom (Afrikaans), umsilinga (isiZulu)
Why?: The leaves, bark, flowers and ripe fruits of the Syringa berry tree are poisonous, with the berries containing the highest concentration of meliatoxins, causing a high mortality rate in affected animals who eat the fallen berries.

 

 

 

 

 

Cannabis sativa
Alternative common names: “Marijuana” or Dagga” plant
Why?: It’s the THC in the plants leaves that cause intoxication in animals when they either ingest the actual plant, or ingest the owners supply of the dried leaves, or products make form the leaves like cookies or other edibles. Second hand Marijuana smoke is effects pets.

 

 

 

 

 

Amanita Pantherina
Alternative common names: Panther Cap and False Blusher
Why?: Amanita Pantherina or “Panther Cap” is extremely poisonous. They grow under large trees in South Africa and are thought to have been accidentally introduced with trees imported from Europe. They typically flush when the temperature drops after good rain.

 

 

 

 

 

Datura (Moonflower)
Alternative common names:
Devil’s trumpets, Moonflowers, Jimsonweed, Devil’s Weed, Hell’s Bells, Thorn-apple
Why?: An annual weed with prickly fruit consisting of tiny pitted seeds. All species of Datura are poisonous, especially their seeds and flowers.
Did you know? Angel trumpets (Brugmansia spp.) are closely related to Daturas and are also highly toxic. These beautiful woody trees and shrubs are nevertheless popular ornamentals throughout the world.

 

 

 

 

 

Brunfelsia pauciflora (Yesterday-today-and-tomorrow)
Alternative common names:
Yesterday-today-and-tomorrow, Morning-noon-and-night, Kiss Me Quick, Brazil Raintree
Why?:
Brunfelsia pauciflora is a species of flowering plant in the family Solanaceae, the nightshades. All parts of this plant can be poisonous to pets but it is often the seed pods falling off the tree that are particularly attractive and often eaten.

 

 

 

 

 

Clinical symptoms:

  • muscle tremors and/or spasms
  • restlessness
  • respiratory difficulties
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • excitement alternating with depression
  • excessive barking
  • agitation
  • hallucinations
  • staggering gait
  • dry mucous membranes of the eyes and mouth
  • increased respiration rate or constant panting
  • ataxia (loss of coordination of the limbs, head, and/or trunk)
  • paralysis
  • digestive upsets
  • drowsiness
  • seizures

GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM:

Ornithogalum thyrsoides
Alternative common names:
Chincherinchee, Star-of-Bethlehem or Wonder-flower, Tjienkerientjee, Tjienk, Wit-tjienk, Viooltjie (Afr.)
Why?: A bulbous plant species that is endemic to the Cape Province in South Africa. Pets are effected when they chew on the plant and ingest it.

 

 

 

 

 

Ricinus communis (Castor-oil plant)
Alternative names:
Castor Bean, Castor-oil-plant, Mole Bean Plant, African Wonder Tree
Why?:
Castor seed is the source of castor oil, which has a wide variety of uses. The seeds contains ricin, a highly toxic component that inhibits protein synthesis; ingestion of as little as one ounce of seeds can be lethal. Ricin is also present in lower concentrations throughout the plant and is toxic to dogs, cats and horses.

 

 

 

 

 

Araceae family:
All the plants in the Araceae family contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals in their leaves and stems. Chewing or biting into this plants leaves or stem release sharp crystals which become embedded in the mucous membranes of their mouth and tongue causing severe pain and irritation of the mouth and GI tract.

Toxic plants included in this family are:

– Elephants Ear (Caladium, Malanga)

 

 

 

 

 

Dumb Cane (Charming Dieffenbachia, Giant Dumb Cane, Tropic Snow, Exotica, Spotted Dumb Cane, Exotica Perfection)

 

 

 

 

 

Delicious Monster

 

 

 

 

 

Arum Lily (Calla Lily, Pig Lily, White Arum, Trumpet Lily, Florist’s Calla, Garden Calla)

 

 

 

 

 

Clivia
Alternative names:
kaffir lily, caffre lily, cape clivia, and klivia
Why?
The flowers contain lycorine and other alkaloids that are toxic to cats when ingested. Although the bulb is considered the most toxic part of the plant, cat owners should not allow their cat to eat any part of this dangerous plant. Large quantities must be ingested to cause symptoms of toxicity however it’s estimated that complete kidney failure can occur within 24 to 72 hours after ingestion. Because of this, it is imperative you take your cat to a veterinarian as soon as you recognize any of these symptoms or if you catch him in the act of eating the plant. There is no antidote for clivia poisoning, but there are other effective treatment methods available.  

 

 

 

 

 

Clinical symptoms:

  • vomiting
  • acute diarrhoea
  • bloating
  • cramping
  • blindness
  • multiple organ failure
  • severe pain
  • paralysis of the tongue
  • excessive salivation
  • difficulty swallowing because of a numb mouth and throat

LIVER:

Cycads
Alternative names:
Sago Palm, Fern Palm
Why?:
Cycad palms produce three toxins: cycasin, beta-methylamino-L-alanine, and an unidentified toxin. All parts of the plant are toxic, but the seeds contain higher levels of cycasin than other parts of the plant. Dogs usually ingest the seeds. Although toxic, the young leaves are palatable.

 

 

 

 

 

Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae)
Alternative names:
Cyanophyta
Why?:
The most common species being Microcystis. Dogs are exposed to this species by drinking or swimming in water contaminated with it. Intoxication occurs when they groom themselves, subsequently ingesting the toxic algae.

 

 

 

 

 

Amanita phalloides
Alternative names:
Death cap mushroom
Why:
One of the most poisonous of all know mushrooms, the death cap is extremely toxic to animals even when only a small amount is ingested. It’s toxins cause acute liver failure and can also damage other organs such as the kidneys and the intestinal tract. These toxic mushrooms resemble several edible species (caesar’s mushroom and the straw mushroom) commonly consumed by humans, increasing the risk of accidental poisoning. Amatoxins, the class of toxins found in these mushrooms, are thermostable: they resist changes due to heat, so their toxic effects are not reduced by cooking. Found growing under large trees like oak, chestnut and pine.

 

 

 

 

 

Clinical symptoms:

  • appetite loss
  • excessive salivation
  • depression
  • early symptoms can manifest themselves as gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting, salivation and diarrhea
  • permanent liver damage

KIDNEYS:

Lilies:

All Lilies are toxic to cats so owners should make sure that their cats never have access to these plants. The entire plant is toxic and toxicity may occur when mouthing on or ingesting parts of the plant. Ingesting any part of the plant can cause kidney failure within 36 – 72 hours.

Toxic plants included in this family are:

– Asiatic lily

 

 

 

 


– Calla lily

 

 

 

 

 

– Day lily

 

 

 

 


– Easter lily

 

 

 

 


– Peace lily
The Peace lily is mildly toxic to animals when ingested. The peace lily is not a true lily from the Liliaceae family. True lilies are far more  toxic to cats and dogs. The Peace lily contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause skin irritation, a burning sensation in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, and nausea.

 

 

 

 


– Tiger lily

 

 

 

 


– Lily of the valley

 

 

 

 

 

Clinical Symptoms:
Nephrotoxin in the above mentioned lilies can lead to renal failure within 24-72 hours of consumption. It only takes ingestion of one leaf to commence renal decline.

  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drooling
  • Increased urination, followed by a drastic reduction in urination for 1 – 2 days.

HEART:

Oleander family of plants:

Nerium oleander
Alternative names:
Nerium, Oleander
Why:
Nerium oleander is one of the most poisonous commonly grown garden pants and is toxic in all its parts

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow oleander
Alternative names:
Lucky nut
Why:
All parts of the Yellow oleander plant are toxic to most vertebrates as they contain cardiac glycosides.

 

 

 

 

 

Digitalis (Foxgloves)
Alternative names: Foxgloves, Dead man’s bells, Witch’s gloves
Why:
Depending on the species, the Digitalis plant may contain several deadly physiological and chemically related cardiac and steroidal glycosides.  The entire plant is toxic (including the roots and seeds).

 

 

 

 

 

Lily of the valley
Alternative names:
May bells, Our Lady’s tears, Mary’s tears
Why:
The bulbs, flowers and berries of the Lily of the valley are poisonous. The whole plant has toxic levels of cardiac glycosides, but the bulbs contain the highest levels. Nearly 40 different cardiac glycosides have been found within the Lily of the valley plant. They also contain saponins, which is also toxic to cats and dogs.

 

 

 

 

 

Clinical symptoms:

  • Early indications of ingestion manifest themselves in the onset of gastrointestinal tract symptoms, such as diarrhoea, vomiting and excess salivation.
  • More severe signs subsequently follow including acute heart and respiratory distress, disturbances in cardiac rhythm and heart failure.
  • low blood pressure
  • seizures
  • coma

BLOOD:

Onions
Why:
All  onions, raw or cooked are dangerous. They contain thiosulphate which is toxic to cats and dogs. The ingestion of onions causes a condition called hemolytic anemia, which is characterized by damage to the red blood cells. Onion toxicity can cause the red blood cells circulating through your pet’s body to burst.

 

 

 

 

 

Clinical symptoms:

  • anaemia
  • jaundice

SKIN:

Rubber euphorbia (Poinsettias)
Why:
Poinsettias, of which there are many varieties, contain a milky latex in the stem that is severely irritating to the skin, mucous membranes and gastrointestinal tract. The toxic principles in the latex of euphorbias are diterpenoid esters. These plants are sometimes regarded more of an irritant rather than toxic, however, poisoning by poinsettias is more frequently encountered in cats.

 

 

 

 

 

Dianthus caryophyllus (Carnations)
Alternative names: Carnation, Clove Pink, Pinks, Wild Carnation, Sweet William
Why: Particularly in cats when their skin comes into contact with the flower.

 

 

 

 

 

Grass seeds:
Grasses such as Spear grass, Rooigras (Themeda triandra), Assegaaigras and Bur Bristle grass (Setaria verticillata) have seeds that can penetrate the animals skin. This is most common between the toes of the animal but the seeds can also penetrate the skin, nose, eyes, eyelids, ears, gums or soft palate. Once the seed has penetrated the skin, they are able to migrate far inside the body.

 

 

 

 

 

Clinical symptoms:

  • Symptoms associated with grass seeds and awns are determined by the shape of the seed and are specific to where it has lodged itself on the pet:
  • Eyes may become inflamed and red.
  • Sneezing or nasal discharge.
  • Scratching the ear or shaking of the head.
  • Chewing on an agitated area of skin may result in abscesses developing.
  • dermatitis

What to do if your Pet is Poisoned?

  1. Have your veterinarian’s contact details along with an ER vet and Pet Poison Helpline pre-saved on your phone so it’s always available in case of an emergency.
  2. As soon as you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic substance, remove them from the area where the suspected intoxication occurred.
  3. Remove any residual poisonous substances from other pets or your children’s reach.
  4. Call your veterinarian or the national 24-hour Poisons Information Helpline on 086 155 5777.
  5. Ensure your pet is breathing and acting normally.
  6. Keep a sample of the toxic material and any other information that may be useful to the vet or the Pet Poison Helpline expert.
  7. Do not give your pet any form of prescription or over-the-counter medication to try remedy the situation without your vet’s consent.
  8. Do not feed your pet milk, oil, salt or any other home remedies.
  9. Never induce vomiting without first consulting your veterinarian.

Keep in mind that there is a narrow window period when professionals can induce vomiting or pump the stomach of toxins to save your pet. Your reaction time may make the ultimate difference in saving your loved one’s life, so act immediately.

The severity of the associated symptoms fully depends on the quantity of toxin that has been ingested and how promptly they are treated thereafter. Plant poisoning in our pet pals is uncommon, but there have been reported cases of related fatalities. By being aware of the types of plants you have in your garden, you can prevent an unnecessary incident or tragedy from happening.

Additional toxic plants to keep your pet away from:

  • Azalea
  • Baby’s breath
  • Begonia
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cyclamen
  • Gladiola
  • Hosta
  • Ivy including the following: California, Branching, Glacier, Needlepoint, Sweetheart and English.
  • Milkweed
  • Morning glory
  • Pothos
  • Tulip/Narcissus

Avoid Other Forms of Pet Poisoning @ Home:

  • Store all household cleaning material, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, paint-related items, chemicals and vehicle-related products in secured cabinets out of your pet’s reach.
  • Even small doses of medication such as antidepressants, vitamins, pain killers, cold medicines and diet pills can be deadly to cats and dogs so keep them out of reach from your pets.
  • Only use pest baits or traps (for rats, mice, snails or cockroaches) in areas that are inaccessible to pets.
  • Only administer prescribed medication from your vet to your dog or cat as many human medications can be fatal to animals.
  • Everyday household items can cause serious harm to your pets, so keep the following inaccessible to them:
  • Consult your vet before applying a flea prevention product to sick, old or pregnant dogs.
  • Do not use products intended for dogs on cats, and vice versa.
  • Restrict your pets from accessing areas that have undergone insecticidal fogging or house sprays as indicated on the instructions.
  • Restrict your pets from gardens that have been treated with herbicides, fertilisers or insecticides until they have dried entirely.
  • Consult with a product’s manufacturer if you are unsure how to use it safely in your house.

 

Written for inFURmation
by Taliah Williamson

Disclaimer: The information produced by Infurmation is provided for general and educational purposes only and does not constitute any legal, medical or other professional advice on any subject matter. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new diet or treatment and with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you suspect that your pet has a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.

 

Revolting against Rabies

Rabies

Just the mere mention of the word “rabies” is enough to trigger alarm and panic amongst pet lovers, given the fatality rate associated with this horrific virus. However, it is important for all responsible pet owners to recognise that rabies is preventable and with a deeper understanding, you will be empowered to protect your furry friend from the merciless hands of this viral disease.

Causes of Rabies in Cats and Dogs

Rabies can be transmitted to felines and canines when they are exposed to the saliva of an infected animal through a bite. Even though it is less likely, transmission is also possible through a scratch or if your pet’s mucous membranes or open wounds become exposed to the saliva of an animal with rabies. Wild animals in South Africa, such as bats, black-backed jackals, bat-eared foxes and mongooses are common carriers of this unrelenting virus.

Symptoms

Initially, the infected pet may portray extreme behavioural modifications that are contrary to their normal character such as anxiety, agitation and aggression. Energetic and enthusiastic pets may become meek and depressed, whilst jovial and peaceful pets may become cantankerous.

The infected pet may lash out at or attack anything alive or inanimate. They may also be inclined to incessantly lick, chew or bite the area of their body that was bitten. Oversensitivity to sound, light and touch can also be experienced as the virus advances.

Other symptoms of rabies in cats and dogs are:

  • Fever
  • Paralysis – especially that of the tongue, throat, jaw and legs causing the notorious symptom of foaming from the mouth.
  • Pica – consumption of non-food substances such as dirt or rocks
  • Seizures
  • Drooling
  • Chewing stones
  • Wandering around aimlessly
  • Disorientation
  • Incoordination
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Hypersalivation

Diagnosis

If your pet is projecting these associated symptoms after a vicious attack by or contact with a rabid or wild animal, contact your veterinarian immediately. As the virus has an incubation period of as short as ten days, the vet may quarantine your pet to confirm the case of rabies. Fluid testing of saliva, skin and urine are some of the preferred diagnostic methods. However, the most accurate diagnosis is received through the “direct fluorescent antibody test” which unfortunately, can only be performed after an animal passes away because this diagnostic procedure requires tissue from the brain.

Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for rabies in cats and dogs. Confirmed cases of rabies in unvaccinated animals must be reported to the local public health authorities who may quarantine the animal or devastatingly, euthanise it based on the regulations in the relevant region.

Prevention

Ensuring that your pets are properly vaccinated is not only important for them, it is also important for your safety as a pet owner and those around you. Indoor animals have a lower chance of being subjected to vicious attacks or being exposed to rabid animals. Humans must exercise caution when encountering a pet potentially carrying the virus and any places which may have been infected, should be thoroughly sterilised by using an appropriate bleaching solution.

Plan of Action if your Pet’s been in Contact with a Rabid Animal

  1. Consult your veterinarian immediately!
  2. Alert your local health department of the incident and carefully follow their instructions.
  3. Alert your local animal control officer if the rabid animal is still roaming free so they can professionally and safely catch the animal.
  4. The rabies virus may remain active on your pet’s skin for two hours after the incident, so wear gloves and protective clothing when handling them within this time frame.
  5. If your pet has been bitten by a rabid animal and was luckily vaccinated beforehand, a rabies booster should be administered as soon as possible, and they should be closely monitored for 45 days thereafter.

 

Written for inFURmation
by Taliah Williamson

 

See any of these signs? Better not ignore them!

signs

Pixabay

See any of these signs? Better not ignore them!

We so often hear families say, “if only we knew what to look for”, if you notice warning signs or changes in your dog, it may indicate something more serious is going on. Mittens and Max had a piece indicating 5 warning signs that we thought was worth a share.

  1. Heavy Panting: we all know what heavy panting looks like, often this will stop once your dog has cooled down a little bit, but if your dog is experiencing deeper laboured breathing that lasts longer than normal, this could be an indication of our dog or cat being in pain or that they are suffering from heatstroke. This could however also be a sign that something more serious is going on, like poisoning, heart failure, Cushing’s disease, pneumonia or even lung tumours.
  2. Drooling: Now, with the bulldog breed, drool is something we are all pretty used to. But if you know your dog you will soon see if excessive drooling is taking place. This may be another indication of heatstroke, but it can also indicate dental issues like a tooth abscess. It could also be an indication that your dog has chewed something poisonous, or something that irritates or burns the mouth, neurologic problems can also cause your dog to drool excessively. If this continues, please see a vet.
  3. Increase in water consumption: When a dog drinks excessive amounts of water, it may indicate that they ae in kidney failure, or it could be a sign of diabetes, Cushing’s disease, or even pyometra in an unspayed female, more uncommonly it could also be a sign of Psychogenic polydipsia. This is definitely something noteworthy to your vet.
  4. Behavioural changes: this is something you can quickly notice if you really know your dog well. This can be linked to pain, thyroid dysfunction in dogs, hyperthyroidism in cats, and other medical conditions like pancreatitis, cancer, arthritis, parasites, skin allergies, heart disease or pain from injury.
  5. Odor changes: Every Bulldog owner out there will agree that the one thing Bulldogs are truly known for, is their ability to stink you out of your own bed. While you may be used to your dog producing malodorous gas regularly, a change in the intensity of the smell can indicate gastrointestinal disease.

Ultimately it is of utmost importance to have the kind of relationship with your pet to be able to notice these signs early, in fact the earlier the better.

Note them to your vet, even if you think it may insignificant.
You never know, it could make the world of difference in diagnosing your pet.

Source: English & French Bulldog Rescue